Just when we thought that our plate was full in life, God dished us up some dessert!


Friday, December 10, 2010

A trip to see Jodi....

...her family and Santa!

My sister and I were needing to head to St. Michael, MN to visit their Catholic School. We were showing them our new program that we designed and would love to see it in the hands of every school in our Archdiocese, and across the country---www.PURElyYOU.org

Not only was I excited to present the program, but I was  thrilled to be able to go to St. Michael because my best blog friend (bbf), Jodi, lives there. For those that don't know this, I met Jodi through Reece's Rainbow, as her darling Toma lived in the same orphanage as Stas and she had been to Ukraine several months prior to us.

My sister and I left early to be able to have enough time to visit..okay, at least some time. I called Jodi on the way to tell her that I was an hour or so out. Little did I know that she emailed my house in the meantime asking when I would be there. Well, my husband so kindly intercepted that email and replied unbeknownst to me...

After weaving through the neighborhoods in the dark, not at all able to read house numbers, I knew I was at the right house, when what to my wondering eyes should appear:

But Santa dear!
I was told I couldn't miss him. He was illuminated in their upper window.

My sister and I were greeted with a little princess, Summer, in her white gown....looked like a nice First Communion gown, actually! I realized I MUST be special. It was fun to greet all the people I have come to know through my blog world. My kids apparently listen to warnings about the internet because they were still convinced that Jodi could be some 60 year old sick man! They must not have all met  her at the concert this past September at our house :-)

I was introduced to each of the kids which was such a treat. Meeting Artoma had an extra special meaning of course. He was  a little cautious of me initially...who wouldn't be, right? Then, LOOK:

Okay, fine, I had to bribe them to play with me!

And to top it off!!!!!
I actually got a lot of those kisses...the camera just kept missing them!

IF anyone is looking for a great Christmas gift, small but tons of fun, try this game SPOT IT, it is such a good game. I played it with kids and we have been playing it tons since we got it too.

I hated saying goodbye! We needed to head over to the school, though, and couldn't be late.

Grabbed a picture of the family, minus 2:

After one last photo with my bbf:

Said goodbye to my Santa friend, but not his best side:

And off we went.

After our meeting I dropped my sister off and checked my email from my phone. Saw a message that read: "Oh good!  I need my cupboards cleaned!!  You should bring her over more often ;)"

Perplexed, I looked to what message proceeded her response and I found: "I am leaving my kiddos right now.  Should be there in about an hour.  Hope your house is clean because my sister has a cleanliness disorder.  I should have told you about that sooner :)  She might end up picking up toys and things like that and she also snoops through cupboards looking for clutter.  Sorry.  I can help you clean a bit when I get there.  Hubby left behind to take care of kiddos, including Stasi who has stunk up the entire house.  Yikes!!!

Gretchen  <3"

Mr.  SmartiePants struck again. He likes to make fun of my blog world.
Just for that...I picked a special photo of him!
My sister and I both wondered why, after my sister picked a couple pillows off the ground and threw them back on the couch, Jodi muttered "That's right, I was told about your cleaning thing." Hahaha Mr. Funny.

Let me see if I can find another flattering picture of my love:

I just have to wonder if Jodi was waiting for my sister to hop up and start peeking through the cabinets....that's weird.

Nice to see you Jodi!!!

PS: I tell my kids they shouldn't label anyone a "best friend" because it's very exclusive and hurts others feelings....so, likewise, I most certainly would never have just one BBF, right?! WARNIING: No blog friends were hurt in the making of this entry...I hope:-)

PPS: Stas is still feeling awful. Ricky just got over Mono so I thought that perhaps is what Stas was getting, but I don't think so. He probably has rotavirus or some stomach bug like it....a bad stomach thing. It pains me to see him in the little playpen I have set up for him. I need to keep him in it at times because of the terrible diarrhea  and vomiting, and he doesn't watch tv or anything to take his mind off of his yuckiness....so he is spending time there because he doesn't know what to do with himself and he will spread it to a house of 10 :-( He actually likes it :-( He can just lay there. Every time I glance at him and see the look in his face I see orphans with no one there to care for them, clean up the vomit and soiled clothe in a timely manner. The stench is awful!!! Image a room full of that. I know many workers do their best...it's just no way to live. I see why kids die in the institution/orphanages....the dehydration is so easy if not tended to well, liquids and medication for vomiting and fever. Oh, my heart hurts for them. Stas isn't awake this morning yet, I can only hope here on day 3 he is turning a corner. Poor love.


  1. ok, you TOTALLY got him back with the fuzzy hair picture!!!


    Now I have to borrow these pics for my blog, although I wish Santa was glowing more!! I think I have to put some more lights up there...

    Oh, and poor Stas. The Rota virus is the WORST THING EVER! I had to get rid of my mattress a few years ago because one of the kids had that and the smell would just NEVER come out! It's AWFUL!

  2. Did you ever call the doctor for some topical phenergan? It might do the whole house stink wise a world of good... Glad you have fun with Jodi, hope Stas feels better, going into the weekend with a sick kid is always a little worrisome. Take care.

    Love wins,
    Renee Tam

  3. Great photos!

    Poor little Stas though, hopefully this passes quickly. When we visited the kids, Tanner had diarrhea one day with a diaper on. They told us not to give him liquids. He was already terribly dehydrated anyway, but they insisted that giving him water would only make it worse. Gah, those orphans have such a sad life.

    Thankfully Stas has a new mommy to wipe his bottom for him :) Just think of how happy he is about that.

  4. How fun! What a neat thing to have your good friend adopt too!