Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crisis in Guatemala

Wow, all in a week - a volcano in Guatemala erupted and Agatha hit. Below are links that you can read about what is going on in Guatemala.

Kudos goes out to Target for stepping up to the plate and donating $25K to Guatemala Relief Efforts. Hmmm, can some please tell me why our President didn't step up to the plate and help out with Guatemala? He jumped right on board with Haiti - how about Guatemala???

Guatemala is Dear to out hearts - because that is our daughter and son's Birth Country. It's a tragedy what happened and the people in Guatemala can use your help. If you want to help out - you can donate to Mayan Families (link below) for a tax write off. You can also donate new/gently used clothes, shoes, toys, jackets, etc. to Journey of the Heart (link below).

Peter and Anna has packed up a lot of their toys and stuffed animals and mailed them to Journey of the Heart - for the kids in Guatemala. This weekend, Peter packed up his clothes that no longer fit him and they were mailed out this weekend to go to Guatemala. Peter was so excited knowing that he is helping.

www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/a_rough_week_for_guatemala.html

journey of the heart - http://www.heart4children.blogspot.com/

mayan families - http://www.mayanfamilies.org/


Please pray for the families in Guatemala during this time.
thanks for your support and it is truly appreciated.

Margaret.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wow, how time flies!

Okay, so I admit it - I have been a slacker. LOL. But with two little angels - who can blame me for not staying up to date with the Blog. Sorry there - I have to work on this - I know you heard it before - but this time I mean it. All the info here is soo important and I want Anna and Peter to know everything from their childhood.

I am still trying to figure out how to print the "blog" and put it into Anna's and Peter's Life Book. So, if anyone here knows how to do that - please let me know. thanks.

Okay, so we left off at Christmas. Christmas was spectacular! Anna and Peter are both old enough to know all about Santa - so that Magic of Christmas is there bright and early in the morning.

After Christmas we went upstate to do some Snowmobiling along with some Family Time. Aunt Donna and Cousin Rebecca joined us a couple of day for some snow fun. Peter is slowly getting use to the idea to drive his own lil snowmobile. I am guessing next year when he is 5 - we'll be worried about his driving, because I can see him being that Lil dear devil on his sled. Anna, she's a little tuffy - she'll be right there riding with her brother. Both kids love playing in the snow, regardless how cold it is. And trust me - it was cold. It was 0 degree F, and with the wind it was about -20 degrees F. The ski slope for tubing was cold "due to possible chance of frost bite". So you know it's cold for that to happen. New Years Eve we were upstate and Anna was sound asleep by 8pm, Peter was trying really hard to stay awake, but I can't complain because he managed to stay awake longer than Daddy. Mommy stayed awake to see the ball drop and then daddy woke up - after the fact. We also celebrated Kings Day/Little Christmas on January 6th. In Guatemala they celebrate Kings day by having special bread. Mommy found a great bakery that makes the bread and we got the bread from there. To celebrate to special holiday - we sent food/care package to Peter's foster family through this organization we found that provides this service to families in the U.S. that want to help out their children's birth families and/or foster families. Little Christmas (same day as king's day) is the day we undecorated out tree and put away all the Christmas Decorations.

February - we had lots of snow on long island and the kids enjoyed playing in it. We also went to the Daytona Races the week of Feb 13th. We spent the week at Daytona Beach. It really wasn't warm enough to spend a day at the beach, but the kids enjoyed going swimming in the outdoor heated pool. The kids were TROOPERS at the Daytona Races, they did great. The race was delayed to do accidents and then it was delayed a couple of hours, because the track had a HUGE hole in the track so they had to repair it to continue the race. Mommy was sooo proud of how well the kids did. When the sun went down at the race, it got really cold - and of cause we weren't dressed for that, because the race was suppose to be over about 5pm not after 9pm. Daytona race itself, didn't plan for this mishap because all the food vendors were out of food and beverages and the Nascar vendors were all sold out of clothes, so we couldn't even buy more clothes to layer the kids to keep warm. It was nice to get back to the resort to warm up and get some sleep. We also celebrated Anna's Gotcha day the end of February. Anna enjoyed her own ice cream with lots of whip cream.

March, April, & May - Anna was enjoying going to the YMCA (she's been going since Jan @ 21/2 years old). Anna loves the gym activities they do along with Arts and Crafts. Anna is the youngest in her class, but the best artist when it comes to doing crafts. Peter enjoys going to Preschool and went to Kindergarten orientation and can't wait to go. Peter is so excited about Kindergarten next year, I hope he is this excited after he finds out that the bus will be picking him up about 7:20 in the morning. Peter is doing really good with Karate - he has his orange belt now with a stripe on it. Peter will be needing another strip before he can be tested to get his purple belt.

Anna is a tuffy and is oh sooo stubborn. If Anna doesn't want to do something she won't - well, at least try to get away with not doing it. Every week we go and visit Grandma, because she loves to see us. But lately, Anna has been showing her true colors at Grandma's. Anna managed to be the talk of the family for weeks! One day we brought Wendy's (fast food like Mc Donald's) to grandma's for lunch. With the kids meals - they get a little frosty (milkshake). Anna took it upon herself to drink the frosty in Grandma's living room. Mommy told Anna that she can't drink the frosty in the living room, within a second she threw the cup to the floor and kicked it across the living room. And then proceeded to fold her arms across her chest and looked at mommy. Mommy looked at grandma to see her reaction, and then asked Anna to pick up the cup and throw it out. Anna said NO and proceeded to walk out of the living room with her arms still folded across her chest. So, mommy took Anna hand over hand and walked her to pick up the cup and walked her to the garbage can to throw it out. Anna did not voluntarily do this one bit. Anna was lucky that the frosty cup was empty, because it would of made a huge mess if it wasn't. Anna loves her brother, but sometimes can be a bit too much for Peter, where Peter needs a break from his baby sister. Anna is a good eater and loves her veggies and fruits. We have attempted to potty train her, but she just isn't ready. Anna still wakes up in the morning soaking wet, so the Ped. Dr says she is not ready, because she can't control her bladder yet. So, hopefully in a couple of weeks - we'll be able to try that again. Positively thinking.

Peter, is such a sweet boy. He has his moments, but luckily there are far and few apart. Peter hasn't napped in a long time and unfortunately it shows sometimes when he is overtired. Peter loves Nascar and enjoys playing with the cars. He is big with power rangers, bakugan, dinosaurs along with other toys boys like to play with. Sometimes, Peter tries to be mommy's little helper and will tell Anna when she is bad and how she should be acting to not get in trouble. Peter has changed his eating habits as he has gotten older. He isn't a big veggie eater, but he does love his Pasta with Parmesan cheese. Peter still loves strawberries and other fresh fruits. As for milk - Peter hasn't touched that since he gave up the bottle. We tried mixing milk with other things (Hershey syrup, instant carnation breakfast, etc), but Peter didn't want anything to do with it. Peter went to the Dentist to get his teeth checked and to get the paperwork filled out for Kindergarten. He has some cavities, but the dentist says that it is from when his birth mother was pregnant with him during the 3rd tri-mester - more then likely she was sick with a high temperatures and lacked nutrition. So, we are going to get Peter's teeth fixed, just to make sure they don't get any worse. Peter is doing great in school and soon will have his graduation from pre School. Peter loves having family time - where the family will watch a movie together, or play a board game together. if it was up to Peter - he would want family time everyday all day long. Peter is a mommy's boy, no doubt about that, but he is slowly growing up and has gone upstate with daddy for the weekend and had fun. When Peter returned from upstate, with daddy - he came running into the house to give mommy and big hug and let mommy know how much he missed her. Peter is the most lovable son around. He is forever say "i love you mom" out of the clear blue sky and for no reason. Anna is following Peter's steps when it comes to this and it just melts mommy's heart. Daddy still ask Peter and Anna where his "i love you" is, and mommy keeps on telling daddy - that he has to wait for it and it helps to show love to get it. Mommy is hoping one day - it'll catch on to daddy - so he can feel that unconditional love from two little angels.

June is coming upon us and Peter has graduation coming up and Anna will be finishing up her session with Gym/Art. Anna and Peter will be taking swimming lessons at Saf T Swim this summer.

This summer we have a lot of things planned - so you'll have to check back for all the fun things. Sometime soon, I hope to post pics - so everyone can see Anna and Peter.

Have a great summer!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My kiddos are getting so Big!

okay, the kiddos went to the Dr's this morning for some shots and to get weighed and measured and this is how they measured up.........

Anna - height - 34 1/2", weight - 28 pounds.

Peter - height - 42 1/2", weight - 42.5 pounds.

They are happy and healthy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

HO Ho ho, Santa is coming..........

Okay, so do you know Santa is coming in just 39 days. WOW!

About two weeks ago, mommy attempted to bring Anna and Peter to the photo studio to get their Christmas pictures done. Peter was very cooperative and eager to take them and be done with them. Anna on the other hand - had other things in mind. When we got to the studio, mommy had to get Anna dressed in her pretty Christmas dress - Anna was screaming "no, No, no" and tried to run away from the dress. After a few minutes, mommy managed to get the dress on Anna. Anna didn't want anything to do with Pictures - with or without her big Brother. The photographer managed to get some "okay" pictures - so mommy said that was fine. Mommy was happy that we got at least one "okay" one with the both of them together.

As for Anna's Pretty pretty dress, her big brother Peter picked the dress out when we went shopping at the mall. While walking through the store, this dress caught Peter's eye and he said "mommy, we have to get this dress for Anna, she would look really pretty in it for Christmas". Mommy agreed and purchased the dress. Mommy was so surprised that Peter thought of his baby sister and Christmas too. Peter was so excited about the dress, when we got home he had to show it to his sister.

Today, mommy was eager to try one more time - to get pictures of Anna while her big brother was at School. Mommy was very glad she did, because the pictures were priceless. The last picture (scroll down, its right above "Santa's hands") was so darling - it was too bad she wasn't looking forward, but this shows you just how pretty Anna looked in her dress. Yes I know, mommy has to do something with the hair, but mommy couldn't find a headband/piece to put in Anna's hair that matched the dress. All the hair accessories, clashed with the dress and besides, Anna looks darling with those curls, curls, curls.

I hope you enjoy the pictures................. we sure did.



















Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guatemala Needs YOUR Help..........

Hi all,

Thanks for coming back and checking out our blog. I have updates and pics to share with you, but at the moment there is more important things that need to take priority. Please read below. I have posted info about three wonderful organizations that could use your help.

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The following was sent to me via email from the Mayan Families - I can't even put into words how much this bothers me soo. This organiztion is Non Profit, so your donation will be Tax Deductible.

Dear Amigos of Mayan Families,
Many of you may be aware that Guatemala is facing a huge crisis. The President of Guatemala has called it "a calamity". The drought has caused severe food shortages and the cost of basic food items continues to rise daily.


According to Unicef almost half of Guatemala’s children are chronically malnourished—it has the sixth worst record in the world. In parts of rural Guatemala, where the population is overwhelmingly people of Mayan descent, child malnutrition reaches 80%.A diet of little more than tortillas does permanent damage.This is the only diet that many families have right now.
In Guatemala, which has some of the worst levels of chronic malnutrition, children have already started dying. In rural areas, thousands of families can no longer afford to eat. Malnutrition rates are rising among the very young, and the elderly. We have many mothers who are not eating, just surviving on a few tortillas a day so that they can give the food to their children.Children who suffer from chronic malnutrition are not in immediate danger of starvation,but they will face stunted growth and a diminished mental capacity. The children don’t look underweight — they just look tiny. Some have light hair, others have patches of hair missing,some are even bloated.

Families that before could afford to feed their children, are now struggling but the families that were already living without enough to eat are now facing daily hunger and the children are quickly becoming malnourished and sick.Daily, we have families coming to our door who have nothing to eat. The worst affected are single mothers whose wages were barely able to keep the family together before this crisis. Now, they just do not have enough to feed their children even the very basics.

Through your help ,Mayan Families currently feeds over 110 children everyday at our three pre-schools. These are children that have been identified as malnourished or are in danger of becoming malnourished.We have started a feeding program for the Elderly this week. Many of the elderly people do not have enough to eat and are becoming very malnourished and weak.We need your help to be able to continue to feed these people and the many more who need help.

This is a crisis situation and while we believe in long term solutions...right now ...people who are hungry cannot wait for crops that will grow during a severe drought or chickens that will lay eggs. They need help today.The biggest need and challenge facing the indigenous people of Guatemala this year and in the coming year will be the struggle to have enough to eat.

The United Nations children's fund, UNICEF, reports that Guatemala has the worst malnutrition problem in Latin America, even higher than the 35.2percent average in Africa!

October 1st is Children's Day in Guatemala. We traditionally celebrated this with a pinata and cake. This year, in the hopes of giving children food, we are asking for a small donation of $10 or more to be able to provide a child with a bag of corn and several pounds of beans to take home. Beans are sometimes the only protein the children will receive.We need food for general distribution.....this is for families that are in desperate situations, many of these will be single mothers.

A 100 lb bag of corn is $35US. This will supply a family of five with tortillas for two weeks .
A 100lb bag of black beans is $90 US.
A carton of 30 eggs is $5US.
A basket of food with a cooked chicken is $35 US.

To help a family get through this crisis , please consider donating today.Any donation of any size, to help feed a child and their Family will be greatly, greatly appreciated.We don't want to turn people away that we know can be helped. With your generous donation, we can help those who are in terrible situations and give them hope. If you would like to nominate your sponsored student to receive your gift of food, we would be very happy to do that.

TO DONATE:Please click on the link to visit our website and donate online at http://www.mayanfamilies.org/DonateOnline and put it in the General Donation area, "Where most needed".

You may also choose to send your donation in the form of a check. Please make it payable to Mayan Families and send to:
Mayan Families

P.O. Box 52
Claremont, N.C. 28610

We are asking you to join in our efforts to help the Guatemalan people by giving a tax-deductible donation.We hope that you will be able to help us with a donation of $25, $50 or more, this will feed a lot of children. However, any donation no matter how small is always welcomed and appreciated. We make every dollar count! We are asking that all contributions - personal, employee and corporate - be made as soon as possible.

You can make a difference right now, today!
Thank you for your support.
Best wishes,
Sharon Smart-Poage
MAYAN FAMILIES
Tel: 619-550-2608

ABOUT US:Mayan Families is a small non-profit group working in the Highlands of Guatemala. We are a registered 501(c) (3) Non Profit Charity. Your donationis tax deductible. P.S. Please help spread the word by forwarding this e-mail to your community or posting it on your personal blog, web page and your social networks such as Facebook, My Space, Twitter, Hi5, Ning and any others that are appropriate.

Please follow Mayan Families on Blog:http://mayanfamilies-sharon.blogspot.com/Twitter:http://twitter.com/mayanfamilies Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1603632323&ref=name Ning :http://mayanfamiliessocialnetwork.ning.com/If you would like to give this gift in Honor of someone special, please send us an email to [mailto:dwight@mayanfamilies.org]dwight@mayanfamilies.org giving us the details and we will put them on our IN HONOR OF Blog.Mayan Families is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible.Thank you once again for supporting Mayan Families!

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This Next Organization - is doing a wonderful things for the children in Guatemala. Vanessa lives on the West Coast and she is doing a "Project Santa". You can learn more by going on her blog (see websites below) for the latest updates. Yesterday Peter and I spent the day cleaning out his room and packing up the toys and books he no longer plays with. These boxes are going to be shipped to Vanessa so another child in Guatemala can have as much fun playing with them as our son Peter did. This weekend, Anna and mommy will be cleaning out her room and doing the same with the toys and books she no longer plays with. With Christmas only being about 91 days away, maybe it's time for you to make some room and donate the old toys and books to the Children in Guatemala.

www.heart4children.blogspot.com (Guatemala missions info)

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This last organization that I want to tell you about - it very close to our family, because my niece and nephew started it and are determined to make a change. As I type this - they are doing a clothes drive for the children in Guatemala. And plan to ship a large container to Guatemala the middle of October. So, while you are packing away your family's summer clothes and taking out your family's winter clothes - whatever you are getting rid of please put in a box and donate it to this organization, so it can be shipped to Guatemala for those who are in need of it. You can go to their website to get updates on what is going on, please go to:
www.te-foundation.com. This organization is Non Profit, so your donation is Tax Deductible.

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I know some of you are probably thinking, why aren't we helping families in the U.S., and I'll give you the same answer I have given others. Here is the U.S. , one doesn't know how lucky they are to have food stamps, and WIC checks, and welfare assistance just to mention a few. In Guatemala they don't have food stamps or the option to collect welfare while things are tuff! Guatemala is Peter's and Anna's Birth Country - so you bet I am going to help their country anyway possible.

We want to Thank you from the TOP of our hearts for your help. Please spread the new so others know about this. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment - those are sent directly to me before being posted on the blog.

Thanks so much!
Margaret



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anna is officially Anna Maria.

Anna's Birth name was Nancy, since we already had a Nancy in the family - we decided to name our daughter - Anna Maria (Anna after her grandmother in the U.S. and Maria after her Birth mother in Guatemala). So, we had to do some paperwork to make it happen. A few people asked why we re-adopted Anna - and there's a lot of reasons to do it. One is to change her name to her given name, and the other is to get a U.S. Birth Certificate, so in a few years when we have to sign her up for school - it will be an easy task, since she has a U.S. Birth Certificate, as well as all that other stuff you need a Birth Certificate for.

Since Anna came home on a R-3 Visa, the paperwork was a lot shorter - and we weren't required to appear in front of the judge to finalize the re-adoption. Mommy asked the woman if we can appear in front of the judge and the woman from the Adoption office, said for us to do that we would have to fill out the larger packet of paperwork. Then we decided that it would be fine to get her new Birth Certificate and we would just go out to lunch that day to celebrate. Well, a few days later mommy got a phone call from the adoption office and they said that we can appear in front of the Judge for Anna's Re -adoption. Mommy was so surprised and asked the woman how can that be, since we were originally told that wouldn't be an option. It turned out the Judge that did Peter's Re-adoption wanted to do Anna's too - he remembered us and our big family. So mommy was so excited she immediately said yes. Then the woman from the adoption office said - how about tomorrow? Mommy was like oh - that is tooo soon, because daddy wouldn't be able to take off from work that quick. So we picked a day (a Friday) after recess so everyone would be able to make it if they wanted to.


Aunt Carol, Aunt Jean, Aunt Karen/God Mother, Grandma, Pam and Emily all showed up for the re-adoption. Since it got over so quick and early - we all went out to breakfast (except for Pam and her daughter - that had another appt.)


It was such a nice day. It was especially nice that the Judge made an exception for us to be able to appear in court to make it complete.


Mommy thinks the Judge did this, only because he wanted to see how many grandchildren Grandma had now, because the Judge still has grandma beat by about 3 grandchildren. The Judge gave mommy his business address to keep in touch, because he would like to know how the family is doing. Mommy turned around and told the Judge that he just wanted to make sure he still had more grandchildren than my mother/grandma.

Mommy, who's my Grandpa?

Lately, that question has been asked A LOT from Peter. Mommy explained to Peter how he has a Grandpa in Guatemala, and his Grandpas in the U.S. are no longer living. But, Peter wanted a Grandpa. So mommy asked him how would he like to adopt a Grandpa? Peter's face lit up and was so excited over the thought of adopting a Grandpa. So, we took a few days to discuss who he wanted to adopt to be his and Anna's Grandpa. It was a hard decision, because mommy had to make sure that it would be someone who would want to be a "grandpa". So, we discussed our options and we talked about Joe being Grandpa. Then a few days went by with nothing said, then on the news they were talking about a "Joe" who was a hero, and Peter jumped up and said - Joe - that's my Grandpa's name. Then mommy knew - who Grandpa was going to be. Mommy typed up an adoption certificate to send to "Grandpa Joe". Peter and Anna signed it with their thumb prints. We all went to the post office and mailed it to Grandpa Joe. A couple of days later we got a phone call from Grandpa, who wanted to come over and visit. It was pretty tricky to plan the visit, since the kids were both napping when Grandpa called the first time, but the next day - Grandpa came over and had his Adoption Certificate with him and asked Peter about it. And Peter was soo happy to tell his Grandpa what the certificate was for, and Grandpa gave Peter a big hug and said he would love to be his Grandpa. Then Grandpa gave Anna a big hug too. Mommy thinks she even saw some tears in Grandpa's eyes. Peter was soooo excited that he finally had a Grandpa.





About a week later we went to go see Grandpa and Terry (grandpa's girlfriend) sing at a Restaurant. Peter was so excited to see his grandpa sing. Peter turned to mommy and said - you know what mom, my grandpa sings really good, he has a good voice. Peter is just so cute when his face lights up when he talks about things that make him happy.



Below is Grandpa's Adoption Certificate..............

Pictures from our Visit Trip to see Anna Maria 01/02 - 01/08/08