Sunday, November 29, 2009

Preparations Galore

Today we did some more packing and worked on some final preparations. Tomorrow we have no choice but to finish our preparations because we'll be staying in Portland overnight TOMORROW. Yes folks, this is really happening! This trip has been in the planning stages for more than 2 full years and the adventure starts tomorrow! We'll fly out early Tuesday morning and have the first day in the park on Wednesday.

It's still so hard to believe that the time is almost here! Yippie!

I'm going to try to keep a photo journal up on the blog as best as I can, so check back in regularly over the next week if you want to live our adventure vicariously through this blog! Can you tell I'm a little excited?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

3 Days!

We fly out in THREE days! Can you believe it? Today we spent the day doing laundry (the last load is just about to come out of the dryer) and working on some last minute preparations. Tonight, we pack!

Oh, and mommy the tooth-fairy is going to make a visit to Leeann's room tonight. She lost her top right tooth this evening. Wow, she looks so different now that a top one is gone!

Well, I shouldn't stay on here long, because my stress level is telling me that there's still plenty to do!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Phones, Fires and More

I started a grease fire in my kitchen last night, then burnt a tortilla to a crisp and later turned the wrong burner on and started to melt a plastic utensil. My house stunk!

A really cute moment was when Rob, Suzy and I were all in the kitchen trying to deal with the fire (we were trying to squelch the fire, open windows and rescue the 3 other pots and pans cooking food on the stove), Leeann came downstairs after a few minutes with a my little pony, tiny sized bucked of water. "Here you go, this is for the fire!" she said proudly. Truly, it wouldn't have put out a match, but it was a sweet thought!

THEN, as Leeann was clearing the table she looked at me with her silly little look and said, "Look under the plate mommy!" Smashed between two dirty plates was my cell phone.

I told her it wasn't funny because it was getting my cell phone dirty and asked her to take care of it. Translated in the mind of a 6 year-old... wash it. Unfortunately I didn't realize she was washing it until it was too late.

Luckily, my new every two phone plan just left me eligible for a new phone as of last week!

Today though, I am unable to call out and that has caused me numerous problems already.

I LOVE my life, but sometimes it's just plain exhausting!

Age 3

Titus's days of being 3 are nearly coming to an end. On December 2nd (our first day at Disneyland park!) I'll wake up in hotel room with my handsome 4 year-old son. I still can't figure out where time has gone!

Here are somethings that I want to remember about Titus being 3:

* He still sleeps with his blanket every night. I'm not sure more than 5 nights of his life have been spent without that blue car blanket by his side. He also loves his purple bear named "Beary Bear".

* He smiles ALL THE TIME. Seriously, I'm pretty sure this kiddo is care-free. Fun is his only motivation in life!

* He's usually the life of the party. He doesn't know a stranger and the world is his toy box.

* He never stops talking. There's always a sound coming out of his mouth, whether he's asking a question, talking to himself, his cars, telling someone what to do or just making general boy noises (crashing things into each other, making gun or sword noises as he turns every household items into these things).

* He enunciates every word very clearly and emphatically.

* He likes people. This boy is an extrovert for sure. He wants to be where the people are, doing what the people are doing. Last night he put a pull-up on to go potty because he didn't want to miss any time playing with his cousins. He told me, "I had to go and I didn't want to go in my underwear so I put a pull-up on!" Oh, the logic of a 3 year-old.

* He loves playing cars, trains and lego's with his daddy especially. He's also into Star Wars right now.

* His favorite movie is currently "Tad and Lily go to school."

* Almost every morning when he hears my alarm go off, or he hears Rob get out of the shower he comes in for morning snuggle time. This is my favorite time of the day!

* He got glasses this year, and he loves to wear them because they help him see better.

* If I remember right from his last Dr. appointment he's 27 pounds and 37 inches. He wears 2t and 3t clothes.

* Leeann says, "I like when he snuggles me and I like when he stays in the lines when he colors. I like about him when he sits by me. I really like about him when he loves me and hugs me."

* Leeann is still his best friend. These two have honest, genuine fun together and rarely fight. I think they both like being around people so much that they don't want to fight so they won't get separated.

* He likes to help, though his attention span is super short. The kiddo is impulsive and just doesn't stay still! I consistently have to bring him back to a task time and time again to get him to complete it. He's not being defiant, he's just very easily distracted. I'm telling you, this kid is EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME!

* He still has great motor skills. He can run, climb, jump and fly off of things like the best of them.

* He knows all of his letters and their sounds, can count to 29 and knows most of his shapes without help. He can spell his name and loves to point out signs that have the same letters in them as "his letters". He can skip count by 5's to 100.

* He wants to type his own name backwards, so here it goes: sutit leeann (okay, so he wanted to spell Leann's name too).

* He loves to beat people. He likes to race out of the church parking lot to beat Suzy or daddy to McDonald's. He tries to get his shoes or jacket, or buckles on faster than his sister. Unless of course, she's going faster. Then, "It's not a race!"

* He likes to be read to and he enjoys flashcards for some strange reason.

* He loves staying at Aunt Pam and Uncle Steve's and Aunt Shelly and Uncle Church's houses. These are his favorite over-night destinations.

* He especially enjoys playing with his cousins Weston and Logan, my siblings Logan and Hope, and with Caleb, Desiree and Troy.

* He asks almost daily if we can go to the church. He thinks he owns the place!

Well, with that it's time to get Leeann off to school. I'll try to update this list as I think of new things throughout the day, so check back if you are interested in more Titus knowledge. Aw, I love this kid!
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Saturday, November 21, 2009


Logan and Hope came down this weekend. So, on Thursday night we met my dad in Tigard and I got the distinct pleasure of introducing him to The Lego Store!

He was like a kid in a candy store! So, of course all 4 kids each walked away with a cool Lego set. Logan got a Star Wars fighter ship, Titus got a fire truck and the girls got a girly horse thing.

Well, we invited my dad down for dinner tonight, which we usually do when we have his kids. Since The Lego Store happens to be right on his way he decided that he needed to go back and pick up a few more things for the kids.

"Do you think they'd like a house?" he asked. So we talked for a while about what house they would like. I was assuming a house for them all to work on together and share. Nope. He wanted to get them each a house!

So, Daddy/Grandpa came in tonight with a house set for each of them. These houses are SO cool! We spent a couple of hours putting part of them together and finally dumped the kids into bed exhausted WAY past bed time. Such fun!

Several days ago Rob stated that he thinks this is going to be a Lego Christmas... and I think he's right. Our kids are LOVING Lego's right now. The best part is, they are educational and timeless.

So, for those of you who have my kids on your Christmas list, think Lego :0) Well, if you want to of course!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2 Weeks!

2 weeks from this moment in time I will be fastening my seatbelt preparing for landing in Southern California!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Silly Kids!

I let each of my children have 1/2 hour tonight to be in charge. I explained to them that they make the rules and can do whatever they want. BOTH of them chose to watch a movie! Seriously, I thought I was gearing up for some real kid-inspired fun... I must figure out a way to expand their imaginations!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Gift of Giving

*Long, some-what haphazard post ahead, but once I started writing about God's provision I was reminded of more and more ways He's provided for us. My fingers could hardly type fast enough to keep up with my grateful little mind!*

I am especially struck today by the awesomeness of of gifting--both on the giving end, and on the receiving end. It's such a cool way for God to use people in other people's lives.

For us it's been a true tangible measure of God's provision in our lives. At just the time when we need it most, we'll end up being given a random gift. Sometimes it's money, and usually just enough to cover our current need. Sometimes it's money to simply cover a want (which is especially cool when it's something we've waited a long time for and wanted really badly but just couldn't quite justify). I'm amazed at how many times we're given a gift that is exactly what we've been wanting... and how could the giver have possibly known? God knew.

Other times we're given a gift that we didn't even know we needed--then quickly realized the need after the gift was given!

Sometimes even, we gift ourselves without even recognizing what we're doing until much later. Consider the bunk beds we bought for "big sister", so she would feel comfortable having friends stay over. Not to mention the dresser we bought for her and the room we had completely prepared. We had saved little by little to purchase the things necessary for big sister and we were quite bummed to think about the money we had spent on those things once we realized that big sister probably wasn't going to be a reality in the near future. Little did we know however, that we would end up being able to bring 2 foster kids into our home with no notice, and no preparation... because we had prepared for big sister. It would have been nearly impossible for us to have furnished a bedroom for them when they first came. The night we came home with them we had a box of things we might need waiting on our front porch including cereal and toothbrushes and some clothes for the kids to get us through until we could go shopping. God knew.

We have put nearly 10,000 miles on our car since we got it in May (due to weekly visits to and from St. Helens for the kids). That same 10,000 miles on our previous van probably would have likely yielded some significant (and expensive) repairs because of the mileage it already had on it. Not to mention we would have possibly been living in daily apprehension wondering what was going to happen to it next, how much it would cost us, and how we would transport a family of 6 while it was repaired. Thankfully though, we had the money to purchase Rob's mom's car at a generously discounted price that gave us the freedom not to worry about those things during an already stressful stage in life. God knew.

Speaking of cars, Rob's broke down when we first moved to Albany and a few people chipped in to partially pay for a replacement car.

We've gone to Disneyland twice and received some free tickets both times. People have paid for our meals, our gas, some clothes, Leeann's preschool, our honeymoon even! We've been given a number of timely gift cards (somehow I'm craving Starbucks just thinking about that!). We've received boxes of clothes for the kids and other goodies in the mail on numerous occasions. We've been given hand-me-down clothes galore! We've been given all sorts of hand-me-down furniture that has allowed us to have just what we've needed. Within a week of moving to Albany and posting a list of needs on the bulletin board at church we had a table and chairs, an end table, a microwave, a mattress, a couch and chair (though those were borrowed from someone who had them in storage), and a washer and dryer even!

When we had Titus I literally don't think we bought a thing. Or, should I say, the few things we did buy were because we had been given money or gift cards from others. A crib, strollers, carseats, a changing table and more baby stuff than anyone could imagine!

We've had a number of people give us the gift of labor. Some of our car repairs and many of our home repairs have been done by others at little or no cost to us. We've also had people come help out or give a hand out of the blue, or offer to watch our kids. Again, just at the perfect time.

Our adoption was paid for partially by a love offering taken at church and partially out of a clerical error on our previous year's taxes. Seriously, I believe God did that. I believe he guided our treasurer (who was in her first year at the job) to overlook whatever error it was. And also to catch it at just the right time. The difference was just enough to pay the attorney and remaining expenses for our adoption. And believe me, this was at a time that I had just finished college and our finances had very little wiggle room for such a big expense. God knew.

Speaking of college. How on earth did I end up getting to go to college? My family had always lived paycheck to paycheck and no one went to college. I received so many grants and scholarships and work opportunities that I am still flabbergasted by the fact that I was able to graduate college. God has even brought about some, um, unique opportunities for work that have allowed us to diligently pay down our remaining loans. Rob's are paid off and mine will be under $10,000 by the first of the year. It sounds like a lot of money, but it's so little compared to what they started out as. And, as always, God has been faithful to provide for even pesky student-loans.

We've gotten some really out-of-the-blue monetary gifts that were incredibly timely. I mean, incredibly timely. I am overwhelmed at the though of God stirring in the heart's of others to provide for our needs. I'm overwhelmed at the fact that those people would open up their hearts and their wallets, or give their time to meet someone else's need.

I'm overwhelmed at the fact that God works in our hearts to give in ways that we don't usually understand. Sometimes we just feel like God's asking us to give something. I like that. I like knowing that he's using us to provide for others in small ways. Just like he's used so many other people to provide for us. I feel like He's taught us so much out of the provision of others that I can't help but smile and wonder what God is trying to teach others when He stirs in our hearts to give to them. Of course, at this stage of our lives we've been given far more than we've been able to give.

Someday though, we hope to be able to give in HUGE ways. Like they say on the movie Robots, "See a need, fill a need!" I believe God is preparing us for that by asking us to give in small ways now. I especially like when He puts it on our heart to gift something to someone that hurts. I mean, I don't know how we're going do without this thing, or this money, but obviously God has a plan. So we give and God provides. Every time! Every single time!

This post only begins to scratch the surface of the cool ways God has provided for us in our nearly 8 years of marriage. Time after time, item after item, dollar after dollar, God has worked in and through people to meet our daily needs. I like being part of God's story.

A couple of things happened today that reminded me of the fact that God cares deeply about our pea-pickin little family in big ways. As I was pondering how grateful I am for His provision I thought I ought to write it down not only to share with you (and hopefully encourage you to consider the cool ways in which God provides) but as a way for our family to remember about all of the amazing ways God has provided for our needs. God is so faithful!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


We play a game at our house called "whiskers". It's along the same vein as giving butterfly kisses or Eskimo kisses, but it's where someone rubs their chin on some else's face or arms and yells, "Whiskers!" It's especially cute when Titus does it because he really thinks he's hurting you (since Daddy's whiskers hurt when you do that). He does it with all his little might!

Anyway, I was just up in Leeann and Titus's rooms with them and I pulled my pant leg up because I felt something funny on my knee. Leeann looked at me with a puzzled expression and inquisitively looked up and said, "Mommy, why are you growing whiskers on your leg?"

Because it's almost winter time my love, it's almost winter!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Funny Girl

"Mommy, can we take the Dave Ramsey video to Disneyland with us?" asked Leeann. Only Buhl children enjoy watching Dave Ramsey for fun!

20 Days!

We fly out for our Disney trip in 20 DAYS! You have no idea how excited we are in the Buhl household right now. We've been planning, praying and saving for this trip since August of 2007 and it's almost here! DISNEYLAND HERE WE COME!

Jabber Jabber

I am amazed at how much my son talks. I mean he talks, and talks and talks regardless of who's around or if anyone is listening. And he just keeps talking and talking and talking and talking. Right now they're at the table doing school work and the kid just keeps on jabbering! About absolutely NOTHING! I wonder where he gets this from?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kid Quote

I overheard Leeann saying in a conversation to Titus, "I want to be a mom but first I need to learn all the rules in all the houses. THEN I can be a mom. And I need to learn to cook all by myself with any help first." How cute is that?

Thursday, November 05, 2009

At Dinner

At dinner tonight Leeann looked up at me and matter-of-factly said, "Dave Ramsey says sell the condo."

Then she went back to her food! We were talking about this with them the other day when we told them we rented out the other house and that we wouldn't be moving back into it for a while. We were talking about needing to sell this one, but for now we need stay here.

Isn't it funny the things they pick up? Perhaps we talk just a little to much about Dave Ramsey these days?!?!

But Mom!

This morning I laid Leeann's clothes out for her. She climbed out of the shower and walked into her room to find a purple long sleeve striped shirt and a purple vest on her floor where I set them out for her.

She came out in the hallway with a confused, dejected look on her face. "But mom, I've already worn those to school before!"

The poor girl has so many clothes (thanks Aunt Shelly and Great Grandma M!) that she didn't realize that she might occassionally wear the same thing more than once a year!

In her defense, she really probably hasn't worn the same thing twice because she still had her summer clothes out for the first month of school and we recently pulled out her winter clothes giving her a whole new set of clothes to choose from.

She wasn't being prissy or snotty, just honestly questioning if she was supposed to wear the same thing twice. Silly girl!