Friday, December 26, 2008

Glimpses for the Grandparents

Sorry, this is just a quick show to quickly share with the grandparents who couldn't be with us this Christmas, but also for you to see. It was the fastest but also dirty way to get a slideshow together for them(i don't like the horoscope thing and then some of my pictures weren't rotated correctly, let alone the labeling of the photos*sigh*you can see the pictures larger by clicking on view all images...I'll be better in the future, I promise:)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mele Kalikimaka


Which means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian. Our family wishes you much love, joy, and peace during this holiday season. Apparently, many have not yet received our Christmas greetings in snail mail, something to do with the weather I hear. We hope you all have wonderful celebrations spending time with those you love!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a tale of Christmas

This year we decided for Christmas to go from this...

To THIS:)

After waiting in the minneapolis/st paul airport from 945 am to 415 pm, we were finally able to take off...we always seem to pick snowy days for travel, and that day started a storm that left 8 inches on the ground. Thank God that msp interntational airport is geared for this kind of weather. All the flights that originated in the airport were on time, all the flights that were coming in from the stormy parts of the country, well, that is why we were in the airport for 6 1/2 hours. The kids did great for the most part, only a little bit of fussing, and they slept for the most part on the plane. It was great to get away from the snow and cold to go and meet John's family in Oahu for Christmas. Except for one thing, his parents, didn't have such a great story. Their flight which was coming from Minneapolis, and then continuing on to Honolulu. Well, since all the flights seemed to be delayed, they thought they would try to help us out by seeing if we could switch to get on their flight so they could help us take care of the babies. Again, thanks for God's providence, it didn't work out. They spent 4 hours on the tarmac in Seattle only to be cancelled and told they couldn't take off because the runway was too slippery-there was a blizzard in Seattle that day. Northworst airlines didn't try to rebook them, didn't give them any recompense to stay in a hotel, and told them they were on their own...so we went on line here in Hawaii to try to rebook them, and got them a flight on Hawaiian airlines the next day. In the meantime, it was extremely difficult for them to retrieve their luggage, and they were only to get one, it seems, the luggage made it to Hawaii but they didn't. Well, the day came to leave and all the airlines in the Seattle airport ran out of deicing fluid...nice. Thousands of people left without a lot of options. So they cancelled them again at the last minute, and there were no flights left to get them here before or on Christmas. They had to drive home over a snowy pass. So now, instead of a nice Christmas with John's family, we are here with his brother and his wife in a nice place...just not the way it is supposed to be. Nice to be with his brother, but our babies will have to wait to see Nana and Papa...I guess we'll have to do our best to enjoy Hawaii...we'll miss you Nana and Papa!!!






Thursday, December 11, 2008

First True Snow experience and getting ready...

So we finally all recovered, except that John got a different version of the bug, he got a fever and the barfing but no D...oh well...
And it finally snowed a decent amount, some of the pictures you really can't tell as we live in a windy spot and we get a lot of drifts but we had a good time trying to shovel ourselves out. We are finally starting to get in the Christmas spirit, it's been tough as things are so bad for a lot of people, the families that are still waiting for the adoptions to go through, and the people that have lost jobs, the stores are a ghost town, so much different than what I am used to. Although that is not the reason for the season, it haunts me to what the future may bring. My greatest comfort is not in earthly riches but in spiritual blessings and what God has planned for us and our children. And that is why my outlook is starting to look up as we start to prepare for the celebration of our greatest gift, the birth of Jesus Christ. So we are starting the advent season slowly, finally making some cookies, celebrating at our friends house for a get together, basking in our pastors advent poems, putting up the decorations, ...hopefully I can post some pics of those before it gets too crazy and my children decide to use them as new toys:)
Enjoy the snow pics, we had a blast!! What was really fun was to watch our 1 year old Michael take to shoveling snow, he is a strong little guy, who LOVES to push things, including his sister...
What is this white stuff on my hands?
I'm not sure I like this...
First attempt at snow angels from angels themselves:)
Are you kidding me?
Everyone participated
Michael really got the hang of it
Phoebe learned to walk in boots!
Can I go in yet?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving, Tokmok Tots, Tummy Troubles, and terrifically TIRED!!

A trio of...
Trouble!!!
Okay, I'm late in the posting. Rachel beat us all to the punch. She even got our group disney photo in, so check it out by clicking on Rachel. She has her version of the story:)
Rachel's Scarlett & Phoebe
We were privileged to have spent Thanksgiving in sunny, "warm", Florida. Of course we couldn't miss the opportunity to meet up with other Tokmok tot families. It started out with girl's nite out, like Rachel said, no Mom duties, WOW!! It was so nice to kick back with such charming ladies. I really enjoyed it. John got to babysit 4 kids, our two kyrgyz kiddos, Jackie's Nola, and my niece. He did a fine job of it, and I'm so lucky to have him for a hubby.
Tokmok Tot Mom's Nite Out!
We had to continue our fun with a trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom and then Magic Kingdom. If you want to really enjoy the parks, Rachel and Jamie are the way to go. They know what they are doing as far as when to go see things, take a fast pass or wait in line. If it weren't for them, our kids surely wouldn't have made it through the day. They have expertise in young children at big crowded parks!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us and making our time special. We are so blessed to have the common bond of adopting 4 girls from Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan. It was so fitting to end our tine with the last ride on "It's a small world..." Rachel's right, we need a big Kyrg reunion down there! Preferably in winter mind you:)
Cousins!
A Tokmok Trio...
Tokmok Tots in action:) L to R Nola 18 mo MacKenzie 16 mo Scarlett 15 mo Phoebe 13 mo
Thanksgiving was extra special as we got to celebrate Nola's Gotcha Day!! Jackie and Nola joined us for the week at our timeshare and we had the joy of getting to know them better! It's hard to believe that Nola and Jackie have been family for a year now, but none the less one of the best things ever!
Happy Gotcha Nola!
Thanksgiving feasting!
It was a great week, and we are all recovering at home. Unfortunately, almost all of us got the stomach flu. Started with Phoebe on Thanksgiving, went to Jackie, then Michael, my niece Rebecca, then Nola at home, and me at home. With lots of prayers we were able to get home on the plane without any tummy trouble disasters!! We are hoping John will miss this one.
There were days I felt like this guy!
All I can say is I'm tremendously thankful to God for my family, my friends, the Kyrgyz connections, and that I'm also terrifically TIRED!!!
Disney, a place where dreams that come true meet!
This says it all!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick or Treat and pretending to be someone you aren't


It's been a busy week. Today it was 70 degrees out, yeah, Nov 2nd in Minnesota, and I finally got a chance to dig out my annuals, plant some more bulbs, and take a walk outside in short sleeves!

For Halloween we opted not to take our kids to the Millersburg Halloween Party-not because we didn't want to, but instead took them to "our block" of neighborhood houses. It was fueled by the fact that they DID NOT like being subjected to being in costume nor BEING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING THEY WERE NOT. The wisdom of children.


It's too bad that the democratic presidential candidate doesn't feel the same way. I am embarrassed to have called myself a democrat. It seems like we have a really good actor wooing the hearts and minds of many Americans, who do not have the desire to find out what he actually stands for or discover what he really wants to do.


On the economy, he repeatedly states this is the worst crisis since the Great Depression. How many of you are old enough to remember the early 1980's when there were 21.5% interest rates, unemployment was in the double digits compared to the 6.9% today or the last time I checked, or the 12.4% inflation rate. Do you remember that energy crisis, and the fact that we were told we could only get gas on certain days at the pump? The stock market was rock bottom and no one was making much money. Farmers were going bankrupt left and right, I knew farmers who were selling furniture to eat. People could not afford to buy houses, and they couldn't get jobs. Sound familiar, or should I say worse? What created it? The tax and spend policy of democrat Jimmy Carter. Who fixed it? Ronald Reagan, the democrat turned republican who stated, it wasn't I who left the democratic party, it was the democratic party who left me. So what did he do to solve it? He slashed taxes, lowered the capital gains tax, and deregulated. It resulted in the longest and most prosperous and peaceful time in American history. Now this democratic candidate states he is going to raise capital gains taxes, increase regulations, and give tax cuts to 95% of Americans(bribes to the 40% who don't pay taxes, including people on welfare), and fix the economy. Too good to be true, but well delivered by a charismatic actor. As a matter of fact, he keeps lowering the income of those he said he was going to tax after he started doing the math; he found the top 1% of individuals he was after will not pay for even 1% of his proposed budget. He has lowered the threshold from 250,000, to 200,000, and now 153,000 for a married couple, lower for a single person. Everyday it keeps going lower, last I heard was 120,000. He will removing the Bush tax cuts that will raise everybody's taxes to support his 4.3 trillion dollars in new spending. Does 1 + 1 equal 5 and make a surplus in the budget? Not if you do the new math. President Clinton found that by slashing the capital gains tax, government revenue went up, and did so when the economy started slowing at the end of his term, not a lesson well taken by this new democratic candidate. The wall street journal had a nice little graph of his "tax cuts." E.g., no tax relief for those that bother to work. The ants will be punished for the sake of the grasshoppers. Will history repeat itself yet once again?


He wants to spread the wealth out of marxism fairness. Sounds like a teenager's reasoning to me, since when was life fair? It has been proven psychologically that only promotes not working harder to make more money as it's only going to be taken from you and given to someone who is not working hard if at all. Hardly encouraging entrepreneurs and the workers that made this nation great to continue doing so or a way to create jobs. It has been tried in societies over the ages and it has always failed. He says he is going to build this nation from the bottom up. Since when do the bottom students in a classroom build companies to create jobs or help to contribute to the good of society. Rare and far between and not what Americans need to rely on in this time of crisis. We are now being told we are selfish for not agreeing with this plan...strange coming from the mouths of those who make 2.5 million and only give 3500 in charitable giving according to their tax return, or else the tax year before running for president suddenly give 5% to a church that he claims he no longer attends... for someone who wishes to heal the world, he cannot find help for his own family.


And what about the company he keeps, for the last 20 years? Since when do you trust a teenager who has been hanging out with the drug dealers and doers to change overnight? A terrorist, 2 liberation theologists(which means socialism, the next step to communism) who preach hate against Americans, a PLO spokesman for Arafat, and has fans like the dictators of Venuzuela and Nicaragua, along with the endorsement of the communist party USA...how many everyday Americans have friends and associates that you keep in touch with that have those associations? And how long do you sit in a church that you don't agree with what is being said? Not usually 20 years.

What about his energy policies? He likes to say, especially in front of national television, yes, I agree with the things that make things work in this country, BUT...always a qualifier, and that in truth means, no, I don't believe in that nor will I support it. We are going to be oil dependent on his proposed energy policy. Wind and solar, all great ideas, however, the scientific truth is that the technology isn't there, and the budget truth is that the energy from those sources are all government subsidized meaning it costs the tax payers money, and makes it seem cheaper when in reality it is much more expensive. It would be great if they knew how to store the energy produced from wind and solar, but they do not have that technology and are many years away from it. Ethanol costs more energy to ship and thus becomes more expensive than oil, masked again by, government subsidies. It is contributing to the famine in other countries, gotta grow corn, not food. We need a bridge to get us to that technology, and yes that means drilling our resources and nuclear power. My father-n-law is a nuclear engineer, the technology is now being used in France, a country of 80 million people and using 80% nuclear power for their energy, the technology of reprocessing nuclear waste for more energy, something opposed by the democratic candidate.

Of course there is the blame that the current administration caused all this economic uproar as well as the mortgage crisis. Can we say, the theoretical ideal that all Americans should own their own home led us down this path? And that the favorite democratic candidate received 180,000 from his associations with Christopher Dodd, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, he made the 3rd highest profit from what is costing both you and I precious tax dollars. I didn't realize they were giving out loans to those without jobs, without income, and without a way to pay. Led by the democratic Barney Frank who put pressure on the banks to make these loans or be driven out of business. Thanks to the government, and the current democratic leaders who are in charge of the lending practices. Does this want you to trust them with your healthcare? I certainly don't want the government to be in charge of my health.

What also causes me concern is the media attack on Joe the plumber. A regular kind of guy, who spoke what he thought, and got his life investigated and brought to the nation's attention. Boy, if his life can get disrupted for having freedom of speech during a campaign, I wonder what someone in power would do to those that disagreed with him. The media bias is also somewhat alarming, historically it can be seen in events leading to the holocaust, and influenced many Europeans to turn their back on what was being done, haunting, isn't it?

The big killer is this man's amazing ability to come off as a moderate and his gift of the lying tongue. "Of course I wouldn't withhold health care to babies born..." "There was already a law in place to prevent this...." Very convincing, however, a lie that is covered by rhetoric, 3 times he voted against a bill to provide care to those babies, his excuse being it didn't protect the woman's right. Had nothing to do with a women's right, Hilary Clinton, and John Kerry both voted to provide care to the live babies, you sir, did not... and now he wants us to pay for the procedures.


On trick or treating a parent was explaining the democratic candidates approach to all the hard work of Halloween night...
This man is going to make your daddy make you give half of your candy to the kids that didn't go trick or treating...that's not FAIR, Daddy!!!! But you are being selfish and that is fair, says the man behind the mask.

Something bugs me about this person pretending to be who he is not, and it makes me worry about my beloved children's future when many people are fooled by him. Thank God they like being who they are and not pretending to be someone else!!! I would sooner entrust the leadership of our nation to them than the "I have only been in Congress for 183 days and am fit to lead" and "I am for the people" masquerader. CHANGE? I say to this man who is not who he claims to be, keep the change.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall-n-leaves

So on Phoebe's real birthday we went out to enjoy the fall colors. The kids had a blast walking thru the leaves and the noise they made, not to mention getting buried in them. This is why I love fall soooo much!!
video
video