Our crazy summer....so far.

We had an amazing time at Disney World!!!!!!!!!!!!
Unfortunately all of the pictures are on DH's computer, and the disks from Disney and Give Kids the World.
 This is Mayor Clayton, and Mrs. Merry, GKTW mascots.  We partied with them every evening, with a different theme each night.  Gifts were left on the kitchen table in the villa everyday, for each kid, not just the wish child.  Many Disney characters visit GKTW to have pictures made with the kids, no long lines like at the park.
 GKTW wish kids get a special pass that allowed us to go straight to the front of the line at all attractions and have special seating at shows!
This was at the Christmas party.  Each child got to pick a gift from shelves full of toys.  So many of the guests miss out on birthday parties, Christmas, etc. because they are in the hospital or simply not able to get out because of health issues.

Sadly, you may never see Disney pictures.....because......after 9 months, we have FINALLY sold our house.
Twice in one week actually--we had 2 offers.  If all goes according to plan, we will be on a farm in less than a month.  Remember Delilah the horse???  She will be ours!!  Along with 2 pregnant cows, and a bunch of chickens.  We will certainly be adding alot more animals over time.  We are very excited, and will try to post when time allows.

Today's funny

Amazing how Jenna's brain works.
                                                    One day we will look back and laugh.......
Guess who pushed who(whom?) into the pool?  The kids had permission to rinse their fingers off in the pool, after eating sticky popsicles.  Wes got carried away and was putting his whole arm in, for apparently no reason, Emmi pushed him in.
After punishment and discussing the dangers...I'm laughing inside.  Reminds me of when Kristen pushed Jake down the cement stairs in front of the church, while everyone was visiting outside.  They were about 5 and 6 at the time.  They still remember it and laugh=0

Just so you know...

 I wasn't a lazy bum on Tuesday, like I thought I would be.  After piano lessons for Jenna, I trimmed all the bushes in the yard.  Today, I thought I would tackle this.....
 Just as I got all the car seats out.....the phone rang.
 "Can we show your house in 30 minutes?"   Why of course=)  So I did a test run of 'life with no car seats', all the kids are of legal size for our state...I just prefer more strenuous requirements.
We went back to our "private" park.

 We discovered that Wes CAN walk on his hands......

And maybe....just maybe....we'll be looking at 2 offers on the house this week.
 The people who looked yesterday, for the 2nd time.....want to come back Saturday for a THIRD time....good grief.  They want to bring their parents......really people, leave and cleave!  And now I'll hush before I get myself into trouble=)

Because I needed something else on my plate....

On Monday, my beloved 14 year old Whirlpool washer expired.  Full of water of course.
She outlived our original washer by 2 years, so we knew her days were numbered.
  Her better half--the dryer, is still going strong.  The pair was purchased as a scratch and dent sale item at Lowes.
 Several of the houses we have looked at, will include extra appliances.  We seem to have a knack of picking houses where someone has died, or is being put in a nursing home.  So we certainly did not want to spend money on a new washer at this point.  My new girl was found on the Power Co classifieds for $115, and she's under 5 years old.  YAY!  She is busy at work right now=)
The "serious lookers" looked at our house again today.....Our agent is going to check with the other agent late this afternoon, if she doesn't hear from him.  Praying the people choose our house!

Rainy day productivity

I baked bread,

Made 108 peanut butter cookies (most for freezing),
                                        Made  two  double recipe coffee cakes (4 breakfasts in freezer).

                       Then after lunch, I cooked meat for 4 casseroles. Made 2 lasagna's for the freezer.
Broke down about 100 boxes, so they would take up less space in the garage, and cleaned up in the garage.
Are you impressed...don't be....I'm gonna be a lazy bum today=)
Remember we had narrowed our house search down to 2 last week?  After making on offer on one, we woke up the next morning second guessing our decision; then the offer was countered, and we did not reply.
 Then we made an offer on the other house.  The seller is a cantankerous older man, who did not want to come off the price, did not want to pay 1/2 lawyer fees, and his "customary" portion of selling expenses, did not want to pay for termite letter, wanted 60 days to get the last of his stuff out the barn, and wanted double the earnest money.........cantankerous is a nice word; don't you think.  We did not counter his counter offer.
(photos of my snowball bush and lilacs)
So Friday we went to see a great house with 37 acres, it's a bit further than DH wanted to drive.
We made an offer, but haven't heard, as it is an estate.

Our house was shown on Sunday, and we are in the top 2...we're told they will be back some time this week to decide on which one to buy.
Please pray for us, we've never had such a frustrating home search/sale.
Since we still don't have a farm,
 I have plenty of time to sit around and dream about what I would do on the farm....

Our friend Delilah

 She lives at a farm we looked at on Saturday.  The most fun loving horse I've ever seen.
       They knew she was in the pasture, then one kid saw her come through the barn.  He went off to get the others, being loud, of course.
 I just knew Delilah would run back to the pasture, but she walked to the other end of the barn to see where the kid went!  And was soon greeted by a very loud mass of kids.  She loved it!
 This went on for over 30 minutes, and we had to leave.  We will not be buying the farm, but we may buy Delilah....she is 2 yo but not broken...hard to believe.
 After 250 miles, 11 hours, 7 houses, and $50 in fast food, we have narrowed our search down to 2 houses.
 Tuesday we go back to look at both of them and hopefully make a decision, and an offer.
 One house has 20 acres, on has 9.5.  Of course the one with more land, has the smaller house,
 by about 300 sq ft....argh!

 We've analyzed them to the hilt and are trying to decide.
 Fences would have to be built at both.  Kitchens would have to be updated at both.
 A wall between 2 small bedrooms would have to be knocked down at both.
 New wood floors and tile would be needed at both.
 Other than the square footage, and acreage, the houses are very comparable.  We figured a storm shelter added to one, and a few other small things, that $10k would make all those things equal.

Guess what the price difference is.....$10k.....which makes them equal......how to decide????

Our week ...

Since my children can't get enough of scool, they play "school".
                                           Emmi is reading to them about different dog breeds.
 Emmi got chocolate from Ukraine this week, from a friend who just returned home from an adoption trip.
On Wed. we got a 30 minute notice to show the house.  I was in work clothes, and did not want to be seen in public.
We found our very own private park.
 I don't think we were supposed to be there, but there were no signs, and the gate was open.
I figured the worst thing that could happen would be that someone might tell us to leave.
                                      It was at the OLD elementary school, where I attended first through 6th grade.

And this week's "let's throw some more money at this house to make it more appealing so someone will buy it" DIY project was framing out the mirrors in 2 bathrooms.

We have withdrawn the offer (again) on the original house we wanted ( owner had alsheimer's and family fued).  After 6 weeks, we decided this was not one of those short sales that goes quick, and we can't wait an unlimited amount of time.  We found a house in Pell City last week, only to find out the zoning would not allow farm animals.  Tomorrow we are off to Cullman to look at some more houses.  Happy Weekend!
Be sure and check back next Thursday....you will not believe what you'll read.....any guesses?

The things they notice...

or don't notice in this case.  
We've watched the "Little Couple" for a while, I'd say at least 2 years.  
So, Tuesday night, Wes  turns to me and asks;
"Why is he little?"--referring to Bill, who was standing by a door (size comparison).
 Funny, that our resident "little person" never noticed, or never asked about it.

Here's a picture of 9.5 year old Wes, whose feet barely hang off the sofa.  His 3 younger siblings have now passed him by in the height department.  He has outgrown a few pairs of pants in length, but in shorts, he still has a few size 4's.  When we went through the seasonal clothes, we were finally able to discard some size 3 PJ's.  We love him, no matter what size.
In other news, we had 2 total meltdowns today.  This morning was Avery, and this afternoon it was Emmi.  Both lasted just over an hour.  If you've never experienced the drama caused by early life trauma, think of an infant with colic.  At one point, DH went to check on Emmi, and was told "You've crashed all my hopes and dreams".   Emmi used to have night terrors.  Now she rages, and says things that she thinks will hurt our feelings.  There is no point in trying to reason with either one of them.  They just have to get it all out.  Interestingly enough, the meltdown turns off like a switch, and they are happy as can be, like nothing happened.  Post Traumatic Stress is not a pretty thing.
Hope you have a happy week, with no meltdowns;)
Waid charmed the lady at the orthodontist office the other day, and racked up some cool stuff to wear home. .....and the whole rest of the day.....and the next day.  Dr. Waid had so much fun, and when he was making his rounds with Jenna, he called out "room service"  each time he needed the nurse.

Even Sherlock looks bored with our week. The house was not shown a single time; it was spring break around here for public schools. Hoping house-lookers will get serious now that the end of the school year is in sight.
 DH was on night shift, so we got lots of schoolwork done. 

We fought a fungus in the pool all summer last year.  With the recent warmer weather, we saw signs of the same fungus (algea; whatever).  DH decided to drain the pool (1.5 days), then scrub it with bleach, and refill.

 In these pictures, the water hose from the house has been running full throttle for 24 hours, the water is 18" deep.  The pool is 33' in diameter, and the water line is 48".  Anyone know how long it will take to fill up???
These days, 3rd grade math can make my brain hurt....even though I have a college degree.
Let's just guestimate that it will be about 72 hours.  I'll let you know......and why did my font just change???

I bought a cow....

Probably not the kind you were thinking,
 and not the kind I was hoping to buy this spring.
But a cow, none the less.
                   I keep thinking of all the things farmers and gardeners should be doing in the spring.
                                                        And we can't do any of them.
                   We thought we'd be settled in a new house by this time....wah; it's so discouraging.
 Even Waid had farm animals on the brain today.  Ducks.  Actually, he had a school paper on which to color and cut baseball caps.  After he was done, he thought of making ducks with the caps, and made them all by himself!!
 And since I haven't posted a Frugal Friday in a loooong time....  (OK I'm cheating, it was last Sat.).
We went to a kid's consignment sale that we go to every year.  The past 2 sales, I have restrained myself, and only gone to 1/2 price day.  We got several smocked dresses, and lots of skirts. Cute boy stuff is never an easy find; especially when you only want to pay a couple of dollars for it! These 2 shirts were brand new!! for $3 each!  Happy week end.

The world of Autism and other meltdowns

Thought I'd give you a glimpse...Waid LOVES to vacuum the stairs everyday, but covers his ears while doing it.  When he first came home from China, he would hit the ground and cover his ears if there was a leaf-blower, or any loud sounds going on outside.  It took over a year for this to get better.  Sometimes we would be outside playing and he'd hit the ground before I even realized someone had cranked up a machine.
 At church, when the soloist sings, he covers his ears......a bit embarrassing when a visitor sings.  Auto flush toilets and hand dryers in public restrooms FREAK HIM OUT!
 He constantly makes noises or talks.  In stores, his "spot" is holding onto the right side of the buggy.  We'll be walking through a store, him chatting away.....to no one......about pretty much nothing.
He was caught yesterday, taking steps to save us from certain destruction....

 distributing Zoob fire extinguishers throughout the house.  He did this job in silence---an amazing and rare rest for my ears.
 Our other child who has meltdowns.....made this cute felt raccoon with very little help.  She has great patience when creating things.  Her meltdowns are food triggered, she has to eat every 2.5-3 hours...or watch out.  I believe her food issues have alot to do with orphanage trauma, and malnourishment; not having solid food until she was 2.
 Our pediatrician agrees, but said she may also have hypoglycemia.  To test, she would have to have a meltdown at the Dr office, and draw blood at that time (which would cause the meltdown to escalate beyond belief. ) But, since the treatment would be to feed her every 2.5-3 hours, it pretty much doesn't matter right now.
And here's a pic of 3 of our girls, just because they are so pretty=)