Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Fish Saga

One day back in August...

I made the silly mistake of  walking to the pond with nets. 
Sure it seems like a free, fun way to spend some time.
They caught and caught probably 30-40 tiny little minnows.  Well actually I am not sure you can even classify them as minnows. They were t-tiny. Basically two eyeballs swimming around with a tail.
Of course Pierson had his bug catcher with him. So they collected. And then begged me to let them bring them up to the house to watch for a while. Since we still had fish food from the tadpole saga last spring I said
"OK but only for a few days"
So they marched back up the hill. Pleased as could be.
The days turned into weeks and the fish grew little by little. They also became stinkier and stinkier. I was getting tired of cleaning the water and the bowl they were in.
I drug out Mom's old 20 gallon fish tank out of the basement.
Cleaned it.
Resealed it.
Repainted the stand for it.
Cleaned all the rocks for it.
Bought a filter for it.
Filled the fish tank (one gallon at a time) and let the water sit for a several days...
After a few days we put the fish in the tank (with the same kind of water that had been in the bowl).
They did fine for a couple of days. Then we left for the beach.
The people who were feeding our animals while we were gone called about midway through the week to say the fish weren't doing so well. (aka they were all dead) Yes. I should have warned the kids but I didn't want to put a damper on our beach vacation.... sooooo I put that info in the back of my head somewhere only to be lost with all the other clutter up there. ;)
At the end of the week we headed home. When we walked in the house (I had still not recovered the information...) wouldn't you know that the first thing the kids did was go to check on those fish! UGH!

That started the flood gates. Maylin cried and cried. I tried to comfort her by telling her that it was my fault. I shouldn't have put them in the tank?... that was followed by "It's all YOUR fault Mommy! My fish are all dead!" continued sobbing
ummm... what does any logical person do?
"We'll get some real fish honey."
What did I just say?!! Why did I say that?!!! Ugh But it did calm her down a little.

So if we were going to do this for real...
we needed a top for the tank (Mom's old one had disappeared).
I needed a bigger filter.
Now I was reading that they needed a heater...
Turns out new lids for tanks don't fit the old style tanks...

In the end we ended up buying a whole new tank kit. Tank, lid with a light, filter, heater, net and food. (fortunately we found one for 1/2 price) Those things can be expensive.  The only thing we didn't have to buy were the rocks and the stand.  SIGH!

Without further ado meet the two most expensive $2 fish
Holly Shiftwell aka Holly
And Fin McMissle aka Fin
(we are Cars II fans around here)

All of that drama and money for two $2 fish. Yes, in hind sight I see the ridiculousness of it all. But it was one of those things that just snowballed out of control...
All because one day back in August I made the silly mistake of walking to the pond with nets for a fun FREE afternoon.
Since these pictures were taken we have added Beauty, Beast, Sticker and Casper to our little community.  One more thing for Mommy to take care of! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

They Call me "Snaggle Tooth!"

Maylin is one determined little girl.
Saturday night as we drove by a Toys R Us Maylin asked if she could go buy a treat. I said you need to save your money and then maybe we can go. She sighed because she knew that her piggy bank was empty. (She likes to play with her coins and usually looses them before she can spend them).

Then she brightly said, "I know! If I loose my tooth the tooth fairy will bring me some money!"

I replied, "Well yes but your tooth isn't quite ready to come out, but when it does I am sure the tooth fairy will bring you a couple of dollars."

Maylin: "Oh Thank you Mommy! Thank you!"

Me: ??? "thanks for what Sugar Bug?

Maylin: "You gave me a great idea! Can I break my tooth out?"

Me: "Ummm???.... That is going to hurt honey! Maybe you should wait a few more days."

Silence... followed by the loudest crunching and cracking noise a loose tooth could possibly make!
It kept going and going and going!

I finally had to turn the radio WAY UP so I couldn't hear it anymore. Ugh! It still gives me the willies to think about it!

After a 20 minute ride home she marched into the house. Went for the paper towels and then pulled with gusto to get that tooth out.

She has never been more pleased with herself.

For the record the tooth fairy had to go digging to find some cash. She managed to find 20 dimes! lol  It was either that or a $20 bill.  And well... inflation isn't quite that steep.

So she got her $2 worth of dimes. She let me know around 5:00 am that she now had money to go to the store with! ..."Great Honey! But the stores aren't open yet." I said.
Wouldn't you know that by 9:00am the dimes were LOST!  Ah the saga of a little girls life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


When I came home from India not only was a severely jet lagged, but I was severely overwhelmed! There are so many children. There is so much need. How does one person start to make a difference? We discussed the possibility of individual child sponsors but that possibility seemed daunting in a land where there are an estimated 20million orphans.
Dani and his Grandmother 2011
 We have begun to take positive steps in supporting orphanages in India. It is an exciting time to be involved in ROOM. Still the idea of child sponsorship hung in the back of my mind. Recently the Pastor who stepped up to be our ‘tour guide’ while in country sent a request to help a little boy we had met while there. This little boy, who we will call Dani, lived in a tiny one room ‘house’ with no furniture to speak of along with his grandmother who was in failing health.

 Their kitchen
 The back door and "back yard".
 All of their laundry.
Dani and his grandmother. She is sitting in her make shift wheel chair. 
 The Pastor told me the grandmother is not doing well and this child needs a sponsor now so that Dani can go and live at the children’s home.
At that moment a light bulb came on.  It was time to start our sponsorship program and this is where we were to begin.
I was reminded of a devotion I read years ago in “Chicken Soup for the Soul”. It was about a man walking on a beach. There were thousands of star fish washed up on the shore.  He bent down to throw one back in the water when someone asked him. “Look at all these star fish. What difference do you possibly expect to make?” The man’s simple reply as he tossed the starfish back in the water was,  “It made a difference to that one.” 
Yes there are 20 million of orphans in India. That number alone is enough to make anyone ask “What difference can we possibly expect to make?”
 My answer is. It will make a difference to Dani. Will you be Dani’s sponsor? For $30 a month you can help keep Dani off the streets and give him the chance to grow up in a place where Christ’s love is taught. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thank you Traer Joe's

 for helping this non-Asian mom feed my Asian kids familiar foods on a daily basis!

I couldn't do it with out you!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

He's My Creative Little Helper

He even loves to help me get groceries out of the car! I love this little guy so much! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy 7th Anniversary

7 years ago today I married my best friend. We started our marriage with the adventure of a lifetime. 
standing in front of our casita. 
we snorkeled
We relaxed by the pool
 Adam got eaten by a sting ray.
 And taken over by Jack Eyes
 We scuba dived... or is it scuba dove?
 Either way it was a blast.
 We saw some Mayan ruins
 And climbed to the top.
 We took many boat rides to and from reefs and ruins.
 and we spent a lot of time relaxing!
 Held a live lobster caught by a local fisherman. YIKES
And got to spend a day on a deserted island snorkeling and eating Belize BBQ.

What a trip it was. But it was only the beginning. The best years were still to come and I pray there will be many more as wonderful as these first 7!
It still makes me chuckle that at this time we had a 9 month old and one more child to come two months later... We just didn't know it. How life changed 4 years later when Pierson and Maylin joined our adventure at ages 4 and 5.

Happy Anniversary Adam! Thank you for being my strength and support. I love you!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Video clips from the Beach..

This just proves it is not so easy to get pictures with 6 kids in the surf... :) We did this over and over. It finally ended with a meltdown. So the super cute "surf" photo we were going to capture... well it wasn't so cute. :)
Getting some sillies out with the silliest 5 year old boy I know!
Caleb and Pierson tried to surf... They rode so long they almost ended with the full moon!
There was a lot of net fishing going on. We would catch a couple little fish keep them in a bucket for a while then toss them back to swim home to their families.  Watch how the boys swung... it is no wonder the "blue nets" didn't last long. :)
Maylin LOVED snack time. Not because she was hungry... She just wanted to feed the seagulls!
Caleb discovered a new trick with his hair!  Oh how he cracks me up!
He did this by sticking his head in water and then quickly flipping it up.

A still picture just couldn't begin to capture this next clip. It was amazing. Everyday around 4:00 (when the tide got up to a certain point). MILLIONS and MILLIONS of Coquina clams as far as the eye could see in both directions would surface. I have seen these clams all of my life. I have also watched them bury themselves thousands of times. I have dug them up and felt them try to dig through my fingers more times then I could possibly count. But I have never ever seen them do this! (you have to watch all the way through).
Imagine this being a 10 ft wide stretch as far as the eye could see up and down the beach. It was as if the ground was coming alive! Over and over they would do this until the tide had completely covered that 10 feet where they were. I wasn't sure if it was TOTALLY AWESOME or the start to a TOTALLY BAD horror movie.... I'll go with the awesomeness of it even though it still weirds me out just a little!