Monday, April 28, 2008

Feeling better

Yesterday Samuel was sick and threw up off and on throughout the day. How miserable for him! Buddy and the boys stayed home from church. There was energy for game cube and reading books, but was short lived. He did sleep some during the day, but was up until almost 10 getting sick for the last time. Catherine shares a room with him, so she didn't sleep- waiting for him to need help. Buddy and I were finishing up some of our grant applications and getting a bit done before we brought him in. (Our room is right next to theirs, so we hear everything and can be in there in 2 seconds.) When we did, it made her sad. So, Buddy ended up sleeping in Samuel's bed so she wouldn't be alone! Samuel was totally fine during the night, but you know how it is- listening for every little noise that may mean he needs help.
He was much better today, but did nap, then went to school to get his papers and take 2 AR tests, which he got 100's on!
Since Samuel hadn't eaten anything or had much to drink yesterday, he was cautious in the morning. However, he went on to eat 7 pancakes for lunch and 2 burritos for dinner with no problems! We're thankful for God's healing working in him.
This is how he spent part of his sick day.

Friday, April 25, 2008

We've turned the corner!

Celebrating the wonders of a 11+ hour night! Yesterday, Caleb took a 3 hour nap. I put him down a little before 2 and he was instantly quiet. Instead of waking him to get the kids, I had my babysitter come stay with him. When I got home, he was on his tummy, paci in his mouth (it was in his crib when I laid him down), covers all pulled up nicely. I asked Crystal if she'd done it and that was how he had been when she got here. Finally, at 5 I got him up to take Samuel to Tae Kwon Do! Then he was ready to eat about 7:30 and was down for the night by 8:15. This morning he woke up at 7:30! We've been waiting 7 1/2 months and have finally arrived! God is so good to us. =0)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tid bits

So I'm getting a little slack blogging what's going on, but some days just get away from me. Yesterday I picked up two kindergarten classes' jars of money for the orphans in ROG. Believe it or not, after one day, those 2 classes had $155!!! Second grade has just started and one little girl brought in $30, another boy got $20 for doing a chore and brought $10. A little girl in Catherine's class had been saving her change to give to St Jude's and brought it all to put in their jar. I'm so touched by the kids' generosity! How do we become so selfish so quickly? I'm also amazed at my kids, although they don't want to share with each other at times, they turn around and get so happy to give to others.

Catherine stayed out most of the morning on Saturday to sell lemonade (I think we got $5) and was so excited when she got a quarter! She also came in to tell me a man had gotten a coat and that he was happy about it. Samuel wasn't so excited to be outside since he had a friend to play with, but when we started giving the lemonade and kool aide to all the kids, they were competing, not to ask kids if they wanted any, but trying to get the glasses ready and give them to the kids. Samuel announced he wanted to take the $30 he's saving for a bike (he gave his other one away to bless another little boy) and use it for Hannah. He said "getting a little sister is more important than getting a bike." Melt my heart!

My washer died Sunday night with a full load of soaking wet towels! Dad came over yesterday morning to help me out, but we were a little stymied by the timer knob. It was a good thing we were because when I called the repair guy and he came to fix it, it was NOT what we thought it was, was fixed in about 5 minutes and cost about 1/4 of what it would have if it was the timer! I really would like to do less loads in a new frontloader, but we're not quite ready for one yet. So, I'm thankful this works and will keep working until we're ready to get a new one.

Buddy and I went to a banquet last night for a ministry we help support. The guy was at ORU and Rhema with me, was in Peru when Buddy was on a trip with Teen Mania, and is a fire ball! In 10 years, their ministry has seen over 1 million people come to know Jesus! When they were sharing about it, it stirred me up to remember life is about so much more than the day to day, make my life comfortable, grind. We're doing a small part in adopting Hannah, but I'm so excited to be partners with people who are going out and making a difference to so many. Each life is so valuable! Some day, Buddy and I will be on another trip together, watching God transform lives.

On a side note, I ate 1/2 a piece of the most delicious chocolate cake! Of course, I ate the strawberry that was with it. Doesn't that make it better? Evidently not, because I had a big headache last night! Remind me to NEVER eat that much sugar all at once again!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Garage sale part 1

Well, today was the big day! We had a fabulously full garage that we couldn't walk around in. People kept bringing things, both baked and garage sale thing until last night around 6:30. Amanda came over and spent several hours helping me organize, which I had no clue how to do. Mom came over last night to get some of her baked goods taken care of and to be up, ready to go bright and early. After the kids were in bed, mom and I ran around hanging up signs. Everything was going as planned, except Caleb did not want to sleep much last night! Oh well, it helped me get going earlier than I would have on my own. Anyway, people started coming by 7:30 and mountains of things moved. I'm sure this was the wierdest garage sale Amanda or my mom had ever been part of.
We didn't have prices on thing, but told them our story (very short version) and told them whatever was on their heart was great for pricing. This threw people for a loop at times and some didn't know what to do. Of course, there were many who were very kind and generous with their donations. We heard so many stories of people who had adopted, knew someone who either had or were in the process of adopting. It was amazing to see people's eyes when they heard what we were doing. One lady didn't buy anything and gave me a $20 bill because she was so moved by what we're doing.
Samuel and I went to pick a pizza for lunch and he was talking how nice the weather was and then he said, "Hey mom, this is what we prayed for! Isn't God good? He answered our prayers!" The whole day was great and tiring, but we made a lot of money, moved a lot of things and are thinking about repeating one Friday to finish off the rest of the stuff.
Now, I'm off to bed so I can be ready to put my house back in order tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Progress report

I should have posted yesterday because it was an exciting day, but I was on another to-do list, so I didn't.
Yesterday our dossier was sent to ROG!!! We have a rough time frame for the next time we hear something, but nothing for sure. We also got our letter from USCIS to give us our appt time and location.
We went around the neighborhood to pass out more garage sale fliers and met some nice people who are going to help us out. One very sad stop was a family who was unable to help because they were doing their own sale for grocery and gas money. We're so thankful to have a more joyous reason to be doing ours. Makes you thankful for what you have.
Last night I got all the jars ready to take to the 2nd grade and K-5 classes for our change collection project. It has a picture of Hannah and says "Thanks for helping to make a "change" in a child's life" I thought it was pretty clever (pat, pat and thank you Lord for the idea.) The teachers all were excited and happy to help us out. When I think about how it'll teach the kids here to make a difference and what it'll mean to the children in ROG, it's very exciting.
I also got about 1/2 the garage sale signs done. It's raining today, so I'll have to wait until Friday to put them out. I'll pick up some tables today and bake some cookies. Yes, that was on yesterday's list, but moved to today.
Our garage is filling up even more! We had a delivery last night and a very large item offer last night that I have to figure out how to get home. Very cool how it's coming together. We've been praying for good weather and it looks like it'll be perfect.
OK, it's time to get busy so I don't have to move tasks to tomorrow's list!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ta Da! for the To-do's

Today's list of to-do's and results
-Take the kids to school, feed Caleb, shower- smell a lot better =)
-Take C. to pediatrician for reweigh - he gained 1 1/2 lbs in a month!
-Nap for C
-Call SOS about last documents- mailed the 10th
-Call Hopscotch to see if they arrived- nothing yet
-Email USCIS to see about appt.- May 8th!!!!
-Call about swim lessons- info is being sent in the mail. They have a mommy and me class, too, so I can do all lessons at one time, provided we're still in the country. I'll have to ask mom how she feels about lessons with Caleb!
-Place ads in the papers about the garage sale- big, highlighted ad to be in Fri and Sat.
-Sort laundry- sorted, not started
-Feed C-he likes pears and blueberries very much!
-Lab for C to recheck his blood work- ouch! Sweet thing, he was fine until after they stuck him and started working to find the vein that was obliterated by hyperextending his arm!!! He was smiling by the time we left. Missed a nap, which is not nice for C.
-Call Buddy to rejoice about good news day- he was pretty excited, mostly about Caleb
-Pick up the kids-lots of good news about standarized testing, What's for snack?
-Go to the chiro for a much need adjustment- got my first "Don't get pregnant now" comment "5 is a lot!" I wanted to tell her about Christine happily welcoming #11!
-Go to a neighbor's house to pick up 2 loads of garage sale goodies-I think I undid a bit of the good I got earlier. Oops! Our garage is getting a litte tight, which I'm happy about.

The rest of the evening was snacks, dinner, feeding Caleb, playing football and swinging with the kids in the beautiful weather. Buddy stayed close to work tonight since he worked til almost 9 and has an hour commute! Then I decided to glaze more of the bead board, so I'm 2/3 of the way done and I really like it! I needed to be making a desert, but had no ideas, so glazing sounded like more fun!

I've seen other moms wearing slings and keeping their kids close, but had never done that. However, #3 has brought a lot of 1sts! Last night after visiting neighbors, we went to WalMart to do weekly grocery shopping, came home to VERY hungry kids, groceries to put away, dinner to cook, and a hungry baby. So, I put groceries away and cooked with Caleb in a front carrier. It was tricky dicing tomatoes when he's getting so curious and reaching for everything! He was totally content, though, so it worked well.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I just have to say how generous strangers can be! Today we went around our neighborhood- ok, really just to a few houses because we didn't get started at a very good time, to tell people we were doing our fundraising garage sale Saturday. Well, one lady pulls out a wallet and gives us $20 cash and said she'd find some things for us. One lady had a bunch of things in her garage she was waiting to give away! Others said they would be happy to help us out. I made 40 fliers, but I'm sure we only handed out 10 or so. Tomorrow Caleb and I will make more rounds. It looks like we're already getting to the "pressed down, shaken together, running over" stage in our garage!

I got a little "get something done" bug and started glazing the bead board in our dining room. Buddy asked whose idea it was, and I assured him it was a good idea. I'll finish tomorrow, just in time for a luncheon Tuesday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting ready for Hannah

Catherine continues to pray that Hannah come home quick, that she be strong and healthy. This week she has been telling me she wants Hannah to have things. I asked if she wanted to send them with us when we go get her. She decided she wanted them to be waiting when H got here. She got out a gift bag, complete with tissue paper, and put it up in her closet, or so I thought. The picture shows it all. (I don't know how to switch the orientation of the picture.)

Some sights from Hannah's country I found this morning. It looks so beautiful. I'm hopeful to capture quite a bit in video and pictures for her while we're there.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Our first garage sale contributions came today! One of the moms from Catherine's class brought some things, as well as an idea. We're going to see if the kindergarteners can bring change to school to buy things for the other children still waiting for families! Great idea! I left a message for the assistant principle, so hopefully we'll hear something soon.

Sad to say, but I know the SOS's phone # by memory! I called them today to see if our last documents had made it there yet. Wait for a transfer, leave a message, wait for a call back. Oh well. Patience is a virtue! I'd like to check with DHS to see if our HS arrived, but I'll hang out for that, too.

We've know about Hannah since the end of January and have gotten updated pictures 2 or 3 times now. Funny to be wishing I could see what she's doing today. I bought her more pony tail holders today. I saw some really cute barettes, but it looks like her hair is pretty thick, so I'll wait to see. That will be something I haven't had to deal with, except for the boys (Buddy and Samuel!) Catherine doesn't care as long as we let her hair grow long. At first I told Catherine she could share the hair things with Hannah, but she decided she would let Hannah have them all.

Caleb is getting so much stronger with sitting up. He can sit in my lap with no support, I think it's having his legs straight out in front of him that is causing a little delay. Life is good on mommy's lap!

Tonight I should be in Atlanta at a training conference for my business. I originally "paid" for it with points I'd earned. Then our life direction changed and I felt like I shouldn't go. Of course, I was thinking about the other expenses of the trip and hoping there would be something that I would be needed for in the adoption department, but now I know! After the MANY cancellations, I could have been stranded in an airport with no connecting flight! God is good and He certainly knows what's coming up. I'm thankful.

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's really in the mail this time!

I hand delivered the nearly complete dossier to the PO lady today, so I know it'll be to Hopscotch Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. Buddy was home in time to go to the Bank to get our last certificate of true copy's notarized. (We came out of the little office to find Samuel upside down in a chair with his feet on the arms and his head under a table. "There's gum under here!") That means our reference letters can be apostilled and sent directly to Hopscotch this week and we will be COMPLETELY done!

I have 3 grant apps in the works, so I'm quite hopeful to find out good things. People are happy to share in the garage sale, which is cool. And we've had some lovely donations on our sponsor page. Thank you soooooo much! It helps to see we're getting closer and closer to having things taken care of. God is good!


We've taught our kids to avoid artificial colors. Samuel has a cool project at school making a kaleidoscope using a Pringles can. He informed me that, although the can someone brought for him had colors in it, one of his friends had a can of "oreganal" that didn't!

They both like cheese tortillas. Last night we were outside till late and I needed to make something quickly. All I had was "spicy" torillas. Samuel ate some and downed a glass of water. "Mom, those give me the flames!"

We're getting really great response to our garage/bake sale. I'm so excited to see what's going to come out of this. This is a real faith move for us.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I was so happy today thinking about our dossier being on the way to Hopscotch (minus the reference letters) and opened the mail box to find..... our envelope back at our house!!!! I didn't realize when I took it inside the PO that I needed to hand it to a real person. Evidently those many pages were over 13 oz. So a minor delay that will be just fine in the long run. We still have other details to be taken care of while we wait.

I was able to go see Charissa and Ava tonight. It's AMAZING to see how she's improved since she's been home! Love does wonderful things.

It's been so beautiful outside that the kids have had a blast on the swing set and just enjoying being outside. It's so nice to hear "Can we go outside?" as opposed to me saying "Go outside now and don't come back in until I tell you!" Tonight at my parents Catherine's backside was covered in mud from playing with who knows what. Thank God for a good washer and dryer! Samuel and I played catch while the other 2 napped today. Accuracy was never my strong suit in throwing, so wouldn't you know it, I threw the soft ball and got him in the eye! Granted, I haven't been out with him playing catch more than a few times, so he's still learning, but BOY did I feel bad! He got over it and wanted to keep going. I think he got his fill tonight playing with his daddy at Gpa and Gma's house.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ooh so close!

We were sooo close to finishing our dossier today! Our SW was supposed to get the homestudy notarized yesterday, but wasn't able to. We planned to meet today, but it sounded like it would be afternoon, with no hope of making a trip today. However, she called much earlier than I thought! I figured I could almost drive to OKC and back and make it in time to pick up the kids. I discovered as I was gathering everything that we needed "Certs. of True copy" for the letters of reference! Which means I'll have to go meet Buddy to get those notarized, send them off to the SOS and wait from them to get to it and send it off to Hopscotch. So, we'll be another week on that. However, Caleb and I did have a nice trip, got everything else apostilled, and Amanda was kind enough to watch the kids till I got home. I gave into the easy route and ordered pizza for dinner- no complaints from anyone! My kind of dinner.

We know we'll be in the right place at the right time. That just gives me more time to apply for grants!

The next OKC trip I make, I'm hoping will be with Buddy for our fingerprinting appt! I was thinking back on how mom and dad watched the kids for us before we had the next one, so we could have a night away before life changed dramatically. We really appreciated them! As I was contemplating the next change I realized we'll have several nights away! We watched "Since Otar Left" tonight, which is about a family from Georgia. I'm not so into foreign films, but it was nice to get a glimpse of the culture and life in that country. Hard times are not strangers to so many places outside the US. One thing a trip does is makes you appreciate what you have and also reconsider the life you live. What's really important? Don't get me wrong- I appreciate what the Lord has blessed us with, have no problem with people having nice things, and know He'll continue to increase us because His Word says He will. It's just a good experience.

Off to bed before a wonderful stay at home day tomorrow. I think I hear a nap calling already!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

HS officially done

Yesterday, the home study was received and accepted by Hopscotch! A few minor changes and it's off to USCIS. I started the process of applying for grants. We are going to do the garage sale, too, but know that there are many sources and plan to explore as many as we can.

I've been reading several blogs (surprize, surprize) and it seems like there are a lot of people getting ready to travel soon. It makes me excited to realize how many children will be home, finally.

The Spahr's are just finishing their adoption up and took the time to visit Hannah and give her our gifts- "hair things," as Catherine calls them, a little doll and a photo album. We realy appreciate them doing that. Plus they took pics and sent them to us. Wow! It makes it more real knowing someone else has seen her, too. I treasure all these pictures! This is her report.

"We were able to go and see Hannah and she is absolutely adorable. You will fall in love instantly (if you haven't already). She has a beautiful smile and is instantly engaging. My husband said if you guys change your mind, we'll take her. :-)" No chance of that!

We really are trying to get our education done, so we rented a movie about Georgia. I'm looking forward to watching it. Question is, will I stay up late enough to watch once Buddy gets home?

I made a mistake with the SOS office and have to actually go there. Fortunately, I will have the home study IN MY HANDS tomorrow. That thing is GOLD and I'll be glad to hand deliver it to the kind lady with the machine that makes us one step closer to Hannah!

Ok, a few cute kid things.

Caleb has now tried green beans, sweet peas, avacado, and sweet potato. Let's just say the kid has an appetite! He's making all these high pitched squeals that are so cute! Everytime I get out the video camera, he stops! He's doing great overall, sleeping well and happy when he's awake. Such a cutey!

Catherine likes to tell stories and pretend she's teaching. Well, Friday when I was talking on the phone with my mom about how much Caleb is eating, I used the word "calories." Wouldn't you know it, the story in the background started incorporating the word "calories." "Then they took the calories up to the moon and the calories...." Funny. We got the new swing set together on Sunday, but Samuel decided he liked the old slide better than the new one. Buddy suggested we put BOTH slides on the new set. Catherine came inside where I was fixing dinner, hysterically crying. I asked what was wrong and she told me she didn't want the old slide on the new set because it wouldn't match!

It's been rainy out and yesterday it was sunshiney, but the ground was still wet. Buddy took the kids down the road to a playground they like. Wouldn't you know it, Samuel picks the swings the have the biggest mud puddle under them and decided to show dad how he jumps off- right into a puddle! Then he went on to get another swing, pull it away from the puddle to get on, but still managed to fall or trip into THAT puddle. Then he took his remote controlled truck through a puddle. "But it was ok mom, because I held it up in the van and made the wheels spin around so there wasn't any mud on them anymore!"