Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Hey all-

Tonight is $.31 cent scoop night at Baskin Robbins...

Details here:

Hmmm, I did the search for locations and there are 6 within 12 miles...

So let me know where YOU want to meet and if I can work it into my schedule I can meet multiple people at multiple places. :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Boy Music

So I told Nia I would put on some music while we are doing our chores this morning. Here's the ensuing conversation:

Mom, you forgot to turn the music on.

Oh, sorry. Let me do that.

Mom, please don't turn on any dance music though. Let's listen to boy music, okay?

Boy music? What is boy music?

You know, it like sounds like monkeys and is kind of scary.

Well now I know what boy music sounds like.

But I couldn't think of any "boy music" we had, so I put on my favorite bluegrass band, Kickin Grass, and asked Nia if that was okay. She said, "Well, it's not boy music, but it's cowboy music so it's okay."

Monday, April 28, 2008

Gas and Food Prices-- How are YOU making it?

So these gas prices. And these food prices.

We haven't been able to stay in budget for the past several months in a row... looks like the budget needs some tweaking... again. :(

We've been trying to think of ways to save gas/grocery money. We have a few thoughts and I thought I would share them, but I was interested in your thoughts too. Please comment as to ways you're "making it" in this season.

1. Cheap meals. Haitian spaghetti is really cheap and we all like it. We've decided to make it at least once a week. It's less than $3 to feed the whole family. We also like beans and rice. The kids are eating a lot more PB&J. What kind of cheap meals do you make?

2. Aldi. It's probably worth the gas to drive over to Aldi, even though it means shopping twice. (at least... three times if you count BJ's.)

3. I am trying to figure out ways we can drive less. It's not easy when you have a kid who naps twice a day still. You're sort of tied into going out only when he's awake, so combining trips is harder.

How, I ask, HOW are you making changes?

Using words wisely and thoughtfully

Yesterday Jonathan gave a great message at church about using our words with wisdom. (I would link to it, but it's not on the website yet... I will link to it when it's up.)

The quick version-- talking too much is really selfishness. It's really made me aware of the words I use on a daily basis. Is it all just about me?

One of the verses shared was Proverbs 27:2 "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." Very often here on my blog all I do is talk about me. So with that in mind, I want to occasionally "highlight" someone on my blog and talk about many of the amazing things about them I notice.

No better place to start with than the one person whom my soul loves the most-- Nick Mangine.
Now, a few disclaimers. This is not by any means an exhaustive list. This is not a claim that he is perfect in any of these areas. And this is not a "my husband is better than your husband" type of deal. I do believe that my husband is much better FOR ME than your husband, but it has no bearing on your husband being better for you... I hope that makes sense. So let's get started.

Awesome things about Nick Mangine: (in no particular order)

1. Nick loves God. He really does. For as long as I have known him, he's sought after God diligently. He is daily trying to strive in his prayers and abide in his actions.

2. Nick is really smart. He won't tell you this, because he is also very humble. Nick graduated #2 in his high school class. He graduated with highest honors from NC State in Computer Science. He has a brilliant analytical mind.

3. Nick is a great dad. He's very intentional about being an example for our children, and he's far more patient than I am. I remember one time when Nia was about 8 months old she somehow got a hold of a plastic bag. Nick, of course, took it away from her and she fussed. He sat down next to her and said, "Nia, I'm sorry. I know you want this bag and you think it's fun to play with, but it's very dangerous and you could get hurt. I love you and I don't want you to get hurt." I said, "Nick, she's 8 months old, she has NO concept of what you are saying to her." And he said, (very astutely) "She may not understand now, but one day she will understand. I always want our children to know that there is a reason when I tell them no. It's not because I want to be in charge, or because I want them to be miserable, but it's because I love them. I don't know when she'll start understanding that, so if I just start now, we're covered."

4. Nick is a great husband. I am just going to write a short list of the reasons I know for sure he loves me.
- He could be far more "successful" (career-wise) in life if he weren't married to me.
- He is intentional about arranging his schedule so that he can come home for a chunk of time during the week so I can have some time out of the house and away from the kids.
- He dated/married me when I was fat. My weight is something I have struggled with since I have been a teenager. He totally knew what he was signing up for with me, and he wanted me, not the way I looked. In fact, he's said this over and over to the point where I *might* be starting to believe it-- He doesn't love me in spite of the way I look, he loves me in part because of the way I look. He has NEVER once said a hurtful word, not even in an arguement, about my weight or that he wished I looked another way.
- He is very thrifty when it comes to himself, but he never, ever gets grumpy about money if it's something I need or want. Many days he will literally skip lunch if he didn't pack anything so that he doesn't have to spend the money. But often at the same time, even though I "work" at home, he will encourage me to go out to lunch with a friend.
-A while ago when I was going through a hard spot and needed to talk to a counselor, he pretended "we" wanted to talk to a counselor and went with me to the sessions, even though it was all about my issues and drama.
- One year for Christmas, maybe 4 years ago, he gave me this huge box of empty index cards separted by months. Every single day that year he wrote me a special note about something God taught him in his quiet time and put it in the box. It's actually still going on, though we've transitioned out of notecards and to a digital format on a private website. (And full disclosure would be to tell you that it's no longer every single day, but still usually several times a week.)
- When I was away in Haiti for the first time, he bought an "I love my wife" T-shirt. Recently, he ordered online and put on his car and "I love my wife" bumper sticker. (I just feel a little awkward when I drive his car...) :)

I could go on an on about all the awesome things about him, but I told myself I would be done on the computer at 6:30 AM, and it's not 6:41, so I have to boogie and get some more laundry folded. But I wanted to close with this special song that Nick wrote for me one Valentine's day about 5 years ago. We'd been through a pretty rough spot in our marriage, and he was really seeking God on what it means to give yourself up for your wife. He came to the conclusion that to really love me, there were no reasons. It wasn't about what I did, how I looked, if I made him happy, he loves me just because he loves me. And he started to see God in a new way.

No Reason for my Love

Long ago, before my life
There lived a race, a people God would call His own.
And He gave to them His Word, His Life
And He asked them, and He called them to love Him

And they struggled with this command
And they struggled to hold Him close
And they began to fall away time and time again
But when they called to Him, He took them back
And they kneeled down and asked Him why and He said--

I don't love you cause you're the chosen ones
And I don't love you cause you worship me
And I don't love you cause of your sacrifice
Or because you followed and were set free...
There is no reason for my love

Long ago, before my wife
I did not understand how God could love me so
Then He gave to me this woman, this life
And He asked me, and He called me to love her

And I struggled with this command
And I struggled to hold her close
And I struggled to let her go when she needed time
But when she came to me, and asked me why
I wondered, then I realized, and I told her--

I don't love you cause you're beautiful
I don't love you cause you care for me
I don't love you cause your the mother of my child
Or because you're funny or carefree...
There is no reason for my love

*Sigh* I love my husband.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Nabbed this pic from one of my favorite blogs.

I am hoping this is not okay with you either.


That's how much we made on the yard sale.

Pretty good considering we didn't sell any furniture or anything really big. I think the highest priced item was $30 for our double jogger.

And we've also sold $225 worth of stuff on Craig's List this past month too... Woo hoo!

Thanks to our friend who came out today!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My house smells like dirty laundry

and I can't figure out why... :)

Yesterday it smelled like children's books when we tackled all the kids' bookshelves--
Here's a tip for anyone considering a move any time soon. DON'T go through books/toys to try to sort for a garage sale when your children are in the room. We ended up with 6 boxes of books to keep and only one for the garage sale. THIS is why I have been staying up until the middle of the night to get sorting/packing done.

PS- I AM getting all this laundry done today. So DON'T call me to ask me to go somewhere with you today or I will be very tempted to take you up on it. And DON'T drop by without calling-- I am very overdue on the whole laundry scenario (obviously) and am wearing sparse "laundry day" clothing... it would be traumatic for you and any small children that might accompany you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yard Sale Saturday

Just wanted to get the "official" word out about the first yard sale-- it's THIS Saturday at 7AM.

107 Breezemere Court, Apex

Home again, home again, jiggety jig + unintended benefits

Thanks for your prayers. We're home and Josiah is sleeping peacefully.

Everything was very routine and for that, we're thankful. There have been many unintended "benefits" of Josiah's heart defect and one I've noticed with this whole tube thing is my lack of stress over the procedure. There was another mom in the waiting room who was very, very upset about her 19 month old getting tubes. She told me she's been a mess for weeks now, she was so worried about it. But it's funny, after going through what we did with Josiah, I really have very little anxiety-- what a gift.

Another un-intended benefit from all the heart drama with J-man was his ability to be a thymus donor. I know I have mentioned this before, so I don't want to beat a dead horse, but since it's been in the local news lately, I wanted to mention it again.

Here's the short version. The thymus is an organ located just under the sternum. It's what "teaches" our white cells how to fight infection. Once you're born, you don't need it anymore, and it begins to atrophy. Some children are born without a thymus and they literally have no immune system. Most die by the age of 2-3. Duke University is the only hospital in the world where thymus transplatation is done. When babies need heart surgery at Duke, the parents are approached about donating the thymus. It is literally of no use to the baby any more and in most cases, it has to be removed anyway to get to the heart. Well, of course, that was a no brainer for us. We agreed that Josiah's thymus could be used for transplant.

This past week in the News and Observer, there's been a 3 day long feature on child at Duke getting a thymus transplant. If you're interested, here's their story-- (and no, she didn't get Josiah's thymus... we'll never know who did.) Anyway, it's SO COOL to me that something so beautiful could come from our struggles with Josiah's heart. I am proud of my little living donor.

Here's a short video about the family-

And here's the story.

PS- I got some cute pics of J-man today at the hospital, but I don't know how to get them off my phone... I will post them if I can figure it out.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pray for Josiah

Hey everyone--

Tomorrow Josiah is going to be getting tubes put in his big ole ears. (He's had a problem with fluid and lots of recurring ear infections.)

It's not a big deal kind of procedure, but he is having the surgery at the hospital rather than the dr. office because he's a cardiac baby and they want to be extra careful with anesthesia. So it's just an extra layer of safety "just in case."

So, if you think of it and are so inclined, please pray for this.

We have to be there at 5:50AM (blech.) His surgery is at 7:50AM.
The procedure only takes about 20 minutes and he will probably be in the recovery room for about 1-2 hours after he wakes up. Then we are free to go home.

Honestly my main concern is that he can't eat after midnight. So please pray for God's peace on him as he's probably going to be hungry in our two hour wait in the hospital waiting room.

Thanks y'all.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Twofer Tuesday-- Classes in College

I went to NC State and majored in Agricultural Communications. Make all the jokes you want-- I have heard them all...

Top Five Favorite Classes in College
5. Bowling. It was a PE. And it was SUPER fun. I still am a lousy bowler though.

4. Welding. I am (was) actually a VERY neat welder. ARC, TIG, Oxyacetylene. Did it all. Got an A-. Will never use this "skill" but is a fun fact about me. I was even better than a lot of the farm boys. Our professor claimed that women make really good welders because we have better attention to detail.

3. Poultry Science. LOVED it. Dr. Parkhurst. Killed a chicken with my bare hands and dressed it in lab. Might sound gross, but it was actually a very humane way to kill them. It's called cervical dislocation. And in case you're wondering, yes, we did eat them. Yum. We also visited a chicken processing plant. It was SO cool. Smelly, but cool. Sorry to all you vegetarians out there. So, you may not want to read on if you're grossed out by this one.

2. Animal Science. So fun. Would have been a lot MORE fun if our middle aged-creepy professor didn't flirt with all the Alpha Zeta farm girls. Blech. But I got to do many cool things in this lab too... Stuck my arm up to my armpit into the stomach of cow with a fistula. WORST smell in the world. (And it doesn't hurt the cow. They don't even care. They just sit there eating more grass. It's weird, their stomach moves and contracts and it feels like it's going to cut off the circulation in your arm, but it didn't hurt. I can still remember the sensation very vividly.) Got to artificially inseminate hogs. (We didn't have to collect though-- but we did have to watch. Bizarre process. I felt kind of dirty.) Got to draw blood from a sheep's neck, milk cows. Watched our instructor shove his arm up a horses lady business to check the positioning of her baby. All sorts of fun stuff.

1. Film appreciation. Probably sounds pretty lame. Was not. IT WAS SO AWESOME. It was a 3 hour long class once a week. Nick and I took it together as an elective. It was like a date. We learned so much about all the components of film and watched some great (and some not so great) movies. And just for the record, I got a higher grade than Nick did. Which is only significant because I was so PO'd that the professor would always read quotes from his papers out loud in class because they were so good.

5 WORST classes I took in college.

5. Soil Science. Boringest class ever. Should be called, "Chemistry." Because that's what it was. The only upshot to this class was that I could use the tutoring center for free to be tutored. Nick happened to work for the tutoring center as a chemistry tutor, so I could go during his office hours and then he got paid to help his girlfriend with her homework.

4. Some Education class.
I can't remember the name of it. It was my sophomore year in college and I was at that point thinking I wanted to be an agriculture teacher in high school. During this class you have to visit a high school class for 2 weeks and teach the class once. I did mine at Cary High. The first day I had to visit the high school I went to see my academic adviser and let her know I wanted to change my major.

3. West African History.
Interesing and eye-opening subject matter. Totally militant professor.

2. Calculus.
It might have actually been pre-calc. Full disclosure-- I have no idea what calculus even is. All I know is I got a D. That was the only D I ever got. I was actually a good student. I just hated (hate) math.

1. Public Relations.
The class itself wasn't too bad. I put this one on the list because it irritated me that the professor made you grade your own exams (he was too lazy) and then tell him what you got. Seriously. There were no checks and balances. You didn't even have to turn your exam in. Basically you had to sign something (the honor pledge) on each exam saying you didn't cheat. But you KEPT the exam. So lots of people cheated. I did not. This doesn't make me better than them, but it did give me a lower grade than them. I don't like systems that reward people breaking the rules.

And yes, I know it's not Tuesday yet. But it's 38 minutes away from Tuesday. So I am going with it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Matchy Matchy

Stuff gals my age like

I know. I am a failure. I was just going to post this tomorrow and make it look like I could stay away from blogging for a whole day, but that would just be a lie. Nico is playing. Josiah is sleeping and I refuse to "work" today, so I guess blogging is okay... I told you it was my guilty pleasure.

Inspired by the stuff white people like blog and the stuff Christians like blog, I have been thinking about stereotypical things that I have noticed that women my age like. (For the record, I am 31-- and so when I say my age, I mean just the general generation I am in.) Hope these don't make anyone mad-- just observations. (I fall into a lot of these stereotypes too.) Now, full disclosure, I haven't read either of these above-mentioned blogs extensively, so if there's overlap, it's an honest observation, not an attempt to plagiarize.

1. Naming their sons with names that end in en, an, or on. Like Brayden, Hayden, Caden, Weston, Aidan, Keegan, Peyton, Jayden, etc... And naming their girls Emma, though I think that one is winding down.

2. Babies R Us. (I TOTALLY fall into this one, which is the bane of Nick's existence.) Nick would claim that the baby superstore scenario is probably the best marketing scheme in the history of the world. If you want to sell something to someone, just imply that they are a bad and/or unsafe parent if they don't buy all of this gak. He's sort of right. Because when you are standing there looking at car seats, you really WANT to pick the $50 one, but you have all this guilt like you *should* buy the $300 one because hey, isn't your child's life worth $250 to you, you scumbag?

3. Getting tattoos on the middle lower back. This one was brought up to me at a party the other night, which sort of spawned these observations in my mind. Think about the female friends you have with tattoos. How many of them are on their middle lower back? It used to be the ankle was the cool place, but the back has replaced that. And I think that may be going out too... I just don't know what's next because I am not cool enough. I do, in fact, have one small tattoo-- and it is on my back, but over all the way on my left side right above my waistband, not in the middle.

4. Highlights. Again, I have had them in the past, so I am not pointing the finger. But seriously, probably a good 85% of women I see out and about have highlights. Look around-- I am right on this one.

5. Breath mints and/or gum with excessive packaging. (Kris, this one is for you.) Seriously though-- mints/gum now have all sorts of new-fangled dispensers, carrying cases, etc. They clip on your key chain, have rhinestones all over them, have push button dispensing...

6. Message Boards. Gals my age like to "meet" other women in online communities and share their lives. I do have a mommy message board I like to read/post on, but I haven't checked it out in a while because of the time it takes. I find it VERY interesting how very MUCH women share on these things. I am sure it's due in part to the whole anonymous thing, but I do think that (in some cases) they can become real community. Which is a weird concept-- I have some mixed thoughts on all of this, but I don't have time to explore them right now.

7. Apologizing for their messy houses. Even when they aren't messy. I totally apologize for my messy house, but it's ALWAYS true. Even when it's "clean" it's not clean.

That's all for now. I will keep you posted as I think of more. But PLEASE, feel free to post your observations in the comments.

Okay-- time for bed.

Well, it's 4:32 AM. I am done with all the organizing and packing I am going to do for today(yesterday.) I kind of got on a roll and wanted to get through some what I was working on so that the house could be picked up enough for the kids to live in it tomorrow (today.) :)

Anyhow, I am going to attempt to unplug a little (a lot) tomorrow-- just chill and rest with the fam. Wish me luck. No email, no blogging, no packing, no cleaning, no laundry... Which brings me to the reason I sat down to type this-- I am HORRIBLY behind on email. Sorry to all of you to whom I owe a response... Monday, I promise. Thanks for your patience with me.

Later taters.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


The attic is empty.

But the living room is not.

The shed is empty.

But the yard is not.

Pray for the kids to have LONG naps today... :)

PS-- Josiah is cute, isn't he?

Friday, April 18, 2008

The cowgirl and the President

Nia had cowgirl day at school today. She borrowed Nico's chaps and vest, which were clearly too small, but she was pretty dang cute anyway.Speaking of dressing up, Nego was sharing that he got an email from his sister, Georgette, today. She is getting married in May and today she asked him to be her best man. He didn't seem very happy with this request, and after some prying (I know, very UNlike me...) he admitted that he doesn't have a suit to wear (which I suspected might have something to do with it.)

Well, as "luck" would have it, Nick and Nego wear the same size. Nick was able to pass along one of his suits to Nego and he looked great. Nego was so proud of his new suit. He told me that he felt like the President in it and that he's going to wear it on the plane back to Haiti.

This was something LITERALLY gathering dust in Nick's closet. I was very thankful to see how this thing that is essentially useless to us at this point was used to bless someone else. I think that is my prayer for the rest of our "stuff." Because it's all just that-- stuff.

God is so good.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nego: Teaching Creole and Weighing in on Decision 2008

We have a friend from Haiti visiting us right now. His name is Nego and he's 21 years old. I first met Nego on my first trip to Haiti. He was a high school student and one of our translators.

In early April, Nego traveled to the US for the first time in his life. We are enjoying having him TREMENDOUSLY. He's a good house guest and I ask him questions pretty much every waking hour. I am learning a lot-- His perspective on life in Haiti, vodou, Creole... it's been awesome.

And it's really fun answering his questions about the United States. He went to a grocery store for the first time yesterday. He loves pizza and McDonalds. We have been having some friends over to visit us so they can meet him too.

Last night, we 4 of the teenagers who are going to Haiti this summer at our home. Nego taught them some of the Creole songs they will be singing at the VBS they will be doing... then we pulled out the Karoke machine-- it was a hoot.

After everyone left I was sitting on the couch watching the last part of the Democratic debate, and this was the ensuing conversation.

(sees Obama answering a question)
I don't think he will get to be president, do you?

I don't really know-- it's still hard to say.

I just don't think that his face is good for president.

Yeah, well, you're not the only one who thinks that the way he looks means he shouldn't be president.

And that lady, Clinton, I don't like her either. She's a little better, but I don't like the way her voice sounds. I don't think her voice sounds like a president. There is one more man, right?

Yes, John McCain.

Yes, I think he should be president. He will be a good president because he is very old.

So there you have it folks. My contribution to the political commentary.
From what I am seeing on the news-- those are as good as most of the reasons I have heard...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kids are disgusting little creatures.

I bought white bread for my kids on my most recent trip to the grocery store. (I know-- unfit mother, call CPS...) They LOVE white bread, but usually we eat whole wheat, so it's like a special treat.

Just a few minutes ago I looked over at Nia who was ripping her bread into smaller pieces, dipping it in her water and and rolling it into little balls and then eating it. I said, "Nia, WHAT are you doing with your bread?"

To which she replied, "It's really good. You should try it."

I think they are "getting it"

So I love those moments when I try to impart my "wisdom" on my children, sure they I am changing their world view and then they just totally don't get it.

Today was one of those days.

We were heading back out to the parking lot at Target and Nia was drinking her lemonade when she noticed that there was a cart that had obviously rolled across the parking lot and bumped into our car.

Here's the text of the conversation:
Mommy, why is that cart touching our car?

Because someone didn't put it away where they were supposed to and it rolled into our car.

Why didn't someone put it away where they were supposed to?

Well, they weren't very considerate of others and didn't think common courtesy rules applied to them.

(notices the cart is full of trash-- an empty cheese doodle bag, a target flier, an empty cup)

Mom-- that cart is full of garbage.

(referring to the trash)
Ma, uckdy. (translation from Nico-ese to English-- "Ma, yucky.")

Yes, it is yucky.

Why didn't they throw their trash in the garbage can?

Again, lack of common courtesy. Unfortunately, we live in a society where people think that the rules don't apply to them. They feel entitled to put their trash anywhere they want and then they want everyone else to clean up after them. That's a very selfish way to live and it's very inconsiderate. That is not the way that God wants us to act. Do you understand what I am saying?

Yup. (throws her straw on the ground) Mom, I am done with my straw.
I LOVE seeing how deep of an impact my words and application of "teachable moments" really impact my kids.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I don't usually take requests but...

I give you two links:

Monday, April 14, 2008

IMPORTANT Public Service Announcement!!!!

So I bought this bag of pistachios a few days ago.

I was eating some of them today when I noticed this warning:
Thank goodness I am not allergic to pistachios or I might not have known that my pistachios contained pistachios. Close call.

Consider yourself warned folks-- ignorance is NOT bliss.


I love 'em.

My kids are digging on their "new" bikes. And Nia likes to mention to others that her ballet teacher "bought" her a new and Nico new bikes. (As if she had bought the bikes just for them and her kids hadn't used and outgrown them first... :)And in case you are wondering, yes, Nia DID, in fact, end up with skinned knees that day. We've since purchased her and Nico some knee pads. Well, actually, that's sort of a lie. I bought a set of safety gear (knee pads and elbow pads) and told Nia that it was a 2 pack of knee pads-- the big ones were for her and the little ones were for Nico. I didn't think Nico really needed knee pads since he doesn't ride very fast, he's much lower to the ground, and he usually wears jeans. But again, perception. How does it look when I have my biological kid out there all "safety"ed up, and my adopted child with no gear on? Under MOST circumstances I don't care too awful much about how things appear to others, but we still have to pass one more homestudy and be approved by the court until Nico is ours "fair and square" in the US. :) I am not risking that over a set of knee (well, elbow) pads.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Movin' on up!

So, it's on. The move, that is. We found an apartment, we talked to a Realtor... it's happening.

We're actually moving in on May 10 and then getting things ready with the house and hope to have it on the market around the 20th.

We will be living here at Camden Lake Pine. (That's those apartments right on Lake Pine.) We're pumped because our building is right next to the smaller pool in the community. And it's definitely a step up from our first apartment in the ghetto. You may think the word "ghetto" is too strong a word for an apartment complex in Cary, but if you click on the link, you will notice it has a 0.0% approval rating. It was literally recommended by NONE of the people that participated in the survey. There were two shootings and a stabbing while we lived there. (Or was it two stabbings and a shooting? I can never remember... but you get the point.) And another reason I am pretty sure that I am not exaggerating is because they LITERALLY turned the club house into a Cary Police substation.

So, yeah. Garage sale is April 26. (Rain-date is the next Saturday.) If you want junk, we have it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

THAT mom... Josiah singing.

So, a lot of times I am making fun of my kids on here, so I figured it was okay if I bragged a little bit every now and then. Yes, I am THAT mom...

But come on... this is pretty amazing. Josiah is 10 months old and singing along with me to a Bigsby show song-- have a little look--

I can't imagine any possible way I could love this little soul more... Even though he's rubbing himself (arms, legs, face, hair) with his banana right now.

Two links

First, things are settling down in Haiti-- Mesi Jezi

Second, (and COMPLETELY unrelated) these are HILARIOUS

Happy Friday.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh. My. Gosh.

So since we have this move coming up I have been cleaning and organizing and purging the house of stuff. I decided to go through the outdoor utility closet the hot water heater is and it's also where we kept a bunch of gardening stuff. I noticed on the floor there was about 1/2 inch of this really light "sawdust" kind of material and I started freaking out and thinking we had termites. (Exactly what you want to find out when you're trying to sell your house, right?) Upon further investigation via the old reliable internet, it seemed that this kind of stuff was more likely to come from carpenter ants rather than termites as there was NO sign of termite damage.

We've had ants in that closet every spring and summer since we've owned the house, so an ant problem wouldn't surprise me. The articles I read said you have to find the source of the ants and destroy the colony if you wanted it to go away. The best way was to follow an ant trail as far back as you could. I saw a few ants, not a ton, in the closet and watched them. They were going into a small rusted hole in the bottom of the door. The metal on the outside of the door was kind of loose in one area so a I pulled it back and nearly jumped out of my skin with the willies.

I am pretty sure I found the colony. :)

BTW- DEFINITELY ants, not termites.

So, yeah, a new door is far cheaper than termite treatment, so I can deal with the expense.

My son... apparently very comfortable with his masculinity.

He squirreled away a permanent red marker and did this during his "nap."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Any Interest?

One of the things I struggle with most in life is asking for/accepting help. It's hard for me. And that was one of the things about Josiah's sickness that was good for me. I had no choice but to accept help. I had no other option.

So... it's obvious to me if my family is going to get to Haiti, we are going to need to ask for and accept help.

I am wanting to use this post gauge interest about a particular need of ours. I believe we are going to try to put our house on the market sometime mid to late May. We've lived in this house for five and a half years and we have three small kids, so... yeah, lots to do. We've been kind of hard on the house. We have to repaint everything inside, spruce up the outside as much as possible, get new carpet/linoleum, fix some broken things...

We've been asking around and seeing comes recommended as we think about hiring people to help us with a lot of these things.

But just this morning I got to thinking about all of the people who have told us that they are wanting to help us with this Haiti thing. And so I wanted to see if anyone was available to help with some of these things-- painting, scrubbing, etc.

I was thinking of Saturday, May 17th. The apartment we are looking at we'd probably be able to get in as early as May 10 or possibly May15. So, we'd be moved out before all of this would need to happen. (BTW-- any interest in helping us move?) :)

My ideal situation would be to assemble a team of people on that one day to paint and clean and fix minor things. So that all we'd have to get done after that is have the flooring put in. We would provide all the materials. Paint, brushes, cleaning supplies, etc. We'd also provide coffee/juice and bagels in the morning and pizza for lunch. I'd also try to coordinate childcare for my kids (and possibly yours!) that day somewhere off-site. (Perhaps at our new apartment if we are moved-in enough.)

Let me know if you are interested. I will let you know a date for sure probably after Friday as we're want to make a decision before the weekend.

Thanks for considering this.


I asked Nia to clean up the backyard, as all the outside toys were strewn about all willy nilly. This is what she did. And yeah, I know our lawn is pathetic-- we live in Apex, not Cary though, so I *think* that's okay.)
Nia's strategy on "cleaning up"is apparently similar to Nico's strategy on eating Raisin Bran.

BTW-- I am officially canning "Random Thought Thursdays" and perhaps "Twofer Tuesdays." I am feeling too much pressure having to blog specific things... and since blogging is my guilty pleasure, I want it to stay a pleasure...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pray for Haiti

Hey everyone...

Hard times in Haiti right now. Pray.

Twofer Tuesdays-- Pet Peeves, Worst Smells

My top 5 Pet Peeves:

5. Noisy eating- We had this deaf friend who would often come over for meals when I was an adolescent. I couldn't take it. I HAD to leave the room during spaghetti nights.
4. When people are habitually late. (Which makes me now one of my own pet peeves.)
3. The way dentists and mechanics are always telling you need something else fixed.
2. People who tailgate. (I swear I have post-traumatic stress disorder from an accident I had like 10 years ago. My husband will probably achieve sainthood for the MAJOR way I backseat drive.)
1. People who smoke right outside buildings so all the non-smokers have to walk through it. Nick and I have this passive-aggressive way to deal with these kinds of smokers. We always pretend that the smoking makes us break into a major coughing fit. And we obnoxiously wave our arms in front of our faces as if to clear the smoke. (That'll get 'em, right?) So, true story. Nia's had this asthma-like cough for some time now. They haven't officially diagnosed her with asthma because they have to hear wheezing at least 3 times before diagnosing asthma, but they are treating her for it. So we were at the mall over the weekend and we walked out into a haze of smoke from the 3-4 smokers congregating at the door. Nick and I put on our act and I chimed in VERY loudly with, "Nia, how is your ASTHMA feeling right now..." Which set her off to coughing too, because she has a touch of her mom's hypochondria, so any time anyone mentions her cough, she, of course, coughs with abandon.

My 5 Worst Smells

5. Nico's breath. Dude, I don't know what his deal is, but his breath is KICKIN'. I always sing the Dragon Tales theme song to him in the mornings with these lyric changes, "Dragon breath, dragon breath, Nico's got dragon breath."
4. My lactose-intolerant brother-in-law Jon after he's had ice cream. To quote Jon's own description, "It smells like a dead cat rotting in a pit of sulfur."
3. Strom's fish breath even though he doesn't eat fish. Blech.
2. Rotting potatoes. Man, that will STINK up a kitchen.
1. Changing the bag of a diaper pail. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth just thing about that.

Piano (I believe) is taken.

Holy smokes. You are all over free stuff.

Well stay posted, because more will likely be on the way.

The news on the piano.

I have one person coming to look at it in the AM.
I have two back up people if that doesn't work out.

And then I have 10 people I told that it was already taken.

So... sorry to disappoint you guys.

Free Piano!

The piano is something we cannot take with us.

It's not the greatest piano ever, but it would be fine for a child learning to play. It hasn't been tuned in 2 years-- so it would need to be tuned.

If you want it, it's free. But you'd have to move it-- we don't have a truck or anything...

It's going on Craigslist, so let us know if you want it asap...

Edited to Add: The bench comes with it (opens for storage of music.)
The dog doesn't come with it. However, the dog is something we cannot take with us either. He's a purebred pug. 7 years old and aside from an affinity for licking, a pretty decent dog. So... keep it in the back of your mind if you'd like a dog... we can take him to the apartment, but not to Haiti. :( Okay, I am going to cry now.

Monday, April 7, 2008

You can't take it with you...

In an effort to de-clutter our lives so we can move into an apartment, so we can move to Haiti, I have spent the last 2.5 hours kid-free (well, Josiah's sleeping upstairs, but that's basically kid-free because the bigs are gone) and trashing my house. By trashing I mean-- THROWING AWAY ALL THE CRAP! I had countless bottles of half used shampoo and lotion and soap and.... it was ridiculous. My sister Gretchen said, "Marry them together and you'll have lots of shampoo with out the clutter." (remember, this is a woman who makes her own laundry soap.) Well, no. I threw them out. I needed to. I threw out about 5 whole garbage bags of stuff. My kids Halloween candy from 2006. Their Easter candy from 2006 and 2007 and 2008. It was all sitting in a big basket atop my fridge. GROSS! Gone! And my window treatments (if you can call them that-- purchased at Kmart like 5 years ago-- they were ugly THEN.) I just ripped them down and threw them away. I know I could have given them to Goodwill but I guarentee you, nobody wants these dusty outdated things. Feels SO good.

I have also started to cull things from my home and put them into my shed for our giant garage sale either the end of April/beginning of May. This is just the first layer of stuff to go. But LOTS of stuff none the less. Toys and clothes the kids are out of. Clothes I am too fat for. It's going. Lots of nicknacky stuff... because this is all stuff we can't take with us.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post and why I am sitting here blogging when I have NO kid responsibility right now. I am feeling LOTS of guilt... LOTS. I am putting things into the garage sale pile that I really love and that people who love me and love my kids gave to us. I really, really don't want to offend anyone if they show up at the yard sale. So I implore you, PLEASE, PLEASE understand that it's not that I don't like this stuff, it's that I can't take it with me. To that end, PLEASE let me know if you've given us something of great sentimental value to you that you would like to have back. PLEASE let us know if we have something of yours that we don't realize we even have. I would hate to sell/Goodwill these things and then cause a rift.

Now, there are some things that we can't bring with us that we're not going to sell... like our china dishes, like the watch Nick's dad got when he retired after 30 years... we will be storing some of these "precious" things-- it's not that we're going to chunk everything. We just need to start culling.

So with that-- I ask for your grace and your honesty. Let us know... okay?

Taxes and thankfulness

Yesterday Nick and I did the taxes.

Now for most of you reading this-- that isn't too much a big deal. However, when you are self-employed, adopted a child (but not really according to the government), had a child born with great medical needs/bills... they get pretty complicated and to be kind of a big deal. Especially when you throw in the absolute ridiculousness of our "filing" system. (Throw it all in a big drawer and sort it out at tax time.)

However, I have been doing a lot of griping lately. About a lot of things-- not just taxes. (Although those were the main gripes yesterday.) However, inspired by a recent blog post by Nick's friend and accountability partner, Justin, I am trying my darndest to look at things in a positive light.

So here's what I am thankful for:

- Even though we paid over $12,000 out of pocket last year for medical expenses, I am really, really thankful we are all healthy. I am especially thankful Josiah and his heart is beating normally.

- Even though we ended up owing another $2,000 OVER the estimated payments (it's that rascally self-employment tax!) we already made, I thankful and glad we had that money in our savings account and we can just be done with 2007 taxes.

- Even though we couldn't claim the Adoption Tax Credit this year that we thought we be able to (because we have to re-adopt Nico in the US first which will probably eat up 1/4 of that money anyway,) I am SO thankful Nico is here. Even if we never see the tax credit. And I truly mean that.

-I am thankful we are getting $2,100 in economic stimulus money. This will help us pay off the tooth. (Up to this point anyway-- we're hoping for another $1,900 in economic stimulus money in the next few months... :)

God's faithfulness to us is so much greater than we can understand. And I really think that far, far too often, I am not thankful for that. It's all about how you look at things...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Well, I didn't go to bed.

I am going to, I promise. But since the last post was so long and serious and I am still awake, I thought I'd lighten to mood just a little.

So I was looking at the Feed Burner statistics for my blog. The reason I did this is because Nick said that the ticker wasn't counting when someone read it via RSS Feed. (Whatever the heck that is! I mean, I know what it is, I just don't know what RSS really means. And really, unless you're Nick Mangine and a total geek like that, you probably don't either.)

A few noteworthy things:
- Since December 13, I have had 9,948 hits. I don't know if THIS number includes feed readers or not. (I will ask Nick and report back to you. But not till like tomorrow or something since he's resting up from the old "procedure." Which, by the way, I think that either he's having more pain than normal-- not to dissuade any of you gentlemen considering it-- or he's milking it for all he can get.) Now, that's not like a billion hits or anything, but still, that makes me feel all happy inside. I WISH I had data on individual users, because that might just be my sister hitting refresh a bunch to make me feel good.
- My highest day ever was actually last Friday with 338 views. (Can I get a woot woot?)
- One of the features is that you can view the search terms people typed in to find a specific blog post. My two favorite were "Lightweight Stroller for sale $7" and "diaper + go in your pants." You all are WEIRD!

Okay, I am REALLY going to go to bed after this, but I have to show a few pictures of Nico because he seriously cracks me up...

The other day we had some other kids over for a play date and the kids were playing dress up. Once I convinced Nico to take off the dress (I know, I know... I should let him play with whatever he wants to... blah, blah, blah-- do it that way with your kids and let me know how it turns out) he chose the pirate costume. Here he is being all tough. He wanted to make sure his pirate tatoo showed.

Then he was a cowboy. However, I made him put a t-shirt on because I thought he looked like he was a stripper, or at the very best, Sheriff Bart from Blazing Saddles.

That's better. Now he just looks like a kid. A kid who might benefit from some Ritalin, but a kid nonetheless.

Okay, this one might not be funny to anyone who hasn't been to Haiti, so I will give a short (yeah right) back story. Clothing that isn't good enough for the Goodwill stores ends up in these huge containers and is sold to 3rd world countries by the pound. Nice, huh?... we don't want this crap, but let's send it off to the poor people... Arrrghhh. Plus, you know, people are always donating things and individual missions collect things, etc. The funny thing about Haiti (and other places like it, I'm sure) is that most times, people don't have any idea what the shirt says. You'll see a lot of 5K shirts and the like. Nick and I actually posed with a kid in Basin Bleu wearing a NC State Fair t-shirt. And then there was this probably 17 year old boy wearing a "PLAYGIRL: Get er done" shirt. Awesome. So it's a fun little game for some people to notice all the funny shirts people in Haiti wear, unknowingly. Tonight I told the bigs (Nia and Nico) to go upstairs and put their pj's on. Nia came down with pajamas, but she couldn't find any for Nico, so she went and got one of Nick's T-shirts for Nico to sleep in. I thought it was funny the one she chose... In true Haitian style!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

So here's the deal-

The Haiti move.

The kids are in bed. Nick is in bed. I SHOULD be in bed, or perhaps doing the mound of dishes in my sink, BUT... I am just enjoying a few moments of peace and I can't make myself do either of those things right now.

As many of you know (and we certainly don't hide) our family loves Haiti. When we started Nico's adoption we started praying that God would forge a lasting connection between our family and Nico's birth country so that that he could truly know and understand his heritage. And not only him, but we felt like it was important for our other kids to know that too, since their brother is Haitian.

The connection with the Haitian Children's Home just sort of dropped into our laps. It's a long and not very interesting story. But almost 2 years ago we visited the Pye family and HCH for the first time. We LOVED the family model of the home and just knew that this was the connection for our family to Haiti. Shortly after returning home from that trip, we decided to come on board with the HCH and help from a stateside perspective. We thought that was what God had for us. But the more we thought and prayed about Haiti, the more we felt like God was wanting something different for us. We felt pulled to pursue what it would be like to move our family down there and to partner with HCH in opening a second family home. As you may also know, back in October + November we took our whole family for a visit. My kids just bloomed there-- especially Nia. The first few days Nico wasn't super sure of it all (remember, he'd only been with us a few months at that point) but by day 3, he was good with it. It was beautiful to see and learn things about him that are inherently Haitian. So amazing-- I want that kind of experience for ALL international adoptive families. But I digress...

Well, we got caught for a few extra days in Tropical Storm Noel. We saw a lot of hardship and tragedy in the area. But we also saw the resilient spirit of the people, and we just really began to believe that this move was something God had in mind for us.

So, here's the plan. (Ha!) There really isn't a plan. We're waiting on God for some big things-- like over a half a million dollars. :) We have our sights set on a beautiful piece of land just outside of Jacmel. It's nearly 17 acres and is a place where HCH can expand and grow. With this land we'd have enough room for at least 8 family homes. A church/community center. An 800 person school. A medical clinic. A tradeschool. And, of course, a kickin' soccer field.
We have some really solid leads with people who are wanting to drive this capital project and make this happen. And we believe that it could happen soon. So, we're in the process of transitioning out of stateside efforts, and into planning this move.

Our first step is to become 100% debt free. That will, obviously, mean selling our home. From an American standpoint, we don't really have too much debt. But we (obviously) cannot move to Haiti with debt. So, we've started looking at apartments. It's a practical thing mostly. I just don't see how we can sell our (small) home while we are living here. We have three kids. They are pretty messy. And we just feel like we can relax a little bit and not have to constantly get out of the house at a moment's notice. Especially since we will be starting homeschooling this summer. And with Josiah still on 2 naps a day... well, you get it. Most homes in our neighborhood have sold within 30-60 days. We're at a REALLY attractive price point being that we have a small "starter" house well under $200K. We can actually get a BIGGER apartment for about the same or maybe even less than what we are paying for our mortgage now. It might mean a couple of months with double payments, but it will just be SO much easier this way.

To anticipate your questions-- we don't know when the move to Haiti will happen. Well, we're hoping within a year. And what if it all falls through? Well, we really believe this is going to be a go. We believe that so much that we feel like we have to make some movements in faith to that end. And hey, if something major happens and it doesn't work out, well, no harm done really. We'll be 100% debt-free and looking to buy a house during a REALLY good time to buy a house. :)

I could go on and on about all the things we are/have to work on before the move, but let me get to the good part.

So what, exactly, will we be doing there? The first 6 months will be language training and shadowing. We'll make connections, learn the language, build our home, acquire and train staff... After about 6 months we will begin taking approximately 20 orphaned and abandoned children into our home. All children will likely be over the age of 6. We will live as a very large family. We'll likely have 3 nannies that will oversee many of the children's basic needs-- preparing meals, washing clothing, etc. Nick and I will have the job of "Dad and Mom." This is a long-term commitment and we plan to be with these specific kids through their schooling and then send them out into their community to make a positive difference.

Now, obviously, this is not something Nick and I can do on our own. We are going to need LOTS of people to partner with us. We will have child sponsorships opening up, we will need people to come along side of us to support our family financially and in other practical ways. We want to give these children not just the basic necessities to keep them alive, but we want to show them the lavish love of Jesus.

Haiti is a place where there isn't a lot of good news. In fact, MOST of the news is bad. It is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Hunger and severe poverty is the norm. Unemployment is about 75%. 15% of children in Haiti are orphaned or abandoned. At least 7% of children become child slaves. At least 10% of children die before the age of 4. It's bad news. But here's the thing-- I truly, deep down believe that the message of God's love for us is good news. But we can't just go around telling everyone that God is all about good news. Especially in a place where there isn't any good news. We need to share Jesus with people by truly sharing good news.

We have these dreams that we believe God planted in our hearts of a town revitalized with hope. People will see families being created and they will see the redemptive love of Jesus-- they will see God buying back their story and rewriting it. People will see a school that serves the poor or a trade school in a largely unschooled area-- and they will see the God of hope painting them a new future where there once was only hopelessness. People who have NO access to medical care will have now have access to doctors, nurses and medication, so they will stop dying from ridiculous things like diarrhea- and they will see the good news of the God who heals. We see nook on the corner of the property on the main road where we can have a reverse osmosis facility and where we can provide people clean drinking water so parasites don't ravage their bodies-- and we believe they will come to see Jesus as the living water.

We believe that God's "plan to prosper us and not harm us, to give us a hope and a future" doesn't just apply to us because we happened to win the lottery with where we were born. We want to be a part of practically carrying out some of those plans. We've already seen amazing stories of redemption-- I could tell story upon story. I could let you know details about every single child living at the HCH. Children who didn't used to have assurance of making it through the day. Kids who were slaves and living on the street. And now they aren't. They aren't "slaves," or "orphans," or "prostitutes." They are children. They have a safe place to fall. (And they often do.) They can learn and grow and thrive in a family. They can get all giddy because they know there will be a party for them on their birthday. They can struggle in school and get held back and not be beaten or taken out of school for "wasting money." They can have nice clothing that belongs JUST to them.

Now, I want to make one thing clear-- our goal is not to Americanize these kids. And when I talk about the lavish love of Jesus we want to share, it has very little to do with money. In fact, if you read the child sponsorship info, you'll see that it takes about $160 a month to care for the needs of one of our children each month. That's it. That's food. That's water. That's school. That's the nannies. That's clothing. That's electricity (when it's available, which it hasn't been lately). We're not spoiling these kids. We're affording them the opportunity to be kids. While I am sure it's inevitable that some American values/tendencies will rub off on them simply because we're Americans, that's not the goal and frankly, not what we want. We hire Haitians. Creole is spoken exclusively in the homes. The nannies are all Haitian. Their teachers/tutors are Haitian. Their church is Haitian... The goal is to help enable these children to help their people.

Okay, I have to wrap this up because it is LATE, this has become rather wordy, and I am tired. But one last thing. We've had some people question us in regards to us moving our family (particularly our children) to Haiti. People ask us all the time if this is "safe." Well, hmmm. That's a hard thing to answer because really, since the whole Garden of Eden debacle, the WORLD isn't safe. Yes, bringing our children into a 3rd world culture does present some risks. However, as Nick and I have wrestled through this, we believe firmly that there are risks to raising children anywhere. I look around me and I see children who want for nothing. Honestly, I would rather my children be exposed to children who want for everything than want for nothing. I look around me and I see a spirit of independence to a fault... no one relies on one another anymore. We don't need to share a ride to work because we all have our own car. Or two. Or three. We don't ask for help because we're too prideful. As far as I've seen-- that's not a part of Haitian culture. People ask for help all the time. And they share. And they look out for each other.

I honestly could go on and on. But I guess all this is to say that we have counted the cost. There are a lot of people and a lot of things (read: HOT BATHS!) that I am really going to miss. I get a little pang every time I see Nia all dressed up for ballet-- she LOVES it. And that's something that she won't have access to. I get a little pang when I think about Josiah not playing football, or Nico not running track (dude, he's FAST!) I think about how it's going to feel to be far from our families. And I get a really giant pang when I think about being so far from our church.

But even with all the "losses" we still feel like this is where God wants us. It's hard to explain-- it's just something we feel certain of. I will be blogging more about this in the weeks to come...

I am off to bed...

Friday, April 4, 2008

The new Mangine family business?

We are thinking of starting a pharmacy. All of these (twenty) prescription and OTC medications were purchased in the past 2 weeks. This doesn't include Josiah's most recent antibiotic, or the valium, antibiotics + pain meds (times 2!) for my dental surgery that we got in the past month. Or the Wellbutrin antidepressant that didn't work for me. (That's 6 more.)

So-- yeah, 26 medications + 18 medical appointments this past month. No wonder $ has been tight.

PS-- The neti pot is Nick's new boyfriend. He's had allergies/asthma/recurring sinus infections his whole life. He tried it the first time the other day when he was really sick and now proclaims a changed life.

Just in case you were curious.

So being friends with a lot of people in my age/stage of life bracket, the "V" conversation comes up often. Who's had one? Who's getting one? Whose husband is too wussy to do HIS part to contribute to their marriage after his wife has birthed all the babies to get one?

I know this is a big decision. And I know people sometimes feel not so sure about how they will feel about it should they decide to take this plunge. So, for all of you, I wanted to share a few of the visuals from a um, swell? pamphlet Nick's urologist gave us during his pre-op visit. It doesn't deal so much with the procedure itself, but is a good story in images... I am not sharing any of the graphic ones, so don't worry.

It's funny, as soon as I saw this piece of literature I couldn't believe how much the people on the front cover looked like "Fun and Carefree" Nick and Gwenn Mangine. I always wear my sweater like she does.

You think?

Unless of course your name is Nick Mangine. Then you won't actually ask any questions because you don't want to know the answers. Nick claims that at his consultation his doctor's opening introduction was, "So, ready to get neutered?" After that Nick just nodded and pretended to listen.

That, and have your wife serve you apple slices.

After you recover, you and your beautiful family can put on your "sporty" parkas and enjoy life.
(Although I am not actually sure that's the scenario. I say that because the woman in this picture looks an awful lot like the woman in the previous picture. No other likenesses are duplicated in this 10 page brochure. So here's MY best bet as to what happened. The husband had the "V" and then the wife changed her mind and wanted some more kids. Knowing that the reversal surgery is not successful a large percentage of the time, the husband refused. So, the wife got a new hairdo and a new man... Just a guess.)

And now a real photo-- Nick enjoying his feet up. It's not apple slices, but Boston Market meatloaf was Nick's choice. Look folks, there aren't any roller coasters in the background, but Nick is smiling (although that WAS before the local wore off)... and excuse the horrifically clashing attire.

(And FYI-- I do have Nick's permission to post all this...)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Random Thought Thursday

Well, I haven't had any time to gather together my thoughts for Random Thought Thursday, so today will be short... I should have more time tomorrow...

RT 1- My nephew Micah is a lizard. Check out his new tic...

Rt 2- My friend Deena and I took our kids to the Science Museum downtown today. They don't let you eat in their cafe area (just a bunch of tables, cafeteria style) unless you buy their not-so-great, ridiculously-priced food. So we brought lunch and found a little nook on the second floor and fed the kids very discreetly. Deena said to me, "You know we are getting old when rule-breaking means bringing your own food into the free museum."

RT 3- So, I have posted about this blog before but a lot of you were asking for the link again... This is the family from the Outer Banks where the wife has Cystic Fibrosis and just had an itty bitty teeny tiny preemie. She had a double lung transplant last night... Anyway, their story has been in the newspaper recently and on the evening news as well. It's quite a story.

RT 4- If you think of it, Say a little prayer for Nick tomorrow. He has a "procedure" tomorrow and Is hoping for NONE of the Possible side effects! :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Some pics of me through time...

Since my mom made an awesome slideshow of pics of me through my life on her myspace page-- I thought I would include a few-- dates are estimated.

April 1977
The "Monkey Child" is born

The bad bang trim Christmas photo.
December 1980

Nia-looking Gwenn.
December 1983

Teen Angst.
June 1990?

Senior Portrait.
June 1995

Nick and I, engaged.
June 1999

Nick and I, married. (I know, I need to get better digital pics of that.)
October 2000

Nia is born.
July 2003

The thin years.
April 2006

Pregnant with Josiah.
April 2007

Today. The diet starts tomorrow.
April 2008