Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Be prepared!

Tonight we are packing for camp! While this camp is only 4 days long, Admiral Byrd did not pack nearly as much for expeditions to the South Pole, I am sure.

I've decided packing for camp is the precursor, or the required course for other of life's adventures.

There is a fairly new organization in the area that specializes in services for children who are adopted and their families. So I cut and paste their description here:

Here you’ll find a wide range of services designed to meet the unique needs of families with adopted children. Staffed by adoption specialists, we offer 1 and 2-day workshops with separate programming for parents and children to enhance your understanding of and relationship with your child.

It's called My Tree House and we have only done one of their events so far, where the girls initially dragged their feet and begged and pleaded not to go, but came out so excited over the experience and the insight they had gained about themselves.

The second program they had was the same day as my big huge tea party and both girls asked if they could go to the tree house program instead of my party! That tells you how great this group is!

When I received the first notice about the camp, I had Gillian and Darcey here and while they would have all benefited from the program, I wasn't sure their daddy would approve, so I did not pursue it.

At the same time I began reading a fantastic book, "The Lucky Girl", written by Mei Ling Hopgood. Mei Ling was adopted as a baby and then as an adult was contacted by her birth family. She chose to meet them and have a relationship with them and as the meetings and years progressed, learned more and more about her birth family, and details they did not want her to know.

To me, I appreciated that someone could experience all that she did and recognize that was just a part of her, but did not make her who she was, that was her on conscious decision to make. She had great parents and two wonderful brothers, who were adopted from Korea, and had a strong sense of identity and purpose instilled from an early age.

I think that is what all adoptive parents wish for their children, that we can provide a strong, stable environment full of love, education, discipline, church, and family, so no matter what happens in the future, our children can make good decisions. It's probably what all parents want, but for adoptive parents, it has its own set of complications.

So after reading that and after the three of us had some time to spend together, I realized that I should take advantage of opportunities to help my daughters any way I can.

The people at My Tree House were so nice and bent the rules and let us register at the last minute and so tonight, after 10001 loads of laundry, my girls might be packed for their 4 day adventure.

This will be the very first time ever for me not to be able to communicate in some way with them. No phones, no MP3s, no video games. Wow! I hope they don't get as homesick as I always did and as I am feeling right now! When they were gone to Lisa's for that week, the first day, Grace and I texted or called every hour! By the end of the week, I think Grace had set my number as a do not answer number!!! Just kidding!

Of course for me, while they were gone, it was not the means to all ends, where I would suddenly clean out my refrigerator, change my air filter, organize the garage, find the mates to my lost socks. It took me until the last day to even feel that I could take a breath!

This time, I have much more realistic ideas of what I can and cannot accomplish. I just hope I remember to feed the dogs!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Me and Winnie the Pooh

While growing up, I loved to read the Dallas Times Herald.

It was the evening edition and delivered every afternoon just prior to Dad returning from work. When he finished it, I loved to read the really important parts like the horoscope, the word jumble, the comics, and the biorhythm chart. You were supposed to be able to plot your physical, intellectual, as well as emotional cycles on this chart, which as a teenager, I needed all the help I could get.

When the Times Herald quit publication, all the really good parts were absorbed into the Dallas Morning News, except the biorhythms! Obviously they did not know they left out the best part!

Lately I could have guessed my biorhythms were off, IF I believed in things like that! Before I started writing this, I googled biorhythms and inserted my birthday to see if the universe agreed that I was in the doldrums. I must say, according to their chart, I have hit an all time low on ALL THREE!

OK, so I don't believe any of it, but wanted some excuse for how I have been feeling. I have had a cold that I cannot seem to get rid of. I feel like the kid who always needs a tissue, whose eyes are a little crusty, and whose head is full of fluff. Nothing I take seems to stop it and most medicines that might provide any relief make you sleep.

This would be fine, but there is a little something I have to go to five days a week, called work and work has been, well I don't want to exaggerate, but it has been torturous, so I need to be on my best game, but instead feel like a sloth. Or maybe that giant sea creature that lives in the water around Florida, whose name I should know but when thinking with a brain of fluff, can't remember!

Usually I can respond quickly to any decision that needs to be made, yes, no, over there, day after tomorrow, we'll do it in August, order six of them, call him back after lunch, e=mc2, i before e except after c! And when all else fails, I excuse myself for a quick trip to my phone booth (which says restroom on the door, but if you need to change into your super hero outfit, it should be a phone booth) and can come back in with brilliance that even awes my sister, Lisa. OK, I am kidding, but you get the point. But for the last few weeks instead I am laboring under each and every decision, (I'll have water, no tea, no coffee, no juice, no water, yes ice, no make it hot, no, add lemon), doubting my gut instincts on things, and flailing as the leader, not failing, but really flailing, and unable to find a path to lead my troops through.

First I felt like the summer had just been much more than I anticipated with my nieces and our musical guest from HE double hockey sticks and the heat, but then I decided I came into the summer exhausted from the community garden and all the activities for the girls, especially with the long drive, several times a day.

So all of this is leading up to a point.

Normally I don't use my blog to have a pity party, but wanted to set the stage properly and trust me, I am on a roll for this party of pity for one!

For some reason, I go to the same doctor that my parents do. He specializes in older adults, so maybe I thought I would be there from the beginning! Get to know him before I can't remember his name. I don't know. But he has become so popular, you even have to leave a message to try to make an appointment and then they only call you back when you are in your phone booth/restroom or trying to have "THE" talk with your daughter, or catching a flea on your dog! NEVER when it is convenient for you!

When it came time to refill my asthma medications, I was told I MUST come for a physical, as it had been several years. Yikes! OK, so after several times of playing phone tag, I set up an appointment, but completely forget to get the blood work done so I had to play phone tag again to reschedule it. With my insurance, I have to go to a clinic for blood work, and with all that is going on at work, just do not seem to remember until after drinking that first sip of a triple tall Americana, with a little cream, that seems to be the only thing that can cure the fluff out of my brain for a short amount of time. And those people who take your blood are really picky about your drinking a heavily caffeinated beverage with cream and sweet and low in it! Go figure!

So I called his office and explained I did not have the blood work done, but really was sick and tired of being sick and tired and they agreed to let me come during the time my physical was supposed to be, even though basically that was against the rules, but would not let me have the physical and I could only discuss my "ailments". Honest to gosh, that is what she told me.

Now anyone who has ever worked with or for me knows that if something is to exist, it must be on my outlook calendar. I cannot guarantee I will remember anything that is not on there. I dutifully put my doctor's appointment on it, checked several times that I knew the correct day and time, even opened it today to ensure what time I was to be there, and set the reminder.

As I was digging through a stack on my desk, the phone rang and it was a woman with whom Mom and Dad have been participating in an Alzheimer's study for years. No, even though they are nutty, they do not have Alzheimer's, but because many of their family members have, they are of great interest to those doing research. Once a year they go through a battery of tests and then I am called and interviewed to insure they haven't tricked the system. I knew Kristen had tried to reach me several times and I was watching the clock and saw that I could answer what she needed and still make it to the doctor in plenty of time. When we hung up, I ran to the doctor's office, where on the way I was stopped a couple of times by people needing directions, but I had my list of "ailments"  in hand so I would not forget anything, and slid into home base, his office.

The girl at the desk asked me my name.

I told her. I thought it might be confusing because Dad had been in there earlier.

She told me I was late and I apologized, as I did end up a few minutes late.

She said my appointment was 15 minutes earlier.

No, I promise it was not. I am only 5 minutes late.

No, it was 15 minutes ago.

OK, well, I am here now, so ....

Well you are 15 minutes LATE!

For some reason I became quite the toddler, or is it a teen, and argued back, NO I AM ONLY 5 MINUTES LATE.

This is a doctor for whom I have waited, no kidding, up to TWO HOURS to see! So I did not feel too badly for being 5 minutes late, which I pointed out to her.

She told me to have a seat and she would have to talk to the nurse.

After a considerable wait, she told me that I would be put at the end of ALL his patients and could see him ONLY after he finished seeing everyone else that might come in that was the best they could do under the circumstances because I WAS 15 MINUTES LATE!!!!!

I am standing there with a head so full of fluff that I feel like Winnie the Pooh, my elbows hurt, where I think I have had shingles for a couple of weeks, my knee feels like a nail is being poked into it, and I cannot raise my arm without some really serious pain, and she is reprimanding me for being late and that was the best she could do or I could reschedule and then the office manager jumps up and chimes in that I was late and I would JUST HAVE To wait because it is my fault and not theirs and I should have known I was 15 minutes late because I had an appointment that was supposed to be a physical, which they do at 15 after the hour, not half past the hour blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.....

By this time, the tears have welled up in my eyes, and I begin to exit before I lose my last shred of dignity from my berating, at which time they quickly begin to back paddle ( or is it pedal?) and say they might can work something out.....

For a brief second, I considered putting my tail between my legs, begging for forgiveness in my gross neglect and oversight, and pleading for the chance to see the much revered doctor, but instead opted for a very small shred of dignity, with the painful elbows, knee, and shoulder and the head full of fluff and left.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm the mother of a teenager!

This is our summer of lots of important celebrations.

On June 29, Mom and Dad celebrated 60 years of marriage. I meant to write a long story about their lives but got a little distracted with my own.

Then Mom had her 80th birthday last Sunday. Again, I meant to write a lovely story about my wonderful mother, but life kept getting in the way.

Somewhere during this summer both my siblings celebrate 30 years of marriage.

Then Gillian had her 13th birthday on Thursday, but they were not here so we did not get to celebrate together.

BUT TODAY was Annabel's 13th birthday! I have to write about that!

On Facebook I mentioned that it was just her second time to ever celebrate her birthday. Actually we did a small one her first year here but it was so traumatic and she was in no mood to try to understand what we were doing, so it is hard to count that one.

When I was adopting Grace, there was a long period where I knew I was approved to adopt her and I was able to send packages and talk openly about the fact she was my daughter and I was going to adopt her.

For Annabel, my decision to adopt was made a LONG time before I finally was given approval to adopt and at almost the exact same time, I was also told I would be traveling within 2 weeks, so there was no time to send packages.

On her birthday in 2008, we were in our final stages of packing and trying to make sure we were ready to go!

So back to her birthday.

In China, you are considered to be one year old when you are born, but everyone actually celebrates and changes their age at Chinese New Year's. There are not usually individual celebrations for those following the old ways.

BUT you especially don't celebrate your birthday when there is no one to provide the celebration!

There is a group that will send a birthday cake to your child waiting in the orphanage for their birthday. I think that is so funny because the child has no idea or concept of what the cake is, as there really aren't desserts in China, but also what the celebration would be for.

I guess parents do it was much for themselves as their child, especially since most of the children I have seen with the cakes are toddler age.

I was always told that the orphanage director where Grace and Annabel were did not like having anything that would cause attention focused on just one child. Quite a good socialist concept, but not realistic in the US.

Last year, with Annabel still struggling with even basic English, she proclaimed she wanted to go swimming and go down a big slide for her birthday. I combined the two and rented a giant slip and slide to celebrate both Gillian and Annabel's party and they all spent the day in swimsuits in our driveway.

This year, she just wanted to eat at her favorite Chinese restaurant and at CiCi's pizza. Anything more than that would be gravy.

So we went to her favorite Chinese restaurant and I even let both order two packages EACH of spicy seaweed to bring home and some of their favorite dried meat buns. Makes your mouth water! OK, I am one of the few mothers of Chinese girls that will admit I really do not like Chinese food and some of their favorites make me gag! At least they have not asked to order chicken feet to go lately!

We went to the bakery for cupcakes, where she would only pick out her grandparents favorite flavors!

Since most of her wish list was sporting goods, we also went into a sporting goods store. She thought she had died and gone to heaven and quickly decided that was her new favorite place to shop. Only Grace knew I had already bought everything and was just checking to make sure I got the right sizes.

Mom has trained me well to wrap each thing in its own package so it looks like a ton of gifts and she started out squealing before she could even open one. Only Mom and Dad had new wrapping paper and ours looked incredibly like Christmas paper turned wrong side out!

She squealed and clapped and screamed and cheered over each and every item! Mom and Dad had bought her clothes she had picked out from a catalog and I managed to get the baseball bat and glove, as well as a tennis racket and balls for her.

We have wonderful people from church who have kept our mailbox full of birthday cards this week and some even slip in some money!

We ended our day of celebrations at CiCi's Pizza as wished for and I think she had a pretty good day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summertime baseball

Ahhh, the lazy days of summer! NOT!

Between work and home, I feel I am constantly running this summer. It is after midnight and I have to be at a Medicare conference early, but still quite sticky and sweaty from our fun time tonight.

There are all these online coupon programs, like http://www.groupon.com/ and http://www.seizethedeal.com/ that have a variety of things that you can purchase around Dallas at a deeply discounted rate. Usually they are restaurants, spa services, and some entertainment.

They have come in very handy for places I knew we would enjoy going and being to do it at half the price, it only makes sense to give them a try! Especially when you are trying to make your income cover for 5 rather than 3.

I had completely forgotten about buying one for the minor league baseball team, the Grand Prairie Air Hogs, but was looking on line today and found my coupon for 4 box seats for only $15. There is usually a catch and this one required it being used on a Sunday through Thursday game and when I checked, there was a game tonight.

Annabel loves all sports, especially basketball, volleyball, and she has recently added baseball to her favorites, so this had seemed like a great deal at the time, only looking at their schedule, I was concerned that we needed to do it quickly or lose our chance to go.

When I mentioned it to the girls, they were reluctant at first, as Poppa had told them we would go to CiCi's, but when I convinced them that it would be OK, they got really excited at the thought of "box" seats!

"Box" seats are not quite what you would expect, but for a ball park that holds 5500 and expected attendance was less than 2200, we got amazing seats right behind home plate.

Immediately I was bombarded with questions about the game and strained my memory on how to answer most.

Annabel and I really enjoyed the game. Grace and Gillian preferred sitting and talking and Darcey wasn't sure which group to go with.

Annabel saw an usher give a boy a baseball and when she saw all the foul balls, she was determined to get one. She finally talked me into going to a better place to catch a ball and marched herself straight to the bull pen and just asked if she could have one. I was quite surprised at her!

A man sitting close by got onto her for bothering the bull pen and an usher interceded and put us in seats right behind the players. Pretty soon, the ball boy throw or rather rolled a ball across the top of the bull pen and straight into her lap! She was so excited! We kept hoping for a foul ball, but in the meantime, Darcey caught a t shirt and pretty soon another ball came rolling across the top of the bull pen to Darcey.

By the end of the game, the local team was soundly beaten, but we ended up with 3 balls, 2 of which Annabel took back to the players and got autographed! I think baseball has a new fan!

Truly my LAST garage sale, I hope!

Texas is known for their especially hot summers.

June started out hot and my garden and the vegetables gave up very quickly.

Instead of getting any better, July is usually worse, many years setting higher records than the year before! Somehow this July has had its moments though and when we woke up Saturday morning, it was actually raining.

Yippee! No garage sale! It is raining!

That's what I thought and I turned over and went back to sleep.

Only my darling niece Gillian is so much like her mother that it is just plain scary and once I had said garage sale, her genes kicked in and there was no talking her out of that garage sale. My sister Jana had garage sales often. When she was trying to make it on her own with her 2 girls, she was willing to sell anything to ensure they had everything they needed. At one sale she fell before it even started and ended up with a sprained ankle and still insisted on doing it. Thankfully Marcie and Drew talked her into going to the ER and I did her sale, but she was willing to get a cane, a crutch, or even a chair and keep selling! Gillian is so much like her!

We had spent the evening before pricing everything, which is not the way I usually do it, but all 4 girls needed something to do and Gillian and Annabel were amazingly accurate on what I thought the price should be on most things. Only they got a little carried away and some things I did not mean to sell ended up in the sale!

We got a late start, since I tried desperately to talk them out of it, but we all worked together to get things out of the house as quickly as we could and immediately people started stopping. Our goal was to raise enough money to do a fun activity this summer together and hopefully put a little spending money in their pockets too. But with the rain, I really did not expect to make $20.

Marcie soon joined us with some of her "treasures" and the time passed quickly.

Gillian was the born negotiator standing firm on prices as needed, but compromising on others. She helped count up how much someone owed and suggested additional items.for them to buy.

Annabel was pretty much the carnival barker and if I had given her a flag, would have been waving down traffic to get them to stop and look.

Grace was in charge of the money and chose to sit on the porch as far removed from the confusion as possible.

Darcey was there as back up and ready to bag things up for the big sales.

I truly hate doing a garage sale and each time I avow, affirm, aver, all of those that I will NEVER do another one, but this had to be the least worst one and it was all because of us working together and making it fun. We also stopped before it got too tiring but ended up with enough that each girl got $25, which Gillian spent that afternoon, and enough for us to do an activity together.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Home, Safe and Sound!

Hopefully tonight I can sleep better since my girls are finally home! Plus it is kind of rainy, which is really weird for Texas in July. Plus I am exhausted!

Last night when I talked to the girls I asked if they were ready to come home. Grace did not answer. When I pressed she said that she had had fun, translation, I really am having a good time here, do I have to come home?

Annabel, ever the diplomat, who told me I had had her for a year and it was time for me to share, said when asked the same question, sort of, kind of, maybe, yes, no, you know.

I'm glad they all had a good time.

Lisa remarked on how well behaved they all are, but the mentally it was very difficult! They all ask questions at once, yet none listen to the answers, and if you answer one question, then the next will ask the same question!

Plus if you are trying to pay for something or even look at something in a store, I don't know how Grace does it, but she can always manage to get between you and what you are trying to do and then Darcey pops up too! It is really quite comical and reminds me when I first adopted Grace, she would stand directly in front of the door making it impossible to put the key in!

Tonight I think they wish they were back at Lisa's.

Lisa has spoiled them with good restaurants and even better take out!

I on the other hand, the ever frugal person, made them all put on "cow" costumes so we could get a free meal at Chik Fil A! For two of the three tweens, this was quite traumatic and I assured them they would not see anyone they knew.

Well, about half way through our meal, Gillian lit up and said hi to someone I could not see. Sure enough, a long time friend of hers from school! What are the chances??? At least she had taken off her ears, spots, and tail!

Then tonight we have worked through HUGE piles of things trying to get ready for a garage sale tomorrow. They were so tired, no one argued about going to bed at 9:00!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 5, no kids

Day 5 of no children. All hope is lost. Working too late, extreme overeating, staying up too late, dishes stacked up in the sink, lethargic, dogs desperate for attention.

What is really sad is that is no exaggeration!

My older sister's husband and kids went off on a trip and to make sure she had company, she invited my girls and my nieces to spend the week with her.

Posh! I could not imagine why she would not just enjoy the time alone! I spent YEARS by myself! How bad could 5 days be???

I initially jumped at the chance, because after six years of being single mom, which is not a title I throw around often because it is used as an explanation by so many in the media, and since I chose to be a mom don't ever want it to sound like it is something bad, but let's be real, this is a TOUGH job! I don't know what it is like if you start from infancy with your kids, but I can tell you, adopting an older child, much less two older children, and being single cannot be a job for wimps! Especially if they speak another language and you don't speak it. But I don't ever want anyone to think I am bragging on myself either, but it is hard and the hours are long and it can get quite difficult when you don't think you can put one foot in front of the other, but you have 2 kids who need you much more than you need to take a break.

But my whole point to this is, I had had a hint that I had made HUGE changes in my life since becoming a mom, and now that I have had a few days without the responsibilities, I see just how great those changes have been.

I am not a good housekeeper. Never have been, never will be.

Before kids, did not care if the dishes were there for days.

With kids, cannot stand to go to bed with a dish in the sink!

Laundry could stack up for days, shoot weeks! Folding was strictly an option and usually I would just drag something out of the basket to wear.

With kids, at least one load is done every night, folding and putting away is done on Saturday and we start the week with what we need!

Before kids, meals consisted of a loaf of French bread, nachos, popcorn, you get the picture.

With kids, a meal is planned and usually at least once that day we have our fruits and/or vegetables.

Before kids, meals were whenever the mood struck.

With kids, meals have to be at a reasonable hour so they can get it digested before they go to bed, which is early!

Before kids, bedtime was whenever.

With kids, bedtime is a reasonable time EVERY night!

Before kids, wake up time was whenever.

With kids, I know Annabel will be getting up early and I need to be up too!

So no matter how hard this job is, it is the BEST change my life has ever had! I LOVE the life I have with my girls. I LOVE having my nieces here.

I don't like to be alone any more!

I am so surprised to learn this.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A story that has to do with little else but this story

Sunday we stopped by Sam's on our way to my cousins' house to buy a dessert for their annual 4th of July party.

I wanted the big thing of brownies we had enjoyed recently at a party with the music students.

This Sam's did not have them and instead had the little brownie bites, which did not look like enough since 50 people were expected.

Grace thought they looked good so I asked her how many were in the box.

Hmmm, she looked at them and said, well there are 8 times 8.

The box was fairly small and I could not imagine there were 64 brownie bites in that box, so I glanced down and counted 4 x 4 with 2 levels and came up with 32.

This is my daughter who made a perfect score on the TAKS test for math!

We opted for the large economy ice cream sandwich/fudgesicle/drumstick/eskimo pie combo, but knew we had to hurry as it would melt quickly.

Then as we were checking out, I put my membership card on the conveyor belt in front of our items, which is what I normally do.

The cashier looked at it, advanced the conveyor belt, the card got stuck in the little area as the conveyor belt disappears into the netherworld, AND THEN advanced it again!

My card disappeared from view and I am standing there knowing my ice cream is melting and wondering what she was possibly thinking and then she advanced the conveyor belt thing all the way around like she expected it to pop back up!

THEN she looks on the ground waiting for it to pop out of a container that is completely sealed!

Again, my only thought is my ice cream is melting.

She leaves and talks to someone and comes back and tells me I need to get a new card and vaguely points over to an area with a long line.

I finally opened my mouth to explain that I was not going to wait in another line after waiting in her line!

So she speaks to someone else and they bring me toward the front of the line and the woman tells me she is taking my picture and before I know it we are out the door and all my girls can ask is who was at fault!

It was just so bizarre and our ice cream did get squishy, but it did not keep anyone from eating it!

All on my own!

After having a constant stream of guests this summer, all my troop headed off to Austin with their Aunt Lisa, leaving me home alone, for the first time since, maybe I became a mom six years ago. There might have been a night here or there where Grace spent the night at a friend's and the time I was in the hospital, but me being home alone, it has been a LONG time.

Spending my second evening at home, alone, I came up with the top ten list of things that are different with no children at home:

Number 10. It is always your day to feed the dogs.
Number 9. It is always your turn to let the dogs out.
Number 8. You can't find a whole load of laundry to do.
Number 7. No one to dirty enough dishes to run the dishwasher.
Number 6. Your phone bill goes up.
Number 5. No one says hello back.
Number 4. No one to share a meal with.
Number 3. The dogs look at you like accusingly wondering where you put their kids.
Number 2. No one to say your prayers with.
Number 1. No one to kiss good night and good morning to!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Thursday vacation days

Because my parents volunteer on Thursdays, I decided to take vacation days so the girls would not be by themselves.

I had grandiose ideas of what all we would accomplish - day trips, museum tours, art classes, learning a new language, you know what you usually can achieve in one single day!

But our Thursdays have not ended up quite like I thought they would. A combination of things seem to have sapped all my extra energy and I keep hoping they will choose to stay home and watch reruns of I Love Lucy or something!

Our first Thursday we were in Santa Fe.

The second Thursday, I can't remember, but evidently we did not learn a new language!

The third Thursday was our first week with Gillian and Darcey gone, so we went to the movies and saw Karate Kid, went to James Avery to get some charms added to Grace's bracelet and got Annabel's watch fixed at the Swatch Store. All important errands that needed to be run, but still not that spectacular day off.

The fourth Thursday I tried to talk the girls into going somewhere, doing something, but they kept holding back and finally told me what they REALLY wanted to do, something I had said they could during the summer, did I remember what I had told them????

Oh, great, they don't forget anything.

My friend had let her son add blue highlights to his hair and I had casually mentioned they could do something like that.

Now the big difference is her son has blond hair and my girls' hair is extremely black, almost the blackest of the black on the color scale of hair colors.

I fought the urge to go to Wal Mart and buy a highlighting kit, which is what I would do for my own hair, and instead we went to Sally's Beauty Supply.

Thankfully there was a VERY nice young lady there, who was quite scary looking, but was extremely helpful and explained the process, which she knew well, since she had been doing it to her hair, which was also VERY black, since she was 14. She might have just been 15 now, but seemed to have much more wisdom than I did.

To do highlights in very dark hair, you have to take it down to almost no color and then bring it back up to the color you want, after pulling it through the frosting cap. She asked if I wanted her to write it down, but I was pretty sure I had it.

We get home and start the pulling the hair through the frosting cap.

Evidently this is quite painful!! I had no idea since I have never had it done, but each girl has a TON of hair and it took forever and at the end, they decided they would never do it again.

We ended up running out of time on the coloring stages as tutoring started at 3:30.

Washing and adding more color and washing again and then seeing the finished product was done in the shortest amount of time on record, but they were very pleased with the results.

I will add pictures later.

This was our fifth Thursday. Since Gillian and Darcey are back I tried to talk them into a trip somewhere, learning a new language, kayaking down the river, but they chose the mall.

The big discussion has been on make up and spa days, so without anyone really saying what they wanted to do, I decided they should check out some of the alternatives for make up that won't really look like make up but if all the other girls are wearing make up then they could say they did too. If you are a girl, you will get this. If not, it is too hard to explain.

We went to Bare Essentials and saw how really very little can make you look better.

Then we went to Origins and saw a different method, but one that smelled really good and had an extremely nice person to help us.

Then we went to Fresh and the woman treated us like we could not afford their products, so we left.

They decided they would wait on make up for now. I think that is a good decision.

This next Thursday is undecided.

Lisa originally said she wanted them to come stay with her while her family is on a trip. So this week will probably entail that day trip, but only to Waco to pick them up!