Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Driving Miss Daisy Home

Meet our newest family member: Daisy. She is a lab/beagle mix, about 3 months old, and cute as can be. She was found in our county along the side of the road with two sisters (dumped no doubt) and brought to the humane society. We had hoped to get a younger pup, but after 12 hours with her, she is little enough! Let's just say my garage may never smell the same, and I need to go buy new paper towel:( However, she seems to have a very loving and laid back personality, especially compared to our previous not-so-smart-or-calm dog.

Sam wanted to keep hold of the leash yesterday evening around the yard, but she kept getting away from him so we tied her to his belt loop! Cora is timid around animals, so she hasn't got too close yet. And Eli likes her except when she knocks him over and licks him. The chickens are scared to death, so we may not get many eggs for a while.

And it feels like a proper home now, being greeted with a tail wag just for stepping out the door.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wisdom from Sam

Sam has been practicing his handwriting a lot this week, and we have a ways to go. The other day he was getting frustrated when he asked me if he could be alone for a minute. I, of course, thought he was stalling. Instead he told me he wanted to pray about it. Why didn't I think of that???? So we prayed together and finished the writing session in much better moods. Now we have been praying before we start. We teach the kids to pray about everything, even the little stuff, and they do. Why don't we?

We've been having a fun week. Some cousins sent us some hand-me-downs, which was such a blessing and the kids loved trying it all on. We've also had two cousins visit for farm play days. There are many baby calves to see and the fishing is good too. Sam has discovered crawdads, and catching those is more fun than fishing.
Here is Eli last week at the park. He wasn't really big enough last fall to climb much, so he had a great time rediscovering the park. He went down this slide fast...and head first!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Eli Day

We celebrated “Eli Day” today. March 13th is the day Eli came home and we were all together as a family! (Adopted kids get lots of special days…referral day, passed court day, gotcha day, homecoming day, readopt day, and even birthday.) We celebrated in a very unAusbrooks-like way by going to the city to eat and to the mall.

First we gathered the grandparents, Aunt Lyndsey, and cousin Callaway, and then we were on our way. We started at Cracker Barrel, which was delicious! Sam had shrimp, Cora had butter with a bit rolls, and Eli ate anything he could get.

Then off to the mall, for the primary purpose of visiting Build-A-Bear. Our kids have never done this before, so we had them pumped up. It seemed the Beverly Hillbillies had come to town! Unfortunately, as we walked through the mall to Build-A-Bear we first passed a candy store, of which Sam has never seen the likes and he may have gotten a cavity just looking.

Then the objects of our demise appeared just before we reached B-A-B: mechanical rides. We let the kids sit on them for a while, without putting money in (we weren’t that out of character). Eli was in heaven! Eventually we decided to move on so we pried them off the machines. Eli only whined at first. Once inside B-A-B he fussed more. Finally he all out through a fit as I was trying so hard to endear him to an animal. He threw each one on the floor, saying “NO”. Then we put him down and he made a dash for the door and the blasted mechanical rides!!!

So Sam and Cora had a great time making their new best friends and one for Eli, but he would have nothing to do with any of it. He was entertained out in the middle and each time they brought him into the store he cried, LOUD!

Cora made Hello Kitty. She picked a purple satin dress and glass slippers plus jammies and panties, of course. All evening she brushed it, changed its clothes and talked to it...that makes the trip worth it.

Sam made "Wolf Attack". He's a gray wolf, which Sam dressed in camo boxers, dessert camo clothes, and cowboy boots. He also growls ferociously. Before we left Sam said he wasn't that interested in stuffed animals...when we got there he took the longest of any kid in the store picking out his outfit! He definitely has a new sleeping buddy.

Overall, it was a special day. It reminded us that Eli is Eli. He doesn’t deal with change too well…kinda like his momma. He was perfectly happy when we got back home, and that is exactly where he belongs. It’s hard to believe he’s been here a year…some days seem like it was yesterday, others like forever. Sam thanked God for Eli tonight, and Cora said, “I love Eli in my heart.” He truly is such a blessing.

The kids played and played with their animals when we got home. This is how we found Eli when we last checked on him in bed…sleeping and loving his new horse, Red. (I knew he’d come around eventually.)

And we are already planning next year’s celebration…dinner at home with cake.

Sam's got wheels

Sam has learned to ride his bike without training wheels this past week!!!! Its one of those things I thought, “How will we know how to teach him to ride a bike?” Well, he’s a 5 year old kid and seems to know exactly what to do. He prefers to wear helmet and knee pads, which is a good thing since he is good at riding but not so good at stopping. He hasn’t cried after any crashes yet…

We’ve had beautiful weather, so he wanted to ride first thing every morning. It was good incentive to get moving on school work so he could get out faster!

I haven’t gotten a picture of him yet because he’s too fast! Our road is hilly, but he can go from our house down two middle size hills before he reaches a hard hill to go up. So Cora and I have been running a shuttle service, or more like a bike lift. He goes all the way down, then we pick him up in the gator, haul him and bike back to the top and there he goes again. I warned him that this could not become a habit! I guess Josh or I need to get a bike to go with him now!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Gotcha Day

One year ago today we walked through the gates of Hannah's Hope to meet our son Eli. (Read all about it back in my posts last March). What a year it has been! Eli is funny, loud, loving, demanding, and definitely an Ausbrooks. We've been reminiscing about the trip this week, and the kids wore their Ethiopian outfits to church Sunday...can't believe they all still fit.

And where did February go?! Here are our highlights:

  • We had snow, snow, and more snow. Thankfully March has been BEAUTIFUL so far.
  • We celebrated my grandma's 88th birthday with lots of family.
  • Sam went bowling for the first time with the home school group. We also attended a fun Valentine party with the group.
  • Eli got scalped...I clip his hair, and went a little too short with the clippers. Interesting enough, I do this with his hair wet and it works great (as long as he has a sucker).
  • Sam and I helped move turkeys on a sunny cold day and made a snowman between truck loads.

Spring is just around the corner...although Sam insists it is already here!