Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Since it's Christmas...

I guess I'll give my quarterly update. Things are great at the time- the Vaughns are here from Florida to spend the holidays with us and we are wrapping up all our last minute shopping.

Rory is engrossed in first grade and playing basketball. He's also ALL ABOUT Avatar (the tv series, NOT the movie), star wars, and, of course, legos. He's reading like crazy which just constantly blows me away!

Otherwise, things are good. The snow is keeping us indoors - boo! I think we may try to get out and play in the snow today. If you can't beat em, join em, huh?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is this what it's like to be a single mom?????

Brandon has started working out of town Monday thru Thursday- until February, maybe March. So I'm feeling a little ... what's the word... anxious???? I'm lucky to have a husband who really does his share and more. So now that he's missing for a good part of the week, I'm feeling a little swamped on a daily basis. I don't understand how the single mom's out there do it. I think I'll have a drink and toast all of them....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy New (school) Year!

Only 178 days until summer vacation!!!!

Just kidding- the school year is only 2 days old and I'm already swamped! So much to do- but thank goodness I only have 20 kids to do it for! I'm so happy - 20 kids! You hear me, world!!???!!! I want to scream it from the mountaintops - "I ONLY HAVE 20 STUDENTS!!!!" And so far, so good!

I love the start of a new year. Like a fresh, clean slate... While teaching does have its downfalls, there are so many great bonuses. There is nothing quite like setting up all the little desks with the uniform piles of books and supplies. Like a little schoolhouse army. Just setting in anticipation of all those little hands and minds. This is really the only time of year that my classroom is clean and de-cluttered. I love it. Totally zen. Well, close enough.

Rory's in first grade now. He's loving it- especially now that he's not in kindergarten. I think he's feeling a little bit like a big shot. Today he got off the bus and came inside for his snack. But first he wrapped his little sweet arms around me and said, "I miss you today because we don't get to spend all day together anymore." Like I said earlier- only 178 days left!!!! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's that time again-

Back to school sales have dominated my mailbox and everywhere I look there are gluesticks, rulers, and crayons. Gross.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's a sad day...

... I joined facebook. I said I'd never do it, but I couldn't help it. I'm not going to hope it doesn't come back to haunt me because I KNOW it will!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer pictures

Summer has been so much fun, and so exhausting at the same time. I mean, is it great to stay home with your kid all the time? YES! At the same time, is it great to stay home with your kid all the time? NO! I have got a lot done and read A LOT! We've also spend exorbitant amount of time at the pool. Thank god for the pool. I have already told Brandon that next year, we are definitely looking into part-time Day Camp of some sort! I don't think I cut if for Rory- his standards for playmates are pretty high!

Do you ever just stand in the middle of a room and think, "Whoa. Get me 18 garbage bags and 10 large mono-colored rubbermaid containers!" That's me. Since I've been spending so much time at home the last two months, I can't get over the amount of crap I have. When it was just me and the hubby, not so bad. But I'm amazed at what a profound amount of stuff a 6 year old can bring to the equation. I secretly purge things when no one is home (or no one is looking- as I am rarelyhome alone). You know what I am talking about- the mcdonalds toys, the stray legos, the chewed on stuffed animals, the temporary tattoos that never got any skin time... so on and so forth. That's the kind of stuff that is leaving my house in much the fashion as the prison wall in the Shawshank Redemption that Andy Dufrane took out to the prison yard, pocketload bypocketload. Maybe in twenty years, I'll have a clean house and will retire with Morgan Freeman in Mexico. I cannot mentally stand the load of junk that is growing -almost like a living thing- around me.

Here's some pics from the summer - Check out !
Rory rides his razor at Mary and Don's!
At the skills competition, Rory won first for base running, and second for hitting! He loved baseball and can't wait until next year (neither can Papa!).
Checking on Don's garden! I think he's ready for some of Don's famous "tomat"s!
Picking strawberries at Watermans:)
Pumping the well at Connor Prairie.
I am one handsome dude!

Papa rolls a perfect game on the wii bowling!

Our trip to Kings Island

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer is here!

Already two weeks (nearly) into summer, and things are going great. Rory wrapped up his baseball season last week and the final picnic and skills competition is this Saturday. Baseball was really fun- Rory loved it and can't wait for next year already!

I'm full on into my summer reading. I typically don't read a lot during the school year with papers to grade and what-not. But I am in a book club and read the required montly book. I must say that the far majority of book are things I would have never picked up for myself, but ended up loving and recommending to others. I just finished The Help - a book my sister got me for my bday and loved it. So good. Kind of like The Color Purple meets Driving Mrs. Daisy meets Forest Gump - I know- weird combo, but so so good! I'm finished Invisible Monsters today.... I can't really tell if I like this book- but it's a book club book, so I'm invested. Next on the list is Boy in the Box... non-fiction about a unknown child's murder- but more about a community from what I can tell. Also, next is a book I've wanted to read since it came out a few years ago- FREAKONOMICS. By then, I'm hoping my next library request is in HOUSE OF EVIL.. about an Indianapolis murder in the 60's.

The oil spill in the Gulf is constantly on the news. I'm just so sick about this. But, aren't I partially to blame? Aren't we all? If not for our crazy dependence on oil, maybe these types of things could be avoided. My theory is that if you are going to drive your SUVs and continue to demand your current lifestyle- we are kind of getting what we ask for. I understand the people who are suffering directly from this- my heart really does go out to them... but at what cost do we keep this insane lifestyle up? I'd love to opt for green energy- but the OPTions are not there. At least not yet. It's just depressing. It feels like our country is going down the crapper- AND I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Politics aside, no matter who you back- democrats, republicans, liberals- it doesn't matter. As long as everyone lives in their little hole and refuses to vote or care for that matter- the people with power will do what they want.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Take me out to the ball game! We are fully into baseball season and this Friday is Rory's 6th birthday. He's too excited! We will post photos soon... in the meantime, please enjoy new youtube videos:) I know that every parent thinks their child is a natural at everything, but seriously, I think he's pretty good. Of course, what do I know about baseball???? The coach says he's his FAVORITE player!!!!!!!!!! I assume that's not fair when the coach is PAPA!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break!

The spring cleaning has commenced! You know your house is in sad shape when you are so excited to wake up every morning during your one week break to CLEAN. So far, I've accomplished all the bathrooms and bedrooms. De-cluttering is my passion, so anything that doesn't measure up to a certain standard is thown out or put into the ever-growing garage sale pile. Unfortunately, Rory discovered my 'toys to go out' garbage bag and unloaded it as though he was rediscovering all of his favorite long-'lost' toys. Ugh. Score: Rory- 1, Mama- 0.
Rory's school had an awards convocation last Friday and he got a math award. They had a rodeo theme, so you'll see he dressed the part! I skipped out of work, with some low-grade groveling and begging, and headed over to watch. It was too cute!
It's so surreal to know that he has been home over one year. When I think back to where we were last year, I'm amazed at the progress we've ALL made. The true scope of adopting a child - especially from another country- is really starting to reveal itself now that Rory has nearly mastered English. Now, he has the ability to ask some really difficult questions, some I wasn't expecting so early. And with a five year old, there's no easily understandable answers. Just yesterday, we were in the car going to playground, and Rory asked if George Washington was born before me (yes, GW- no laughing from the peanut gallery :)). We were talking about Presidents and of course he asks, "Can I be the President?" Most anyone else can say, "Well, of course, child-o-mine, you can be anything you want to be." But, I had to, in very plain terms, explain that "No, the rules say that you have to be born in the USA to be president, and you were born in Haiti. Maybe one day the rule will change, but for now, no, you can't be president." It broke my heart, because in the matter of about two seconds, I was reminded yet again, that his situation will forever have boundaries. About then was when he informed me that was fine, he would just go back to Haiti and be the president there. Total exasperation. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he couldn't do that either, since he was no longer a citizen. I guess we'll have to cross that bridge when we get to it- maybe in 2nd grade! Anyway, just about then, he let me know that "That's okay, Mama. I'm going to be a police officer."

Happy Easter everyone! Hope you get some good eggs:)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Our Florida Trip

At Grandma and Grandpas
Playing my new favorite game... SORRY


The Fam at Malana's Wedding

I love my Aunt Malana

We recently returned from our trip to Florida... happy to announce that Malana and Josh got hitched and we got to spend time with the Vaughns. It was a really fun trip. The ceremony in Sarasota was beautiful, although a little chilly. We got to see a lot of the area and Rory had a great time. I love Florida. The palm trees and fresh air is just great and what we really needed after a long, snowy, cooped-up winter. When we returned home, guess what? 60 degrees in Indiana WOOHOO! Can't beat that!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cabin Fever

Cabin fever has set in at our house. We are trapped by mountains of snow and wondering if we will ever again see the green grass and trees. The newness of the Christmas presents has worn off and Rory is already asking how many days until his birthday/vacation/next Christmas. In the meantime, we are doing a lot of board games, videos, and legos. Watching the Olympics has been fun, and a nice change.

While the tragedy in Haiti continues, most of the world has moved on. What has made me so proud is the way that people we love have stepped up to help. We are so thankful for the effort made by so many to improve the situation. Another devastating round of tragedy is coming for Haiti as the rainy season is starting. The positive side of the situation is that Rory has been exposed to images of Haiti (good and bad), people are aware of where he is from and the challenges he most likely faced before coming to us. Just last week his school had Haiti week- raising money with themed days for the students. This week, the University of Indianapolis is having an Internation Dinner with a Haiti theme. The Daily Journal interviewed us for an article in the paper and even our neighbor went to Haiti for a brief time to help the Salvation Army there.

Despite the saddness of the situation, Rory has heard the name of his birth country roll from so many people's mouths, and I can't help but know that it is a good thing. Part of me is very sad because while he is surrounded by people concerned for Haiti, he is too young to know any different. When he is a teenager, there won't be Haiti week at school and most of his friends won't even know where it is. He'll be desperate for some sort of connection and the world won't consider Haiti a priority, unlike now. But, I'll take what we can get now and use it as best I can. I've saved tons of newspaper articles and taken pictures, etc.. Hopefully that will be a bright spot for him later.

I'm disappointed in myself for not blogging more. I miss it! I know other people who check the blog everyday to see if I've written (JESSICA:)). Thanks for checking in... I promise to do better!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

For a change, some really good news

For the last week and a half, we've watched the footage of Haiti - we can't wrap our minds around how devastating this is. Or how very lucky we are to have Rory home with us.

But the most amazing aspect is the reaction of everyone around us. I just can't get over how many people have dug into their wallets and gave to the cause. It is truly wonderful and touching.

Joyous news- The creche is secure for now with 4 months of food to sustain the orphans that are there and the many new orphans that are expected to join them. The Phoenix Suns - yes, the nba team- made it possible to secure a private plan AND helicopter the supplies to the creche. I never enjoyed NBA basketball, but I think I can say that I have a new favorite team.

Security is a major issue. I just read that they are leveling ground in Croix des Bouquets ( the nearest major town) and a giant tent city will be erected there. My truest hope is that the creche will remain safe, but it is clear that those who desperately need food will stop at nothing to get it for their families.

More joyous news- 22 kids from the creche made it home. The C4C people have been to Washington, on CNN, and finally to Haiti to relentlessly beg for visas from the US embassy for these kids... they arrived on Friday in Ft. Lauderdale. This video was mostly about another creche that didn't have same success. I hope they do soon. The end shows Rory's friends coming home. Get your kleenexes!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I've had a lot of people asking me today about the orphanage after yesterday's earthquake. I just heard that the orphanage had some damage- all the kids are okay. Very lucky considering how close it was The transition house in Port-au-Prince has "major damage". This is the hub of the foundation's activity- lawyers, doctors, etc... all work on adoptions out of that building. I'm just devastated for those who are still waiting on their children. What an emotional dead end they must be facing.

Brandon and I are both just speechless... having seen Haiti and knowing what a poverty-stricken nightmare it is, we can't even imagine how things will get better there. How will they ever survive this?

Here is the link if you would like to help:

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy 2010!

Christmas at Grandmas:) Rory tries on his new duds:)

Christmas morning... notice that it is still pitch black outside!

Christmas eve... cookies, legos from Grandma and Grandpa Vaughn, and even a gingerbread house:)

I just can't believe that Christmas is over and here we are, well into the beginning of the new year. I'm amazed at how time flies when you have a kid. LIKE LIGHTNING!

Our trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory Train Exhibit:) BEAUTIFUL!

It's about 15 degrees today.... the norm since new year's day. The annual patches of dry skins are showing up and my car looks like poop. There is about 6 inches of snow on the ground... more falling today, and yet- it's too cold to go sledding. The newness of Rory's Xmas presents has worn off and today he is just focused on driving me BANANAS! Just a minute ago, he was right here demanding that he get to watch a Coldplay video on youtube. Whatever... not to mention I just spent the last three hours playing legos and racing cars with him. Seriously, another issue... is every 5 year old a pathological liar? What IS that!?!?!?!? I told him to quite literally take off and find something else to do. So, right now, I can hear him downstairs driving Brandon nuts :)

Christmas was great and we had a lot to do. He loved every stinking present and thought that Santa Claus was his own personal hero. We think he might have been doubting Santa's ability to know he was here, but he was convinced the next morning at 5:30!!! UGH!

Please watch videos on our youtube channel... just click the video bar on the side. In other news, Rory just got his report card and it was fantastic! We are in awe of how great the people at his school are. They are just awesome. We are going to Malana's wedding at the beginning of March and spending some extra time with the Vaughn family in Tampa. We are excited to go!