; Our Joyful Blessings: 2008

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Our family would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!!! Our day began at 7 am today. Mandy had been awake since 5 am, but was being wrangled by my mom and was kept from waking the entire house up. She finally allowed her to go peek under the tree at 7 am, we then woke up and went and got J.R. out of bed. Mandy thought he had a little accident because his bed was wet, but he had not, he spilled some water that one of the kids had given him in the middle of the night! Anyhow he was shocked to see his wish come true. His Big Monster Truck was under the tree. Santa actually bought him a Artic Tracker that he had so wished for. It was wonderful to see all the kids interacting and sharing. The funniest thing did happen today, Mandy got a cupcake maker and Alexis an Easy Bake Oven. Mandy went ahead and tested her cupcake maker and made a couple of cupcakes with the help of AnaCarmen and Taylor. They were not very tasty but they were edible. The girls left one cupcake on top of the kitchen table. I heard my aunt laughing hysterically and asking me to come take a look at this. I went to see what she wanted only to find Julian hiding under our table eating Mandy's cupcake. Yes, I have a closet eater! Mandy was saying "hey he stole my cupcake", while Julian was busy stuffing it down his throat hiding under the table thinking no one could see him! Oh my word, this boy can eat! Anyhow, have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy our families pictures and a couple of short clips of our morning!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Feliz Noche Buena!!!

Christmas Eve is a really big deal in Latin family culture. Today, we roast a pig, have moros (black beans and rice cooked together), boiled yuca with plenty of mojo (garlic sauce) and the famous "platanitos maduros" or sweet plantains. Yes, we already sat down, give thanks to God for a wonderful year and ate like there was no end.

My day started a little lets say less than perfect. Alexis fell off her "ripstick" on Sunday and hurt her arm. She kept complaining about it and saying she couldn't move it. I took her to the pediatrician's office on Monday, they decided to give us a script to have an xray taken of her arm and elbow. They gave us an appointment for xrays on Tues, picked up the xrays today only to find out she had an acute fracture of the elbow! Ouch!!!! So we had to find an orthopedic specialist to take us in today and set her arm. We found one in Boca Raton who was wonderful. Her arm was set in a "baby blue" cast which she will be sporting for the next three weeks.... "Hint to all concerned parents 1) skip on buying your kid a ripstick, they are DANGEROUS! 2) When your child says their arm hurts after a fall, just take them to the Emergency room and forgo the pediatrician's office!!!

Ok, the tots are now in bed and the cookies where placed next to the fireplace waiting for Santa to arrive. By the way, Santa is going GREEN this year so nothing is being wrapped. All the gifts will have name tags and bows! LOL... I will be posting pictures of our Christmas morning tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Very Interesting Information

I met someone through an adoption forum about 3 months after J.R. arriving from Guatemala. She sent me a private message via the forum that asked me what my son's birth name was. She had recognized the referral picture I had posted. It just so happened that when J.R. was about one month old she had accepted his referral only to find out about one week after that another family had sent in their power of attorney and she lost his referral. Imagine her surprise when she visited a waiting child listing and saw his picture on it only now he was six months old?? Well, she had already received her referral and had her daughter home. She was trying her best to see how she could start on his adoption when he was then marked as no longer available because we had begun his adoption. She was able to send me his newborn pictures that I was never able to obtain and I was and am still so thankful to her.

She recently posted this on her Blog and I thought it was such interesting and true information!!!

She compiled some statistics based on publications
from the World Bank, the CIA, and other sources. From those numbers she was able to calculate the following facts:

Out of 100 children born in Guatemala:

1 has been or will be adopted by a US family
5 will not make it to their 5th birthday
16 will be born with low birth weight
22 will never see the inside of a school
28 will never learn how to read and write
54 will grow up in extreme poverty and malnourished
74 will never make it to the 7th grade
84 will need to travel over an hour to reach a health care facility

By eliminating adoptions in Guatemala the government has solved the
"crisis" for 1 out 100 of their children. What about the rest of them?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Julian Has Been Home ONE YEAR TODAY!

Wow, it's more than amazing how time just flys on by without you noticing. One year ago today Julian was home forever and on the 20th of this month will mark J.R.'s 2 year anniversay home. We are now a completed family. It took a little while to stablize our family's everyday routine. We had two adoptions within a two year time frame. That in itself makes for two long unstable years of craziness. It's nice and comforting to have your family completed and to have your traditions set and your routine established.

Many within the adoption community celebrate what most call "Gotcha Days" which is the day your child was placed in your arms forever. That would have been December 11th for Julian and December 14th for J.R., so I decided to celebrate Julian's one year home anniversary with his favorite thing "a cake". Look at this guys face light up when he saw his little cake....

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Save Money on Online Purchases~~~~~

My husband's broker came over last night told us about an ecommerce company that saves you money on online purchases. Not only can you save money but you can also make money too. I urge you to look at this company if you spend any amount of money on online shopping, it pays you cash back on purchases and has mostly all the major stores available. They also have lots of "Green" companies too choose from. We went ahead and joined in go look www.shoptoearn.net/rockthemall
Go into my account and on the very top of the page click on overview and listen to the 5 minute presentation. Its well worth the time. If you have any questions or are interested email me directly at alexismandy@aol.com and I'll be happy to answer your questions. If you just want to shop it will not cost you anything to start saving money, just click on the become a preferred customer and sign up to save, it's free!!! Have fun shopping and saving money! I know I do!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Fabulous Pictures

Love these pictures of our week together.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm Back!

I haven't posted in over a month! It's been a very busy couple of months for us. I've neglected the blog and the posts and paid much needed attention to my family.

We just returned from a seven night cruise to the Western Caribbean. We celebrated my birthday by going on a cruise and took three of the kids with us. Alexis is in fourth grade and could not miss 5 days of school to just vacation so she stayed home and was promised she'll join us next time and the other three will stay home. You can only have five people to a stateroom or you need to book two seperate cabins which is really non conducive for families with small children.

It was a seriously eye opening experience having two small boys and a 5 year old in a stateroom. Wow! I mean Wow!! I don't think that will happen again until they are at least 10 years old! Julian gets happy or annoyed he screams, a scream that kinda sounds like a whistle that a dog could hear. We tried the dining room one night and quickly learned it was probably not the best choice for us, so we visited the buffet the remaining nights. One thing's for sure we had some bonding time!

I had some portraits taken of the kids during the cruise. They were so cute I couldn't resist and bought three of them.

I'll post some of my favorite pictures of our seven days tomorrow. Today, I'm just adding the portraits we purchased.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Removed the Music Playlist

I monitor an adoption forum and not too long ago they conducted a survey concerning music on blogs. Seems like most people really dislike music on blogs. They said it was annoying and they usually just removed the sound while reading it. So, since it seems that most people do not like to listen to music while trying to read a blog, I have removed it........ Hey, I wanna keep my friends Happy!

Halloween At Disney....

We took the kids to Disney (being a Floridan does have its privileges)for Halloween. They have an event called the Not So Spooky Halloween Party for the kids. They had a fantastic time.

J.R. was finally happy with taking pictures with the characters. He usually screamed his lungs out when they would get near him. Yeap, he's graduated to loving characters!!!! Julian wasn't happy, he's still not liking the big mouse or big overgrown Winnie The Pooh coming near him...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Alberto Looks So Cool!!!!

My friend Ana's son Alberto is chillin with his cool clothes (Compliments of my huge son Julian) who grew out of EVERYTHING!!!! Ana is a digital scrapbooker like me. She made this for me and sent it to me. Needless to say I had to ask her for permission to post this because it's way too cute!!!!!!

Fall has arrived in South Florida

When I was younger and my oldest children where little I never took the time to take them to special places. I worked afternoons and midnights and never had much time or engergy to dedicate to them. I regret that so very much. Those moments and those young years can never be replaced. Thats why I am try and capture these precious moments in my younger children's life.

It's difficult to believe that fall is already here, specially when it's 89 degress outside. Our neighboring city of Parkland had a huge Pumpkin Patch event this fall. I packed up the kids and my camera (all except Mandy who opted for golfing with daddy instead) and headed to Parkland.

The kids enjoyed it so much. There were thousands of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes there. We took many beautiful pictures and even ran into a friend who also adopted from Guatemala and her son Axel.

It was a beautiful day!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Operation Princess Hair Begins!!!!!!

As many of you know there is a precious little guatatoddler in the adoption community fighting cancer.... Abby Riggs is 3 years old and going through a painful process right now. Many of us know of and care for this sweet little one. I need your help to support this precious family!

www.thevoiceofadventure.blogspot.com this is the blog to go to read more about this and the Pay Pal button to give Abby her hair back is on the top of her sidebar.

Abby is so many wonderful things. She is part of an amazing family. There are 7 wonderful kiddos in her family. 3 of those sweeties- including Abby came by way of adoption. Abby is a bouncing, happy, funny princess of a 3 year old....

Now she is also a dear little warrior fighting for her life. She was diagnosed with Leukemia and life suddenly took a radical turn for this amazing family. Her concerns of which princess dress she should wear have turned to whether she will get poked or be able to keep her food down today.

This is sweet Abby right now....

These are the battle scars she has right now in her fight against cancer...

Just one of the MANY things she has been forced to give up is her GORGEOUS princess hair and it makes her very sad.... What is it like to be the mommy that has to tell your 3 year old that she has to take medicine that will give her horrible sores, make her throw up constantly, and cause her to lose her hair? What is that like? What is it like to watch tears slide down your sweet baby's cheeks even in her sleep cause that's how much it hurts.

THIS is not OK with me. If I could I would make this go away. If I could I would change this- I wish there was a way. I know there are so many of us who wish that. We CAN'T MAKE IT GO AWAY! We just can't.

What we can do is give Abby back her princess hair. It's expensive and not something this family needs to worry about during this stressful financial time of paying for medicine and gas and hospital bills. We can not make this all go away but we can give Abby back her hair and make her smile.



This is your mission, should you choose to accept it...

1. I want us to buy sweet Abby one of these- http://www.hatswithhair.com/

It's called a pony sport. It costs $228. It's made with real human hair. It's very comfortable and can be worn with any baseball type cap that Abby prefers.

After visiting with her mommy we feel this would be very comfortable and fun for everyday use at home and the hospital.

2. We will flood Abby and the other kiddos in the family with care packages that let her and her family know they are loved. If you feel you would like to send Abby or her family a present please e-mail Angel at angelweir@gmail.com

We can all send Abby fun presents AND ALL SEND an ADORABLE BASEBALL CAP to wear with her new hair. Then everytime she is having a hard day her momma can bust out a new care package to give her something to smile about.

3. We are also going to buy Abby a custom made wig! Check it out here....


I am so excited about this! It is going to be custom made to look a lot like her hair did before she needed to start chemo. So when Abby wants to dress up nice and look like the Abby she remembers she will have this. This wig will cost about $450. It is made of real hair and created just for her little head.

4. If there are donations exceeding the needed amount for the princess hair we will invite the family to use this money to help with whatever extra expenses they are facing during this difficult time.

It's hard for me to fathom what this family is facing. I want to do whatever I can to support them.

They are full of faith and strong. Cancer FEARS this little fighter! Let's do whatever we can to love and walk with this family during this time. I can't begin to imagine what they are facing but I PRAY that people would be there for me if we ever did walk this path.