Virginia Beach Day Seven- Living Museum

We had a lazy morning today before heading off to the Living Museum.  My sister has a membership here and speaks very highly of it, so we were excited to try it out!

There’s an outdoor nature walk where we saw all sorts of wildlife.  All the animals in the museum are native to Virginia.  We saw otters, fox, eagles, and we even saw a lady pet an opossum!  They had a dinosaur exhibit where we saw how large TRex’s footprints were and sat on a dinosaur ribcage.

Inside the kids got to pet various kinds of crabs- except for Smiles who wussed out.

20170726_141848_001

We played in a giant turtle shell

20170726_143459

And watched a diver clean the shark tank!

20170726_145015

We also got to watch fish change their color to camouflage to different ground coverings, see lots of turtles and fish, and touch some shedded snake skin.

The museum was a lot of fun.  I made all the kids tell me something they learned before they got a snack afterwards.

We went back to the cabin to change and then met my sister’s family at Sandbridge Beach.  This is their favorite beach, and it was easy to see why!  The houses are storybook perfect, there are hammocks under the pier, and a lot less people than at Virginia Beach.  If I were to rent a house in this area, I would rent a house here. We did all the beach things…..

 

Including digging inappropriately shaped holes.

20170726_182726

Wiggles has a big imagination and can play for hours by himself.  Today on the beach he told me that he was a “Beethoven”, which is like a beaver but it doesn’t go in the water, it lives in the dessert and eats sand.  The Beethoven’s biggest problem is that there are dogs named Cogs that like to eat it.  He put his fingers in a certain way and pressed in the sand to show me what Beethoven’s footprints looked like.  When I told him to go in the ocean to get the sand off his chest, he said all exasperatedly, “I do not have a chest!  I am a Beethoven!”  That kid cracks me up!

20170726_184842

We planned to get dinner afterwards, but the place my sister recommended had a long wait.  It’s not easy finding a table for 10 with short notice!  We quickly looked up some places in the parking lot and settled on Lucky Oyster.  It was great!  The Husband and Diva tried raw oysters for the first time- The Husband thought they were “blah” and Diva thought they were “horrible”.  The Husband didn’t chew so later thought he should have tried it again.  Diva was brave enough to try a second one, this time with hot sauce, but concluded that she was “never eating that again.”

20170726_205038

The Husband, Diva, and Smiles all ate mussels for the first time as well.  This got thumbs up all the way around!  I may have told Smiles that eating mussels makes him grow muscles.

Time has gone by very quickly since we’ve been here; it seems like every time I look at the clock it’s a few hours later than I would have guessed.  I don’t think the kids have gone to bed before 10 PM once since we’ve been here- luckily, they’ve all slept well, probably because they’ve been so worn out!

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Virginia Beach Day Six- Water Country

Today we had a very busy day at Water Country!  Didn’t get to take many pictures.

Water Country is about an hour from our cabin.  On the way there we went through a long over-the-ocean bridge and through an under-the-ocean tunnel.  I’m 33 years old and still don’t understand how they build those things!

Water Country has enough thrill rides for any adventure seeker.  Our favorite was the Colossal Curl, which is a 4-person funnel shaped ride with massive drops and high lifts.  So fun and unlike most other water slides.

Water Country is also really great for little kids.  There are 3 separate play areas for the really young kids, all of which are great.

20170725_120003

One of them has a water slide that’s like a miniature adult water slide.  It was legitimately fun!  Sassypants and her Big Cousin went down over and over again, and each time Sassypants said “Weeeeee!  Weeeeee!  Weeeeeee!” the whole way down.

There are also a half dozen or so big kid rides that younger kids can go on, so long as they have a life vest and an adult with them.  These were really fun to do together as a family- these were not baby slides!  I was really nervous for Sassypants to go down her first big slide- it was a three person raft, with me in the back, Smiles in the front, and her in the middle- but she loved it! One of the slides that everyone went on was pretty fast, and most of it was in a dark tube with very limited visibility.  We sat in those 4 person circle tubes.  The kids did not like that one so much.  Sassypants told us it was very scary but she wanted to try it again to see if she liked it next time.  Wiggles told us “THAT WAS HORRIBLE!”

Besides that one, Wiggles loved the big kid slides.  As each one ended he jumped out of the water and said “THAT WAS THE BEST RIDE EVER!!!”  If he stands really straight and stretches out his neck he’s 42”, which allows him to ride a couple extra rides.  He just couldn’t get enough; besides the blackout one he was pretty fearless. He’s really growing up and is becoming so fun just to hang out with

Smiles had fun.  He’s not an adventure seeker and gets very scared of heights, but once he gets to the top he likes the way down.  He spent the second half of the day in the baby pool.  He was a good big brother and played a lot with Sassypants. He also really liked the wave pool.

Diva also had fun, but was in a weird mood today.  She also spent the second half of the day in the baby pool.  Her little cousins really look up to her and she loves playing with them.

It was nice having 4 adults so we could trade off little-kid-watching duties.  We all got some time with the younger kids, but also all got to ride several fun rides.  We got there shortly after the park opened and left after it closed, a 9 hour day.  We are all beat but still didn’t do nearly everything the park had to offer!  I guess, considering we had 6 young kids with us, our time was spent something like this:

  • 40% Walking around and trying to convince kids to follow you
  • 30% Waiting in line
  • 20% Drying tears, mediating fights, fixing bad attitudes
  • 5% Eating
  • 5% Riding rides

Tonight my body is exhausted and is looking forward to more relaxed day tomorrow!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Virginia Beach Day Five- Boat Rental and Pictures

We woke up to alarms today, quickly changed into our swimsuits, and drove to the boat rental place.  We had a 14 passenger pontoon boat.  The worker guy rambled on for 30 minutes of instructions before we took off.  The kids were mostly excited about the muffins I brought for breakfast, which ended up making a huge mess all over the boat- but they really loved those muffins!  We drove around for a bit before stopping to swim.  My little niece wanted to get in and needed a grown up to go with her, but none of the grown ups were excited to go.  She looked at her dad with her pretty eyes just long enough that he was finally about ready to jump in when he saw a jellyfish!

Honestly, I kind of thought he made it up at first to have an excuse not to get in, but a little while later he caught the jellyfish in a net!  I have never seen a wild jellyfish before.  It was clear and hard to see, but definitely there.  Jellyfish are so gross.  I think it was dead, but I was a little worried that our 5 children were swimming in jellyfish infested water.  The kids talked about who would pee on who if someone got stung!  Luckily, our trip was jellyfish-sting free.

A little while later we got out the tube!  As a kid I LOVED tubing but haven’t been for a very long time.  Diva and my Big Niece went first.  We took it easy on them and they loved in!  Next up were Wiggles and Smiles.  We did not take it easy on them, and were shocked at how long they held on!  We named them the BA Brothers…none of them know what BA means. 😊  We spent the next couple of hours taking turns on the tube.  My kids surprised me!  Sassypants got pretty tired and wasn’t that into it.  Wiggles was so good at holding on; I was shocked at how long he lasted.  Diva, usually my adventurous one, didn’t love going fast.  Every time before her turn The Husband got a stern talking to about how he was only permitted to go slowly.  Smiles, usually my biggest wuss, LOVED it and couldn’t stop smiling.

My Little niece napped, and after she woke up my sister did tricks.

After boating we came back to the campground and took it easy for a few hours.  Sassypants napped, the other kids played in the pool.  At one point we were sitting outside talking.  My sister looked down, saw a snake by her feet, everyone looked, and we noticed it was eating a frog!  Yuck.

Tonight we headed back to the beach.  We usually do family pictures with a college friend, but since we were going to be in such a nice setting and with my family we hired a photographer to capture us here in Virginia.  In my head this was going to be a fun night.  We got there right before sunset, beautiful weather, kids all spruced up.  I thought we’d shoot pictures for a bit, say bye to my sister, then maybe go to a beachside restaurant for dessert.

Resized_20170724_195213

That’s not exactly how it went.  My sister’s poor kids are completely off their schedule, and my Little Niece decided to party from 11-4 AM last night.  So by sunset they were completely wiped out.  They wanted no part of being there.  Wiggles was completely captivated by the water and only wanted to stand in the crashing surf.  Sassypants was not interested in getting her picture taken, she preferred throwing sand and then screaming at herself when it got on her face.  Hopefully we got a few good ones, but please know in a few weeks when we post them on social media that for every good one we posted we have 100 that look like this.

After we were done I let the kids loose.  Wiggles and Diva dove in the ocean, completely soaking their nice picture clothes.  I made them ride back home in their underwear.  Before we left we saw a big ghost crab!  The kids freaked out!  Lots of wildlife today!

Poor Sassypants has been tired this trip.  Just look at how tiny and cute she is…but man, is she loud and demanding. This was how our car ride home went:

“MOMMY!  HOLD MY HAND!  NO!  HOLD MY KNEE!  NO!! NOT LIKE THAT!  SPREAD YOUR FINGERS OUT!  Good.  NO!  DON’T HOLD MY KNEE!  HOLD MY CUPHOLDER!

Then Smiles tried to be a nice big brother and calm her down by offering her the phone he was playing games on.  She responded:

“I AM MAD!  YOU ARE MAKING ME MADDER! (Throws phone)  DON’T NO ONE LOOK AT ME AND DON’T NO ONE TALK AT ME!”

Sometimes I don’t know whether to cry or laugh, you know?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Virginia Beach Day Four- The Beach!

This morning the campground had a (free) pancake breakfast, and now my kids have discovered that some people put whipped cream on top of their pancakes, and now my pancakes will never pass muster again.

My Brother-in-law is a campus pastor at Community Church.  He doesn’t preach every Sunday, but it just happened that he was preaching the weekend we were visiting!  We’ve watched him online before but this was our first time watching him in person.  We really enjoyed the entire experience and were so proud of the great job he did!

After a quick lunch back at the cabin- and plenty of threats because my kids could not seem to get along or listen this morning- we headed back to the beach.  We had another great summer beach day.  I did about 500 60-pound curls helping Sassypants and her cousin jump over waves.  Her cousin kept pulling me saying “Further out, further out” while Sassypants said over and over “That was fun mom, that was really really fun!”

20170723_204002

We took turns burying everyone, but this ended badly when sand got on Wiggle’s face and he was convinced he would never be unsandy again.  (poor guy….his screaming usually drives me bonkers, but having sand in your eyes and mouth when every other square inch of your body is covered in sand really does suck).

We dug a lot of holes.

20170723_150406

We bought the big kids body boards, which they thought was pretty much the greatest thing ever.  They really had fun jumping on the waves and riding them in.  Wiggles tried to do this too but got pretty frustrated when he couldn’t get down the whole jumping-on-the-wave part.  Finally I helped him time it right and he said “Boy I really like these waves!”  He’s such an old man sometimes.

20170723_155007

When the little kids started to get cranky we showered off the sand, some more naked than others.

20170723_174146

Then came an adventure.  My sister and brother-in-law had driven to the beach, but we had taken the bus.  We planned to stop and get food to eat at the cabin for dinner.  We decided the boys would go get the food while the girls- along with six kids (four of the kids age 5 and under) would take the bus back.  Genius plan, right?  We stressed to the big kids that we would need some help, and Diva happily obliged.

20170723_203449

We made the walk to the bus stop and had to wait a few minutes for it to come.  There was a carton of, like, a dozen uneaten cupcakes sitting on top of the nearby trash can.  Did I mention we had four kids age 5 and under?  Keeping them from those cupcakes was no easy feat.  They finally got distracted by those little touristy coupon books and maps, and had pulled out about 50 of them just as the bus pulled up, so that was pretty fantastic.

We got on the bus.  Adult day passes are $4, kids 17 and under ride for free.  What I didn’t know is that there is a limit of 2 kids per adults.  We had 2 adults and 6 kids…and this particular bus driver happened to be a real rule follower.  She gave us a pretty tough time and instructed us to sit down while she waited for other passengers and called her supervisor.  She never said another word to us, but eventually closed the doors and took off.  That is, she never said another word except for yelling at the kids to sit with their bottoms on the seats, backs against the back of the chair.  Did I mention we had 6 kids with us?

Finally we got to the campground and I called The Husband to come pick us up.  Our cabin is in the very back of the campground, a long walk from the check in area and bus stop.  Totally doable, but difficult with so many young kids.  The husband texted back that he was still getting food and that I had the keys to the cabin.  I said no, the cabin keys are in the van, and he had the van keys.  My phone had 3% battery at this time.  He called and apologized for leaving me stranded.  My poor sister supervised all the kids while I went to the front desk.  I explained the situation and they very kindly took pity on us, rounded up 2 golf carts to take us all to the cabin, and used the master key to let us in.  I told the guy that he not only saved our day, he also saved my husband from a lot of trouble.  He said he’s been that husband!

20170723_184801

My sister and I then decided to give the three littlest kids- a 1-year-old and two 3-year-olds- a shower to get the sand off.  If you’ve never given 3 young kids a shower before, you should really try it!  She stood on the floor and scrubbed while I stood on the toilet and scrubbed.  There were only a few screams.  Wish we had gotten a picture!

I tend to find myself in these kind-of-sucky-but-also-hilarious adventures pretty often.  The Husband tolerates it and laughs with me the next day, but my sister laughs with me in the moment and for that I will be forever grateful.  There’s no one I’d rather be on an adventure with than my sissy!

Anyways, today all ended fine and the kids were glad for their golf cart adventure.  The boys got back with a giant pizza and we chowed down before her family left.  The Husband took the other kids to the campground pool- complete with water slides- but it started lightening shortly after they got there.  They got back just before the rain started and the big kids got to enjoy a short movie before bed.

Tomorrow is the only morning we have to get up early, we rented a boat and have to be there at 8:30.  (That’s early for us, okay?)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Virginia Beach Day Three- Family, KOA Campground Lodging, and Captain Jack’s Pirate Adventure.

This morning we woke up, ate a quick breakfast, and headed over to my sister’s house!

My sister moved out here a little over a year ago and though I’m happy for her, I really miss her family and have been so excited to see them again.  My nieces are 3.5 and 1.5 and they are growing up so quickly!  We went over to her house for a couple hours this morning.  We enjoyed catching up with her and my brother-in-law while the kids all played.  She just moved last week and her house is so cute- and these little ladies sure had a fun time catching up!20170722_104740

After that we ran by Costco to stock up on groceries for the week and a quick lunch, then headed to our cabin to check in.  When booking lodging I considered lots of options before settling on the KOA Campground.

20170722_143503

We’re only one day in but so far it’s great!  We like it for the following reasons:

  • Outside area for hanging out after the kids go to sleep- also great for drying towels and keeping sandy clothes/toys out of the living area
  • Kitchen area for meals when it’s convenient
  • 2 Miles from the beach- and there are busses that go to the beach every 20 minutes from 9:30 AM-11:00 PM.  The bus passes are $4/adult/day- cheaper than parking, and it drops off at a convenient spot.
  • Tons of activities to occupy downtime- there’s a pool with waterslides, jumping pillow, bikes to rent, and many planned activities like movies, tie dye, water balloon fights, etc.
  • Layout, layout, layout….when we travel for longer than a night or two, this margarita drinking night owl mom really tries to find lodging that allows us to put the kids to bed and then hang out by ourselves.  This cabin is perfect!

Capture

After checking in we used to bus to get to the beach.  The kids were SO excited!

20170722_150823

They couldn’t get over just how big it was.

20170722_151358

Unfortunately, it was a little anticlimactic as we had booked Captain Jack’s Pirate Adventure and had to head straight there before we could get in the ocean.

20170722_154151

I had mixed thoughts on the Pirate Adventure.  It was fun.  It was also hot, very hot.  There are two versions of the Pirate Adventure- the family adventure and the booze cruise.  Can you guess which one we did?  There were 3 pirates that had lost their treasure, and they recruited all the kids on board to help them find it.  But first the kids had to look the part, and then they had to train.  They had to learn to do pirate things, like shoot the water cannons.   At the end of the adventure a bad pirate came by and we had to scare him away before we got the treasure back!

At one point The Husband got picked to help the pirates, but since he didn’t have a peg leg or an arm hook they recruited Smiles to cut off his hand…luckily another one of the pirates stopped him before he did!

20170722_164257

I’m not sure if I would recommend the adventure or not.  My kids liked it, but they didn’t love it.  It would have been better if it wasn’t so hot, and if it wasn’t the very first thing we did- my kids had beach on the brain.  I would also not recommend this for younger kids- 5-year-old Wiggles was totally into it, but 3-year-old Sassypants was not at all.  11-year-old Smiles seemed to like it, so I’d say it’s an okay but not must-do activity for kids from ages 5-12.  After arriving I found a coupon book with the promotion code “HOOK” to save 10%- would have saved us $17, so I was bummed I missed it!

From there we went straight to the beach!  I love Virginia Beach- it was the first beach I ever visited at the age of 14, so showing it to my kids was a bit nostalgic. My 3 big kids took off and loved jumping over the waves- they could have stayed there for hours.  Wiggles described it as “very very very very very very very very very very very salty.”  They all loved the big waves; the more force it knocked them down with the better.  Sassypants didn’t love the waves as much but did enjoy digging in the sand.  She didn’t nap today and kept asking if it was time for bed!  We went to Neptune’s Beach, which is crowded with people and pretty touristy- which I would hate if I lived here, but it was fun for vacation. We were really enjoying ourselves when the lifeguards stared blowing their whistles and shooing us offshore as there was some lightning in the distance.  We got cleaned up and found a beachside restaurant called Mahi Mah’s- and lucked out to find patio seating at 6:30 on Saturday night.

20170722_184127

Food was great, kids behaved, and we all enjoyed the band that started playing as we ate.  It was a perfect summer night at the beach.

After dinner The Husband took Sassypants back to the cabin to put her to bed. I took the other kids back to the beach to play for another hour before coming back to clean up for the night.

Tomorrow we are going to my brother-in-law’s church.  We had planned to go to the Children’s Museum afterwards, but I think instead we’re just going to hang out at the beach and campground.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Virginia Road Trip- Days One and Two

Yesterday we left Kansas City to see my sister and her family in Virginia!

My kids have never seen the beach (except for Wiggles when he was 11 mos old) so everyone was pumped up…but it started with an 18 hour drive.  18 hours with 4 kids!  I knew I needed to prep.

I’m not a pro at all on traveling with kids, but I know that any good road trip has lots of snacks and games.  So we went to Costo to load up on food.  I contemplated bringing a cooler but decided that would be too much trouble, so we ended up with a variety of prepackaged snacks like fig bars, animal crackers, granola bars, pretzels, cheez its, etc.

19983795_10105296422613580_9178160954641177976_o.jpg

Next I went to Five Below and Amazon to find travel games.  I spent a fair amount of money here, but my kids range in age from 3-11 so I needed a variety of things to keep each of them busy.  The biggest hits for the little kids ended up being the Water Wow books and scratch art (and a kindergarten work book for Wiggles, he loved that thing), while the big kids liked magnetic checkers and travel Bop It.  We also went to the library and checked out about a dozen movies and even a few audio books, which the kids ended up liking for short periods of time in between other activities.  We put both the snacks and the games in big plastic bins and let the kids access them pretty much at will, though we did have to cut Miss Diva off from the fig bars or she would have eaten every last one in the first hour!

(Sorry for the low picture quality- I took these on my cell phone at 11:30 PM in my car parked in the hotel parking lot…)

Finally I went all Pinterest mom and put together a travel journal for each kid.  They each included notebooks and a pencil pouch stuffed with pencils and pens, crayons, dry erase markers, tape, glue sticks, and scissors.  The Husband thought I had gone off my rocker for packing glue sticks, but they kept 3-year-old Sassypants entertained for a solid hour, which is totally worth a few minutes of pick up as far as I’m concerned! The big kids journals also included maps, an itinerary, and various road trip games I found online…tic tac toe, license plates, would you rather, scavenger hunts, etc.  (If I were a good blogger I’d post links, but I’m just an average blogger with limited blogging time, so get Googling!).  I put all the games in sheet protectors so they could use the dry erase markers and play again and again.  The problem with that was that they erased very easily, so if they wanted to take a break and finish the game later, their previous work would be gone…so if I do journals again, I think I’ll just print multiple copies.  The biggest kids were not that into their journals so they barely looked at them, but the little kids loved them- kind of the opposite of how I thought it would work!  My little kids are very creative and spent a lot of time drawing, taping, etc.  I did most of the driving so didn’t play with them much; I think if I had engaged my big kids in the games they would have been more into them.

Capture3

We left Kansas City about 2:30 PM.  We didn’t have a plan for when we would stop, we just kept driving until we got tired, which ended up being around Frankfurt KY at 1:00 AM our time, 2:00 AM local time.  I was surprised at the vast openness of our route (I-70 and I-64); we would go hours without any hotel options- so we had to be strategic about where we stopped.  We booked a Best Western and I had reservations when we pulled up; it was a motel with outside entrances.  We checked in as the kids were starting to stir, drove around back to the room, and unlocked the door only to find it locked from the inside.  We sat there, kids sleepy and Sassypants starting to cry, wondering what to do.  The Husband fiddled with the inside lock, trying to push it over so we could get in, when we heard a tired voice say “You’ve got the wrong room!”  We quickly apologized and went back to the front desk to find another room.  It really wasn’t that big of a deal, but it bothered me- I mean, what if they came to the door with a gun or something?! Luckily the second room was unoccupied and decently clean, so we settled in for a few hours sleep.  In the morning we ate and the kids swam to burn off some energy before we started off for the next 9 hours.

20232096_10105325621503770_1942330940129958877_o

The drive has been very scenic, with the rolling hills of the Appalachian Mountains.  We crossed the Licking River and I licked The Husband’s hand to celebrate it.  Diva is so sweet; she gets so excited and has the most expressive face, and just loved seeing the mountains, the valleys below, and the clouds settling atop the hills.  We talked about the horses in Kentucky, the coal miners in West Virginia, saw the capitol building in Charleston, gawked at the Arch, and sang lots of songs in between.  We also made it through six movies! The husband hates to drive and I kind of like it, so I did most of the driving and didn’t take many pictures. (And by not many I mean none at all).  I thought the kids got some good ones on the tablet, but after looking through it I realized my sweet children do not have a future in photography.

I have been so proud of the kids this trip!  Wiggles and Diva are generally good car riders so I wasn’t very worried about them, but Smiles, Sassypants, and The Husband…not so much.  We generally struggle with driving just a short 2 hours, so I didn’t have very high expectations for this trip.  But they’ve been well behaved, haven’t complained much, have only fought minimally, and have just overall been rock stars.  The snacks and games really helped.  I could tell The Husband was getting annoyed at noise levels several times during the trip, but he had the good sense not to say anything.

We switched the dates of our trip after making our lodging reservations, and the place we’re staying at wasn’t available tonight, so we’re staying in a random hotel in Suffolk (where my sister and her family lives) tonight before heading to Virginia Beach tomorrow.  The Husband was ready for some quiet, so I dropped him off at the hotel and took the kids to visit with my sister and her husband for a bit.  Hopefully the kids will sleep well tonight as we have a full day tomorrow- I can’t wait to see their faces as they visit the beach for the first time!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Eight!

Like most things these days, I’m really late in posting this, but we recently celebrated Miss Diva’s 8th birthday!

Not sure where to start with this one.  Diva, people often refer to you as “striking”.  You’re beautiful and charming. The husband likes to say you’ve got all the feels.  When you are happy, you are really happy.  The world is made of rainbows and puppy dogs and we are the best parents ever.  And when you are mad, you are really mad.  You’re convinced everyone hates you and that you have the worst life ever.  I’m not a big feeler, so these crazy emotions are a little mystifying to me, but I love them.  Except when I hate them.  I’m not sure I am equipped for your teenage years.  Here’s some things to remember from this year.

enhance (9)

You worship your older brother.  In your hierarchy Smiles is way on top, followed by a distant Jesus, followed by everyone else.  Sometimes you get in trouble because you get in the way of us disciplining Smiles; he can do no wrong in your eyes.  You feel a deep bond to him and we will always respect this.

enhance (12)

You. can. eat.  Like, more than a 400 lb man.  Your stomach has no bottom.  Some kids who are adopted have binge issues due to previous food insecurity, but we don’t think that’s the case for you.  You just like to eat.  A lot.

You used to be so obedient, but recently you have started challenging the rules.  You told me that I have a passion for making up rules and that you hate my rules.

You make the very best expressions.  Photographs don’t do them justice.

enhance (7)

3/4 of our kids require fairly firm discipline to be effective.  You’re the exception.  Any hint of firmness sends you to your room in hysterical tears.  This is sometimes a challenge to remember and something we’re working on!

You’re working so hard to catch up in school and have made tremendous strides.  We’re so proud of the work you’ve done and the progress you’ve made.  You’re a good student and the teachers all adore you.  I recently asked you what you were the most proud of and you said “How much I have learned in school.”

enhance (3)

You are always writing and drawing pictures.  You can entertain yourself for hours this way.  You want to be an artist, clothes designer, and movie star when you grow up and spend most of your time drawing fancy dresses.  Also, when your 3-year-old cousin last visited your overdid her make up.  We asked about it and you told us you “decorated her.”  Oh, and the fact that I don’t let you wear lipstick makes me a very mean mommy.

enhance (6)

Speaking of clothing designer, today I played in a golf tournament and wore jeans and a polo instead of my typical fancy work clothes.  When I got home you gasped in disgust and said, “Mommy, WHAT are you wearing?!”

You love babies and are a great help with Sassypants.  When I have an early morning commitment I rely on you to do her hair because goodness knows Daddy can’t do pony tails.

enhance (2)

You recently started becoming embarrassed of me.  If I say the wrong word in public, or make a wrong move, you very clearly let me know how embarrassed you are.  Sometimes I embarrass you if I simply want to take your picture after an awards ceremony.  I try to respect this, but seriously, what’s dinner at Panda Express if I can’t dance a little?

You’re becoming quite social.  You spent the night with a friend for the first time this year and were so excited, and constantly want to have play dates.  The only problem is that when a play date is over and your friends go home, you’re so sad you start to cry and become really moody!  Your best friend is moving at the end of the school year and I’m a little concerned about how you’ll handle this, but you have a penpal plan.

enhance (5)

You’re a complete slob.  You love screen time.  We finally figured out that the only effective way to have you keep your room clean is to tie it to screen time.  I made up the rhyme “no screens til your rooms cleaned”.  I was very proud of my poetry skills, but you did not really appreciate it.  At all.  This is the most horrible rule I’ve ever made.

You feel a deep connection to your biological family and I LOVE this about you.  I can’t wait to travel back so we can spend more time with them.  You are always asking about them, drawing pictures for them, praying for them.  You wrote a story about your life and it won first place not only in the school PTA contest, but also at the state level PTA contest.  Now it’s at nationals.  We send pictures and letters to your birth family periodically, and get pictures and letters back from them.  This is one of the best possible investments of time and money because the joy it brings you is indescribable, and I think it helps you find peace with your story.  The most recent set of pictures contained a woman we did not know by recognition or by name.  Most little girls would move on, but you bugged me relentlessly until I dug out the adoption papers and scoured them to find a name match (it worked- she was your aunt).  A big piece of your heart is still in Ethiopia.  We are so proud of what you’re doing here, and can’t wait to see how God uses you.

yo

Diva, you’re a little sponge.  I can almost see you soaking up things and processing them in your sweet little brain.  Sometimes your sassiness takes over and it drives me crazy, but honestly, you have one of the most pure hearts of anyone I’ve ever met.  You’re an inspiration to me, and I hope you have a great eighth year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized