A Dozen Good Eggs

Friday, April 29, 2011


everyone loves to get something for nothing! everyone loves to WIN something! here is a great giveaway! over at taylored inspirations. check it out. maybe you will win! I love giveaways but never won anything yet. maybe this will be my lucky shot!


Check this out!

ronald mcdonald house of philadelphia features a family in their newsletter. see if you recognise anyone. http://www.philarmh.org/fileadmin/media/pdf/newsletters/PRMH_Newsletter_2011_Volume_1.pdf

day 11 TV shows you are addicted to

I dont watch a lot of tv and when I do I often watch it online. The only shows I am really into are hoarders and the one about extreme couponing. I LOVE ghost hunters but I dont watch every week like I used to. rather now and then I happen upon it. but the ones I look for are hoarders and extreme couponing.

there are lots of shows I LIKE but I dont watch regularly. I actually LOVE Backyardigans! I know its crazy but I love it. they sing and they explore and imagine. I love when the kids watch it because I can watch too.

The amount of time I spend actually watching tv is not very much. I catch hoarders now and then online when they have a new one. I catch the couponing one if my daughter tells me its on and shes watching it. I do love Psychic kids but I think they didnt make another season of that. so most days I wont even turn ON the tv.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

til there was you

there were bells. on a hill. but I never heard them ringing.
no I never heard them at all, till there was you.

I think about how much my kids have lost in moving to a new country, but also how much they have gained. and I think how they are the bells. they are the very thing you always wanted but never knew what it was. I love them so much. I love how when Jaeger stomps and pouts if I stomp and pout too it turns into laughter instead of tears. I love how the Diana and Natasha cant get enough hugs and kisses. I love how Andre asks me every day "what today eat?" I love when Ethan does the right thing and I catch him so I can point it out. seems to happen more and more lately. I love how Maia still thinks herself my baby and crawling into my lap solves everything. I love how Cody still tells me he loves me when he leaves for school and how Chrysta never leaves without a kiss goodbye. I love how Sophie just keeps on keepin on even though its hard. I love how sweet my Ben is, how his cheeks feel when I kiss them. yes there were bells. but they were OTHER people's bells. now I hear them. they are for me.

there were birds in the sky but I never heard them singing. no I never heard them at all, till there was you

Monday, April 25, 2011

day 10 things that scare you

makes me sing that old song.....I dont like spiders and snakes! and that aint what it takes to love me! actually i dont mind snakes but spiders creep me out. its completely irrational and involuntary. spider feeling on my arm SCREAM! spider moving towrds me SCREAM! the worst..spider falling in my direction SCREAAAAM! We had roaches in the first apartment we stayed in in Ukraine. that grossed me out and creeped me out too. I stopped sleeping nights. I would stay awake all night and only go to sleep around 4 when it got light outside and sleep till 7 or 8. does that make any sense? NO!none. but the roach was under my pillow and there was no way I was gonna sleep with them crawling on me. Husband had NO TROUBLE sleeping. my rationale was that if the daylight were coming on they would be moving on to darker areas. and then I would be safe. yep just like I said makes no sense but I wasnt risking it!

one thing that has always troubled me, caused me fear, is death. I cant stand the thought of leaving my babies! That I could never see their chrubic faces, that they would have to live without me, that it would be just another blow in the many losses they have experienced. I am cautious when I drive. I wear my seatbelt. I wear a bike helmet if I ride a bike. I dont drink I dont smoke. I dont have dangerous hobbies(although I did once get a sewing maching needle into my finger!) and still I fear death at every corner. I am always watching thinking I wont let it get ME! which of course is absolutely ridiculous. if its your time then its your time and there isnt any sense hiding from it! but alas its what I am. I am so in love with my children I dont even go on VACATION away from them! I hate to be away from them! so I do my best to make sure that I wont be away from them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

day 9 a favorite quote

Find joy in the journey. often repeated to myself. especially when things go wrong or not as expected. find the joy in the journey. its there. find it. make it what you focus on instead of the pain or upset of the difficulties. there are days I just cant find it. I am too focused on the negative. but I try. I try to find joy in my journey.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

day 8: A place you have traveled to

well I already wrote about my travels to Mexico, but I didnt mention the part about how I broke my leg there. One of my most favorite places to travel is Ukraine. Kiev is such a wonderful old city full of history. It is welcoming and you can walk all over. We went there to adopt but now that we are done with that I still find myself missing Ukraine in a way that I dont miss anywhere else. We went to Russia 6 years ago for Ethan and it was winter and cold but we had some fun seeing some sites with our awesome interpreter Sergei. He made us laugh. But our time in Russia seemed to have this oppressive feel. it was scary. we worried for every move we made. maybe that was just us? maybe because it was our first adoption and we had a brand new baby at home we were missing? I dont know. But Ukraine never felt that way. When I go to Ukraine I feel as if I am coming home. I dont even speak the language but I feel as if its home all the same. I love to fly down over the fields of wheat as the plane decends to the airport. I leave with sadness. wondering when I will ever come back. Thankfully the kids would like to go back some day so there is my ticket to Kiev! I dont know that we will be doing any more adoptions but the people we met in Pryluky were so great. I dont know how I can ever thank them for their service and kindness to us. There is a little cafe at the back of the market place that we ate at nearly every day. the ladies there were so funny an kind to us. they would always give us metal silverware instead of the plastic everyone else used. they would always give us a glass for our soda so we wouldnt have to drink from the bottle. they would smile and laugh with us while we tried to breach the language barrier to find out what food was being served. I will never forget those ladies. and the ladies at the hotel were always kind and helpful. they always called us a cab and then would watch for it and alert us that it was there. as if we couldnt see for ourselves. maybe they saw it as we were idiots and couldnt be trusted to catch a cab ourselves but we saw their efforts as kindness. Our friends Dima and Natasha and Daryna we met there. they loved our kids before we did. they showed us the sights of their fair country so the kids could take those memories of their land with them to their new land. They do still talk about those visits. not to mention Dima's and his Mama's home cooking. We never went hungry thats for sure! YUMMY! I feel as though we embraced Ukraine and in return Ukraine embraced us. we didnt get that feel in Russia. so while I would go to Russia again if the opportunity arose, as I love to travel, I LONG to go to Ukraine. to the fast food place with the yummy Ukrainian dishes, life in the little apartments, the historical sights, the people watching, sitting on a bench in the sun on Kreschatik street eating ice cream, putting my feet in the fountains without fear of reproach. so many things beckon me back to Ukraine. Piro govo was a gorgous day and I was sad to leave it thinking we might never go back there. it was just the kind of place we love to spend a sunny day. we drank Kvas and ate fruits and nuts we brought with us and enjoyed a trip down Ukraine's memory lane.

More recently I discovered a place closer to home that has become my second home. Philadelphia. I go there a lot. at first I had a hard time with it. but I LOVE being in the big city and the people ARE nice there its just a different kind of nice than Minnesota nice. they are nice surrounded by a crusty tough gruff exterior. they talk funny there too but I love to listen to it. I am fascinated by language. We have made so many friends there that it feels like a family reunion when we go there. I sometimes wish our visits were longer! we never have any time to see the sights. the only sights we see are ronald mcdonald house and shriners hospital and anything we see from the cab on the way. but I like to go there. there is much more diversity amongst the people there than there is here. if I could just find a good Indian restraunt I would be so happy there! Maybe Ben and I will take a cab to find some good food next time we go.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blog Challenge day 7 favorite books

Favorite books. All of them. I love to read. As one can imagine I dont get ALOT of reading done but last year I read about 15 books(adult books) and a gazillion kid books. My favorite kid books are Mama do you love me? and Rikki Tikki Tembo. To this day I can not walk by rushing water without saying Speak LOUDER my little one, the water is rushing! Rikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Charri Barri Ruchi Pip Perry Pembo has fallen into the well! My husband probably rolls his eyes where as he used to laugh. I bought the book for my kids but it got destroyed. Kids will do that. I might have to buy it again. We have a couple copies of Mama do you love me? and I love that story. If you havent read it, its about a little girl asking Mama do you love me? Mama says Yes I do dear one. but little girl goes on to present all kinds of crazy scenarios and would Mama still love her THEN? and Mama tells her that she would be scared or angry or upset but still she would love the child. I like the message. I tell my kids often that I do love them even when they are naughty or mean or angry or sneaky or not where I can see them or if I am far away or if they are sick or well or hurt or big or little or in trouble or calm or......infinity.

Adult books I am into right now is English history. Historical fiction. Based on the facts of English history a novel is woven around them. I read the white queen(waiting for Red queen to come out in paperback) The Other Queen. just finished The Other Boleyn girl. and now reading the boleyn inheritance. loooooooooove it. I love English history. I love to read about Anne Boleyn and watch movies of that time. I like a good mystery too. I just like to read. and I DO judge a book by its cover. If the cover isnt appealing I probably wont read it. But I usually flip to random page inside the book and read a bit. if it seems to my liking I will read it, if not I will put it back. I have read many good books that I wouldnt have otherwise thought to read by this method. I used to go to book club at my local library but I havent done that in awhile. I can never finish the book on their schedule. So I just read for myself.

I remember when I was a child and the other kids were learning to read and I wanted to GO GO GO!!! I was already reading and it was terrible to have to sit there and listen to someone sound out a word while I am already reading ahead to the next page! I spent a lot of my childhood and teen years reading. I would stop at the public library and fill my library bag with books -sometimes up to 20. and take them home and read. One year we went on a long vacation and I had a lot of reading time. I think I read about 20 books that month. I looooove to read. Even better is to snuggle in my bed in the sunshine and read.

What do you all read?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

all of the children on this site as well as many others were distant faces. they meant little to me. while I was sad that no one wanted them, I had no idea what some endure. fast forward a few years and several adoptions later. I KNOW now. I wish I didnt but I do. I KNOW that these kids are facing life in prison essentially. and ultimately death. and it kills me. we adopted 7 kids. we had 3 biologically. we are NOT getting younger or richer. and my heart breaks looking at their little faces. wishing I could be the Mama that smooches their little cheeks. or big cheeks in the case of older kids. I donate to adopting families wherever I can. I pass the word about RR and 147 million orphans. and yet I feel like I have done nothing. barely a drop in the bucket. would I go back again if my husband would get on board? IN A HEARTBEAT! knowing that a certain child that I love(yes I love her)will soon be deprived of the medications that keep her alive and she will likely die of AIDS or an aids related death is just too much to bear. she is nearly 7 years old. 7 year olds should not die of AIDS or die of anything! they should jump on the trampoline and play in the grass and feel the sun on their faces and put their toes in the sand. They should crawl into their Mama's arms for a hug when they feel sad. They should not die! Dieing is for old people! people who have lived their lives fully and are ready to make that journey. What hurts the most is that they never had anyone love them as if they were THE most important person in the world. that no matter what they do they will always hold this persons love. I am rambling and saying nothing it seems. I just get so frustrated because PEOPLE DONT GET IT! they just dont get it! an orphanage is no place for children. I guess its good that I hurt it means I dont forget. I wear the bracelet of a child who died of AIDS so that he can always be remembered by someone. but how can I do more? how can I get OTHERS to see? how can I make sure THEY dont forget and get people to DO something to help? helpless is what I feel the most.

blog challenge day 6

I got a little distracted and lazy. but on with the show. #6 a random picture that makes you happy. I love the beach. I love the sun and summer. I love Cherry coke. this reminds me of our trip to Mexico. I pined for my children so badly my husband had to MAKE me stay there the entire vacation. I look back on the trip fondly but in the moment I felt I would DIE without my kids! I had never left them for a week! Little did I know I would soon after leave them for several weeks. and again after that. and again after that. and again after that. and heck now all the time I am running and leave most of them home. but that precious vacation in the sun on the beach it was nearly too much for me to be away from them.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blog Challenge Day 5

A song that means a lot to you.

just one? why not ten? or a dozen? I like lots of songs. so many of them touch me. but the one I have been singing the last few days is a song about a father dancing with his daughter(Cinderella) when she is a little girl pretending to to go to a ball. then as she gets older she comes to him to practice her dancing again and again through the stages of her childhood into adulthood. and all the while he is thinking I dont want to miss a moment. I dont want to miss a chance to dance with cinderella because before you know it she will be all grown up and gone. My kids are growing up SO FAST! I cant stand it! I would like to take away their birthdays and keep them 8 and 7. Natasha is going to turn 9 on Monday. Maia turned 7 a few weeks ago. I dont want them to grow up! Ethan will be 9 in June. wasnt he just a little stinker of a 4 year old? Wasnt he just finding things for he and Maia to get into? and now he is almost NINE? I have 3 7 year olds and 3 8 year olds right now. and time is flying by and before you know it I will have a bunch of teenagers! wishing my little guys and girls could stay my little guys and girls a while longer. just like the song, I danced with Cinderella I dont wanna miss even one song. Before you know it the clock will strike midnight and she'll be gone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blog Challenge day 4

Wierd Hobby or Collection

I do have a collection of toenails. lol ok I dont. But my friend used to call me Tojam because my name is Tammy Jo. Tammy Jo became TamJo which morphed into Tojam. but thats a whole nother story!

so my collections arent really strange or wierd but I do have some collections. I love Elvis and I also love thimbles and coca cola memorabilia. My thimble collection started with 5 or 6 thimbles I rescued from my Grandpa's belongings when he died. they have morphed into over a hundred! some were gifts from others travels, some were from my travels. SOme were from antique stores and I just loved them. I dont buy just any old thimble I see. I have to like it. I have one from the Bolshoy theater that I LOOOOVE. I have ones from various places I have visited. I also have a bunch of disney thimbles I just HAD to have one time. They are cute but they dont mean nearly as much to me as some of the others I picked up in my travels. I managed to end up with some duplicates because other people were giving me them as well. I set those aside along with some gifted ones that I didnt love as much as some others. They are for Chrysta to start her own collection. she has a shelf to put them on and everything but we didnt get the shelf hung and now we are moving so they will have to wait for her. Perhaps later I will take a photo of my collection. Some are sentimental, all are special.

My Elvis collection is not as large. It is only a few things but I LOVE ELVIS! I even have an elvis thimble! Coca Cola is my other collection. again not a lot but a few items that some day I would like to display. If I ever have a curio cabinet to display them I have many of my grandmother's avon bottles. I remember fondly looking in her cabinet at them as a child. as yet I have never had a curio cabinet because I have rambunctious boys who will put their head through the glass no doubt.