Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Back to Liberia...

Abegail, 7 years old in Liberia, a day before leaving for her new life in America
Abegail and I are headed back to Liberia in July to visit her birth family.
Abegail remembers her family and has missed them dearly.  She has expressed that she is afraid they will not look the same when she sees them again or worse they will not be around.  Her face glows when we talk about her trip.

Her family is excited to see her again and yes they would like us to bring some of America with us.  If you have any connections and can help provide any of the following items for us to bring them we'd be grateful. These can be new or gently used items.  If you are interested in donating or know someone who is or have connections with a company willing to help just contact me at sturner6@hotmail.com with the subject line: Donations for Liberia.  There are six members of Abegail's immediate family, 3 Women and 3 Men. We thank you in advance! Also if you have an adopted child from Liberia and would like us to bring them something or pictures please let me know!

Davis Family Requests:
1.) Flat Screen TV
2.) Cell phones
3.) Ipod player
4.) 2 labtops with printers for kids school work
5.) Shoes; sneakers and church shoes: Sizes are; 2 men's size 8, one men's size 9
three female size 8
6.) Clothing: 
T-shirts, dress shirts, pants for men in size Large, Extra large, waist 31", length 41"
One mens pants waist 29"
     For Women: T-shirts, blouses, size medium, skirts to knee, waist 33"
7.) Rain Jackets for 6 people
8.) Wrist watches
9.) Digital camera
10.) One pair of reading glasses, lenses are +200
11.) Hair grease
12.) Lotion
13.) Bath soap (bars)
14.) Baby powder
15.) Lubricant eye drops
16.) Clothes for two girls ages 17months and 5 years old.

Abegail 14 in Virginia Beach after a soccer tournament last weekend looking at the Atlantic Ocean

Thursday, September 5, 2013

School Days

I just got off the phone with Eman.
E: "Mommy, 4th grade is not that easy.  We had to write all day and my hand really hurts.  At the end of the day you don't want to do anything."
Annie was excited for about a month to go to school.  "We get to be upstairs now!"
Abegail is off to what they call secondary school here.  It's grades 7-12.  Yes, very overwhelming.  And for the first time she had her own locker.  Getting the combination is a problem, but friends can't help because they can't open their lockers either.  Her friend Katrina (pictured above) asked her, Abby, come help me!  She said, "I got my own problems over here." 
When we went to orientation and I showed her how to do it she said, "Can I just leave it open for the year?"
There is a woman walking around with a master key to the lockers who says, "We ain't got time for this."
During their orientation the kids were told not to give their combos to anyone but they are all asking each other for help, so not sure that is working out so well.
She is hysterical talking about classmates and teachers...how she describes them.
She says she's constantly asking everyone where each classroom is.
On the first day she got up at 6 a.m. and says how long do I have to get up this early?
When I replied, "six years."  She was not happy.
Oh well, welcome to 7th grade!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mommys Bad Birthday Gift...

I wanted to give Eman and Annie something different for their birthdays this year.   They are a week apart so I thought it would be fun to take them horseback riding, something I did as a kid.  Eman wanted to know why anyone would go out and walk around on a horse.  The girls were excited.  On the way there, Eman agreed to try, but once we got there he said no way, he was not getting up on a horse.  So he stayed back at the barn with the staff. 
We got to the trail and met Patrick, Jim, and Misty.  Very sweet horses by appearance.  We get on the horses, learn a little about what to do and we were off on the trail.  But about 30 seconds into the ride Abegail's horse starts trotting and she is terrified.  She jumps off the horse and rolls on the ground.  She is scared and the wrangler says, "we are done."
We did get her back on the horse at the barn because I told the wranger, "isn't that the rule of life, when you fall off the horse get back on?"  But I'm pretty sure I will not be signing us up for a week at the dude ranch any time soon.  I did get some pretty cute pics though.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Abegail Graduates from 6th Grade

Next year it will be a new school with an earlier start time.  Lake Braddock School grades 7-12 here she comes...Thank you Ravensworth Elementary School.
 6th Grade Teachers: Mr. Shelesky and Ms. Owens
 Ravensworth Principal Mrs. O'Connell

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

To the Dogs....

 I was never a dog person.  My view of a dog was an animal that walked outside stepped in the mud, its own pee, and poop and then walked through your house.  Not the cleanest thing I thought.  As a reporter I cringed every time I had to do a dog story.  Don't you know there are thousands of missing children out there and we are reporting on dogs?  But the viewers loved the dog stories and we used to joke if there is a dog running through anything anywhere it will make the news.

That was.. until I started dog sitting.  I started as a favor to a friend who had nowhere else to put her dogs and no money to put them anywhere. I thought, "the kids want a dog, I'll give them one for a few days, then they can be quiet."

But that turned out to be pretty fun and then I took another friend's puppy.  This dog loved to run away.
But he was so happy when he came back I didn't mind.

After several trips (it happened to be election season) I was a full blown dog sitter.  So when I wanted to make money I had an idea, "I should get paid for this!"

Since Christmas Richardson Family Pet sitting has watched 28 different dogs.  Many have come back to our circus two and three times.

We've had dogs with allergies, dogs with anxiety, dogs with intenstinal issues (Annie refers to them as farting problems), dogs who need heart vitamins, dogs who only drink bottled water, dogs with one eye, rescue dogs, hyper dogs, calm dogs, a dog that could have been a small horse who drooled as much as his 165 pound weight, even a dog who was the same breed as the President's flown in from Nebraska..

Many dogs come to my bedside and wake me up in the night when they have to go.  Many dogs come to my bedside and wake me up at the exact time their owner gets up.  Really?  That many people get up before 6 a.m.?  We've had puppies, and chewers, and shoe lovers, and jumpers, and snugglers.

We each have a favorite.  A blonde golden doodle did it for me.  So friendly, hugged me, always came and gave me a smile.  Eman likes the three pound dog.  He's fascinated with her.  Annie likes the dog we had last best.  Do we have a veterinarian in the making?  Every time a dog leaves she says, "oh I wish so and so was here."
Abegail's favorite is Gucci (yes the bottled water dog-dogs and people with expensive taste must stick together.)

We have learned together that we love dogs.  Dogs are healing and happy and while our house is a little nuts (currently there are four dogs at my feet) we are so grateful for our many pets. 
There is a country song that goes like this:
He never tells me that he's sick of this house He never says, "Why don't you get off that couch?"He don't cost me nothin' when he wants to go out I want you to love me like my dog
He never says I need a new attitude Him and my sister ain't always in a feud When I leave the seat up, he don't think that's rude I want you to love me like my dog does baby
When I come home want you to just go crazy He never looks at me like he might hate me I want you to love me like my dog
He never acts like he don't care for my friends He never asks me "Where 'n the hell have you been?" He don't play dead when I want to pet him I want you to love my like my dog does, honey
He never says, "I wish you made more money" He always thinks that pull my finger's funny I want you to love me like my dog
He don't get made at me and throw a major fit When I say his sister is a....
I want you to love me like my dog does, baby When I come home, want you to just go crazy He never looks at me like he might hate me I want you to love me like my dog
I want you to love me like my dog does, baby

I think I will rate every contact I have in the future based on dogs.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Abegail's Photo Shoot

The only thing Abegail wants more than to be rich and famous is to make Annie rich and famous as a model.  She is constantly doing photo shoots.  Here is some of her latest work. She even retouches the pictures.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Annie's All Stars

Quotes From the Kids:
Abegail on Election day: "What is President Obama going to do if he doesn't win?  Will he have to get a job, go work at McDonalds, 'I used to be President I don't know what happened?' do you want fries with that?"

Eman day after the election: Is Mitt Romney still rich?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Is It Monday?

Eman: Mommy is today Monday?
M: No, it's Thursday.
E: Is tomorrow Monday?
M: No, it's Friday
E: Then is is Monday?
M: No then Saturday?
E: Then Monday?!
M: No then Sunday.
E: And then Monday?
M: Yes then Monday.

E: Mommy is it Fall?
M: Yes.
E: And then Spring?
M: No then Winter.
E: Oh it's going to be cold.

Our former babysitter, Brian (the one who discovered the angel Myra Poppins) came over to give Eman some proper xbox competition.  Eman loved it and was so well behaved last night and this morning.  He said, "Mommy will you tell everyone what I good boy I was?"  I said, "Yes I'm going to broadcast it on the blog!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Myra Poppins

We had just hired our 7th babysitter in two and a half years.  A man.  Even better a young man who had recently graduated from Lake Braddock High School after four years on the varsity soccer team.  Oh and he was African American.  Eman loved him!  Unfortunately for us he also coached a college basketball team and the practice times were changed.  So he called me one Saturday saying he could no longer work.
I texted Scott and said, "just one thing to do now, hope that Mary Poppins flies in with her umbrella and saves us all."
Scott texted back, (because of course we were at different soccer games) and said, "Ha, Ha, funny, but not really."
When I told the kids we had lost our sitter, Annie laughed.  "That's the fastest a sitter has quit, 2 weeks!"
Yes we were starting to look a little like Nanny McPhee where the kids in the movie tried to see how fast they could get a sitter to quit.  We had three sitters quit basically in the middle of their shifts out of frustration and four others who had jobs, college, or a host of other more important things come up.
But Brian would not leave us stranded, "I work with a woman, I think she will be perfect for you."
"Great, can she come meet with me Monday morning and start Monday night?"

In fact, Myra did agree to come meet me Monday morning.  I went into the meeting with the same enthusiasm I have for cleaning out the gutters.  Can you drive somewhat legally and get my kids to soccer somewhat on time? You're Hired!

But when Myra greeted me at the door, my attitude changed. "HI SUE!!" Myra said in a very cheerful, energetic voice.  Could Brian have sent me the black Mary Poppins??  Even better!
We chatted.  She had two grown sons, one with ADHD, "He asked a lot of questions growing up," she said.
"You are going to love Eman." I responded.
I asked her if she could start that night and in fact she could.  So, I started showing her around.  At the moment we had a fruit fly infestation from an old watermelon we had had sitting around three weeks earlier.  Translation: our home is so welcoming and fun not even flies want to leave.
I showed her the freezer and what she could cook for supper.  Frozen meals, pizza. Etc.
"hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm." said Myra, "My babies don't eat no frozen food."
Ok, I responded.  "I love to cook, I'll make them supper."
ok...I said.  I showed her a picture of each kid.  She looked at Abegail's hair.  "You want me to do her hair?" She asked.  "That would be amazing," I said.

So Myra started and after the first day and 'the best fried chicken ever,' the kids declared she was the best babysitter on the planet.   We are now in week three and Myra has almost gotten rid of all the fruit flies.  She also has helped with homework, done dishes, and asked politely if I would be offended if she cleaned the kids rooms and the sofa. "Yes I know it all smells like a soccer field." I said.  "Yes," she said laughing.
She's done both Eman and Abegail's hair.  Finally I admitted to her, "Thank you so much Myra, we were drowning."
"I know." said Myra.  "Don't you worry girl, I got your back."
Then Myra admitted to me, "You are an answer to my prayers, I just love those kids."

Who are you? I thought.  I mean I am the first to admit my kids are really tough.  I don't blame those sitters who quit on the spot one bit.  Did Myra really pray to God, "Please God give me some really hard kids who will take every ounce of strength I have and are always hungry."
And if she did pray that to God, then I have a suggestion.  Not that I'm trying to tell God how to do his job or anything, but maybe he should have an angel head up a Craig's list type of service in heaven.
Myra wants kids to take care of; ragged mother in Springfield in desperate need of someone who cares.
I think that would free up a lot of time if he didn't have to listen to those prayers and then he can go back to wars, poverty, disease, getting children to realize why they must go to church etc.

People have said to me, Myra is an answer to prayer.  I said, "I didn't even pray for her because I didn't know it was possible."

Abegail's soccer team is wearing pink socks at their games all through the month of October for breast cancer awareness.
Eman wanted to know why they were wearing pink socks.  When I told him it set this conversation into motion:
E: Am I going to get breast cancer?
M: No honey, it's very rare for men to get it.
E: What about other types of cancer?
M: You aren't going to get cancer.
E: What if I do?
M: We will get you medicine and you will be fine. (ok so I don't know that for sure, but I'm all about lying if it could comfort him and more importantly get him to stop asking questions)
E: But the cancer comes in October, how do you know I won't get it?
M: Oh no honey, cancer can come anytime...I mean.. you aren't going to get cancer in October.   October is just the month they raise awareness about it.
E: What's awareness?
M: To let people know about it so they can raise money for research.
E: What's research?
M: Where they find medicines for it and let people know about it.
E: I thought you said they had medicines and I would be fine if I got it.
the conversation is still ongoing....

And finally It's me Big Bird:
Eman's dear and first friend Hector moved in August.  Last weekend was the first time the boys got together in two months.  So what would you talk about in the car ride? Well of course you'd catch up on politics.
Scott is driving the boys and they see a lot of Mitt Romney signs. Here is the conversation he is overhearing...
"Mitt Romney wants to get rid of PBS kids and Big Bird."
"Yea, Big Bird costs a lot of money."
"You see how big and yellow he is?  He eats a lot."  (Translation Big Bird uses a lot of food stamps)
"I love Big Bird."  "I know me too..."

"Well hey, he also wants to take away women's rights"
"Yea, so they can't vote.  They will have no rights, and boys will be able to beat up girls."

"Barack Obama he just wants to keep things the way they are.  He doesn't want to do anything."
"Yea he just wants to sit in the White House and do nothing."
"Well except he has to approve those messages."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

3rd Grade

We only have pictures of the third graders this year, no 6th grade evidence, and as you can see Eman wasn't into posing.  But they all got to school and got home. In the Richardson house we mark that in the success column.   Eman said he only was taken to the hall to be talked to once.  But he did say, "Mrs. Cantu is so nice.  She told us all about her family and you know her life long dream was to be a third grade teacher.  That's what she wanted to do her whole life and now she's doing it."
Eman has had quite the adjustment coming home from Holland.  It had me thinking was the 12 days of calm energy in the house even worth it for this much of an upheaval when he got home?  But hopefully school will help him get back on track. 

Eman is obsessed with death.  He asks tons of questions all the time and at the end is always the same one.  "Will you die?"  Its the same conversation whether it's with me or Scott.
Here's a taste:
E: Mommy what color is Poison?
M: It depends
E: Will you die?
M: It depends.
E: My heart hurts.  Will I die?
M: No
E: Will I get heart cancer?
M: I've never heard of heart cancer.
E: Will I die?
M: No.
E: What happens if your house rocks, will you die?
M: It depends how much it rocks.
E: If the walls fall in, will you die?
M: You could die.
E: Do airplanes have horns?
M: I don't know
E: Well what if they don't and they run into one another, will you die?
M: It depends.

But Eman did have a nice quote I'm happy to share:
M: Eman did you miss spongebob while you were in Holland?
E: I missed you more

Another Quote from Eman:
We were talking about when we got him and Abegail from Africa.
E: It would be weird to have a family with only white kids.
(isn't it great he thinks we are the norm)

And more wisdom from Eman:
M: Eman get ready, we're going to church
E:  Why do I have to go to church?
When I die I will be with God all the time, why do I have to go see him now?
M: So he can get to know you and you can know him.
E: He already knows me.  When I get to heaven I'll just say, "Hi I'm Eman."
M: Fine, then I'll just say, "Hi I'm Eman's Mom."
E: Okay!  You know he can hear you right now.