Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Help for adoption... and a camera...

There is another donation/ raffle thing for good causes... a family is trying to raise enough money to bring their child home from Korea. Since our oldest two children were adopted almost 10 years ago from Ukraine, we are well aware of the huge expense an international adoption is. Please pray for them, and if you can, head over to their site and donate...

If you can make a donation, you will be entered in a raffle for a Canon Camera. I have been saving for one of these things for over a year... and I am nowhere near getting one. So, while I am thrilled to help another orphan get a home, I would also love to win the camera! Just so you know I am selfish and human! Haha.

I also heard today about a family who is in Ethiopia right now adopting a sibling group of four. Here is what my friend's blog said,

"Could you please take a moment to pray for our friends the Browns today? They are currently in Ethiopia adopting four siblings. The youngest (Olivia - age 9 mos) has pneumonia and a fever of 106. They are supposed to fly home tomorrow. They have little access to medicine and are not sure if Olivia is allowed to or should travel in her condition. Their trip has been full of trials and of course, all they want to do is get home and get started being a family of 8 (two biological kids waiting for them at home). They haven’t been able to update their blog while traveling, but you can still see pictures of these sweet ones and get the backstory there.

One of their family members just sent this update:

“I went back and reread the message I wrote on the wall. I think its more dire than that. They really didn’t think she’d make it thru the night."


Carri here: I don't know the current status, but know that the family would appreciate the prayers for their precious child. I'll keep the blog updated as I hear things.

An Ode to M&Ms

This week's Works for Me has really been working... it's the M&M Incentive. My children rarely get candy and things like that, so when I bought a bag of Christmas colored M&Ms for half price a couple weeks ago, they thought it was great. Since then I have been using then as incentives for different things.

To the dallying Kindergartener, "If you finish all your work before lunch, I'll give you an M&M."

To everyone except the child who has lost a school book, "Whoever finds Emma's Wordly Wise gets an M&M." To which Emma asked, "What if I'm the one who finds it?" and I answered, "Then you get to do your work."

(I'll get suspicious if it starts to look like they go in cahoots to lose books that someone mysteriously finds.... but as of yet they are not staging things for M&M rewards.)

To Nathan, who has a hard time sitting nicely in church. "If you sit perfectly the whole rest of the time, I will give you an M&M when we get home." Next time I looked, he was sitting with his legs crossed, his hands on his knees, and looking straight at the Pastor.

And after Mercy gets her contact in each morning, and out each evening, she gets two. I think that's fair since she has to be held down and have someone stick their fingers in her eye. [She's doing great wearing the patch, by the way... thanks for the prayers!!] If I weren't on this diet I would eat a couple too... it's harrowing.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. This is not bribery. Bribery is associated with doing something bad. Incentive is a reward to do something GOOD. "Stop screaming in the store, and I'll give you a treat" is bribery.

Incentive is, "Sit nicely in church and I'll give you an M&M." I am rewarding good behavior. "Stop walking all over the row, sit down, and I'll give you an M&M," is bribery. See the difference?

So my recommendation? Keep the children from candy for a while, then get a bag of M&Ms... dole them out carefully so they are really a goal to complete. I promise you'll have success with them!

Head over here to see other people's tips for things that Work for Them!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If it's funny later...

We've had a rough week at the Peterson Household... one that illustrates our family policy of, "If it's going to be funny later, it's funny now."

It all started when we went to our friend's house last Wednesday and forgot the diaper bag. You got it... no diapers (overcame by the fact that she has a child in size 4 diapers... too big for Bethie but worked in the pinch.) But more importantly we had no formula for Bethany. This was overcome by the fact that these friends had some goat's milk which I could feed her.

Why this was so disturbing is the fact that we always do roll call when starting the van, "Angela, Matthew, Josiah, Anna, Emma, Sara, Nathan, Mercy, Bethany, Diaper Bag." No joke. The diaper bag is like a person to me. I've used one for so long I hardly know what to do without one. The children are only allowed to answer when they are buckled and ready to go. SOMEONE said the diaper bag was there, but it clearly wasn't.

I'm surprised these friends ever even invite us over as there is always SOMETHING which goes on...

I tell you all that long story just to set the stage. Friday morning was cold, cold, cold. Like 2* or something. We had remembered to drip the faucets overnight, but I forgot when we went to 4-H and they were frozen when we came back a few hours later.

On Saturday we got them thawed, but they burst again. We now have the Great Flood of '08, and the Lesser Flood of '09. Thankfully, Eric had the day off because he was going to go to a gun show with a friend (the same one where we forgot the diaper bag... hmmm... maybe it's not us, maybe it's HIM?!). Anyway - that was bravely sacrificed. (A really good idea...)

This was in the midst of a series of things which broke all at the same time. There are so many things you are going to think I am joking. Our dryer has been out for over a week. One of the toilets needs a new flush valve. The vacuum was broken. The water pipes were burst in several places, and the repair burst several times... it took them all day. Thank God for friends who know what they are doing, and willing to sacrifice their time to help us yahoos out. Our washer doesn't drain well. The diverter valve on our kitchen faucet is broken, and we will need to replace it. Right now it only works if you turn on the water, then turn on the sprayer... Dont'cha know that makes it hard to do the dishes for us all? The computer was down for a bit yesterday, and when we tried to watch a movie last night, the DVD player didn't work without some fiddling.

Oh yeah - and Eric came home with the flu on Sunday afternoon... he's better and so far no one else seems to have it, but still... he was sick. And I was facing a stomach bug going through 11 people with no functioning dryer.

I am sure you are all wondering WHY I am writing all this. Mainly just to get it recorded, as someday I'll really wonder if it really happened. Also because I spent much of the day on Saturday trying to get appliances to do their jobs only to have them not work. To the point that we just had to laugh.

I also wanted to pass on how proud I was of Josiah... he had worked with the appliance guy one afternoon to try to repair the dryer, so he was able to replace the belt on his own. The bearings also needed to be lubricated, and he didn't know how to do that, but he did pretty well fixing it. Our vacuum was also also fixed. Sometimes you just need to let them fiddle around and see if they can figure out a broken appliance. What's the worst they can do? Break it? He's learning to fix things, and doing a great job at it. I tried to get him to fix the toilet, but he's not quite ready for that big of a step...

Anyway- when you are faced with those things which seem so overwhelming right now, but you know will be funny later... just laugh. If it's going to be funny later, it's funny now. Trust me... it'll make the now a lot easier to bear.


UPDATE: Currently, the water, the dryer, the vacuum, the computer, and the DVD player are fixed and working. I am so thankful for that!!! Join other GratiTuesday posts at Heavenly Homemakers .

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Still More Funnies

This morning as there was some chaos in the room, Nate marched in and said, "What in the name of corn on the cob is going on here?"

[Anyone recognize that quote?]


Friday, when I had told Emma she needed to have a verse memorized before dinner.

Me: Emma, can you tell me your verse?

Emma, all wide eyed and innocent: You said you would help me with it later.

Me (confused): When did I tell you that?!

Emma: When you were sleeping on the sofa.


Me: You cannot ask me things when I sleep and assume I gave you a real answer!

[Can you imagine the things that will ensue if they start asking me things while I am SLEEPING!]

Laughter LivesThis post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" posts.