Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finally updating

I can't believe it's been about 6 weeks since I last posted.  If you asked me, I would have said it was only a couple weeks ago.  Time is really flying by!!

October was busy with friends visiting, our school Carnival and Halloween.  The boys really liked Halloween once they realized they were getting candy at each house.  Sam kept asking me, "more candy, mom?"

Our West TX friends came to visit and brought wigs, mustaches, fake bugs and fake poop.
The boys were pirates for our school costume contest


First Jack o'lanterns with the boys


Trick or Treating

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Read at me"

The boys are at a stage where they love books.  Their teachers at school tell us that the boys are really interested in their letters and in books. 

Some of their favorite books at home are ones I read over and over and over and over... to Gus and I've found that I still know them by heart.

Drew (with a steel trap mind) already has some of them memorized and I've walked in his room more than once to hear him 'reading' to himself.

How can I resist when Sam comes running to me with a book in hand and says "Mommy, read at me"

My house might be messy and dusty but I'm happy to read instead of clean!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Our conversations with the boys are becoming longer.  Both of them speak pretty clearly now, although Drew is still a little hard to understand sometimes.

About 2 weeks ago, on a Friday evening, we were outside and it was getting cool.  Aaron went inside to get a lightweight jacket and he grabbed the one he wore in Hungary.  (He hasn't worn it since March)  As soon as he came back outside with it on, Drew looked at him and said "Miskolc jacket".  Drew has a mind like a steel trap!  We started asking him questions about Miskolc and his old house.  He told us that Adam and a doctor came to his old house and asked him questions.  We asked "What did they ask you?"  He said "my name" but couldn't tell us anything else.

Both he and Sam have been talking more about their old house (they call it Miskolc house or old) and they talk about old mom and old dad.  Occasionally, one of them will mention "the kids" but when we ask them more questions, they say they don't know.  Very confusing.

Sam talks about Ho, Ho all the time.  We keep saying Santa Claus, but he can't say it, so he says Ho, Ho.  The other day Sam told us that he was going to hide in the closet and when he saw Ho, Ho, he would say "Hey, Ho, Ho, what's up?"  Where does he come up with this stuff???

Sam also 'loves' everything that anyone else mentions/eats/does.  Tonight, Gus warmed up some soup and it was a little too hot so he put an ice cube in it.  Sam immediately said that he loved ice and wanted some in his macaroni and cheese.  If I said I love onions, he would say that he loves them too.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


We've been to 2 doctors 3 times in 11 days. 

The first appointment (on a Friday) was a regular checkup for Sam and Drew.  They have been really healthy since we came home and I've been very relieved.  The boys talked about their doctor visit for several days and we even practiced reflexes and breathing beforehand.  Needless to say, they were both pretty excited.  Our doctor was fantastic with both of them and they talked non-stop to her and answered all of her questions.  Both have grown taller and gained weight since we've been home.  She was really impressed with their English and some of their other abilities - considering they've been in the US only 6 months.

Then came the dreaded (by me) words "They each need their 4 year immunizations."  I thought, "How am I going to handle this?"  The nurse suggested one boy at a time while the other went to the nurse's station.  I volunteered Drew first for shots.  Sam went down to entertain the nurses, while I held Drew in a bear hug and the nurse held his legs down so she could give him all 5 shots.  The first shot drew a cry and tears, the next 3 shots brought on more tears and the final shot (the stinging one) brought out a cry and a look of "why are you doing this to me?"I could only hold/console him and tell him he was brave.  Drew quickly calmed down when the nurse mentioned candy and toys.

She opened the door and I heard Sam telling the nurses that Pa and Gammy had come to see him and brought presents and corn.  (Remember Sam miming eating corn on the cob - he's been fascinated with it since then).  We traded out the boys and it was Sam's turn.  He questioned everything but when I told him it was the same for Drew, he was ok with it.  Until the first shot - he gasped loudly and gave me look that wasn't friendly.  His eyes filled with tears but he didn't cry out and the nurse told him he was brave and mentioned candy and he was better.

Our second appointment was also planned well in advance and took place the following Friday.  Shortly after Drew was born, he developed a staph infection in his left knee that has caused his leg to bow out.  The infection was treated but the infection had damaged his left leg growth plate and some of the cartilage.  We knew that he would require surgery at some point, but felt it was better to have the surgery here than in Hungary.  In May, I had taken him to an orthopedic doctor who quickly referred him to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Dallas.  We drove to Dallas Thursday night because his first appointment was at 8:30 Friday morning.  Drew was excited to be alone with us, but a little wary after his last doctor experience.  I had told him that he wouldn't get any shots, but I'm sure he was still thinking about them. 

Let me tell you, being at Scottish Rite was one of the most humbling yet uplifting experiences of my life.  Out of all the children we saw in the waiting rooms, hallways, play areas, Drew was the only one who had 2 hands, 2 feet, 2 arms and 2 legs.  Every other child was missing at least one (and usually multiple) limbs.  But they weren't sitting around feeling sorry for themselves, they were laughing and playing and chasing each other - they were just being kids.  If you are not familiar with the work this incredible hospital performs every day, please check them out.

Drew's appointments went well.  He will soon need a surgery to straighten out his leg, otherwise his knee could be badly or irreparably damaged.  He will probably require another surgery in 8-10 years since he is still growing.  We felt extremely comfortable with the doctors.  The doctors are the best in their fields.

We returned home Friday evening and the next morning, Sam woke up with one side of his face swollen.  I looked in his mouth and one side of his throat was swollen.  He wasn't running any fever, ate well and had lots of energy.  This probably makes me sound like a bad mom, but I waited until Tuesday to take him to the doctor.  I just kept thinking that if it was serious, he would act differently or have a fever or lose his appetite.  Tuesday morning he had a fever of 99 so I decided to take him back to his first doctor.  He was pretty excited to get candy again and didn't mention the shots.  The doc took one look at his throat and said "It's strep."  I feel pretty lucky because this is the first time I've heard those words from a doctor.  Gus has never had strep before which is nothing short of a miracle because it's swept through his old school a few times.  So I call up the hubby to say that Sam needs to come to his office for the rest of the day.  I fill his prescription, grab some lunch (Chick FilA), and run by the house for a sleeping bag.  I leave him with Aaron and within 2 hours, Sam is worn out and has no energy.  After I left work at 5, I picked up Drew and had to get Gus from a friend's house.  Aaron called me at 5:30 to say that Sam's temp was 105.  I make it home and Sam's lethargic and covered in sweat.  We give him some ibuprofen and his fever finally starts to come down around 7pm. 

Sam was quickly back to his old self and looks forward to the next time he's sick so he can go to the doctor, get ChickFilA and stay at Oil Vac with Dad.  He's mentioned it at least once day since last Wednesday :)  Yes, I'm serious.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

First day

School started this past week and I'm really happy to be back in this school routine.  The little boys are still at St. Mary's while Gus has moved up to middle school.  I have a hard time thinking aobut him being in 6th grade - it has all flown by so quickly.  As usual, we took our first day pictures with Dad.


On August 4th, we had the boys baptized at our church.  Our dear friends were their godparents.  It was a beautiful day and we had brunch for our family and friends afterwards.



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More funny conversations

The boys speak really well now and we can understand almost everything they say.  They still say things backwards.  They are also in the habit of saying something that has the same meaning but saying it in different ways.
Drew loves our babysitter, Ansley.  He knows that she comes on Tuesday and Thursday and the boys go to school on the other days of the week.  So after Monday, he'll say:

Drew "Mom, me eat, sleep, wake up, Ansley here." 
Mom: "Yes"
Drew: "Mom, Ansley here after sleep, wake up" 
Mom: "Yes" 
Drew: "Mom, eat, sleep, wake up, Ansley my house"
Mom: "Yes"

One of my friends asked if I thought he did this because he was trying to find the right order of words.  I hadn't thought of it that way but it really makes sense.

They love all of our babysitters and when I tell them that we are going out and one of the sitters is coming over, one of them will reply, "Awestome!"

On Monday night, we were at the dinner table and Sam told us this:

"Mom, you no here.  Dad no here.  Gus yes. Drew yes. Pa yes. Gammy yes. Me yes.  We have this (he holds up his hands and mimes eating corn on the cob)." 

As we all start laughing, he tells us the same thing word for word.  This is funny because the weekend before, Aaron and I were gone and my parents came and stayed with the boys.  They had corn on the cob for the first time (we think) and my parents said that the boys ate so much of it!  Sam was telling us that the first time he had it, Aaron and I were gone.

"Me no more trouvle"

On Sunday, we had the boys baptized at our church.  We had been preparing them for a while but you could tell that they just didn't get it.  The day before, Sam told me at lunch "Me, bathtub (baptize) no more bad".  Aaron had told them that they would have no more sins and that lead to a discussion on sins.  Then, Sam said "Me show" and held up his hands like he was showing a baby to the congregation, in the same way our priest shows a newly baptized baby.   At least they knew that they would get wet and they seemed to be ok with that.  Later, Aaron told me that Sam had told him "Me baptize. Me trouvle, go back."  We laugh because he thought he could just go back and be baptized every time he gets in trouble.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Funny conversations

A few nights ago, we had this conversation at dinner:
Drew: Mom, Jesus fly?
Mom: No, Jesus doesn't fly.  He's just everywhere.
Sam: Jesus eat?
Dad: No, Jesus doesn't eat food.
Sam: Me fly.  I can do it. (firm nod of the head)

Dad: Gus, do you know what a legume is?
Gus: No.
Sam:  I know.

Dad: Sam, where does hamburger come from?
Sam:  (long pause)  The store.

Fourth of July

We went to my hometown for a parade and fireworks. My brother and nephew were there and the kids all played together very well  We decided to incorporate many American themes - bike races, BBQ, baseball, fireworks - we had a great time!

Gus was 2nd in his age group in the bike race

My brother with the boys


"They just throw the candy to us!!"

The boys weren't sure what to think of the fireworks at first, but they quickly found that they liked them - the louder, the better!

Family vacation

We took a family vacation with 4 other families to South Dakota a couple weeks ago.  One of my friends grew up there and invited us to her family's ranch.  We all decided to stay most of the time in Deadwood and visit Mount Rushmore before going farther north to her family home.

Stockade Restaurant

Drew and Sam with Wild Bill Hickock

Main Street Deadwood, SD

"No more pictures, Mom"


Family picture

Keep in mind that 4 months ago, Drew was deathly afraid of most animals.  Now, we couldn't drag him off the horses!

Gus was a natural

Beautiful wide open space

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lunch conversation

The boys have minds like steel traps.  You tell them something one time and they will remember it.  A couple weeks ago, Gus mentioned sleeping on the trampoline and, boy, did Sam's ears perk up!  He asked if he (Sam) could sleep on the trampoline.  I said "No, you have to be big before you can spend the night on the trampoline."  Well, today at lunch, out of the blue, Sam says, "Mom, Sam almost big trampoline sleep.  Drew almost big trampoline sleep. Gus big trampoline sleep."  Then he repeats this word for word two more times.  I had to hold back my laughter because he only said the important words but also because he was so serious.  He wanted to make sure that I knew he hadn't forgotten the rules. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


Both of the boys are speaking a lot of English now and we can understand most of it.  The funny thing is that they say things backwards.  Today, I picked them up from school and Sam said "Mom, big muscles Sam."  Tonight at supper, I asked Aaron what he wanted to drink and he said "a Shiner."  Sam piped up with "Mom, me Shiner too!" LOL  When they get excited about something - usually food - they say "oh goodness!"  It's just too cute! 

Both of the boys are really healthy.  A friend asked me this the other day and I said that we are so thankful for their health.  The foster parents did a great job teaching the boys to wash their hands, and because they were well taken care of there (good diets, clean home) we haven't had any sicknesses yet.  I know the time will come when they do get sick, but I'm grateful we haven't had to deal with any of that while we are adjusting.  It's silly but I've prayed that nothing serious would happen while I couldn't understand them.  Imagine how frustrating it would be if something hurt and I couldn't understand them to help them!

We've begun teaching the boys about lying because they have both been blaming the other when something happens.  So we say, "Lying not good.  Jesus sad if you lie."  The other day, something happened and they each blamed the other.  I said, "Jesus is sad that one of you is lying."  Sam looked at me and said, "Sam no lie. Drew lie. Jesus lie no good."  Sure enough, he was right.  Drew admitted that he had done it.  Don't get me wrong, this all started because Sam lied to me first, but Sam is just more vocal about things than Drew.  I like how they both (seem to) understand that Jesus wants them to do well and they want to make Him happy.

Shower blessings

Eleven dear friends held a shower for the boys on June 16th.  Everything was just wonderful!  The boys received many wonderful things and have had so much fun playing with everything.

The cutest cake!
Gus was touched that his name was in the middle.
I love the hearts around Drew and Sam's names.