The main source of my chaos...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Would you hire us??? Never mind, we'll do it for free!

For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed matchmaking.  My past record isn't so great... okay, I stink at it, but my luck is changing!  I've actually successfully connected a few couples in the last few months.  Remember that it's only my job to introduce/fix you up with someone who I believe would be compatible with you.  If you date a few weeks and then decide it's not going to work, that is not a strike against me.  If you share the same interests and find each other attractive, then I've done my part.  I can't go on dates with you and make it work out, people! 

Danna and I share this little hobby, and together we make a great team.  It was actually Danna's idea to hook up Dan Morgan and Whitney Gibson a couple of months ago and it's been a LOVE MATCH for sure.  Danna was so excited when she called me to inform me of her GREAT idea.  I really didn't do anything except encourage Dan, which wasn't hard at all to do.  If we ever do start a company, it will be their picture  on the billboard for sure.  Aren't they cute???

So, this brings me to the reason for this blog.  I have an idea that I wanted to run by you all.  If Danna and I did start a new business (hypothetically speaking, of course, since I don't have time to start a new business!), how do you think this one would go over...  We could call it "Creative Coincidences".  Basically, it works like this... Client (we'll call her Missy) comes to us because she has her eye on a certain guy.  He'd then become the Target (we'll call him Billy).  Missy has seen Billy around and likes what she sees.  She may even casually know him, but not well enough to engage in conversation.  Missy decides that she needs help getting Billy's attention.  Enter Danna and I... we scheme (or "creatively plan" as I prefer to call it) to put Missy and Billy in the same place at the same time.  Or we go undercover to investigate Billy to find out what he likes, so that Missy and suddenly become interested in the same things.  Or we disable Missy's car so that it breaks down in front of Billy's house, etc.  You get the picture.  Now, calm down, I know some of you may be freaking out.  You probably think this is stalking.  Just hush, it's not. 

Or, in another scenario, we may actually know of two people who we think would make a cute couple.  For whatever reason, one or both of them may be resistant (ahem...cough cough... not calling any names!), but Danna and I really feel strongly that they need to give it a shot.  We could put our creative planning in action and arrange several random moments where their paths cross.  Since neither party asked for our services, we would have to do this pro bono, but that's okay.  After they got married, they might make a donation to our company or something.  We can work out all those details later.

So what do you think?  Could it work?  :)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yuri and Gigi play hair salon!

I knew this day would come.  I HOPED it wouldn't, but deep down I knew it would.  Having already gone through this age with two girls, I KNEW it would happen.  Yuri and Gigi played hair salon.  With. The. Real. Scissors. 

They were supposed to be taking a nap, but I kept hearing giggles.  Like not typical giggles... weird giggles.  I went in to check on this and this is what I found...

I got pretty hysterical, but Karlie (bless her heart!) was nearly beside herself.  If you know her, you know that little things going wrong tend to set her off.  The thought of her baby sisters with military-style haircuts could be considered one of those things.  She actually had me laughing, so Yuri and Gigi caught a break! 

For the first half hour, Yuri and Gigi blamed each other.  Nobody would accept any responsibility at all.  Then, Gigi came upstairs, looked in the mirror and said "Ms. Hopey is a good haircutter.  Yuri is not a good haircutter".  I knew then that Yuri was the guilty party (which, I must admit, surprised me greatly).  I came down to Yuri's room and said "Look at me in the eyes.  Did you cut Gigi's hair?".  She didn't answered, but she dropped her head and wouldn't look at me.  That was close enough to an admission for me to convict! 

Compared to the number Haley Rae did on her hair when she was 3, this wasn't just terrible.  When Yuri cut Gigi's, she must've been going for the Posh Spice look.  It actually turned out pretty stylish!  Hope told her to tuck one side and swing the other, so she's been walking around the house tonight saying "tuck... swing... tuck... swing" 

Here's her finished look:

 It is apparently harder to cut your OWN hair than someone else's because Yuri struggled with her own 'do.  She chopped layers ALL OVER HER HEAD.  We didn't have a choice but to stack it up, and it STILL has short layers that stick up.  She wasn't happy about any part of the situation, and hopefully it'll make her THINK next time before she gets crazy with the scissors. 

The funny thing is that I didn't recognize the scissors.  When I was telling Momar about it, she told me that she had been missing a pair of scissors since she wrapped presents on Christmas Eve... right before WE ARRIVED to open gifts.  The best we can figure out, the girls smuggled the scissors home with their gifts and were waiting for the perfect opportunity to play hair salon.

It all turned out fine.  Nobody got scalped and they still look like little girls.  And since Willard loves short hair, he's happy as a clam. 

You know I can't stay mad at them anyway.  Look at these faces.  If they're not sweet, I don't know what is!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The flu!

Well, I've been basically homebound with sick kids since Saturday.  I've watched hours and hours of movies on ABC Family, which has actually been nice.  Since Karlie and Gigi preferred to be piled up on the couch, I just joined them.  Yeah, yeah, I know it would have been the perfect time to catch up on laundry or ironing or paperwork, but I just wasn't in the mood.  It was also the perfect time to read some paperbacks and watch funny Christmas movies!  We all need some downtime every now and then, and I've taken full advantage.  I'll admit I'm kinda stressed out because I have only bought about 25% of the Christmas gifts that I have to buy, and I have no idea when I'll get to shop, but.. whatever... no sense in worrying.  If I have to hit Wal-Mart in the middle of the night, so be it.  It's not like worrying is going to change anything.  I plan to have a Merry Christmas, sick or well, prepared or not prepared --- and I hope you do too!!! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Gilgal Girls!

You may have seen several ladies in the community walking around in hot pink t-shirts with "The Gilgal Girls" emblazoned across the front.  My Sunday School class (lead by Susan Hensley) finished a Beth Moore bible study back during the summer.  One thing that stuck out for us was when she mentioned the word "Gilgal".  The literal meaning of the word is "circle of stones".  We got to discussing it, one thing lead to another, and we ultimately started referring to ourselves as "The Gilgal Girls". 

It makes sense, really.  Stone is just another word for rock, and we truly are like a circle of rocks for each other.  When I was going through period of panic and heartbreak over the possibility of losing Yuri and Gigi, these were the women who listened and prayed and encouraged me.  They kept reminding me that God was in control, even when I tried my darnest to take matters into my own hands.  And when I was having a hard time with the idea of Hunter spending his summer as a missionary in Serbia, they reassured me that he would be fine.  Anytime someone in the class needs prayer, or if something happens in the community that we feel is important, we send out a mass text that always starts "Hey Gilgals...".  When we see those words, we know that a fellow Gilgal needs us. 

If you're reading this and you don't have a church family, come join us at Danville Baptist.  Sunday school starts at 9 a.m. and preaching at 10:15.  You too can be a Gilgal Girl!!! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ho-Ho has his work cut out for him!!

Most little girls around the age of...oh... let's say 3 or 4... ask Santa to bring them a baby doll, a Barbie, or maybe even a bicycle.  Not Yuri and Gigi. No, that would be too easy.

Yuri has asked for a kangaroo, a rollercoaster, and a gun.  Gigi has asked for an alligator, an elephant, a panda, a knife, a fly swatter, and a flashlight.  When I show them stuffed animals that look like the aforementioned items, they say "noooooo!  I want a REAL one!"  Sigh. 

Gigi also has a fascination with Superman (or, as she calls him, "Hooperman").  She wants Santa to bring Hooperman to our house to play with her.  Nice, huh?  Well, lucky for her, I happen to know someone who will make a GREAT Superman.  He has (kind of) agreed to dress up and come by on Christmas morning to play with her.  Thank you, Will Edmondson!  You're going to look marvelous... cape, tights, boots... it's going to be AWESOME!!!! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random babble....

Well, I'm basically just blogging because I haven't done it in so long.  It's my goal to blog at least twice a month.  I haven't been inspired to blog about anything specific, so this one is just random babble. 

As usual, there's craziness around my house.  We're in the process of painting and putting down new flooring in all the kids bedrooms.  Plus, everybody is playing switch-a-roo again.  Haley Rae is graciously giving up her big bedroom (the old master suite) for the babies.  Okay, so maybe she's not THRILLED about it, but she has agreed to do it without too much fussing.  She's never home and she doesn't need all that space.  Yuri and Gigi need more room because of their kitchen, the tent, the 4 billion stuffed animals and baby dolls, etc.  So, Haley is moving to Karlie's room, Karlie is moving to the babies' room, and they babies are moving to Haley's room.  Whew.  I'm worn out just typing it.  Not looking forward to moving all that furniture!

Dear Hunter - I have not forgotten that you are also my child, but since you NEVER come home (and when you do, you stay with Taylor or Josh/Sean or Momar), I didn't find it feasible to keep a room empty for you.  However, when you are here, I will make sure you have a bed to sleep in.  It may have pink sheets on it, but it will be all yours while you're here!

Those of you who know Karlie well will appreciate this... she told me the other day that she really wanted to move back into her old room (currently the baby room).  I said "but why?  it's the smallest room of all".  She said "because it's square.  I don't like my new room because it's uneven.  Bedrooms should be square".  My sweet, OCD child.  She's moving back in to her old room and she's just barely changing the color.  We're going from "Lovely Lilac" to "Grape Popsicle". 

Haley Rae hasn't decided on a color yet.  She has pretty much narrowed it down to either "Xavier Blue" or "New Fushcia".  Like I said, she's not exactly thrilled about this musical room thing.  She agreed to it, in exchange for new paint, new floors, and new bedding.  Then about 30 minutes after agreeing, she sent me a text and said "oh, and I also want curfew extensions".  Haha.  Nice try.  Not happening. 

We had revival this week and it was great.  I just love our music.  The choir is awesome, and the youth band always rocks it out, and I never fail to be moved to tears when Holly Little sings.  She has no idea how talented she is!  

Wednesday night when I went over to the Forte to get Yuri from Children's Church, she was talking and cutting up with Sydni Clayton and Shelby Beck.  When we started home, she started saying "I want to sing the Shelby song".  She said this over and over and over, but I had no idea what she was talking about.  FINALLY, when she started trying to sing it herself, I realized what she meant.  She wanted to sing "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain".  You know.... "shelby comin round the mountain".   haha.  So just MAAAAAYBE I have an bit of an accent when I sing! 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010



I think everybody has that one kid who is the "strong-willed child". Yeah, well, that's Haley Rae. It started the day she came home from the hospital. I put this adorable little pink one-piece outfit on her, and she started screaming. She wouldn't even stop long enough for a good picture. That day pretty much set the pace. We could do things the way Haley wanted to do it, or we could do it the hard way.

I sent her to pre-school when she was 3 years old because I really felt like she needed to be around someone other than me. One little ripple in whatever she wanted and we're talking MAJOR meltdown. I thought going to school would teach her compromise, etc. Ummm... not so much. We drove up the first day and she screamed bloody murder. For the next week, the teachers would have to physically pry her fingers off the carseat to get her inside the building. Finally, Haley says "I won't cry if that other lady will get me out". So some poor lady who didn't even have car duty agrees to meet us outside every morning and get Haley out. Geez. Then, I found out that she was standing behind the door in the classroom and pouting until snack time. So what does her teacher do? Moves snack time to 8:45! Basically, sending her to school just re-enforced what she already knew.... pitch a big enough fit and you get your way. Nice...

Haley Rae is A LOT like her daddy. If you know her, you know that's true. Her stubborn streak MIGHT even be wider than his. I remember one Sunday night before church - we were just about to load up and leave when Willard realizes Haley didn't pick up her blocks out of the den floor (she was probably about 4 years old). It went something like this:

WILLARD: Pick up your blocks so we can leave.

HALEY: No, I'm not picking them up.

WILLARD: Yes, you are.

HALEY: Nope.

WILLARD: I'm going to spank you if you don't.

HALEY: I don't care.


WILLARD: Now, pick them up!


WILLARD: I'm going to spank you again.

HALEY: I don't care.


To save space, I'll just say "repeat this scene 8 more times". Hunter got so upset and kept saying, "I'll pick them up, Daddy. I will." He didn't want to see her get any more spankings, but it didn't seem to bother her. Finally, me and Hunter went and got in the car, but we never made it to church. After 20 or 30 minutes, I guess Haley got bored with the whole thing and finally picked up the blocks, but by that time it was too late to go to church.

She's also got some of me in her in that she HATES to lose. Even when she tries to act like she doesn't care, you know it's just killing her. She's very competitive and has little patience for those who aren't. I think that's probably why she excels in sports. She's the last girl in her grade to still be playing 3 sports. It's incredibly hard to do that these days. Sports aren't seasonal anymore. Sometimes she'd have all three sports in one day. To her credit, she never complained. Well, I take that back, she complains like crazy, but she loves it.

Another thing she got from me - she has a soft spot for babies. Her tough guy act crumbles when she sees a baby.  She is a great big sister to Yuri and Gigi and loved them from the first time she laid eyes on them. Haley Rae is actually the one who declared that we'd be making a run for the border if DHR tried to take them away from us. She said "they WILL NOT take my baby sisters from me" and she meant it. I don't think DHR knew what they were up against. It could have gotten really ugly, so it's a good thing it all worked out.

When Haley was in 3rd grade, she came in and told me that she wanted to be in the Christmas pageant at school THE NEXT DAY. So, in a panicked state, we ran to the mall and got a little red dress and some shoes. I rolled her hair myself and she looked pretty darn cute. We got to the middle school gym and she saw all the people coming in and sitting on the bleachers. She says "What are all those people doing?". I say, "they came to watch the pageant". She says "WHAT??? I am NOT walking out there in front of all those people". Great. I told her she didn't have a choice. So, I went and sat down, not knowing what in the world to expect when she walked out. Well, she walks out like she's done it a million times, without an ounce of nervousness, and WINS! Since that pageant, she's been in several more and always does well. She never gets nervous and I guess it shows!

We tease her about her attitude and her stubborness, but it makes her who she is. She's the one child of mine that I will never worry about someone taking advantage of. She won't take crap off anybody, and that makes me very proud. 

She beautiful, opinionated, and talented – and I’m proud to be her mama!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There was an old lady who lived in a shoe...

I can soooo relate to that old lady.  If you're reading this, you probably already know that in addition to my own 5 kids, we have two new (temporary) foster kids.  The little boy is 22 months old and the little girl is 10 months old.  They're very, very sweet and we're enjoying them. 

First of all, let me apologize to all those who were unfortunate enough to have to sit by me and my flock yesterday at the volleyball games.  I should probably personally refund you all your admission money.  I don't think I'll be trying THAT again.  Bringing two little ones is hard enough - four just isn't any fun at all.  I'm thinking a hiatus from ballgames may be in order until the two new babies get moved to their other foster home. 

I got them last Tuesday and they were supposed to be moved to another foster home today, but it looks like we're going to have them at least a couple more weeks.  That is, unless DHR decides to show up and do an impromptu inspection.  If that happens, they'll probably take them ALL away and condemn the house.  Let's just say that I named the blog appropriately.  Chaos doesn't even begin to cover it.  :(  I keep thinking, "oh well, it's just laundry...and dishes... and crumbs.  It'll all be here when I DO get a chance to tackle it".  I'm actually going to be home all day today, which never happens, so hopefully I can do some strategic planning with naptimes and get them all down at one time.  I might have a chance to sweep or something! 

Hope you all have a good Tuesday.  Although not a fan of cold weather, I'm loving the coolness in the air this week.  THIS is football weather.  Roll Tide!! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey... No Fair!!!

Last Friday, Yuri's class had a special day devoted to the letter "T".  She had a tea party, had to wear a tutu and a tiara, and take her teddy bear with her.  She was so excited! 

I love T day! 
Gigi, on the other hand, was not happy that she didn't get to do the same.  Here's how she feels about "T" day.... 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Brooms don't make good bridges...

Sometimes I don't blog until I have something serious to blog about.  Well, today is not one of those days.  I'm blogging today to let you know that if you are planning to use your broom as a bridge between the couch and the recliner, it won't work.  Just ask Yuri and Gigi.... 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One of *those* days!

When I named my blog "can you say chaos?", I must've been foreshadowing yesterday.  Yikes. 

I'll have to back up a bit and give you some history first.  Hunter hasn't felt well for a couple of weeks and he called me on Tuesday to let me know he was "spacing out" at school.  He really couldn't articulate it any better than that, just that he couldn't concentrate.  So, when he decided to come home yesterday, I got him in to see the doctor. 

Here's where the chaos starts... I'm almost to the doctor's office to meet Hunter when Karlie's volleyball coach calls.  Apparently Karlie has injured her wrist playing volleyball and she isn't doing well.  I said "you mean it's broken?".  He said, "well, I don't know, but I think she's about to have a seizure."  (Karlie was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 6).  I told him I was in Decatur but that Willard was home and I'd send him to pick her up. 

So I go into the doctor office with Hunter.  After talking with Hunter, doing an exam, and drawing blood, the doctor says that based on Hunter's description and the family history of epilepsy, he thinks Hunter may be having petit mal seizures.  Well, that's just great.  He's having an EEG first thing Monday morning.  This means he'll miss classes on Monday, and it also means that if his EEG does indeed show seizure activity, we have to deal with many issues, including driving a car.  !!! 

In the meantime, Willard calls and says that the school nurse thinks Karlie's wrist may be broken and she will need an x-ray.  He heads to Cullman to get an x-ray while I wrap up Hunter's visit.  Turns out that her wrist just appears to be sprained, but she'll need another x-ray next week to make sure there's not a fracture in the growth plate that isn't showing up yet.  She said she never felt like she was having a seizure.  Her wrist was just hurting so bad that she was seeing spots and thought she might pass out. 

In the midst of all this, I realize that Willard was supposed to pick up Yuri and Gigi from daycare, but he's in Cullman (with the car seats).  I'm in Decatur and he's in Cullman, Yuri and Gigi should have been picked up 30 minutes ago.... luckily, Haley Rae was home and was able to dig out old car seats from the garage and go get them. 

I realize I'm hungry but it's too close to supper to really eat, so I swing through Chic-Fil-A and get a vanilla shake (you know, the one with whip cream and a cherry!). 

Before I even take a drink of my shake.... Oh, look... I missed a call from my social worker at DHR.  (By the way, ANY time DHR calls, you come to learn that SOMETHING is going on).  I call her back and she answered with "never mind, we found someone".  Apparently they had picked up two children (ages 4 and 2) and they wanted me to take them for a few days.  I just start laughing.  I laugh because that's ALL I need - two more kids to add to an already unbelievably stressful day.  And I laugh because had I ANSWERED the phone the first time she called, I WOULD have two more kids to add to an already stressful day! 

I still haven't taken a drink of my shake because my family and friends are calling to check on Karlie, but a melted shake is still tasty so no big deal, right?  As I turn off Danville Road onto Wynn Wallace, the entire shake tilts and dumps into the floorboard.  I don't even drink or cuss, but I have to admit at that moment I wanted to do both! 

The day eventually settled down.  All my kids were tucked in safely at home by bedtime and Gigi slept all night.  That's got to be a sign that today will be a better day! 


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

How Lluri Bargas became Yuri Garnett....

Last Thursday was technically Yuri's 4th birthday, but it was her FIRST as an official Garnett. I'm about to tell you the story of how Lluri Elizabeth Bargas became Yuri Elizabeth Garnett.

Many, many times over the last 20 years, I told Willard I wanted to be a foster parent. I needed a fix to baby craving and that seemed like a good way to do it. He repeatedly and sternly rejected it ALWAYS. He had this ridiculous idea that I would get attached and never want to give them back. Seriously?? Me???

So one day I walk into church and there are little Hispanic kids all over the place. I didn't even know the Weaver's and the Tyson's were foster parents, but they suddenly had six little ones between them! These kids were so sweet and I immediately had the "awwwww" reaction. Willard started shaking his head and I could read through the lines. No way, no way, no way... it ain't happening! So as the Weaver's and Tyson's had foster kids coming and going, I just enjoyed getting to see them and resigned myself to the fact that fostering was something our family wouldn't be doing.

I'm not sure of the timeframe, but maybe a year later, I got a picture on my cell phone from Cindy Weaver. She and Dennis had been on their way to Smith Lake for a 4th of July weekend of camping when they got a call from DHR asking them to head back into town to pick up a 9-month-old baby girl. They agreed, as long as they could take her camping! So, on my phone came across this sweet picture of a little brown baby girl. They didn't even know her name, so they were calling her Jewel. She was adorable. Come to find out, her name was Lluri. In Spanish, I'm told, the double L makes a J or Y sound, so when pronounced, it comes out "Juri" or "Yuri", depending on the accent of who is saying it. In my mind, she was "Yuri" from then on.

So, me and Haley Rae and Karlie immediately begin stalking the Weaver's. We would fight over holding her at soccer games and football games. We begged them to let us babysit her. She was absolutely adorable, but the thought of foster parenting was tabled. Willard had squished it like a bug and made it clear that our family would not be fostering. Ever.

I believe Cindy was the first one to notice this, but then we all started noticing it too. Whenever Yuri saw Willard, she immediately lit up and started reaching for him. She liked him more than she liked me or either of the girls. Now, if you know us, you KNOW that's just plain WEIRD. He's big and he's scary-looking and kids typically run the other way. Not Yuri. She would sit in lap at games and be so content. It was really bizarre, to be honest.

So, we're sitting at a football game in September and Yuri was sitting in Willard's lap. She kept reaching up and rubbing his face and beard, and looking at him with those big brown eyes. He looks over and me and pretty much mumbles, "if you still want to do that foster thing, go ahead and sign us up". WHAT DID YOU SAY!?!? I don't think I even answered him. I just waited until Monday morning, called DHR, got the paperwork, and started filling it out. I was afraid to question him because I was scared he would change his mind!

The paperwork involved is unreal. There are basic questions, family history questions, financial questions, and then "touchy-feely" questions. There's one section where you can put what kind of child/children you are interested in fostering. Willard kept telling me to put "Hispanic girl less than one year old". I was like "ummm... that's kinda limiting our options, don't you think?". I finally had to say "Willard, look, you know we're never getting Yuri, right?" She's with the Weaver's and that's going well, and... well, it's just not going to happen. I started worrying that he would be disappointed in any child other than Yuri, but I went ahead and completed the paperwork.

A few weeks after I submitted the paperwork, I got a call from Cindy Weaver. She said "guess what? I just picked up Yuri's baby sister at the hospital". Her what? Apparently Yuri's mom was pregnant! Cindy and Dennis were automatically called to take her when she was born because they keep siblings together if at all possible. So, enter Giovanna Noemi Bargas into the world. Sean (the Weaver's biological son) realized immediately the Giovanna was far too big a name for a 6 lb. baby girl, so she became "Gigi".

Well, you can just imagine the Garnett's... we kicked it into HIGH-gear stalker mode. I know Cindy was so sick of seeing us. We thought of every excuse in the world to "be in the neighborhood" as often as possible. We couldn't get enough of Yuri and Gigi!

Around the first of December, me and Willard are talking one night and he gets this look on his face. It's a look I've come to recognize. He doesn't have it often, but when I see it, I know something serious is about to come out of his mouth and I know that whatever he is about to say is something he's been thinking about for a while. One time it was "I think I'm going to open a lawnmower shop" just out of the blue.  Most recently, it was "I want to move to Belize" (that's another story... stay tuned)  But on this particular night, he says "I can't explain it, but I think I'm supposed to be Yuri's daddy." I didn't quite know what to say. I mean, that can't be possible. I tried to laugh it off. We can't go to the Weaver's and say "Willard thinks he is supposed to be Yuri's daddy, so hand her over". ?? It's obvious to me that he's serious and struggling with this, so I just don't know how to respond.

About 2 weeks later, we went to a Christmas supper at church. At the end of the night, Dennis walks up to me and hands me Gigi. He said, "You want her?" I, of course, said "Yeah, I want her. Give her here". He said, "No.... I mean, do you WANT her? DHR has told us that the girls won't be able to go back to their mom and they're going to eligible for adoption. DHR wants to move them to an adoptive foster home soon so they can be bonding with whoever is going to adopt them". I was floored. In all of our conversations, Willard and I had always discussed FOSTERING. The word adoption wasn't even on the radar. But the minute I processed the thought, I knew God had just worked out how Willard was going to be Yuri's daddy.

Cindy and Dennis Weaver walked into our house on February 8, 2008, and handed our family the most precious gift anybody ever got.

Loving them and making them a part of our family was the easy part. Making it LEGAL was not so easy, but that's another story.

On May 11, 2010, Lluri Elizabeth Bargas and Giovanna Noemi Bargas officially became Yuri Elizabeth Garnett and Giovanna Grace Garnett.

There were a million reasons for us NOT to foster or adopt, but there were TWO reasons that we should - and they're laying in the floor at my feet right now coloring in a princess coloring book.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Son, the College Student

Wow. I didn't think this would be so hard. I mean, he's been in SERBIA all summer, for Pete's sake. Up until the moment he pulled out of the driveway yesterday, I thought it would be no big deal. Then tears came from nowhere! I blamed it on allergies, on not feeling well, on being tired from the Block Party, on missing 2 hormones pills this week... but the truth is, I'm going to miss him like crazy.

Here he is the day he came home from the hospital. All 10 pounds of him.

Wasn't he a cutie pie???
Hunter and Willard watching cartoons. Willard actually liked them more than Hunter did.

On this day, he got into the baby powder. He denied it being the guilty party, but something tells me he was lying.

Look, Mom! No teeth!

This is the boy who can stand up and make a speech in front of hundreds of people with little or no notice, but can't find Chapel Hill Road in Decatur without a GPS. The same one who can organize an entire event, but can't clean his room. He can rub elbows with politicians in D.C. but just recently learned to cut up his own steak.
He's growing up now and I'm so proud of him. He's a kid and I know he'll make mistakes, but he knows God has a plan for him. I love you, Hunter!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cleaning out!

It's that time of year again. Our annual Block Party is August 14th so that means my house gets a good cleaning out. I've already collected 13 bags (that's the black HEFTY bags) full of things to give away, and I haven't even started on Haley and Karlie's room yet. I know it's hard to believe, but even with all that stuff gone, we're still packed to the rim with STUFF. How sad is that?!?!? You can remove 429 gallons of stuff and still have a 25 times more than we need.

I have a walk-in closet in the old master bath (now Haley and Karlie's bath) that we haven't been able to use in years. It used to be Willard's closet but somewhere over time, it became the place I stuck things that I didn't know where else to put. It's got everything from pageant dresses to hunting rifles. I found the airbrushed car tag that Willard had on his car in 1986... "Willard-n-Amy". haha. I also found the metal detector that we bought to try to find our wedding rings that he lost on our wedding day (you know that story!). I actually had a good time once I got in there digging around. It's looking better and there's not much going back in!

I've also decided to part ways with all my baby stuff. Goodbye highchairs, goodbye strollers... does this mean I'm finally over my need to have a baby in the house? No... it just means that I'll buy new stuff when/if I get one. (I hope Momar doesn't read my blog).

Our family is definitely complete. No new Garnett's. HOWEVER, I intend to keep fostering as long as they'll give them to me. I told DHR that I wanted to be the "go to" person if they need a short-term or emergency placement. I don't think I want to do anything long-term, but I would LOVE to have them for a few days (or weeks!). My phone rang last night after 10 p.m. and it was my social worker. My heart skipped a beat and I was already mentally getting my clothes on so I could head to Decatur to pick up a kid (or four like last time!) but she wasn't calling for that. :( She was calling to give me some sad news about one of the DHR employees, but it took me a minute to catch my breath.

Hope you all stay cool in this heat. I STILL prefer hot weather over cold weather, but this is getting a bit ridiculous!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I'm baaaack!

Wow - I can't believe it's been 10 days since I wrote. I've had a busy two weeks, but they've been fun.

Me, Tammy, Haley Rae, Karlie, Sloan, Connor, Yuri and Gigi took a girls trip to the beach this week. We left on Saturday and came home on Wednesday. It was wonderful. I LOVE the beach. I don't care if it's raining or sunny, hot or cold.... I just love it. I don't even have to step on it to feel so serene. I just like to sit and watch it. I see living on a beach in my future. I may be 85 when it happens, but that's on my bucket list.

The girls had a ball. Haley and Karlie have always loved it, and the babies are following right along. They would have spent 23 out of 24 hours on the beach if I had allowed it.

Haley turned 16 while we were there. SIXTEEN!!! She has high expectations for this age. She seems to think the skies will open up and all things magical will fall upon her... haha. She got her license and had her first date, which were both things she's been looking SO forward to. I have to say, I thought she would turn 16 and date 400 boys. Seriously. She has just never been one to limit her options. BUT, her romance with Caleb has been rekindled and now they're officially "going out". I'm finally understanding the difference between "talking", "texting", and "going out".

And the best news... Hunter will be home in 2 days. He called this morning at 5:30. I was awake because I got up early to try to get some work done before Yuri and Gigi woke up. But nooo. I came downstairs and found them playing in Karlie's room with all the lights on. Anyway, Hunter called and after talking about 15 minutes, he said "oh, it's early there, ain't it?" We talked for almost 20 minutes and I'm so anxious to see him. He has thoroughly enjoyed his trip and wants to return to Serbia someday, but I can tell he is ready to get home. He has been texting me today with all the things he has planned for next week. Most of it involves not being at home! Geez!

Getting ready for Willard to get home. He's cooking shrimp for us. Yummy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

20th Wedding Anniversary

20 years ago tonight, I was enjoying myself at our rehearsal dinner around Mike and Lanett's pool. Has it really been 20 years?? Geez, I can't believe I'm old enough to have been married that long.

Here's the story of Amy and Willard....

In February of 1986, I was cheering at a basketball game. Half way through the game, I noticed these REALLY obnoxious guys across the gym. They were yelling at the my team, my fans, my CHEERLEADERS!!! After the game, this one guy (yep, Willard) asked me for my phone number. Since I found him utterly annoying, I refused to give it to him. I did, however, find his friend quite cute and so I gave HIM my number. I'm not sure how it happened, except that Willard was bigger and meaner than his friend, but somehow Willard ended up with my number. When he called me the next day, I was *not* a happy camper. I told him I had a boyfriend and figured that would it the end of it. But nooooo.... he showed up at the basketball game that night so I had to get a friend (thank you, Darin!) to pretend to be my "boyfriend". Darin gave me his classring, his letterman jacket, and was completely attentive to me. Hahaha. All to rid me of that Falkville boy!

Although I'm fairly sure I've never laid eyes on Willard before that first basketball game, I was suddenly seeing him everywhere. At McDonald's, at random ballgames, etc. And dang it, he got cuter and cuter everytime I saw him. Finally one night at McDonald's, I decided just maybe he deserved another chance, so I went up and asked him to buy me an ice cream cone. He agreed and called me the next day, and the next, and the next....

Did I mention I was only 15 when we met? Yeah, 15. Scary, huh? We met in January and I didn't turn 16 until February 21. By mid-January, he was calling me everyday and showing up at as many random events that we could come up with. The Randolph rule was that we couldn't date until I turned 16 and the days were DRAGGING by. One week before my birthday was Valentine's Day. Delivered to me at school were 7 red roses and a card that read (in Willard's handwriting) "Counting the days..." awwwww My mom thought it was so sweet that she agreed to let us go out that WAS Valentine's day after all! The only problem was that he spent all his money on roses and so he didn't have the cash to take me anywhere. Ha. So we just rode around Hartselle and Decatur until time to go home.

Four and a half years later, we got married. Even though he lost our wedding rings on the way to the church (and they were never found), and even though the power kept flickering during the wedding (a sign??), and even though the hotel forgot to give us a wake-up call (we BARELY made our flight), AND even though we had BUNK BEDS for a week on our honeymoon cruise (I kid you not!!!)... we were husband and wife. :)

Now, 5 kids and 20 years later, I smile as I type this. My life is not perfect - whose is??? But I can say this... The happy times far outweigh the sad times, the blessings far outweigh the tragedies, and the laughs far outweigh the tears.

And that's how this chaos all got started...

Monday, July 12, 2010

The best laid plans of mice and men...

I intended to get up early this morning and spend the whole day cleaning house. It's not gonna happen. Gigi tossed and turned and cried all night. She was not really awake but was either having nightmares or had a tummy ache or something. I finally put her in our bed around 5 a.m. and she "slept" until 8. Then we moved downstairs to the recliner where I rocked her until she woke up after 10:00. She seems happy now, but sounds congested so I hope we're not about to hit one of her asthma crises! Anywho, after watching two episodes of "Frasier", three episodes of "Desperate Housewives" and one episode of "Y&R", I've lost my desire to clean house. I'm going to chalk this up to a lazy day.

I'm coming out of medical retirement tonight to play softball in the tournament. Something tells me this is not a wise choice, but I'm going to do it anyway. My shoulder is definitely better, but I still feel a twinge when I move certain ways. Not sure how's it going to feel when I swing a bat!

Hunter *finally* called me yesterday. He was supposed to call me on his birthday (last Wednesday) but he didn't. I kept sending reminders via Facebook but he didn't call until yesterday. As usual, him and Cody sound great. They seem to be having so much fun.

Here's part of our conversation -
HUNTER: How come you let Haley Rae go to Lauren's for so many days?
ME: What do you mean?
HUNTER: Mom, you KNOW she invited herself. Nobody would CHOOSE to spend 4 days with Haley Rae.
ME: I know it's hard for you to believe, but some people actually like her.
HUNTER: Pffffff!
CODY: I like Haley Rae.
HUNTER: Shut up, Cody.
CODY: Actually I like Haley Rae more than I like you.
HUNTER: Shut up, Cody.

And so on...

I'm glad they're having a good trip, but I'll be more glad when they get home.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back to normal life

The long holiday weekend was great, but I for one will be glad to be back to normal life. Routine is a good thing and I miss it when we stray from it for too long.

We spent most of our weekend at the lake. My kids were literally submersed in water for about 8 hours every day. I swear they're part fish. Ruben and Minque had a ball and are the sweetest kids. I'm taking them back home (to their foster home) this morning. I think Minque will be sad to go. She kinda likes the hustle and bustle of the Garnett home!

I'm really missing Hunter this morning. He'll be 18 tomorrow and it seems weird that he's having a birthday 4300 miles away. Eighteen years ago this morning, I was getting ready for my last doctor's appointment. After seeing the sonogram and deciding that he weighed around 9 pounds, we made plans to induce labor the next day. After unsuccessful induction, they did a c-section and pulled out a 10-pound baby boy. For those of you who know Willard, you know he doesn't show emotions very often and has a pretty good poker face, but that day was an exception. He was the happiest I've ever seen him. There were probably 40 people standing at the nursery window when Willard walked out with him and I don't think there was a dry eye in the whole room.

Gonna jump in the shower and then get some house stuff done before the kids gets up. Haley Rae has volleyball camp all day, Karlie has orthodontist and then plans to go to the pool, Yuri and Gigi are going to school, and I'm taking Minque and Ruben back to Valhermoso Springs. (then I'm going to get my nails done... shhhh!) Have a good day!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Friends with pools!

Why should we spend boo-coos of money to build a pool when we have plenty of friends with pools?? That's what Willard says. And it turns out he may be right. I'm training Yuri and Gigi to smile their sweet little smiles and say "I wanna come swim at YOUR house". So far, we've raked in invites from 5 different families! We've been to Sherry's, Sarah Terry's, and Leslie's. Amy Sherrill and Sylaina, you're next! Anybody else interesed in having the Garnett's over to swim can contact me via text or Facebook. We still have a few days open. :)

I've got my list all made and will be up bright and early getting stuff together for the lake. Minque isn't quite sure what a lake is, but she's thinking she'll like it. Haha. She went swimming for the first time this week in a real pool. She loved it, but panics if she can't touch. The whole floating thing doesn't make much sense to her. Ruben, on the other hand, is proficient in the dead man's float. That boy makes me a nervous wreck. He keeps wanting to stay UNDER water. Did I mention that he's never been swimming until this week???

We declared this week "All about Karlie week" so she got to pick the supper menu. For tonight she picked steak and gravy, mashed taters, mac-n-cheese, fruit cocktail and cornbread, so that's what we had. I don't mind the cooking but HATE the cleanup.

Haven't heard from Hunter in a while. I expect a phone call SOON!!! From reading his adentures on FB, I think it's safe to say they're having a good time.

It's bedtime for me. Happy 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's a miracle!

Gigi, whose Indian name would be "Girl Who Never Sleeps", slept almost 12 hours last night! Of course, I kept waking up and going downstairs to make sure she was still breathing because she has NEVER slept that many hours straight. She's been sick this week and I guess she just decided to play catch up. She feel asleep at 5:45 last night so I expected her to be up at 2 a.m. raring to go. I went to bed at 9:15 so I could squeeze in some good sleep before she woke up. I never dreamed she would sleep all night. But I like it!! She woke up at 5:15 this morning asking for Doritos and Funions for breakfast. Yuck.

We've got a busy day planned. Haley Rae's doctor appointment is in a little while. I've asked Jo-Jo to come over and keep the little ones. I figure Decatur Orthopedic Group wouldn't appreciate me dragging in four kids. I'm considering taking them all to Hartselle Pool this afternoon if things go well between now and then. I wanted to go while we have Ruben and Minque and this is the only day we can. Haley Rae has two ballgames tonight, so I'm not sure how several hours at the pool and then doubleheader softball games will mix for the little ones.

My yard mower man is here this morning. Yay! I love a freshly mowed yard. One would think we wouldn't have to hire our yard out since we own a lawnmower dealership, but one would be wrong. Let's just don't go there this morning....

Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Like I really have time to BLOG!!!!

Okay, so my life is crazy and busy and chaotic all the time. And now I'm creating a blog. I owe this decision to three people... Keightley and Kristen, because I read their family blogs every day and enjoy them, and also Leslie, who suggested I keep a journal. I figure it will be easier to keep a blog since I'm already at the computer working anyway.

I won't go into the history of our family because chances are that if you're reading this, you know know us well and don't really want me to rehash it all. Let's just say I've been blessed with 5 very active kids who keep me running crazy all the time. On top of that, I supervise between 45 and 65 employees, depending on the season. I do work from home and have lots of flexibility, plus an AWESOME co-manager (thank, Suz!) so I basically have the best job in the world.

After I posted on Facebook that we thought Yuri had a stomach virus because she was throwing up, only to discover the next day that the REASON she threw up was because she drank 3-day old pool water and swallowed a beetle, Leslie suggested that I keep a journal of funnies. Since something like this literally happens EVERY day, I guess I'll keep track of them all here.

Hunter update - He created a Facebook page called "Prayers for Cody Baker and Hunter Garnett". He uploaded some pictures and put a couple of new notes on there. He's having a great time.

Haley/Karlie update - Haley Rae had 3 softball games on Monday and 2 yesterday, plus 2 more ocming up on Thursday. She's gone today to Bham shopping with Megan. We go back tomorrow to Dr. Tapscott to check on her knees. Her kneecap is tracking to the side when she runs and it's causing her a lot of pain. She's been doing therapy and I think it may be helping.

Karlie is my social butterfly. She's either at somebody's house or has company EVERY SINGLE DAY. She lives at the pool so she's as brown as the babies. She saw "Eclipse" last night at midnight with Sydni and is going again tonight with Connor and Brittany. Necessary? I think not. But fun? Definitely!

I've got Ruben and Minque this week and will have them until next Tuesday. So far so good! They're really sweet kids. It's CRAZY having so many little ones here, but craziness is something I'm used to, so we're making it fine. I've had to work some odd hours, but that's okay too. Ruben is 2 1/2 and doesn't really say anything except "mama". This morning I cut them all a piece of birthday cake (no, it wasn't anybody's birthday... we just like birthday cake so I randomly buy them) and when I handed Ruben's his, he said "Yuuummmy". HAHA. So I guess he CAN talk, he just needs to have a reason to! Typical man!

I don't know how to upload pictures yet but I'm working on it. I think the pictures are part of the reason I enjoy Keightly and Kristen's blogs so much.

Have a great Wednesday!