Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween!

So it's been awhile! Not for lack of action, that's for sure!

We were in Green Bay last weekend for a Halloween party with all of the cousins! BIG FUN! Lots of games that the kids just loved! My sister Jean really went all out, she's so creative! And the creative apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, check out the costumes that Mari and Meghan made!








Here's a few pictures of the kids and some of their cousins!!!

What tough bunch of heroes!







A game of pass the apple! Watching the little kids do this with no hands, was seriously the cutest thing ever!


Then of course a crowd favorite, the mummy wrap! This was Jud's face when he found out he was choosen for the roll of Mummy #2




After a crazy week at home, four class parties, 80 treat bags to make for class parties, me cleaning like crazy to get ready for a party we're hosting this weekend, a gazzillion loads of laundry, we finally had trick or treating tonight. The kids actually talked Jud into dressing up this year! I honestly never thought I'd see the day! The Kids had a blast and decided that they do like our neighborhood, because everyone gives "big candy"! On the way home they boys were declaring this the best Halloween ever!

After a last minute costume change for both boys, here they were tonight.






Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here they are!

Pictures from Simchat Torah








Monday, October 20, 2008

Something never to be attempted again!

Tonight I took the whole gang to temple, all by myself! And we all survived!

Jud is out of town, and it was Sam's consecration tonight! So that meant me, with four kids, in temple. Of course, I like and idiot thought is was just the consecration tonight, but oh no, it was also Simchat Torah! Which meant full services! Yikes!

They actually did pretty well, considering it was past their bedtime.


The boys stuck it out because they heard there were going to be Carameled apples at the end!

I have pictures of them dancing off their sugar high, to the band afterwards but blogger isn't letting me upload them. Sorry baby! they were cute!

They all did pretty well, Sam was very excited to be up on "stage"!


I was not too excited about putting four overtired kids to bed two hours past their bedtime, but we all survived! Looking ahead, tomorrow is PIANO! Yeah!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Too nice?

I love my kids!

I love how Caroline reads stories to Emma and tucks her in.
I love how Jack always holds the door open for everyone.
I love how Sam colors special pictures to cheer up Jack.
And I love how Emma will share her special puppy with Caroline.

I love so much about all four the kids. They are all very compassionate, and caring kids, they are very well mannered and kind, they are sweet and sensitive, really remarkable kids! I am so proud of the people they are becoming.

Lately though, I've been wondering if I've encouraged them to be too nice.

Why else would Sam get punched in the face and not tell on the little bully?
Why else would Jack stand holding the door for ten minutes while the whole school passed right on through?
And why else does Caroline worry so much about the same three brats who have been terrorizing her since kindergarten?

In my attempts to teach them empathy, have I somehow diluted their confidence?

I worry that I have taught them too much about not hurting other people's feelings, and not enough about standing up for their own.


Caroline is having an especially difficult time at school these days, and I just don't know what to do. I can't believe the vicious girl stuff is starting already. Caroline is the sweetest little girl, she would never say or do anything to hurt anyone, so why do these girls pick on her?

And even when they are being so mean to her, why is she still constantly trying to be their friend? Why can't she write them off and just not talk to them anymore?

Does she feel like she needs everyone to like her? Have I taught her that?

I'd like to tell her just what I think of these little jerks, and how I wouldn't be too upset if she all out whopped one of them, but my motherly instincts tell me that's not the right thing to do. So what is?

She's avoiding going to school. She's even waking up crying about it. It breaks my heart, and I don't know how to fix it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm ready for this election to be over!

For many reasons, the least of which is, I am sick of these phone calls....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!

!

To the most wonderful friend, husband, and father a girl could ever dream of finding! I love you!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Now, the tough part.

Up until last week I was doing pretty well with the wait. I was avoiding watching the "lists" trying not to think or obsess about too much about the WHEN!

But last week, I just couldn't take the not knowing anymore. I broke down and added our names to the unofficial list of waiting families.

Turns out we may in fact be much closer to receiving a referral than I had thought!

All of my avoidance tactics seem to be failing. I've cleaned every inch of this house, I've painted and repainted rooms, I've even organized the basement storage room! I just can't stop thinking about the little one.

Here's where the wait gets tough!

To know that I have another child, that he or she is in Ethiopia right now, it's hard to wrap my brain around the whole thing. There are so many emotions. So many questions. My mind is constantly wandering. I worry constantly about what my child must be going through at this moment. What the Birth Family must be going through...what is happening in their lives for them to have to make this incredible sacrifice? It's heart wrenching.

It's really difficult these days for me to focus on the task at hand, raising these four wonderful kids!


I'm beginning to find comfort in all of the mundain daily chores, doing my best not to be consumed with emotions, but it's not easy! Luckily, Jud is traveling an obscene amount this month, so I have very little time to have a wandering thought;)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yom Kippur

We were planning to go to services last night, but Jack was home sick from school. Turns out he has strep. And considering how germs fly around this house, I thought it might be wise to visit our pediatrician last night to have the whole gang checked! Luckily we seem to have caught it before it spread!



I'm still learning about what it means to be a Jewish family. Here's what I've learned about Yom Kippur.


Yom Kippur is also known as the Day of Atonement.

It is the time for us to focus on our behavior toward other people, toward the world, toward our inner selves, and toward God. During this time we ask God's forgiveness. We say "I'm sorry" and try to find ways to become better people.

We pray, both as individuals and as a community, about the past year: Did we do our best? What could we try to do differently in the upcoming year?

We promise to try harder to grow, strengthen, and improve the quality of our lives and the progress of our world.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fall is here!

Hopefully this works! I have some new photo software that I've been trying out! Here's my first little video! Our Fall so far.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kristin



What can I say about Kristin.

My Sister, my friend, my idol.

It's hard to find the words to describe just what an incredible person she is. For starters she is the most honest, devoted, hard working person you could ever meet. She is also obscenely modest! Sometimes I wish she could see herself the way I see her. Her genuine kindness, her supportive words, her ablility to listen without casting judgements, her beauty. These are just a few reasons I have always respected, trusted and loved her.


First of all, I must admit these sad little photos don't do her justice. For my 30th birthday, Kristin made me an awesome video (which like a total dork, I watch all the time!) with pictures of us growing up, and memories over the years, all to awesome well thought out music...Well, maybe by the time she's 40 I'll have this whole video thing figured out so I can do the same for her. But for now, this will have to do!



While I was going through boxes yesterday trying to find pictures of Kristin, I found a box with letters that she had written me over the years. Through every rough patch in my life, Kristin has always been there. Never trying to tell me what to do, or remind me of how I may have messed up, but instead to simply say, "I'm here if you need me". And over the years, I've needed her a lot! She was the one who gave me the "you're a woman now" speach! Explained what that meant, and how things would change! She's the one who has always encouraged me to trust in myself and follow my heart. She's the one who told me "you'll never please everyone, as long as you're happy they'll come around".


Kristin has been involved in every big moment of my life in some way or another. She was even in the delivery room when Jack was born! ( She's a little squeamish in "gross" situations so the fact that she was there was big! )




We have a pretty big family!


Kristin has 22 neices and nephews on our side of the family and another 5 on Mel's side. One thing is for certain, you could ask any one these kids who the greatest aunt is...without hesitation they would all reply KRISTIN!

She gives so much of herself and her time to all of us in this family! Most weekends she is running around town trying to make it to 5 different soccer games and football games, going to birthday parties, picking up kids to go the movies, or having kids at her house to give their parents a break. We all owe her big time!

Not only does she do all kinds of stuff for all of the kids and for us siblings, she really does the brunt of the work for my parents. I mean a ridiculous amount of work! Honestly, some days I think she's nuts! She takes care of all the maintence for their house, their apartment, and their cottage. She shovels their sidewalks, and takes in their mail. She mows the lawn and cuts down trees, she builds rockwalls, and campfires. And really most importantly she is someone my mom can count on, who is there to help her put up Christmas decorations, or understand a bill from the insurance company, or just there to listen.

Kristin is and has always been a remarkable big sister! From the time that we were little, she has always taken me under her wing, protected me, taught me, loved me. I have learned so much about how to be the person that I want to be from watching her. She truly is and has always been my idol!

She is so fun to be around! And the girl can dance!


Kristin is at every family function, wether she had previous plans or not. She is someone we all count on! (maybe a little too much)

Kris, I hope you know we are here for you too! One of these days you can start calling in on some of the favors we all owe you!

I love you Kris!

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So much for not being a political blog!

Rescue the Rescue


By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Published: September 30, 2008

I was channel surfing on Monday, following the stock market’s nearly 800-point collapse, when a commentator on CNBC caught my attention. He was being asked to give advice to viewers as to what were the best positions to be in to ride out the market storm. Without missing a beat, he answered: “Cash and fetal.”

I’m in both — because I know an unprecedented moment when I see one. I’ve been frightened for my country only a few times in my life: In 1962, when, even as a boy of 9, I followed the tension of the Cuban missile crisis; in 1963, with the assassination of J.F.K.; on Sept. 11, 2001; and on Monday, when the House Republicans brought down the bipartisan rescue package.

But this moment is the scariest of all for me because the previous three were all driven by real or potential attacks on the U.S. system by outsiders. This time, we are doing it to ourselves. This time, it’s our own failure to regulate our own financial system and to legislate the proper remedy that is doing us in.

I’ve always believed that America’s government was a unique political system — one designed by geniuses so that it could be run by idiots. I was wrong. No system can be smart enough to survive this level of incompetence and recklessness by the people charged to run it.

This is dangerous. We have House members, many of whom I suspect can’t balance their own checkbooks, rejecting a complex rescue package because some voters, whom I fear also don’t understand, swamped them with phone calls. I appreciate the popular anger against Wall Street, but you can’t deal with this crisis this way.

This is a credit crisis. It’s all about confidence. What you can’t see is how bank A will no longer lend to good company B or mortgage company C. Because no one is sure the other guy’s assets and collateral are worth anything, which is why the government needs to come in and put a floor under them. Otherwise, the system will be choked of credit, like a body being choked of oxygen and turning blue.

Well, you say, “I don’t own any stocks — let those greedy monsters on Wall Street suffer.” You may not own any stocks, but your pension fund owned some Lehman Brothers commercial paper and your regional bank held subprime mortgage bonds, which is why you were able refinance your house two years ago. And your local airport was insured by A.I.G., and your local municipality sold municipal bonds on Wall Street to finance your street’s new sewer system, and your local car company depended on the credit markets to finance your auto loan — and now that the credit market has dried up, Wachovia bank went bust and your neighbor lost her secretarial job there.

We’re all connected. As others have pointed out, you can’t save Main Street and punish Wall Street anymore than you can be in a rowboat with someone you hate and think that the leak in the bottom of the boat at his end is not going to sink you, too. The world really is flat. We’re all connected. “Decoupling” is pure fantasy.

I totally understand the resentment against Wall Street titans bringing home $60 million bonuses. But when the credit system is imperiled, as it is now, you have to focus on saving the system, even if it means bailing out people who don’t deserve it. Otherwise, you’re saying: I’m going to hold my breath until that Wall Street fat cat turns blue. But he’s not going to turn blue; you are, or we all are. We have to get this right.

My rabbi told this story at Rosh Hashana services on Tuesday: A frail 80-year-old mother is celebrating her birthday and her three sons each give her a present. Harry gives her a new house. Harvey gives her a new car and driver. And Bernie gives her a huge parrot that can recite the entire Torah. A week later, she calls her three sons together and says: “Harry, thanks for the nice house, but I only live in one room. Harvey, thanks for the nice car, but I can’t stand the driver. Bernie, thanks for giving your mother something she could really enjoy. That chicken was delicious.”

Message to Congress: Don’t get cute. Don’t give us something we don’t need. Don’t give us something designed to solve your political problems. Yes, Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke need to accept strict oversights and the taxpayer must be guaranteed a share in the upside profits from all rescued banks. But other than that, give them the capital and the flexibility to put out this fire.

I always said to myself: Our government is so broken that it can only work in response to a huge crisis. But now we’ve had a huge crisis, and the system still doesn’t seem to work. Our leaders, Republicans and Democrats, have gotten so out of practice of working together that even in the face of this system-threatening meltdown they could not agree on a rescue package, as if they lived on Mars and were just visiting us for the week, with no stake in the outcome.

The story cannot end here. If it does, assume the fetal position.