Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ben you rock!!!!

Kyle and Will and mommy attended Ben's Christmas party and singing presentation this morning. And what a fantastic morning is was! Again...mommy forgot her camera! But suffice it to say that it was a huge success! Ben greeted his brothers and introduced them to everyone that would listen....and my Ben...yep...MY BEN....stood in front of 45 people and sang his songs and swayed (some danced...but least he moved around a bit) and he smiled and participated and just did an awesome job! Most importantly...Ben enjoyed being a part of his presentation and was as proud of himself as we were of him!

You have come a long way Ben. From that little man that cried and held onto my leg when I took you to school for the first time three years the perfect student today in your kindergarten class. I am one proud mommy today and every day! Thanks Ben for growing up to be such a perfect little man! This little slide show is for you! We love you sweet boy!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

I am on a roll...Merry Christmas!!

So much to say after a week of not blogging! I have added three new posts today! Enjoy and Happy Holidays to all of you!! May your next week be filled with all the joy and wonderment of a two year old and all the comfort of a thick warm blanket!! :) I love you!

You did it Kyle!!

First of all just let me admit that I am the worst parent EVER! I went to Kyle's Christmas presentation today and FORGOT my camera! that not the most horrible thing? Anyway - I need to give a big round of applause for Kyle Edward Mongold. The first Mongold EVER to stand up in front of a room full of people....perform his lines...sing his songs...with a smile on his face...never crying...never running to mommy...and hanging in till the very last song!! :) Great job did so good. You made mommy and daddy so proud today and you showed what real talent you possess! We love you guy!

And so because I don't have a photo of our hot shot on his big debut...I chose to share some other kind of funny photos of my three crazy men! Yeah...not Ben Kyle and Will...but Ben Kyle and "other" Benjamin! Playing with their Geo tracks and posing with their remote controls! They are truly a nutty threesome and are having so very very much fun with the new toy that Erica bestowed on the Mongold household! We are forever grateful for this gift and for the fun, and memories that it is creating for our little men!!

And here they are....Larry Moe and Curly!! Can you tell what one is Curly!!! :)

Seriously Kyle...just give us a normal smile!!! :) And all Benjamin wanted was for me to take a photo of the train here that is too! Here you go guys...this photo is one that only the three of you can truly appreciate!! :)

Next Year you'll make it through Will....

Will Christmas program at school began at 10am last Wednesday morning. The room was full of parents. The side door opened and all the kids filed in and stood in front of the room looking slightly nervous, but excited. Well...all but Will....HE LOOKED SCARED TO DEATH!

Soon after this photos was taken, the teacher handed all the two year olds a little baby doll wrapped in swaddling clothing. The began to sing happy birthday to Jesus. Some kids sang...some just kind of rocked back and forth...and WILL JUST STOOD LIKE HIS FEET WERE PLANTED IN CEMENT...with a look of UTTER FEAR ON HIS FACE!When the song was over...Will took his doll baby...threw it across the room..burst into tears...and ran to my lap!! :) He made it through one song...and I could not ask for more!

He got is treat bag at the end and called it a victory!! Next year your make it though Will and as for this year..thank you for making us all smile and for being such a special little "YOU"!!!

6 and a half years is too long!!!

Steve and I had a wonderful honeymoon to Mexico after our fairy tale wedding in 2001! It was a memory that we talk about all the time. Some days it feels like it was only yesterday that we were drinking "foo foo" drinks by the blue lagoon, and other times it feels like a lifetime away! None the less...we are happy and in love and we are always so excited about our life together and all that is wrapped up in it!! :)

When we found out that we would be apart for nearly 6 months in 2008, we both knew that it was time to have a little "us" time before the craziness began! We planned a weekend getaway to Wintergreen Virginia. A ski resort in the Appalachian mountains, just 4 hours from home.

Mom and dad said that they would keep tabs on the kids for the weekend and my brother offered to help them along. Three kids...three reason not to get the heck out of here and do some skiing and fun seeking away from home!

I was nervous to leave my kids and to be away from home, but I knew in my heart of hearts that all would be OK and that this time with Steve could only be a great thing! So off we headed on Friday night! And what a fabulous weekend it was! We went skiing in a virtual blizzard with about zero visibility and lots of ice! And somehow had the best time ever! I have not been skiing for over 10 years and Steve has only been skiing a few times in his life? What were we thinking?

We fell - MANY times - and we came home quite sore! But it was exciting and relaxing and fun and silly and just everything that would could have ever wanted it to be! The snow was beautiful, and we really are better skiers than we thought we would be! The food was nice and our little cottage on the mountain with a fireplace and wooded view was prefect!

Breakfast every morning at a lodge overlooking the slopes and dinner in Fancy golf course front restaurant! Coffee by the fire in the lodge and many great laughs as we watched each other pretend we were 20 again - zooming down the snow covered slopes - only to end up in a ball of white...rolling over ourselves and losing our skis as we hit the bottom! ha ha ha....oh too funny! Sorry I don't have any photos of that mess to share...your imagination will have to do here!!

Now I am hooked and we plan to take the kids back up there right after the first of the year to give them a turn at the fun that we had!! I hope they enjoy it half as much as we did!!

Thanks mom and dad and Brian for making it all possible! And thank you Erica for the wonderful bottle of wine!! It was a great trip!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A measure of Strength...

I was in the kitchen the other day and I was doing 10 different things at one time as all mom's do and Ben yells to me from the living room: "Mom...can you HELP me get my car from way back under the couch...I can't reach it!".....So I yell back...."Sure I'll HELP YOU....grab the broom and use the handle to whack it out from under the couch!"

As he walked to the broom closet slowly and quietly, he looked at me with a strange look and said, "But you said you would HELP ME?" And with as much conviction as I could muster, hidden behind my want to smile...I said, "I did HELP YOU...I told you what you needed to use to get it so you could do it by yourself."

Ben smirked and got the broom. He was able to get his car, and he cheered at his victory as it flew out into the middle of the room when smacked with the broom.

Ben, I helped you. You saw your task as impossible. You saw that train as a loss unless mommy came to the rescue. And I taught you that there was a way to get that train on your own. I taught you that you have the means to do things on your own as long as your brain is armed with the right thought process. I HELPED you to find a small glimmer of independence and I HELPED you to think outside the box, beyond what was obvious to you!

I heard a story on a show the other night that went like this:

A little boy needed to move a large rock from the top of a well so that he could get to the water below for a drink. He tried to push it and he tried to pull it...he tried to pick it up and was unsuccessful at every turn.

He called to his mother - Mommy, I can't move the rock! And she called back - Yes you can honey, God Gave you the strength to move that rock!

So the little boy tried again and again and with sweat on his brown and a very dry mouth...he looked hopeless. He called to his mother again....Mommy...will you help me move this rock?

And the mother, knowing that the rock was too big for her small son to move...walked over to the rock and with the help of her son's little hands...helped him to move it to the ground so that he could have a drink.

The little boy looked at his mother with a disappointed spirit and said, "I wish I could have moved that rock by myself...I am sorry that you had to help me. And his mother did move the rock by yourself. You used the strength God gave you to move the rock - you called me!

My point is this....this holiday season my heart is very focused on how lucky I am to have such important people in my life. Friends and family to give me strength and friends and family that I can give my strength to when needed!

In this world...we don't ever need to be alone. God gave us the power of many when he gave us friends and family. And that does not mean the power to do everything ourselves. Asking for help is just one powerful way to use God's blessings. And lending our strength and mind to our loved ones when it is needed is the gift that we have to share!

In Ben's case, using my mind to help him find a feeling of victory was the best course... and for this wonderful mother in the story - using her strength of body was just what her son needed. No matter how you use this gift...using it can make the difference in someones life!

Thank you to all of my friends and family for making me whole and for being the strength I need when my own body and mind are not enough! Thank you for being my life! And please call on me to be your strength at any or night! I am always here for you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Holiday Fun with our Special Friends

5 Years ago we met! And have shared everything about our lives with each other through the years! We were able to celebrate a holiday party with our playgroup friends last Friday night. We are missing photos of Katie and Lucas and Kyle...they were upstairs doing their own thing for a majority of the night!! Trouble i am sure...but they hid their antics well! Everyone ate drank and had merry conversation! We were missing two of our very favorite families on this special night and we missed you all terribly!

Thank you all for sharing your evening with us! All of our love this holiday season to each of you!

Monday, December 3, 2007

A bad day for Will...

So I am standing out in front of the house talking to Erica. All of our 5 boys and a few others from the neighborhood were playing so well in the Mongold Back yard. Fence was shut, but I could hear their screams of glee coming from that general direction and I could tell they were getting along famously and having a super afternoon!

At least 30 min had gone by that I had not heard anything but fun coming from our back yard. And all of a sudden I hear a small voice on the front porch go ...."Mom" soft and so "guilty" was the tone of Ben's voice as he stood in the doorway with his thumb in his mouth. I said "What up Ben...are you OK?" And he said "Yeah....but Will has black and brown all over his face." I immediately ask the question that defines the moment and gives me my inspiration to either run or walk to see what the problem is...."Is Will crying?" And in an even more timid voice Ben says, "Nope...he didn't cry...he is just dirty."

Well...that does not seem like a reason to stop my chatter in mid conversation so I tell Ben thank you for informing me of the dirt and I continue my conversation with Erica. Maybe another minute passed and we hear the squeak of my front door yet again....we both look over that direction....and this is what we saw!

YEah...whatever you are thinking....we thought it too! Did he play Santa and climb down the Chimney? Did he decide to be a little piggy and roll in some mud? What could have possibly happened to make a small two year old child look like this??????

And that is when I called for Ben to tell us the story as he watched it happen. He said:

"Well...Will was on his tummy on the swing pushing it with his legs. Benjamin and Kyle were on the teeter totter going very high right beside Will. I was using my sword to stop the teeter totter and it started swinging sideways - not straight anymore. well the teeter totter knocked Will off the swing and his face fell in the ground. But Will's feet were stuck in the swing and he couldn't get them out. Every time he tried to get his feet out his face was moving all over the ground and that is where the black and brown came from."

Oh Dear....Erica and I tried so hard not to pee ourselves laughing! I mean really...can you not picture this two year old little man...with his hips stuck in the saddle of the swing and his face in the mud....stuck like there was glue attaching him to it. Flopping around just hoping that this thrust was the one that would let his legs fall to the ground where the rest of him waited! And yet he smile when I said...Will...are you dirty! He laughed at us laughing... and after a mere wipe of the face with a baby wipe...he headed back to the swings to try it all again! I wish I were as easy going as Will!! :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


In the past few months with the increasing time lines of our adoption process from China - I have struggled with knowing what exactly I am to do with the facts that are in front of me. I have had so many different scenarios run through my brain that I would not even try and convey them in a blog! That is called a novel and blogs are just supposed to be shorter than that!

Our wants to have our children close together...will the process ever really come through for us? ...should we try other avenues? What avenues are available to us...There is no right or wrong answer to any of my questions. On that note - I guess it is not often that our decisions in this adult world are as simple as right or wrong. But this time...the number of choices just seems to out weight those present in other decisions I have had to make in my life. And the consequences of my decision will affect the people that I love the most! I am positive that a perfect path will unveil and I continue my soul searching so that I can choose best for the family that I am so blessed to have!

No child could ever be a bad decision - no matter matter where from - so that thought keeps me grounded and happy! We will adopt a child. I don't feel sorry for myself because of this delay in our adoption...I just want to make sure that this delay is not my calling to reach a different direction. Anyway - the purpose to all this gut spilling is because, our adoption agency sent a letter to all of the people who are enduring this long wait for their children. I thought a portion of it was worth sharing with my friends and family! I found it very helpful in my thought process and the message is not specific to adoption. Rather it is an inspiring way to look at life and I hope that someone else is able to find some inspiration in this beautiful story like I did:

...In conclusion, we want to share a story we heard recently from our pastor: Florence May Chadwick was an American swimmer who in 1950 was the first woman ever to swim the English Channel both ways. Two years later, Florence decided to take up the challenge to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and the California coastline. Hour after hour Florence swam, but after 15 hours, a thick, heavy fog set in. Florence began to doubt her ability and became discouraged. She struggled to swim for one more hour. Emotionally exhausted, she asked to be pulled out of the chilly water. As the fog gave way, Florence saw that she had stopped swimming just one mile from the California shoreline, her destination! Florence explained later that she quit because she could no longer see the coastline - there was too much fog. She had lost sight of her goal.

Two months later, Florence got back in the water to try again. This time was different. She swam from Catalina Island to the California shore in a straight path for 26 miles. The same thick fog set in, but this time she made it! She succeeded because, as she shared, she kept a mental image of the shoreline while she swam. She never allowed herself to lose the image of her goal.

Yes, as we have sadly predicted, some adoptive families will say "enough is enough" and decide to close their adoption files in the coming year. But if your heart is set on China adoption and if you believe that your child will come from China, then we strongly encourage you to keep the beautiful image of your child in your mind and heart, hang in there, and wait it out. When the fog of the unknown, frustration, and pain is finally lifted, you will be united with the child of your dreams.

A little bit of Fall work/fun!

So yesterday afternoon Steve and I discussed that we needed to rake leaves? Sounded like work? LOTS of work? So we just sad and made other things that were probably not so pressing - our Priority One for the day and ignored the daunting task that loomed over us!

At 3:00 Kyle came home from school as usual. But the unusual part was that he was GRUMP monster. Didn't want to play with our dear friend Benjamin who was waiting for Kyle to return with baited breath. Benjamin had been waiting all day to see his friend and Kyle got out of the car and looked him dead in the face and said, "I don't want to play with you...I don't want to play with anyone...I want to go inside!" Well Benjamin was beside himself with disappointment and I quite honestly...was a bit embarrassed of how Kyle had acted! So rude!

I let Kyle go inside and I was sitting on the front porch playing with our neighbor...trying to make up for my SON! When the idea hit me...If I rake a pile of leaves...then kyle will be happy and want to come back outside!

And what an idea it was. One of my better ones (as I don't have that many good ones to begin with!). Kyle came running out and so did Ben and Will...Benjamin and Bradley joined in and they had a grand time. Now after a few jumps...they wanted MORE I raked more! Then even that was not I continued to rake. Next thing I know...Steve has the leaf blower in the back yard and we are making piles to be reckoned with! By the end of the night we had 5 VERY tired children and every leaf in the yard was ready to bag! Now how did that happen? Was it work? Take a look at these photos and judge for yourself!!

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Boys will be boys!

The Mongold clan - minus Daddy - took a trip up to Wilmington Delaware last weekend to visit Nana, Grandpa, Uncle John, Aunt Sylvie and Amelia! We had such a great trip and I'll blog more about our trip and share tons of photos in the days to come.

Ben's most vivid memory of the trip is told by the photos that follow! And as the photographer and Mother of the little was so funny to me! I had to share!!

Uncle John and I took Ben in a hay maze and then followed this activity with the old "slingshot rotten apples at stuffed scarecrows" past time!!!

We started out in the hay maze and Ben was our fearless leader. He had a smile of confidence as we rounded the first bale of hay! He was taking us to the finish line with his keen sense of direction and his cunning instincts for survival! you guessed....this was our first DEAD END! Smile guys...I'm sure this will be the last one!

Well...Dead end number 22, at least, had a fun pile of hay to play in while we blew off our frustrations and regrouped for the rest of our journey!

IN the end....we did get out of the hay maze. And it had NOTHING to do with Ben's skills and everything to do with Uncle Johns height! At 6 foot 4 inches tall...Uncle John could look over the bails of hay and decide if we were heading the right direction!
As we exited the maze we see the coolest activity that Ben has ever seen. For a mere $5 we could purchase a bag of rotten apples! Yep...only 5 bucks!! And then we could put them in the handmade slingshots that were provided and hurl the wreckage into a field of stuffed scarecrows! I there anything more fun on this Uncle John purchases the ammunition!
He then explains to Ben exactly what we need to do to have fun! Put the apple in...pull back as far as you can and let it fly!
The whole way OVER THERE!!!

Ben puts in his first apple...let's it fly and it goes about 3 feet and drops! He looks at Uncle John like...THIS SUCKS!!

So Uncle John decides that he needs to add some weight to 40 pound Ben so that the apple flies farther! The following method of weight addition sent the apple flying a mere 10 feet! Still yards from its necessary destination!

Well, thought John...if I add our two weights together...I know we can cream one of those ugly scarecrows!!




Help...Uncle John is down... But who cares...I need to get up and watch that apple fly!!!

And that darn apple flew right down to the scarecrows! You would have thought Ben won the lottery! Thanks John for taking one for the team! Sorry for the dirty but!! :)
The duo used this method of lift "Ben" and pull...until the bag of apples was gone! And no launch was any less exciting than the one before it! Ben had a ball! (OH...and they only fell the first time!!!)
AT 5 years old...and at "over 30 years old"...the smiles were the same and the excitement equal! Boys will be boys! Thanks John for making your nephews weekend!!! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

10 Rules that I NEVER thought I would have to make...

I had to make a new rule last night in the bathroom while the kids were crazy like a bunch of nutty boys can be! And while I sat last night at the computer after they went to bed I a mom...we sure do have to come up with some weird rules. Had someone told me 6 years ago that I would have said even one of the following things - let alone all of them - I would have though they were drunk!!! :) Anyway - here are some noteworthy rules that we have in the Mongold house. Please please...if you have some good ones that you want to share...put them in the comment section! This is just a small sampling the comedy that we seem to live on a daily basis!!

1.) Absolutely no peeing together in the same toilet at the same time. You don't concentrate...and someone always gets wet! YUCK!

2.) No straws up the nose when drinking yogurt drinks! It is not funny to make bubbles with your nose! JUST NOT FUNNY! And Will always seems to suck some back up through the straw it gets really ugly there!

3.) No pushing your brothers at light speed in a cozy coop car into the curb! You can push an empty car into the curb as hard as you like...but it HAS to be EMPTY!

4.) Under no circumstances are Ben or Will allowed to shut Kyle in a closet, cover him with a blanket, or sit on him! It makes him scream in a way that my skin crawls and I want to resign from mother hood!

5.) The dog is not a horse...she is not to be mounted using the coffee table as a ladder...and ridden until you fall off. I know Cali looks happy when you do it...but it can't be fun for her!

6.) When wiping your bum after poo poo - you are not to look at or examine the toilet paper. Just throw it away. And in addition...we must ALWAYS ALWAYS wipe twice...just to be sure we got it all! ....if I had a nickel for every time I say "Did you wipe know the rule!!??"

7.) If you fight with your brother - you WILL have to SIT AND HOLD HANDS for 10 min! If you complain about holding hands...I raise it to 20! (and I stick to it!?)

8.) No jumping out of the stroller while mommy is running! I can't read your mind...and I don't know when it is going to happen....and I will run over you and leave you if you don't follow this rule!

9.) If your mother has to go "number two" while we are all together in a public rest room it is illegal - with punishment of death - to discuss it with each other...or with other store patrons... while we are still shopping! No one want to know about that and it IS NOT FUNNY!

10.) The next person to grab their brothers "pee pee" while naked - bringing them to their knees in pain - will be sent to live with another family! I have you know it hurts...why the heck did I have to make this rule!?


Thursday, November 1, 2007

A halloween to remember!

Halloween was and always is a grand affair on Larkspur Lane! There is truly nothing like it! It started out at 3pm with our kids already dressed up. WE had a chili feast at Erica's Halloween bash and then out to the streets to play and do our trick or treating.

So many different levels of trick or treat skill in my family this year! Ben wanted to hit every house that was humanly possible in the time allotted! Kyle walked like he had 7 years to complete the task and therefore was always 10 houses behind. And Will just wanted to stay in the house with the person who gave him the candy and eat WITH THEM!!! :) I felt like a crazy woman and was blessed with neighbors who helped me out at every turn! In the end...I can't remember the kids being more happy and having more fun! And they all will have such different memories of the night...but in common they will have perfect memories of a night that was just for them!!! :)

We all shared photo taking responsibilities, so here are mine and then check out Sue's blog for more!!

The Dynamic Duo dressed up at 3:15pm! Ready to go from then on out! Can you tell who is who?Mommy and Will were ready by 5pm

The house was very spooky with candle ghosts, spooky jack-o-lanterns and glowing spiderwebs!

Courtney joined us for our annual Halloween Bash

Bradley had two costumes this year. Candy Corn and next came the spider!

Logie was the best Pluto ever!

Get Dressed already Justice...we have only 2 hours left till trick or treat time!

Wills favorite friend in more ways than one! You are too cute Andrew! the Ratz family is armed with costumes and ready for fun!

And at the end of the night...we all went to bed very happy and full of sugar and great memories! Thanks to everyone for the perfect Halloween!