Thursday, July 2, 2009

Meeting the Cousins

This last week, we set off on a little adventure to meet the cousins. On Friday, we trekked over to Boone, NC and stayed the night in a Best Western with the worlds firmest mattresses. No kidding, these puppies were like boards. I was participating in a little bike ride called Blood, Sweat and Gears, a fifty mile ride in the mountains around Boone. After the ride, we headed over Knoxville to visit the newest cousin, Jack. Somehow, we did not get any pictures of Jack, but this is one I stole off my Moms blog.

He is a cute little dude, only a week old(almost two weeks now) and we had a great time there. He sleeps alot, and poops even more. After a few days in Knoxvegas, we rolled up to Louisville to meet Kate, our other new cousin from China. She is a dollbaby.

Of course we also saw our favorite Cousin, Leah

Sam loves to talk about Leah and playing with her, they have the best time when they get together. We stayed in Louisville a couple of days, went to the zoo and had a great time with Gramma Re Re and Pop Pop. Here are some random shots of the boy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Leave Daddy

Today, Sam started a new program for the summer. His old school closed for good on Friday and we are in between schools at the moment, so we signed him up for a summer program at church. The cool thing about the program is that is less expensive and much much closer ie: walking distance. He gets to bring his lunch everyday now and yesterday we picked up a brand new Spiderman lunch box.

He was very excited this morning when Mommy packed the lunch and put it in the fridge. Just as excited as we were walking down the driveway and he was yelling at her how excited he was. When we got to school we went into the big room that all the kids gather in before the actual program starts. I went in with Sam and while I knew he would be OK, he was a little skittish, understandable. So as I am kneeling with Sam, the teacher comes in to get the kids. They all line up with their lunchboxes and I stand outside the room to follow Sam down to the classroom. When the kids file out of the room, he looks up at me and says...

Leave Daddy.

So I left.

He had a great day and met a bunch of kids and is excited to go back tomorrow. What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Today is Sam's Gotcha Day, which is the day that we were given custody of Sam in Russia. This is his two year anniversary and he is super excited. We are still trying to differentiate between a birthday and a gotcha day right now, kinda tough to grasp for a 4 year old. We did get him a big boy bike this weekend, not the one pictured below (it was too small), to celebrate and though it was tough the first day, yesterday he rode all over the neighborhood by himself.

Sam has come leaps and bounds since we first saw him in Russia. He is such a sweet and lovable kid, always the first to drop a complement when he sees something he likes. He loves puzzles and going anywhere with anybody. His english is getting better and better each day, now if he would only sleep in a few days a week.

He is funny, sweet, handsome, loving, caring, and so many more things. We are so thankful that he is in our lives.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009


Well, we are at week 4 officially on the cast, we are over it. Really. That little orange thing is so gross now, it smells funky and everything that was white is now black. Good news is we have an appointment next Tuesday to saw it off his arm. I wanted to keep the cast as a souvenir, not so much anymore. Sam does not let it slow him down at all, he still tumbles, and climbs like normal. And, the cast is a good place to keep your french fries.

Sam had a moment Sunday at church. We are trying out a new church near the house and on Sunday we went to the early service. Sam did not want to go to the nursery/children's church, so he went in the big room with us. He said he wanted to sing. So, the service is moving along nicely, the message this morning is on gratitude. Sam is being pretty good, mostly coloring and eating snacks. Had no idea he was paying attention to the sermon at all. At some point the preacher starting talking about rejoicing and celebrating with others. That was Sam's cue to say "rejoice!" out loud without even missing a beat in his coloring book. We got some smiles out of that one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

First Broken Bone!!!

Well actually just two fractures, but hey, a kids gotta start somewhere right?

He was playing out in the yard on Sunday night with us. We were sitting on the back deck about 1 foot away from the boy. He was doing some tumbling and flipping and did a flip and came up screaming. It did not seem too bad, he was crying a bit, but it did not seem to hurt him when I pushed on his hand. I figured it was just a sprain. We put some ice on it and let it go.

He had a tough night Sunday. He was up and down all night long complaining about his hand. His hand was a bit puffy and swollen. So Monday we made an appointment to see the doc. She told Sam and I that it was most likely sprained but ordered an x-ray anyway. We then went down to CHKD and got a picture of his hand. She called back at 4 and told me that he had two fractures in his thumb/palm area. Bummer dude. At this point she said just wrap an ace bandage around it until they could cast it. That was fun. He does not like the ace bandage. It likes it better when Mommy puts it on.

So, Tuesday we had an appointment with Dr. Fox for the casting. All the way over to the doctor he tells me he is getting a purple cast. We called Mommy and we told her he wanted a purple cast. We called Grammy too, purple cast. Just as we pull up to the office, he switches over to orange. Yes, orange. Orange is the new pink. He could not be swayed. The nurse took about 10 minutes putting the cast on and then we left.

He does not seem to mind the cast now. The biggest problem we have or had is he usually sucks on two fingers of his left hand when he goes to sleep. He has probably done this since the orphanage. He realized he could not do that last night and had a fit. Maybe this will be the end of that habit!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If it kills me

So, imagine you have to fix a plumbing leak under your bed, for 5 hours. Yes, that was my Sunday/Monday. Here's the story.

Sunday, Cheri asks me for help in moving the cable connection in the spare bedroom. No problem, just jump under the home, disconnect the cable and move it to the new hole. I don't mind getting under houses and our is a relatively nice crawlspace. So, I crawl over to the bedroom and on the way over I notice water running down the wall between the kitchen and the laundry room, under the house mind you. Things that make you go Hmmm. Well, the cable gets reconnected and I turn to investigate the leak. I find that the leak is actually on the other side of the wall in the crawlspace under the laundry room. A little relief that its not running down the wall from the 2nd floor, which would have been yucky.

Let me interject here that the crawlspace under the laundry room is much smaller than the one under the main house. When this house was built in 1938 the laundry room was a room you stepped down into from the kitchen. At some point during the renovations the floor in this room was raised to be level with the kitchen floor. The space under this room is like crawling under a bed. Tiny.

I am not tiny.

To enter the space under the laundry room I have to exhale to get my chest in and then inhale to get my hips in. Sound like fun? Oh, also, in order to get to the pipe that was leaking, I had to go in on my back.

I make it over to the leak and because of the size of this space, I can only use my right hand to take the pipes apart. The left hand is useless in this drill. I determine that the best course of action is to take out the bad part and go to the Home Depot and get new parts. Nice idea. Home Depot had the right parts, wrong sizes. This will come back to bite us later. So, I get the parts I can work with, reducers and all. Go back to the house determined to make this work. Did I mention you have to slide on your back and only use your right hand in this drill?

I get back under and go to work. OK, looks good, lets turn the water back on. Cheri is in charge of the water turning off and on. So she goes out and turns it on. Please turn it off. Please. Hmmm, that didn't work. Lets try again, redo this, reconnect that. Still leaks. Hmmmm. After a couple more tries, the leaks are gone, calgon take me away.

I go up to shower all the crawlspace off me and about 5 minutes into the shower, the water completely shuts off! Oh no you didn't! I run downstairs and Cheri again runs out and turns the water off. Great. I go back and put on my dirty clothes again and take a gander under the house. Oh good. 40 gallons of hot water is now under the home. Yes, you know what's coming.

Back I go into the crawlspace. Snorkel and mask optional. You know that whole "wrong size" thing I talked about, this was it. The pressure from the water heater blew out the fitting. Just blew it out. OK, readjust this, tighten that, tweak those. Leak test? All good. Yeah!

Shower with no problems, dishwashing with no problems, problems solved. Until about 10PM that night. Cheri was walking through and heard water spraying under the home. Joy Joy. Again the water goes off.

Monday morning bright and early I am at the plumbing supply store to get the right stuff, having the right stuff is so underrated. Back to the house, dryfit everything, looks good, here we go. Hook all of the new stuff up and it still leaks. You may think this is rocket science, but it really is not. All of this plumbing screws together. Problem is I only have my right hand and its super hard to tighten fittings with one hand. Long story short, on this morning, another 40 gallons was deposited into the crawlspace. Really?

You may have called a plumber at this point, heck, you may have called one yesterday, Sunday rates be damned! Not me. I'm the guy that circles the restaurant to get the prime parking spot on the street. I'm the guy that does not flinch in this situation.

We finally got to leak free status around 8ish on Monday morning. I took a shower and yes, you guessed it, leak city. Again the water goes off. We decide to reconvene the water stop loss program after work.

So, finally, all connections are tight, retight and re-retightened. Cheri turns the water on and we run it all over the house for 5 minutes. No leaks. Whats that? No leaks. Say again? No leaks. Thank you very much.

So, yes after 5 hours and $25 worth of parts, the problem is fixed. The people said yeah!

Oh, Sam was so cute. He sang to me through the floor when I was under there.