A Little “Old Lady”

My 5 year old and I went shoe shopping for me the other day.

I was in need of a new pair of heels and since the boys had already started school Caroline went with me.

At  the first store the saleslady handed me the tan nylon socks to try some shoes on with. While I couldn’t have cared less about them, Caroline was enamored with them. She grabbed herself a pair to try on and then “tried on” many pairs of shoes. I didn’t find anything I liked so we went on with our search.

In and out of stores we went, desperately looking for a pair that were comfy, cheap, and most importantly, came in a size 10.

Sidenote: For all of you people with average feet I am deeply envious. To be able to walk up to a shoe display and actually place your entire foot into the shoe to see how it looks is something I can only dream of. I place my size 10 feet into the display shoes and get to see how three of my crunched up toes look.

Anyway, Caroline and I were searching for a pair of simple gold heels for my brother’s wedding. Well, at least that’s what I was searching for. Apparently Caroline was searching for shoes for me to go walk the streets of Louisville and pick up a few extra bucks while on our trip.

She pulled heels with three inch soles, heels with bows, heels with bows and buckles, heels with clear soles, pink patent leather heels, and her personal favorite, heels completely decorated in varying blue and green sequins which resulted in a peacock feathers design.

She was able to pull these shoes because they were all in the clearance section.

I can’t imagine why.

For some of the shoes I humored her and put them on when she asked me too. I mean, how else would I have known that five inch heels are not my thing – although the blue sequin ones did give me a moments pause.

After several stores we decided we needed to eat some lunch. While standing in line waiting for our lunch, I realized Caroline had added to her shorts and t-shirt combo from this morning.

On her feet were the nylon socks she had tried on in the first store.

Sandals and nylons. It’s like I was shopping with an 85 year old woman.


Caroline knew she had the “socks” on and was completely content with her look. After a brief moment of weighing my options, I decided I was going to be content too so I said nothing.

We finished our shopping, eventually finding a pair of shoes which worked for me – spoiler alert: they were not the blue sequined peacock shoes.

As we left the store walking hand and hand I looked down at Caroline and just smiled.

Shoe shopping with my little “old lady” was definitely a good day.

Tomorrow we have to go shoe shopping for her – I kind of want to stop by the lady’s department first  : )

Hello, Is Anyone Out There?


Is anyone out there?

It’s been so long since I posted and yet it seems like just yesterday.

I’m not sure I even remember how to post anymore.

Since March I’ve sat down at the computer many times to write but it just didn’t happen. Maybe next week I’ll write. Maybe next month I’ll write because my heart won’t hurt so much. Well before you know its six months later and your heart still hurts.

Now please don’t call the authorities on me or send out the counselors.

I’ve got plenty to be happy and thankful for. My children and my husband make me laugh and smile every single day. Really its every single hour.

I’m here to say that its possible to move on but still have a tiny place in your heart that will always be sad. I think that’s the way it is for anyone who’s experienced a death. And for me it was the death of a dream, of a family member I had already placed deep into my heart.

Who knows what the future holds for us but I do want you to know that I’m here and experiencing life and its joys and I think I’m just about ready to start sharing with you again.

After all, how else am I going to remember that my daughter called my tummy squishy and my personal favorite lately…

Mom, take off your sunglasses.

OK. Why?

I want to see all those crinkles by your eyes.

(Sigh) Do you want to know who put a lot of those crinkles there?




Yes you. With the help of your brothers.

Maybe you should put your sunglasses back on so we don’t see the crinkles.

Sounds like a plan.

My Lifetime Movie Life

There are times when I feel like my life is being filmed for a TV movie of the week for the Lifetime Channel.

And this is one of those times.

Two days before Valentine’s Day we received word from the federal attorneys that our adoption agency was being shut down.

As in goodbye, kaput, all gone, no more.

And our money that we had turned in?

It was also goodbye, kaput, all gone, no more.

Thousands and thousands of dollars.

We were informed that if we had received a referral the government would help us finish the adoption process.

We were literally next on the list to receive a referral.

So that leaves us, and one hundred other families, with no adoption to follow through with and federal attorneys who say it’s completely up to us if we want to try and get some of our money back. They can’t help us. They are going to keep us up to date on legal proceedings but helping us with money? Nope. Can’t do. Not our area folks.

See, just like a Lifetime movie.

But sadly there’s no Tom Selleck or Dana Delaney character who’s about to sweep in and take our case.

Believe me when I say I had no humor about this situation when it first happened.

I almost instantly became physically ill with a severe cold and eventually lost my voice.

I blame it on all the crying. and the crying. and the crying.

I had to run a Valentine’s Day party for my son in the initial midst of this and all I really wanted to do was run out of there and sit on the couch watching movies and eating girl scout cookies.

(Don’t even get me started on how many girls can go to camp this year because of my cookie intake in the last 3 weeks).

Even though adoption is something I had wanted to do my whole life, it’s not a decision my husband and I came to easy. There were miscarriages, heart to heart talks, and a long process to get us to the point of actually moving forward with the idea.

I have grumbled with God. Several times.

But God is funny.

Right before we’ve had big losses, I’ve always been offered a job, seemingly out of nowhere. I accept the job and with days to go before my start date something major will happen.

I think it’s God’s way of keeping me moving forward and having a different focus.

I also think I’m never going to take another job in my life. Seems like I might be able to head off some of these life moments.

OK, not true.

But if we win the lottery I might just stick to that thinking.

So I started my new job.

God said, “You think you’ve got problems? Go tutor these homeless kids and then tell me about your problems.”

My new job is tutoring elementary aged kids who are homeless. All of those words should never go together in a sentence but sadly they do.

They are homeless – some sleep in their cars at night, some have beds some of the time until an uncle gets angry and they sleep on the lawn that night with their mom, and some live in shelters.

But I tell you what. They are amazing, beautiful kids. They have the best smiles. They are so eager to learn. They are so happy. They have struggles yes, but they have joy.

And so I take my cue on living life from some 8 year olds who have it much tougher than me.

The past 3 weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions but I feel good about where I am going with this whole life experience.

We are not quite sure what our next step is but that’s okay.We’ve got each other and we’ve got a roof over our heads.

The rest will work itself out.

And if it doesn’t, I’m sure I could hunt down Tom Selleck’s phone number from somewhere.

Barbie Comes Full Circle in Our House

My sister gave my four year old some Barbies for Christmas.


Caroline wanted Barbies more than any other gift.


When I was younger I loved playing with Barbies.


I loved them but couldn’t quite resist giving them some much needed improvement.


I was sure that one day I was going to be the Jose Eber of hairdressing and I was just practicing my craft.


Caroline is four, I’m pretty sure I was double and triple her age when I made such Barbie improvements.


Amanda, I promise you she loves the Barbies that you gave her. She cried when I asked her what happened to Cinderella’s hair.


But just to be safe, I’m keeping a close eye on Snow White.


Sweet girl waiting for a friend to arrive for a play date.

IMG_3088-001She ended up waiting there for about an hour.

Having a snack and generally asking me every five minutes if it was time yet.

This is why you are never late to play dates people – Get there on time!

Immature Parents

There are times when I believe I am way too immature to be a parent.

This afternoon was one of those.

I picked up my 6th grader from school today and asked him how is day went.

He mumbled a few words until suddenly remembering something at which point he became very animated.

“Mom, there’s this 2 week away band camp that I can go to this summer and I think it would be lots of fun. It’s only $750 and we get to be in a band, work on our own instrument, there’s a dance every night, but we can pass on going to that, and you sleep in the college dorms.”


“Oh and Mom, at band camp there’s a rock wall and a pool and basketball courts.”

At band camp.

Am I the only one who’s mind went directly to Alyson Hannigan and her, “This one time, at band camp?”

Please tell me I’m not.

And after watching that clip just now I can assure you there will be absolutely no band camp this summer.

Or any other summer.

Thankfully we already have a vacation scheduled right in the middle of band camp so the idea of going was put to rest pretty quickly.

Now if I can only serve our apple pie dessert with a straight face.

(Told you, immature. And no we weren’t really having pie).


The Make Up Class

The other day my four year old was at her music class when the teacher announced it was time for the parents to come in.

Since the kids had just had their first introductory lesson with their glockenspiel, the teacher suggested the kids attend a make up class on Saturday.

Even if they had not missed a previous class she felt it would be beneficial for the kids to attend the make up class so that all of the techniques and language used would be reinforced.

After class my daughter and another little girl were talking when Helen asked my daughter,  “Are you going to the make up class?”

“Yes I am.”

As we were driving home Caroline asked, “Am I going to that make up class?”

“If you would like to go you can. Do you want to go?”


After being quiet for about 5 minutes she said, “Is the teacher going to put makeup on all of the kids at the make up class?”

The boys and I all laughed immediately (maybe not the best parenting technique) and then explained to her what make up class means.

Caroline took it all in stride but I’m fairly sure she’s disappointed there will be no lipstick or eyeshadow on Saturday morning.

The Rabbits, It’s Always the Rabbits – Part 4

Read here for The Rabbits – part 1, part 2, part 3

I know what you are thinking…Again with the rabbits?

Yes, the rabbits but this time it’s different.

Unbelievably, I just bought some rabbits.

I know.

Along with the rabbits I also purchased some ducks, geese, chickens, and honeybees.

You can close your mouth now.

Thankfully I purchased these animals from the comfort of my home.

And even more thankfully, I will never ever see any of these animals in my backyard or, even better, dead on my dining room floor.

Instead of angel Christmas gifts this year, my kids, influenced greatly by my 8 year old, decided they want to buy gifts through Heifer International.


“Heifer International works with community groups in third world countries and provides them with animals which help families help themselves. They train beneficiaries in animal well-being, agroecology, water quality, gender equity, and other topics. The training enables them to care for livestock, grow crops sustainably, and further lift themselves out of poverty.

Families then share the training they receive, and pass on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. This extends the impact of the original gift, allowing a once impoverished family to become donors and full participants in improving their communities.”

I gave each child a budget and told them they could buy whatever animals they wanted as long as we didn’t exceed our total. We went through the gift catalog on the website reading about each animal, their cost, and talked about how those animals could help someone.

They contemplated, they added and subtracted, they debated, and they discussed.

Eventually, they decided and we bought a flock of hope (chickens, geese, and ducks), honeybees, and rabbits.


Yes, rabbits.

Once we convinced Caroline that buying a pegasus horse was not an option she went with the rabbits.

The family that kills rabbits just bought rabbits.

Cue the Lion King music. Again.

This year our family has talked a lot about poverty, families that are struggling, and kids who are hungry, both locally and far away. My hope is that by exposing them to programs like Heifer International and the Angel Tree they will see themselves as part of the solution and know that they can make a difference even at just 11, 8, and 4.

Donating to Heifer International was new to our family this year but based on the kids excitement I know it will not be our last experience with them. I think this program would also be fun for a school service project, a bake sale focus, or even an animal themed birthday party.

I’m not receiving any sort of compensation from Heifer for telling you about their program. I’m only asking that once you can purchase “a pegasus” our family is notified immediately.

Santa Letters

The Dear Santa letters are written and are now on their way to the North Pole.



In my opinion, there really is nothing cuter than little kids handwriting.


And my eight year old has included a special message to Santa just to explain a few of his behavior choices lately.


“I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve been good.”


I’m pretty sure Santa has noticed the good.

Days 1, 2, & 3 While in Japan

My husband just returned last night after being away for almost 2 weeks on a business trip to Japan.

(He had to go train people in a computer program. No one in Japan has the technical knowledge to do this training? I think he really just went for the Okonomiyaki and Ramen. Love you dear!)

Regardless, we are all very glad to have him home.

Each day I emailed him a little synopsis of our day so I thought I would share days 1, 2, and 3 with you.

Day 1

  • Roughly 5 hours after you left…
  • Caroline woke up with a fever
  • toaster oven handle broke totally at breakfast
  • garage door suddenly not working correctly so we are now walking the bikes through the house
  • filled Caroline up with Advil and she went to school
  • swam 1400 until got kicked out of lane
  • picked up Sophie and the vet informed me that she needs to have her ears washed out and medicine put in everyday for the next 14 days – I will let you guess who will be doing the last 2 days of treatment
  • music class – made $20 selling cards towards adoption
  • dinner at Cici’s
  • basketball – Andrew’s head coach is weird, like straight from the chimps looking weird, Andrew thought he was fine
  • Andrew swims then Alex swims
  • Smuggle Caroline into girls locker room where I give her a shower and ignore the mean looks from the cleaning lady who is doing no cleaning
  • Drive home while Andrew & Caroline watch Tom & Jerry Nutcracker in car
  • Alex is dropped off by Sheryl from practice
  • went to bed at 1:00 am

Day 2

  • Caroline still had fever, went to school, would not hear of not going
  • swam 2100 – didn’t get kicked out – tired
  • pick up Caroline and she has a constant cough
  • Alex goes early and stays late to work on project
  • piano lesson
  • drive thru mac n cheese & cornbread for boys for dinner, Caroline thinks I’m poisoning her with said bread
  • drop Andrew off at boy scouts with Bryce
  • drive Alex to soccer practice (Laura brings him to indoor game after practice)
  • go back to Boy Scouts
  • Andrew has to bring a collection of 10 of something to next meeting – he wants to bring 10 pencil leads – our kid is weird sometimes
  • take little 2 home and shower them
  • drive to indoor soccer game at 8:30 pm game where team is killed 9-0
  • drive home & kids asleep by 10:15 – yikes!
  • went to bed at 12! getting better

Day 3

  • fever still, doesn’t go to school, cough is too bad
  • Drive Alex to school early
  • Start cleaning out closet with Caroline – complete waste of time attempting that with her
  • doctor’s appointment at 11:30 who says she has no idea what the cough is – if doesn’t go away by Friday will do chest xrays – decides to put her on liquid zpack
  • go to target to pick up a few things before winter storm which is supposed to hit tomorrow night – $160 later we leave Target
  • get Caroline lunch and medicine and start to heat lunch in microwave
  • Caroline starts throwing up everything she had to eat that day
  • Clean up puke – fun!
  • Put Caroline in shower and eat lunch
  • Andrew comes home and shows me his collection of pencil lead that he has had at school – Jessie is helping him collect the lead “I think she’s breaking her pencil lead on purpose. She gave me like three leads in three minutes.”
  • Get lecture from nurse on phone about why Caroline needs to have her medicine & that if she doesn’t take it, she’ll have to come in for a shot
  • I plead, I beg, I try and hide it, I literally sit on top of her, and yet no medicine goes in – it all comes out with spit and runs down her face
  • I say, welcome shot!
  • Pick up Alex from band rehearsals. He is so enthusiastic about the practice that I’m willing to bet that he will want 76 trombones played at his wedding.
  • Eat chicken dinner, burn rice, eat leftover cornbread, and strawberries. I eat the corn. No one else acknowledges its existence.
  • Everyone “helps” in giving Sophie her medicine. Basically Sophie got 3 treats and no medicine tonight. I don’t care. She can go deaf.
  • Drive to swimming.
  • Again shower Caroline in locker room.
  • Drive home. I say no to Tom & Jerry. Caroline proceeds to harass me for next 15 minutes on why she can’t watch it. I win.
  • Put younger to bed in our bed. You are going to have to kick Andrew out of your spot. He’s been loving sleeping there every night and says it’s so cozy.  Have to reassure Andrew that Caroline will not throw up on him.
  • Alex gets dropped off from swimming and takes worlds longest shower all while humming Christmas carols. He then eats last piece of pumpkin pie and 2 granola bars.
  • Tuck Alex onto the sofa cushions in our room. We’re having quite the slumber party without you here.
  • I eat tons of Halloween candy while sitting at the computer.
  • Looks like it might be another 1 am night.

Love you and miss you – only 9 more nights till you come home!

Jennifer & the kids