Friday, August 29, 2008

Look who came to visit...

If you recall, when our friends Charissa and John adopted Ava, which is how we found Hannah. They are moving into their new house this weekend and I offered to watch Ava while they got some work done. Ava and Caleb actually were quite enthralled with each other, neither was very gentle when they touched each other. I got to see Ava signing "baby" and "drink" and see how strong she is! Amazing to see her growing in 6 months from a limp, frail orphan, to a spunky, strong girl. That's the power of love! Looking forward to the wonders that continue. Thanks Charissa for sharing Ava with us.
Catherine go to go to a pool party with Allie Grace and Samuel went with me when I took Ava to her new house. He got to play with Simeon and even tried a little fishing in their pond. I'm so excited to have them so much closer- good play mates and rekindled good friendship on an adult level.

Adoption update

We got new pictures yesterday and I'm telling you, she changes every time! She's just as sweet as can be and I'm excited to be able to post all the pictures I want of her!
I found out today we've been at a standstill, unbeknown to us, for about 3 months! We're waiting for ONE phone call to get things rolling again. It makes me want to cry thinking about all this time wasted that we could have had her. So, as you're reading this, please be in agreement with us that God moves on the heart of the person needing to make the (1) call to PICK UP THE PHONE!!! and have compassion and mercy on Hannah and 2 other children who need to be with their families. We have some idea that there will be a bit of a dance with paper work for us after that, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
God knows and knew this was going to be the case, so we trust Him that He's working on her behalf and will get the glory when it's all done.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

When I first graduated from ORU, I had a job but no car. So, in the weekend my parents were here for graduation we found a car for pretty cheap. Great deal, we thought. I started work and met a girl who happened to be living in the same apartment complex, was just starting her orientation and would be working 12 hour nights like me! Well, not too long after we started I had to call and ask for a ride to work- my great deal died. We developed a great friendship that is full of great memories and sharing of significant moments. Forgive me, Nicole, but I think you've been married 6 years. In that time, they've not been able to have any babies. Nicole worked in NICU for several years and is now a lactation consultant. (Can you tell the mommy/baby thing is for her?) Well, up until about 2 weeks ago, she and her husband have not been on the same page about adoption. Through a miracle that came about in large part because she was obedient to what the Lord showed her to do and not complaining, nagging, and all the other things we do when we don't get our way, she and her husband are on the road to international adoption!!!
When she told me, I was so thrilled for her. It's a blessing to know that God is answering her prayers and will work an amazing work in providing and leading her to the right agency and child. YEA!!! I love you Nicole and I look forward to growing our families together.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So, how'd it go?

Ok, so our Wednesday didn't turn out as they expected. Catherine's class only got to move 1 straw. Samuel did not do well on his practice spelling test so he had to write spelling words and do a report that's due Friday. The vacuum DID come and boy, were they excited! We had to go to the House of Vacuums to get bags for it and here was a conversation on the way there...

me- I'm so excited, we get to start planning for Caleb's birthday!
S- then it's me! (he's got legos on the brain)
me- no, then it'll be me
S- Huh?
me- mine's 4 days after his
S- Whoa! You're related!

So we get the bags and go home. Immediately, Samuel is taking this apart, putting that together. You should have seen him going to town, all the while I'm asking him not to do anything without asking and making sure we've got it together right. He says, I watched they guys do it when they were here! (The Kirby guys came about a week and a half ago. I'd wanted to get one, but not with the huge price, especially while we're in this process. Ours had died and we'd borrowed my mom's. Thanks mom! We'll get it back to you Saturday. I went on ebay and found the very one for MUCH less, praise the LORD!) So, they were asking to vacuum. I'll be ever so happy to ablige them in this fascinating new chore and see how long it lasts.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wednesday Wonders

3 things Catherine and Samuel are looking forward to on Wednesday:
1. No homework
2. Catherine gets to move the straws (?)
3. Our new vacuum will be delivered by the UPS man! (They are thrilled about it, disappointed it hasn't happened yet. Really)
When Samuel was in 1st grade, he wanted to be a cub scout. I'm all for it. I think it's great to have some father/son time and learn some skills and be a boy. However, Buddy was working over an hour away and worked 10 hour days. Some days he just couldn't get home in time. Some days, Catherine was worn out and needed to get to bed so it was hard for me to take him. So, last year we just skipped it. This year, we got the flyer and I was kind of dreading it. Buddy was willing to go with him...until he was coming home at 6 and the meeting started at 7. Samuel was really disappointed and so, like the great dad he is, Buddy took him. This was a source of great delight to Samuel and a source of great sadness to Catherine. She wanted her daddy. She did brighten up at the idea that later this week she could have some daddy time "and you guys stay here?" Yes, we would. Big grin. So we played Dora Uno which made Caleb laugh so hard and watched a Strawberry Shortcake video. When it came time for bed and the boys weren't home yet, tears came and the several trips out for this and that. Oh my, what having time with their daddy, or dad as Samuel reminds me, means to his kids. He's quite the hero.
Today we were running behind and I had to drop them off instead of walking in with them. That got a big "yes!" out of Samuel, but not Catherine. However, he volunteered to walk her to her class which was great with her. Good brother he is.

First Best Friend

Last year, Catherine had a really fun group of girls to play with in her class. Mostly, they were very well behaved and got along great. This year, only one was in her class- Allie Grace. Well, since school started, they have been inseperable. One day last week I was a little later picking them up- Caleb needed to be fed, the pick up line was long and I hadn't wanted to take Caleb out of his car seat to troop into the school, etc. She was in tears. Why did I take so long!?! Did she know I would come for her? Yes. (sob, sob) But I wanted Allie Grace! Come to find out, Allie Grace had been there for a while, but left.
Allie Grace got a hair cut before school and always has a bow in her hair and is dressed really cute. Up until the first day of school, Catherine wasn't that particular about what she wore, as long as it was pink! Hair things were something to be cast off when I wasn't looking. Now, she HAS to have her hair pulled over to the side WITH a bow. She had one and wore it everyday. I'd hesitated buying more because it was a waste of money and added frustration trying to keep track of what hair things she had when she'd leave them places. Allie Grace, knowing how much Catherine likes her bow, very sweetly brought her a ziplock with about 6 bows in it last week. What a precious friend! So now, the ziplock is essential for dressing. Last night, she took a shower and immediately put a bow in, cried when I asked her to take it out since her hair was soaking wet.
Allie Grace is her first best friend. Not the first she's ever had, but the first, best, above anyone else. The hours apart are not unbearable, but the moments together are gold.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Swimming story

Saturday am we took off to spend the night at a friend's condo. We had such a relaxing Saturday and Sunday. The kids and Buddy went swimming Sat. and we watched some movies that evening. Sunday after church and lunch, we all went swimming. Sadly, I forgot a swimmy diaper. I thought perhaps we could just use the one we had for a while. Hey, it's been about 5 years since I've had to deal with this! I kept a close eye on it as we played in the water. There was another dad and 2 kids there as well. It was such a great time! Slowly, the diaper expanded, until I knew if we waited longer, we would be sharing much more than we intended! Out we went, stripped on the spot, and back for a quick shower and a long, well needed nap for him! Lesson learned.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fire and Guns

Doesn't that sound like a nice name for a 3rd grade band? Samuel and 4 of his buddies tried to make it happen last year and are going full force this year. It's his most consuming school talk. He's the back up singer and bass player because Buddy has a bass, albeit missing a string! No one else knows how to play an instrument, either, but that's ok. They're exchanging phone numbers so they can set up a practice time.

Oh, Samuel says he's NOT in the balcony this year for chapel.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pictures from today

I let Caleb try a grape tomato tonight. Can you see it?

He REALLY liked his blueberries and oatmeal!

Samuel and Caleb loving on each other.

Catherine was hiding from me so I couldn't take her picture!

Hannah has a button!

The code will produce this on your website:
Reece's Rainbow
Grab This Button

With all that's going on in ROG, we want to continue our efforts to have everything together when we get the word to go. If you have a blog or a network of friends, we'd appreciate your help in spreading the word about Hannah. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We were blessed this past Friday, after a great day of school, to head over to my parents' to have dinner with them, Mark, dad's twin Doyall and his daughter Julia from CA. 2 years ago we were in CA for Julia's wedding. It was a bit north of San Diego, beautiful, but WILD traffic! So glad to not have to deal with that! Caleb took right to Doyall and spent quite a bit of time with him as Doyall patiently scraped apples and carrots into tiny pieces for him to eat. As always, the food was great and the talking and laughing were the best parts.

Our pool has become algae infested, so Saturday Buddy and I emptied it and did some yard work. The weather has been so beautiful for August, plus working together made it a lot of fun. The kids spent the day playing, which was fine all around. Buddy cleaned out his truck, but not before S&C found a new mode of transportation!

On Sunday, mom came over in the afternoon and watched the kids while we did our CPR class. I was so thankful this lady was willing to include us in her free class, even though we are not members of her church. OK, I think we are totally done with our education requirements!

S&C were very excited to go back to school Monday, especially with daddy being around to take them. Samuel learned a song about obedience his first day, and Catherine made a key chain that says - completely, going the extra mile, imediately, with a cheerful attitude, and one more. Those are the keys to obedience. Oh, I like the way this school year is starting out! Samuel also learned a song about Magdalena Pagdalena something something that he sang over and over. Had it not been for this song, the obedience would have been his favorite.

Since Catherine has taken off her training wheels, it's taken a while to get off by herself. I really think this Upper Cervical Care has made a huge difference. It was after she got adjusted that she started taking off and is now riding like a champ- fast and straight! She's also MUCH less moody and sleeps about 11 hours a night, give or take 10 minutes. Very nice!

Caleb is a little crawling champ and is learning how to climb over things. Buddy says he puts it in 4 wheel drive and just goes, no matter what's in his way. We went to Sam's tonight and used cherry boxes to bring our things home. Here's what Caleb did with them...

Here's Caleb sleeping so peacefully after playing so hard.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where do babies come from?

OK, I've dreaded The Talk. Samuel is almost 9 and I've expected something, especially with Caleb being born so recently. Yesterday, I was reading him some funny stories from Reader's Digest. In one, the son said to his dad "I know babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get in there?" Samuel pipes up, "God." Whew!

First day favorites

Caleb and Samuel celebrating 11 months

Catherine's new "do"
All ready to go!

Well, after a sightly miscalculated leaving time, we made it to school for the first day of 1st and 3rd grade. Samuel was up at about 6:30, eating breakfast ON THE COUCH at 7, while sleeping beauty wasn't up until 7:30. They are on opposite ends of the school this year, which makes timing a little more challenging as well as less social for me. Samuel's class is kind of isolated, plus several kids in Catherine's class are not back this year. I got pictures with both kids, kissed and hugged and off they went.

Catherine's favorite thing was: her haircut. Playing outside was her favorite thing about school. She did play bingo and won twice, which was her 2nd favorite thing.

Samuel's favorite things: Steven (who picked on him last year because of his backpack) is now his friend, at least he's with most of his friends, Mrs. S has lots of funny songs and he likes her books. There's one new kid and she's kind of nice.

They will be eating at totally different times, going to different chapels, and so will rarely, if ever, see each other. However, when I asked them if they missed me, Caleb, or each other, there was NO hesitation that they didn't. Samuel gets to be up in the balcony during chapel and is with the 4th and 5th graders for chapel, recess and lunch, while Catherine is with the 2nd graders for lunch and recess. She got to see her friend G 3 times today and was pretty happy about that. G is in K-4.

When I picked up Samuel he asked why I'd picked him up in his classroom. He didn't want me to, instead he wanted to go to "canopy" where he would wait with his friends for me to walk in and get him or drive up and he'd come out to the car. Well... I guess I was told!

I had every intention of getting lots done at home, but instead went with another mom to Whole Foods to stock up on snacks for the kids since we eat a bit differently than most, had lunch, fed Caleb twice, took a 30 minute nap, read for a few minutes, baked some bread for the kids' after school snack, cleaned up the kitchen, and that was IT! I'll have to do much better from now on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

End of summer and kid stuff

Yesterday was meet the teacher night after the last summer playdates. What fun the play dates were. MUST have them again! The kids were so excited to see their rooms and see their friends again. Catherine and Samuel share a bedroom and at night they sometimes squabble over who gets to decide what they listen to while they sleep. I did the "pick a # between 1 and 10" and Samuel picked closest, which sent Catherine into tears. Bottom line, she wants school to be today!

So, today was a really sweet day with the kids and I. Yesterday, Samuel made a trade with his friend- a nerf gun for heely's. Samuel has been believing for those for quite some time, but it wasn't something I thought worth spending money on. Pretty cool, until he tried to use them outside today and fell. It was nice to hold him (how much longer will he fit and want to do it) and tell him how much I loved and would miss him while he was in school.

Catherine started begging me yesterday to cut her hair off, I'm sure it was spurred by her 2 very good friends getting their hair cut. It was too late to call our hair dresser, so I did what any good mom would do and took it into my own hands, which is what she wanted. I cut off about 3 inches and she was thrilled! Part of the issue was getting rid of her curls, which she was destined to have because Buddy, his dad, my mom, dad grandma and grandpa all have some curl/wave action going on. Anyway, it was a nice time together and she was pleased with the results.

We got to go to a little b-day party with Zach and Gabriella that extended into a play date that was lots of fun, all too quickly ended.

They each got their clothes ready for tomorrow, put up all their toys (as put up as the Lego's get!) and have their back packs ready. Samuel said "I'm having a hard time waiting for it to be tomorrow!" At first he said his teacher was not the one that he prayed to have, but when I reminded him that he wouldn't be in the same class as his friends, he got his silly little smile and was ok with it.

It was a really good summer with lots of good memories, trips to Branson, time with family, trips to the library, play dates, etc. I have had moments when I'd like to send them somewhere else for a while, but for the most part, I've really enjoyed our times together. I'll miss having them around. I told Samuel I was going to miss him saying "mom" all day long!

Samuel has another loose tooth- #9! He's played Lego's every waking moment all summer long, so it'll be interesting to see how he does having homework every night and needing to do that and not play all day.

Catherine lost another tooth tonight and is now even with Samuel. We were reading Junie B Jones and there was something about farmers having nubbins for heads and she misunderstood me and said "speaking of muffins, can you make some for us?"

Caleb is 11 months today. He and C had a bath together and he was so wild! Splashing and squealing and get me wet. So funny. Earlier this week we were petting Nikki and I was saying "kitty" and he said kaykay more than once. His 7th tooth came through, which I may have already mentioned.

I love my kids!


Yesterday we got a call from our friend John who wanted to see how Hannah is, if we knew, and to remind us that God defends the orphans and would move governments and military if needed. Very encouraging. Thanks John.
Today, I was reading Psalm 35 to the kids and ran across this verse- "All my bones shall say, "O Lord, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?"" Very appropriate.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Got a call...

...from CBS! They are contemplating interviewing the families adopting from ROG on how this is affecting us and our concerns for our kids. It's for the Early Show and Buddy's not real thrilled about the idea. Who knows what will happen.

Please pray for Ana, our new friend from ROG- her mom is in the worst hit area.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fear NOT!

I'm sure you've all seen the news and know that major things are going on in Hannah's country. We got an email from Robin not to be worried, the children are safe. I trust the Lord to watch over her, that the angels do surround and protect her.

Robin called Friday when I was on my way to pick up some friends to go to Branson. Buddy and Samuel had gone earlier in the day with Chad, and C, C & I were picking up Heather and their daughter. First time to their house by myself (while I was hearing stories about Hannah) and got totally turned around! Anyway, the stories are that Hannah and her foster brother are very sweet together. There is a baby there, also, who is slightly younger than Caleb, and she really likes the baby alot. We don't really know about feeding or potty habits, yet, but it sounds like she's a spunky girl who will be a joy for our family.

We know that it's pretty sad, looking at the news, but we're trusting the Lord to take care of her, as He IS the Father to the fatherless, and going on with preparation for our travels. We have our CPR class Sunday and are getting our kitchen/dining area ready to paint!!! That's a HUGE deal on my list, not because it's a big project, just been waiting a while for it to be "time."

Final thought are from Isaiah- "Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed: for I am your God: I will strengthen you: yes, I will help you: yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness." "Fear not: for Iam with you: I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west." It's pretty clear what my orders are and what He is doing.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


OK, nothing official yet. Got some more pictures yesterday that were really nice to see. She's so cute! I'm going to talk with Robin tomorrow and find out more of what Hannah's like, since she got to spend time with her recently. So exciting that we're closer every day.

Kid stuff

My kids are really great about trying new things that are healthy. Today Buddy told me he'd heard that, even though we juice several times a week, we need to eat the pulp, not just drink the juice. So, tonight I juiced bok choy, celery, pear and carrots, added most of the pulp to the juice and put it in pancakes (along with flax seed, protein powder and anything else I could think of. Just kidding.) Samuel's first response when he saw it was- "why didn't you just let me drink it?" and "I don't like it." We then got to talk about how saying you don't like it before you try is NOT ok, and how important it is to be grateful, not always saying you don't like things and about honoring daddy's wish to have this. I gave Caleb a few bites and he started crying for more! Samuel tried a piece and decided it was pretty good! After a few bites he requested anytime we have a "special" night I make it the exact same way. In typical dramatic fashion, Catherine proclaimed it "delicious, this is sooo good!"

Yesterday, both S&C had play dates that started somewhere else and ended at our house with both of them begging to have another one soon. School starts next Thursday, so we've got our days numbered. We found out who their teachers are for the year and who is in their classes, which was really exciting. S has all familiar faces and several from C's class last year will be with her, too. All summer we've been doing workbook pages, flash cards and reading and are finally down to the last 2 days of work. They each get a $ amount to spend for their hard work and know exactly what they want! They've gotten up everyday by 7:30 at the latest and been ready to go for the day. Today, C slept until 8:50. It must have taken a lot out of her to have so much excitement in one day!

Their new clothes are hung up nicely and Samuel has made a big change in his life. He has officially left the world of "tighty whiteys" and entered into the world of boxers. When was I expecting that to matter to him? Maybe in a few years, but not as an 8 year old! Catherine has a friend who is kissing boys and telling her about it and dating. Oh, my! REALLY not ready for that yet. Had a little talk about what's appropriate for her age and for a VERY long time to come!

I've really enjoyed having the kids home this summer and their friends over so much. It's really true that adding one or two more really doesn't add to your work, it lightens it! They've been helpful, willing to do projects with me, faithfully done their school work (not always so willingly) and been having fun together. Caleb will miss his siblings and they will most likely really miss their times together. It'll be a lot quieter, I'll get some much needed projects done, but I'll miss having them around the house all day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Week in review

What a great past week we've had. Although we've heard nothing new about Hannah, we do know that Robin is now back in the states and believe her visit to ROG was a successful one and anticipate good things from it.

We are officially done with swim lessons for the summer! My car will probably want to auto-pilot its way to the pool, but I'll be happy to refrain. For Caleb's sake, I'm looking forward to a day of no running around. Wednesday, Caleb sprouted his upper left tooth, followed Thursday by his upper right. I can already see his 3rd and 4th upper teeth through his gums and know it won't be long! He's doing really well. I got a tip from a friend about teething biscuits and got some at WalMart tonight. Man, oh man, did he make a mess! But he really liked them. It was a contest to see how much he could put in his mouth at once. Buddy took it away because he was gagging and he cried because he wanted it back. Caleb has also begun crawling more on hands and knees. When he wants speed, he's back to the army crawl!

Buddy got some much needed lawn care done and took care of a hornets nest we didn't realize we had. Last week, I was weeding in front of some bushes and got stung by something. It was kind of dark and I just knew it hurt BAD!!! I was watering yesterday and a hornet flew out of the bushes. That did it! I happily abandoned any work I needed to do in that area! Now, I'll have to get back to it.

Catherine abandonded her training wheels a few weeks ago but has not really enjoyed the feeling of not having them. Yesterday, Samuel helped her as she ventured more on her own. She has a crash and scraped her arm and leg very mildly. I congratulated her on her first accident- it meant she was actually trying on her own. I remember the first time Samuel fell and got badly scraped. He's got the scars to prove it. After that, she was much bolder and had a lot of fun.

This weekend was no sales tax shopping for clothes and shoes, so after I got Caleb up from his nap, he and I hit Old Navy and Target and got some really great deals. Last year this weekend, I ended up in the hospital having contractions while I tried to get school shopping done. Funny to think that so much has changed in a 12 month period. Mom had to do my shopping for me and pants that fit Samuel in the beginning of August were too short by the end of September. So, this year I bought his pants too big in hopes they'll still be right. If not, I left the tags on and I've got 90 days to return!

It was 106 degrees today so we decided to hit the pool. We were there for about an hour and a half and had a fabulous time together. The kids all did great and had fun practicing their new skills. Buddy got to put in some time in lap lanes while Caleb and I chased him along the side of the pool.

One of the biggest and best things that happened this week was that Buddy and I went to an Upper Cervical Doctor. The steps that led us to going had to have been the Lord. He and I had both have had back pain for quite a while- I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a teen, and just the life things that happen to you add up to pesty things in different parts of your body that you come to believe are "normal." I went on Tuesday- my legs were 3/4 inch different, my hips were twisted and tilted and I was leaning to one side. Basically, all this was putting pressure all the way around my brain stem. The adjustment was so easy, I didn't realize the Dr. had done anything. When I stood up, I felt completely different. It felt like all the pressure in my neck and shoulders just evaporated. I could turn my head without pain, my right shoulder wasn't twisted forward. I actually felt calmer, more relaxed. That night I slept with no discomfort and woke up feeling refreshed, without my feet hurting. I know that sounds strange, but so true. Buddy went Friday and unlike almost every night for the past almost 11 years of marriage, fell asleep and slept all night in the same position. He had several little things here and there that were his "normal" that had disappeared, too. 2 biggies are that his digestion is better and he didn't sneeze while he was mowing yesterday, which is HUGE! We also have noticed having a lot more energy.
Believe it or not, there are only 300 Dr.s in the world who practice this, but the list of things that can be treated that, from other Dr.s' reports are incurable or only treatable with meds or surgery, are amazing. It has to be wisdom from the Lord that led to discovering this treatment technique. Here's a link to the Dr. we went to. You can listen to an interview that's amazing and find someone in your area that can help. It's so worth it just in case it may work for you.

We found out that our good friends, the Urbans will be moving about 4 miles from us the end of this month! Hope and Hannah will be about the same age. Hope likes to help her sister Ava learn new things. I wonder what she'll be teaching Hannah?