Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

This year is starting out with changes and the promise of great things to come!
We decided to get the boys a set of bunk beds, so the girls could also have a set. Samuel, Catherine and I took apart the part that was Samuel's bed and 1/2 of Catherine's so we could reassemble them into a bunk bed. Today when we were discussing it, Buddy and I decided we needed to move Catherine into a smaller room. I think it will be a great help to her in her organization and having less to keep clean. I also think Caleb has way bigger toys that need more space. Another consideration is Hannah. We don't know what her sleeping situation is, but I think cozier will be better for her.
That meant we took apart the bed we just put together, moved it out of one room and put it back together in the other room, and put the boys' bed together. It was very exciting for Catherine to be able to sleep on the top bunk AND to have Caleb in her room tonight. We still lack a mattress for him, so he'll stay put until we do. Samuel was disappointed to have to wait until Catherine woke up to be with Caleb, which I think is so sweet. He also didn't like the idea of sleeping in a pink room. However, the big thing is that we have this together before Buddy leaves for Mexico on Sunday morning.
I think we have the easy part behind and the big part ahead- moving the stuff from one room to the other! That can be a slow project over the next week.
Looking forward to seeing all the good that God is going to bring our way in 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I'm so thankful for this season, and the reason behind it all. Catherine and I were getting ready to go to my brother's today, and were singing "Mary did you know." I got so overwhelmed with God's amazing love for us and all the things that we have because of the gift of Jesus, I began to cry. We have done nothing to deserve His goodness, yet He pours out goodness daily.

We went to Mark's and had a nice time while we were there. We hadn't looked out in 2.5 hours, but when we did, inside was a much better option! When we left, Buddy in his truck and the kids and I in my vehicle, it took us over 1.5 hours to get home! This is a 25-30 minute drive, max. It's so beautiful to have a blizzard in OK! The last time we had snow like this, it was 2000 and Samuel was just 1 year old. We ended up staying overnight at my parents' house and had a blast. Hopefully, it'll clear up and they can join us tomorrow.
Merry Christmas, everyone! May you experience the love of God like never before this year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Break!

After 83 days of school, it's finally time for a break. We did take a few days at Thanksgiving and one or 2 days where we just couldn't do school because of busy schedules. This morning, it was hard to know what to do with myself. The kids, however, had no trouble. I do believe we have an engineer in the family. This is the creation they came up with to make use of the train track since one of the train cars broke. They have tweeked the creation until I believe they have it working just right. 5 stars for creative use of household objects. They've used the phone, remotes, legs, stools, a nutcracker, etc. to make this go. If you look closely, you can see our sad tree. I'm really hoping it makes it just a few more days! Things keep falling off of it since the branches are drooping ever lower as it dries out.
Obviously, we'll not be traveling this year for Hannah. This puts us possibly the end of January at the earliest. Not sad, not discouraged, just moving along and trusting God to continue working on our behalf. I did find a winter coat for her, so that's ready. Wishing we could shower her with gifts this Christmas and hold her tightly to celebrate. However, these will be the last days she'll not be with her forever family, and the last she'll be with her foster family that she's grown to love these last 2 years. I'm so thankful she's with a good family. Not much longer now....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yesterday, our Power of Attorney got shipped to ROG, so we're ready for the judge's ruling!
I got my much needed 3 crowns started today. (Who knew it was going to be so painful after everything wore off?) I was supposed to do 2 in May and delayed, thinking we'd travel and I'd be in another country with temporary crowns. Now, it's turned to 3 and I don't care. I'll bring a tube of glue with me and stuff them back on if I have to!
I bought a book for Hannah on amazon.com called "I Wished for You and adoption story" by Marianne Richmond. It's so good- explaining why the birth mom's wish became finding a family for her baby, why they look different, the waiting process, so many things that we're experiencing and ready to share with Hannah. Be ready, though, because you'll need some Kleenex!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Got our powers of attorney papers in the mail to Hopscotch on Wednesday. I had to run around a bit to get everything I needed for our immigration update, but that finally got in the mail today. Looking for a bunk bed and a Yukon XL and we should be ready! Oh, and a pair of nice warm boots will make a good Christmas present!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mom came over and I got part way to meeting Buddy so we could go to a notary, and the car started acting up. Thank God, I was close to the dealership and I could stop by. They NEVER have loaner cars unless you make an appointment. They did for me today! Off to meet Buddy- in and done in 5 minutes and he was back to class. They let me have the car for the day, so I still got to go to OKC. This let me get our paperwork off to Robin today instead of waiting for them to get it, process it, and it make its way out of the capital.
We needed to finalize some things on our immigration papers, and unfortunately, that has to wait until tomorrow moring. It'll work out fine, though, since we have to pick up our car in the morning. That will be in and done and we'll wait to hear from USCIS.
We could have interesting Christmas plans, and I hope we do. Looking forward to making plans to travel to far away places...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News

We've been having such a great, full time lately, with our Christmas school program, our trip to Branson, our Pastor's homegong celebration, getting car things taken care of, homeschooling, decorating for Christmas. The kids did a really nice job at their program- they played a song on the tin whistle and recited some of their memory work. My class did an awesome job, even though we were short 2 students. It was a lot of fun for everyone. Mom was able to join us, and Buddy, who had something he was supposed to do for school, was able to get there, too. I'm already missing my friends while we take this short break.

Catherine had her recital for dance and was so excited about her outfit! They did a nice job, and had enough time to perform it twice. Grandma, again, came to support her kids. What would we do without her?

We got a real tree this year, the 1st since Samuel was about 6 weeks old. I tucked him inside my coat as we andered around looking at trees. Look how big he is now! I'm already having some fun keeping the needles vacuumed up, but it sure smells great! We had Hope and Ava over while we decorated the tree, and everyone got to help. That picture is on my phone, and I'll have to figure out how to make that move.
Saving the best for last. I got an email that the attorney in ROG needs another set of Power of Attorney papers. There are so many things I wish I could explain about what has happened in this process, but until it's over, I can't or shouldn't, and after it's over, what difference will it make? It does seem like the things that have been hindering our progress are out of the way and we're actually seeing the good things happening. I'm off to meet Buddy during school so we can get papers notarized, then on to OKC to get apostilled. Funny thing is, I just got a letter telling me I had a credit at the SOS office and they were going to refund it. I'll need all but $10 for the apostilles I get tomorrow. We're cutting things a little close with our immigration approval. We had to ask for an extension and got a letter back requesting a bunch of other information. If things are moving quickly here at the end, as it appears they are, we need to get this new paperwork in tomorrow. Unfortunately, I could've taken it to OKC with me and not mailed it if I'd coordinated better with our Social Worker. Oh well. God is still faithful and will give us favor to get it done at the perfect time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you had some time to sit back and reflect on how blessed you are to live where you do, with opportunities you have, the people you love close by, and a God who cares so much for you that He gave up the most precious thing He had, the thing those of us in our adoption journey are seeking, His Son.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Good News!

In several different areas.

First-we got news on our adoption. Finally we found out some answers that explain why we've had these pointless delays. Now that the answers are out in the open, we can finally make some progress. I'm cautiously optomistic about what could happen next.

Second, we found out that Nikki has no diabetes or kidney disease! He had some white blood cells in his urine, so they gave him an antibiotic shot, just in case. When we brought him home, we had to lock him in the bathroom, give him separate litter, and start him on some behavior modifying meds. We were told to keep him separated for a week to help retrain him where he should be going to the bathroom. He's better, but he sure cried a lot throughout the afternoon, evening, night, morning... The drugs are kicking in, though.

Third, Buddy doesn't have to work on Friday, so we get to take off to Branson! We need to have some time together. One of our friends is not going to be home and offered his house to us. My parents are going, too, so we'll get to spend some time together and go to Silver Dollar City. It should be good weather and good times!

One more week of CC and we're done until January! We've got a lot to review and a lot we can catch up on, which we can be leisurely about here at home. I'll have to figure out how to do this break. To me, it's hard to have everyone home and not do some school. It just seems like that's what we do. I'm hopeful to do some fun crafts and make some gifts together. we'll see.

So that's my good news. I'm thankful for so many things. Above all, God is faithful and we can always trust Him to be working or us and to bring out good things.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For the past few days, I've been finding really wet spots in Catherine's closet. Fortunately or unfortunately, she hasn't put clothes away and there are piles all over the floor, so I've been doing loads of laundry to take care of it. Yesterday, it was in the tub of dress up clothes, which went right into the washer.

Today we went on a great field trip that was a to scale replica of the tabernacle in the wilderness. It was really interesting, and the kids had 4+ hour round trip to ride in the car with their friends. We found a park where the kids could play after the presentation, then piled back in for the return trip.

Before we went, I thought Catherine shut her closet door. We were home only briefly before dance class and I didn't have a chance to check it out. We stopped by the vet's on the way home from dance. She told me we were probably looking at kidney disease or diabetes in Nikki. Not a whole lot of options when it gets to this point. We can't keep having messes and I don't want to have the rest of his life be a struggle with insulin and medication, which may not even help. When we got home, there was a wet mess on the papers Catherine had left on her closet floor! I think tomorrow may be the day. After 15 years, I have mixed feelings, but know this is ultimately for the best.
We'll be going to a basketball game tomorrow for a field trip, so I have to decide when to do the deed. Thankfully, Catherine is going to my mom's for a sleep over tomorrow night. Maybe, we'll find one for Samuel and then they'll not be here for the event. Sigh.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

10 days ago I posted last? Hmm. It isn't that life hasn't happened, it's that so much has. Sadly, I still don't know where my cord for my camera is, but it's ok for now. I'll find it.

My phone issues were cleared and yesterday, I GOT MY NEW CELL PHONE!!! Do I know how to work it? No. Is it fascinating for the kids? YES! Is it tempting for me to do nothing but try to figure it out? YES! However, I got the paperwork for the grant application I was waiting for and need to do it. CC is tomorrow and I need to prepare. Buddy needs help on his school work, which includes setting up a budget for living in a foreign country for a year. Wow! Such a big and exciting step, although we're not ready to go there, yet.

I did lose all my contact info, so PLEASE call my phone so I can get you back in it.

We're still faithfully getting ready for Hannah and busy in school. I think we have a solution for the boys and girls- get another set of bunk beds. Caleb climbed out of his crib about 5 times one nap and he took a nap in Samuel's bed. Hannah made me too big for a toddler bed by the time she's here. It just makes sense. Now to find the right one for us.

Off to a birthday party and then a Laser Tag party for the cub scouts.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New opportunity

I think last month I applied for a grant pre-approval. We were denied for certain reasons beyond our control. In a moment of inspiration, I sent an email explaining the situation and left it at that. Yesterday I got a phone call saying my email made sense, they'd taken it to the board and approved us for application! Thank you, Jesus! It's in the mail, on the way here, and I hope to get it taken care of before the weekend is over.

We also had to get some of our immigration paperwork updated by the 4th. Background checks had to be repeated and we thought would come here. However, I found out they'd gone to our social worker instead. Then we had one more piece of paperwork I'd left, thinking when I got the background checks, I'd take care of it. This was the weekend and nothing could be done. I asked friends to help me out, and none could. However, I waited in a waiting room Monday morning for 46 minutes, begging for mercy and help. Just as I was getting ready to tell them I'd come back later and possibly miss being able to get our paperwork in, out comes just the lady I needed with my letter. I rushed home, got it to my SW, and was only 5 minutes late for school. Our SW got everything in in time and we should be hearing back soon. I was so thankful!

There's a song we sing that says, "Everything's working out for my good, and for God's glory..." I keep seeing that over and over and am so thankful.
The sun is shining so beautifully today, drawing the kids ever so strongly! We had 2 munchkins outside at 7:20, jumping on the trampoline, and have been out there every little break they decided to take. Who could blame them. So, we went outside to do our history, science, and fun reading. Which lead to bark rubbings and leaf collecting and tree identifying. We came inside for snacks and history because we got distracted by the trampoline earlier. We're reading about China, and took time to attempt Chinese character drawing and stamp (potato) making. Lots of fun, but drawn again to the trampoline! Oh, well! Gives me a chance to get out and do some much needed yard work.
Now to find my cable to post pictures...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Double digits!

Samuel has officially reached double digit age. Amazing to thing that's happened at our house. Makes me realize how much I need to be praying for his teenage years right now.
He's such a sweet boy who shows great character and potential. Truly a blessing of the Lord.

We started the day by 6:30 so the kids could see Buddy. They've done that 4 mornings this week, and the kids have done better than I anticipated with the early start. Samuel got a Lego set from Catherine and a pocket knife from daddy to start the gifts. He was equally pleased with both. Our tradition is the number candle in the birthday child's bowl of hot cereal. Sounds strange, but Samuel did not want me to forget. It's so great that he's growing up, but is still such a little boy in ways.
My parents called us and wanted to come visit, but since we needed to take Buddy's work clothes to him, they joined us at Whole Foods for an early lunch. They suggested we go to Turkey Mountain, a place that I'd always heard questionable things about when I was in college. We decided to give it a try adn were so pleased to see some beautiful scenery. We decided to take one of the trails, not thinking about not having dressed for the cooler air, or that I'd have to carry Caleb over whatever terrain we encountered. What fun to explore adn discover some of the things we'd been studying- arthropods, reptiles, conifers, deciduous tree, and more. I spotted a green snake and we watched, fascinated to see it moving through the brush. Catherine braved it and picked it up by the tail. What a brave girl! She was so pleased with herself.
We got to have a lovely visit with a friend for me and for Samuel, whom Catherine happily played with. Now off to get supplies for the party on Sunday so we can spend Saturday cleaning and preparing food.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We made it!

Today was the first day of the new life as we know it. Catherine was able to see Buddy for a while before he left for school. Definitely need some streamlining of his morning routine, but all in all an ok start. The boys both slept in until 7:40, which is nearly record breaking for Samuel. Off to school we went and had the best day in my class since about week 2. I took time this morning to pray for my students and for peace. Hmmm. I think it's a winning formula. I also got this handy gadet from one of the moms in my class who felt my pain, that chimes when you hit it on a table. It catches the kids' attention and they stop talking. I only had to use it twice and was very pleased with the results. We started working on our tin whistle song. It went really well. It's a really good reminder to be thankful to my band and piano teachers growing up!

Because Buddy is gone most of the day, we have some conflicts with schedules in the evening/afternoon. Thankfully, my babysitter was able to come today so I could take Catherine to dance and run to scouts with Samuel. A huge help came from 2 moms who a) picked up Samuel before scouts and b) dropped Catherine off at home when dance was done. And then there was the friend who made dinner for us so I didn't have to cook! It was a pretty rough day on Caleb, though who only saw me for less than 3 hours today. That may not sound bad, but when you're used to, being together the whole time you're awake, it's tough. Needless to say, bedtime was a little rough. Grace for all of us in the season!
Tomorrow will be a much better day.

Off to pack Buddy's lunch for tomorrow.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The cool segmented worm outside our garage door. That's Samuel's size 6 shoe beside it. Catherine thought it was sooooo cute!
Not feeling the greatest today, but I love that sweet smile!
It wasn't that cold today, but Catherine helped dress him and he REALLY wanted his "hat" on.
Catherine and her favorite cat, Nora. What a great way to spend school time!Another moment of Catherine's creative play with Caleb.
Mini Elmer Fudd in his ear flap hat.
Catherine at ballet where she's supposed to be paying attention to Ms. Mary.
Buddy and I celebrating our 12th anniversary!

I'm surrounded by piles of folded laundry, the dishwasher is running, the washing machine is humming, the children are asleep, Buddy is working, and I am catching up on here.

There is an annonymous commenter who likes to remind me of the calendar moving slowly along with no change in our adoption status. I admit, I rarely look at the Reece's Rainbow website because I see all these other families committing to children and children who need the love we could give them. I looked today and saw our last update was February of this year- "still waiting." Wow! The time has gone by so quickly, I really don't notice it until I see things like that.

But is it all bad? Is it really so discouraging that we should just give up, change agencies, find a new child? Of course not! How can we say we trust God and look at the calendar and be moved by it instead of His words to us? I was reminded today of the verse in Jeremiah- "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to prosper you and to give you hope and a future."

He has a plan and it's a good one! I don't have to be concerned that it's going to be more than I can handle or something I dread. It's something I can be confidently expentant in, that I'll see His goodness and it'll be a testimony of His love.

On that note, we have had some excitement here. Buddy and I celebrated 12 years being married this past Saturday. I admit, it was odd having a date and being without children. It showed me how much we need these times so we can kindle our friendship and caring we have for each other. How easy it is to be caught up in just the "have to's" of life and forget the little things. So, it was a joy to spend that time together.

Buddy is going to start school on Monday at a missions training school. It's called VWMTC (Victory World Missions Trainign Center) here in Tulsa. It's a good thing and we're both confident this is a step he needs to take. We're not sure what this all entails, as school is 5 days a week, 4 1/2 hours a day. This will change his work schedule quite a bit. We'll also miss seeing him some and may have to start taking trips into Tulsa for lunches on the run before he heads to work. Again, it's a good thing God has in the works for us. This week has been full of getting school supplies for him and school clothes. We were blessed with a really good sale and got a good start on that.

We were having issues with one of our cats and were not sure what to do. As I was resting today I realized that the issues we're having wouldn't change if we sent her away for awhile. We'd still have them when she came back. It's no fun for Buddy or I, and although she's techincally Samuel's cat, Catherine is the one who plays with her, but is bothered to tears when the cat comes in at night. We will be saying goodbye to her this weekend, hopefully. I think we just need to simplify our life some and this is one way to do it.

We're having great fun in our history time. It's so much fun to associate what we're learning with our Bible reading, world news, or stories we read. We did fall a bit behind this week because of Dr. visits and getting Buddy ready for school, but we'll catch up.

Speaking of Dr's, Catherine's therapy went well today and the therapist said she was very pleased with the progess she made! Thank you Jesus! Caleb went for his 2 year check up and was in the 95th percentile for height and 66th for weight. Amazingly, the boys were within 1/2 inch and 1.5 pounds of each other when I compared their 24 month check ups.
Have a fabulous weekend! We're (C & C and I) off to help Mom and Dad do some house things while Buddy and Samuel go to a camp out with the scouts.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Last call out for popcorn

Samuel is approaching the end of his popcorn sales for Cub Scouts. This Monday is the last day you can donate toward the military getting popcorn. Of course, if you're in the Tulsa area, you could buy popcorn for yourself. There are 2 levels to donate- $25 and $40. You can then mail me a check and the money turns into popcorn for troops. Pretty nifty. Please leave a comment and let me know you're interested and how I can contact you by Monday.
Thanks for your help.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

All's quiet

It's so quite here, I'm amazed! Today was a scheduled field trip for school. Scheduled right in the middle of nap time for Caleb, who didn't nap yesterday and needed it. I didn't think I'd have a sitter, so I didn't even discuss it with S&C. However, one of the moms volunteered yesterday to take any kids with her who's moms couldn't go. So, off they went with her to the pumpkin patch. Buddy is applying to go to a missions school and needed me to run some errands for that. All accomplished before Caleb went down for a nap. I've had a cup of tea and read while I ate a late lunch, picked up a bit around the house, and now I'm looking at the pile of paperwork on my desk. Another chapter calls, but I must decline in favor of order!

We have had our washer and dryer for almost a month, now and I'm really enjoying it. I feel like I don't do as much laundry, but everything still gets washed. However, the dryer started acting up a few days ago and when I called the techline, they offered to either sent a tech out or give us a new dryer. Wow! I actually chose the tech since I'm hoping it's an easy fix. On Tuesday we should be up and running again.

We were blessed a few days ago by coming home to a bag of clothes for Catherine on our front porch. Don't know who it was, but we're very thankful.
Caleb hasn't gone potty since we got the new potty that sings. Yesterday I put him on the big potty, using the little ring. He went pee and poo twice! The singing will have to wait for Hannah, cuz it's not doing a thing for him. Whatever works, I'm all for it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Convergence insufficiency

For a while now, we've had some serious challenges with Catherine's reading. It's been a huge frustration for both of us. She'll be able to to share some of what she read, but at other times, she can't remember anything. She was telling me her eyes were doing funny things and that she had a headache when she read. Honestly, we'd been through quite a bit of lying from her and I chalked it up to more of the same. I wasn't very patient with her. When I sat down with her, she could do it, so I really didn't think it was anything. I finally made an appointment for her just so I could show her how fine she was.
We met nice people at the Dr.'s and came home with a diagnosis of Convergence Insufficiency. They sounded like it was a very common thing and had a plan to get her into therapy- basically physical therapy for her eyes, weekly, for the next 12 or so weeks.
I felt badly about how I'd judged the situation. That goes to show me that you can't base some behaviors on what you've seen in the past and really have to rely heavily on God's help for this parenting thing.
Catherine seems excited/relived about going for therapy.
So, next week is dentist for 2, orthodontist for 1, eye therapy for 1, 2 days of dance, 1 cub scouts, 2 of football.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Decisions, decisions

I'm coming to realize that our choice in bedrooms may not have been the best. We don't know yet what Hannah will need when she gets here, so we thought the bigger room would be better for the girls. However, we've seen over the past weeks that Catherine has a really hard time keeping all that space clean. As with most things, play expands to the bounds you give it. In her case, it's big for a little girl. Clothes become an issue, papers and notebooks, and anything else her imagination can use for play. Honestly, the boys may be better off in a bigger room and the girls smaller. The thing for Samuel is that he enjoys having his clothes on shelves in the closet instead of dealing with trying to keep dresser drawers closed and is sad about having a dresser again. For Caleb, it would mean transitioning 2 times- toddler bed AND a new room. The room is already pink, but light enough we could paint over fairly easily. The current boys room is a pale yellow we could easily paint over. It's just time and a bit of money.
Next decision regards our cats. We have 3. Nikki has been with me for almost 15 years and is a dear, although somewhat pesty, he's also very loving. If he doesn't have food for a few hours in his bowl, he gorges himself when he does and ends up getting sick. Nora is Catherine's cat and is the quietest, sweetest of the 3. Her hair is long, so she occassionally has hair balls. Shadow is our most recently aquired cat. She is a special breed that's hypo allergenic. Our thought was to breed her and have kittens for those with allergies. However, we've been unable to get her papers, so we're stuck. Sadly, we've had about 6 accidents of one sort or another in the past 2 days! That's a lot when I'm the one who has to take care of it. We're sure it's not Nora, but not sure which is the culprit. We really like all our cats, but know that something must be done! How do you choose which one and what is to be done?
We know there's an answer and that God cares about all these things, too. No burning bushes or prophets coming to visit our house lately, so we'll take steps and see how it goes.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Update

My parents are doing much better. Mom was able to get in with one of the best hand surgeons in Tulsa early this morning. He said she has a fracture that almost always separates and is very painful. We believe God is holding everything together. She's in a long arm cast for 4 weeks and then to a short cast. Was given the option of pins, but chose the cast. I agree! They drove down to the hospital with mom driving one handed and dad navigating from the back. Just couldn't be there at 6 am this morning to help out.
On our way to the PAC for Charlotte's Web. Caleb is a bit sleepy, so I'm hopeful he'll make it through alright.
We had a meeting of the moms last night and I feel greatly relieved. It seems no one is actually doing everything on the checklist for the week. The assignments cover a lot, but they are designed to be the end product of 3 years of work. Here I was trying to make sure Samuel went over every little thing they had and feeling overwhelmed myself.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This weekend, we were invited to spend the night at some friends' house in Branson while they were out of town. Of course, with football games, we had to wait until that was done, go home to shower and eat lunch, and then go. However, while we were waiting for lunch, we got a phone call from my mom that she and my dad had been in an accident and had been thrown from the vehicle and had some injuries. My 1st thought was - where were your seatbelts!?!?! It was the motorcycle. Yes, the same bike dad had been riding when he was in his 1st accident in 40 years this June. However, the bike was fine, the tires new, and the day beautiful and they wanted to enjoy the day together. They ended up in a hospital 2 hours away. There was nothing we could do, so we headed to Branson and had 24 hours away from home.
Mom was able to come home late Saturday night, but dad was kept because of a broken clavicle, scapula, and 1 or more ribs.
Mondays are so full already and we had no idea of what was going to happen with them allowing dad to leave, so we continued on with our plans. Thankfully, one of our friends was able to take mom to be with dad. While they were there, they got the ok to come home.
We went over this morning to take groceries and make sure they're ok for the next day or two. Catherine was so relieved to see dad. She'd talked to mom quite a bit, so she knew mom was ok, just wasn't too sure about dad. After a nice lunch, helping to clean a few things up and wash dad's hair, both mom and dad were done in and we took our leave. I'm so thankful we could be with them and that it was as mild as it was. After 10+ years working in ICU's, I know what happens in motorcycle accidents. What if I would have been on the other end of the very serious call and the request for organ donation? Eek! Too much to think about. We're reminded again of the goodness and faithfulness of God to care for us. Now, we're believing it'll be a quick recovery and back to their normal selves in very short order.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm getting another present- a new garage door! The door is who knows how old, heavier than I can lift, and starting to rot in places. Today when I closed it, I heard this sickening sound. My first thought was- did I have the car pulled in all the way? Thankfully, nothing was in the way and we were just fine. We missed Catherine's dance class and returning a book to the library. Other than that, we were not in need of going anywhere. I just wished I had more flour so I could bake more! Thankfully, we have a friend who is in the garage door business and can come by tomorrow morning.
We thought we had a buyer for our vehicle and could possibly be selling it this weekend. Exciting, except we haven't heard back from them. Anyway, we looked and found an suv that would suit our family better. I emailed, talked to Buddy, and then called this am only to find it was already sold. It did seem perfect, but we are confident there is something even more perfect for us out there at just the right time.
I've got the forms to update our homestudy. It's actually valid until December, I believe, but the background checks MUST be back before then and can take several weeks. So, that goes out tomorrow. Never thought we'd be doing this, but we're totally fine with it, and know that God is still working. Another step was taken this week. It does seem slow, but at least we do get glimpses of progress.
Off to clean the kitchen.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

He gives His angels charge over you...

Yesterday was a full day. I had great plans of doing laundry all day, getting some curtains hung in our bedroom, recovering my hope chest, going to Samuel's game, having fun at my parents' celebrating my birthday. I did get to start another load in the washer, but Buddy was having a hard time getting the dryer hooked up.
Samuel got to win a game! He even pulled off a flag after someone already pulled the 1st one off assisted in a tackle! They won 5 TD's to 1, give or take some extra points. One of my friends came to the house and stayed with Caleb while the game was going, which I was very thankful for. Dad came and helped out with his riding lawn mower, which I happily hopped on to finished up the yard. He also helped Buddy hook up the dryer. By then, it was time to give Caleb a bath, Buddy get ready, and out the door for the party. We had a very nice time, but I felt we needed to get home.
Once we got home, we were met with the smell of charred beans. I had left a pan of beans on the stove on low, forgot about them in the hurry to get out the door. Buddy saw them, meant to ask what I wanted to do, and forgot. Praise the Lord, there was no smoke (how strange is that!) and nothing on fire, just a pot of beans that stunk so badly, it made me nauseous. The smell went all through our house. We opened doors and window, turned on fans and did all we could to get the smell out. Back into the car we piled and headed back to my parents where we spent the night. God is so merciful! We lost nothing and were so thankful for His protection over our family and household.
Interestingly, on the was back from Samuel's game, we heard a scripture on the radio that talks about walking through the flood and you won't be drown, through the fire and the flame will not kindle upon you. I got to explain that to Catherine as we drove home. Little did I know that would we walked out in our life within the next 8 hours!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cleats, popcorn, and learning commands

This afternoon, after 3 haircuts (not me. I'm still working on locks for love. Plus, I like the new person who's cut my hair and don't know how to tell my 6+ year hair dresser!) we went to find a pair of cleats for Samuel's football season. I couldn't find any at WalMart (Samuel's feet have grown 2.5 sizes in a year,) so I went to the local sporting goods store. Nothing in his size (sigh of relief after the $70-$90 price tags.) Shoe Carnival is down the strip a bit, so we walked together down there. Thankfully, they had some in his size, 6.5 men's! and we got a $1 off coupon and spent less than 1/2 of the other's prices. We weren't too far from Panera, so we walked a little farther and got some bagels to munch on before practice and to tide us over until our 7 pm dinner. We stopped on the way back to the car and decided to sit on a ledge to enjoy our bagels. I was helping everyone get up and get their food and Caleb started saying, "down." He was telling me to sit down. Once I did, he said, "eat." After I complied and we ate most of our bagels then got up to go. "Hold." And so I picked him up. I guess he knows how to tell me!

Popcorn selling season has begun for us and Samuel is thrilled! Me? I'm not that excited and tried not to do it last year. I'm thankful my mother-in-law was willing to walk with him when she visited last year. Saturday was the first day we could go, but we were too busy. In the excitement of Caleb's birthday, he forgot to ask family. Yesterday was so busy, and I just couldn't disappoint him anymore. So after Caleb was in bed, he and I left Catherine and Buddy to have some time together. We stopped at several houses that had no answer, a few that said no, but he got 3 sales today and was thrilled! He talked the whole time and was filled with the joy of life. It was great to see his face and hear his excitement!

If you're local and would like some popcorn, we'd be happy to add you to the list. If you're not local but would like to support his efforts, they have a great program where you can donate money and they'll send popcorn to the troops! What an awesome idea! Thanks from a scouting mom. =)

Monday, September 14, 2009

10 days!

10 days since my last post. Amazing. It isn't that we've disappeared, we've just had quite a busy time. We made the trip to Branson and had a fabulous time. Got to see dear friends, were blessed with some great clothes for Caleb and some for Catherine, made the SDC trip with C&S totally enjoying Thunderation, which will make visits even more exciting, and just relaxed together. Mom and dad bought some property south of Branson and were working on it while we were there. We got to go visit and help pick rock and dig up some cacti. Samuel rode around a bit with grandpa on his tractor. I'm not sure who it was more fun for.

Although we had a week off from our HS community, we went ahead and did our work and got caught up in Samuel's writing/language/grammer work. He's been writing poems and getting to type them on the computer, which he really likes. I'm learning as we go, too.
Catherine hadn't been feeling very well the last few days-coughing and low grade fever. We braved a Japanese sleep over. I must say, my friend Shawn makes excellent sushi and spring rolls. Catherine made it through the sleep over and then opted to "take a rest" before our little friend Hope's birthday party. She came out after a while and asked if she had to go. Of course not, so she slept for about 1.5 hours and went to bed early Saturday night. I stayed up and decorated the cake and some cupcakes I'd made for Caleb's 2nd birthday. Oh, how time has flown!

The C's and I stayed home from church while the big C recuperated and I finished up with the party prep. One of my nieces was sick, so Mark brought Gabriel and Piper joined us later. Mom made it, but dad was on a motorcycle trip. Part of the Urbans made it, but their crew wasn't doing too hot, either! Fun was had by all. It was so sweet the way Caleb kept saying, "birthday.....cake!" He so badly wanted to get his hands on some of that pretty frosting! He is definitely one to keep me on my toes, a very lively spirit, which brings a lot to our family. We are blessed and so thankful to be in this wonderful family.
Samuel started flag football last week, which was a thrill. We all went to the practice to run around and chase each other and roll in the grass watch him practice. He really enjoyed it and was relieved when 2 other kids didn't have their cleats yet. Practice snuck up on us again and we'll have to run get him some before 5:30 tomorrow. At least he has his black mouth guard.

On the Hannah front, we received some encouraging news the end of last week. Of course, we have to wait to see how visits between people go, but I believe God is working even yet. Can't you tell we still have room for more and are excited for that spot to be filled.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Done laboring

Buddy is actually taking a holiday off! He's on his way home now, going to look at a job in the morning, then take off for Branson in the am. We decided we needed to get away when he got home at 10:30 last night. A friend offered to let us stay at their place while they are out of town! We'll be able to relax and let Caleb and Buddy nap together as much as they want. My parents have property not far from there that we'll get to see. They'll be working on their land this weekend. Way back when, our neighbors had a tractor that I got to drive around our land in MN. It's be fun to do that again!
While it's awful to have such long hours, it's such a blessing that Buddy has all this work during "this economy." We're thankful to know God supplies all our needs and we are taken care of. The kids miss him, but we know it's for a season. It really is kind of funny how much more relaxed I've gotten (about somethings) being married to Buddy. When I was single, I knew what I wanted to do when and how. Now, I can pull thing together, the day of, to go anywhere! Is that the instant in season and out the Bible talks about?
Hope your weekend is full of happy memories and time to enjoy those God has so richly blessed you to be with.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009




I feel like so many things have happened since I posted last, but I know that's not really true. It's just getting into the swing of things, but throwing into the mix a field trip to the zoo with our friends the Baileys. We actually ended up doing school work on Sunday to finish up what needed to be done Friday.
Part of the reason it was dragged out so much was because I was gone most of the day Saturday. We've been partners with CBN for a few years. One of their outreaches is Operation Blessing which provides emergency disaster relief worldwide and has hooked up with 5500 organizations around the US to provide food for the needy. Tulsa has one of the places they've joined with. It's called The Genesis Project. Once a month, they go to a high crime area in Tulsa and hand out a lot of food and household items. I got the opportunity to join them. It was such a blessing to me. There were people who'd lined up at 11:30 pm the night before to have a place in line! I talked to many who had lost a job, had hours cut back, one family who didn't know what they were going to eat that day and just happened to see their neighbor going by with their wagon. People had rolling garbage containers, laundry baskets, garbage bags, boxes, you name it. All ages were there. I felt so badly for the children. I got to be the first person who handed them food! Some wouldn't meet your eyes and some were so friendly and vocally thankful. It was fun to be able to find something good about them and work to brighten their day. At the end of the day, 701 families had been served. I'm not sure what all they got besides the jar of sweet bell peppers I got to give them, but I know it made a difference. I plan on being back there next time they are giving out food. It was an honor to be there.
On a lighter note, we really did try hard this year to have a nice garden. I have never watered so much and cared for these little plants so much. We greatly anticipated our juicy corn crop and sweet watermelon. We did get about 15 cucumbers. But all my ears of corn looked like this.

Can you spy our watermelon crop? (enlarged to show detail)We had three so far, but one turned brown and shriveled up. I do see more blooms, so I'm hopeful. Amazingly, the tomato plants that looked dead have revived with blooms to boot!
I finally made bread the old fashioned way- kneaded by hand and the loaved turned out beautifully! I did it again today and made rolls as well as a loaf. Boy, does it get eaten fast!

Sad news. My new homeschooling buddies are going back to private school. They've been blessed with scholarships for all 4 children. It's wonderful for them, but a sad thing for the Wright girls. We both shed some tears today when we got the news. Fortunately, Abigail and Catherine got to spend some time together today. This was one of the first things they found when they went out to play.Who knows how long that was there or how it got there. Yuck!
Catherine got a new bike this weekend and she was thrilled! Buddy put Caleb on Hannah's bike and pushed him around. What a great weekend!
We're thankful for the cooler weather and great memories made during the days together.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Forgot to mention...

Caleb now says "Zammo" for Samuel on command. Unfortunately, he still calls both of them "Cat-in," which is a little bothersome to Samuel. He'll get it, I know.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Getting in the groove

It's been a jam packed weeked and beginning of the week for us, as for many who are getting back into school rhythm.
I didn't really realize how much it was going to take to get 4 people ready, lunches packed, and out the door Monday morning! It's been a long time since I've had to do this. We got to the church at 8:30, found my room, took a quick picture (which I can't get to load on blogger), and started writing everything on the board we had to learn for the day. Before I knew it, it was time to be somewhere else. I have 9 children in my class and they all have unique personalities. Some have never been in a classroom setting, some did CC last year, some are fresh from school this spring. And then there's me. I'm so thankful there are moms in there with me to help hand things out, collect things, help hold what needs to be held. It makes it much easier.
As soon as we finished, down stairs we go to get the families reunited for lunch. Caleb got to go home for a nap and I got some time to chit chat with a few moms. The afternoon is fun for Catherine- music and photography, then art for an hour with a professional artist. Samuel has some heavy work with language, writing, grammer, and math for 2 hours, then an hour of art. I got to help in his afternoon class and in the art class. So many kids trying to figure out what this new stuff is all about. It doesn't start slowly, it's all out from the start! I'm having to learn this with him, which makes it interesting.
By the time 4 rolled around, we'd all had it and were thankful for a cereal dinner. Buddy got home later and I made him dinner, but it was just easy time for us.

Yesterday and today have gone pretty well. Samuel has much more work than Catherine, taking him a lot longer, but he's enjoying it. We're going until well after noon and he keeps a good attitude. Amazing. We're working on Catherine, but I'm sure she'll come around soon.

They had some fun under the trampoline, using my dry erase markers as some extra barrel on their pistols, while Caleb was armed with a light saber. The Lego picture is how Samuel occupied himself for many hours before school started. Great imagination. Picture taken by Samuel.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Field trip fun

Today we got to go on our field trip. It was a beautiful day which we all enjoyed. It was great to hear from Catherine's tutor that she talked a lot while they were doing their nature walk. You could see the friendships being formed already. Caleb even got to go with his teacher and gathered some treasures. He managed to sneak 2 sugar cookies during snack time! As you can see, he was in the thick of things and enjoying every minute. Samuel is obviously digging being with so many boys his age. They have code names in his class. He is Sargeant Samuel.

Here's a funny on me. I had 5 of my students there today and as we walked around a scum covered pond, I was reminded of Hank the Cow Dog. So I started telling them about it. Behind me was another mom who pointed out the wonders of some sand stone and that I should share that with the kids. Oops! I guess I need to raise my level of sharing with them!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We were all set for a play date this morning, got to the park, thought we could endure a few sprinkles. However, no phone call and no showing up, and no answer to my phone call. So after waiting 20 minutes we left. Thankfully, one of Samuel's friends wanted to play this am, but our previous arrangement didn't make it possible. After our waiting, I called and we got to go play/visit. It was a very nice time and I'm reminded of my need to just get away from my house, have some adult conversation and enjoy my friends! Thankfully, I'll get to be with adults, if not talking, during our Monday class time.
I was able to put 2 lasagna's in the freezer today. Catherine helped me make an assembly line to make our dinner tonight and 2 nights in the future. She really does enjoy helping me make thing, not so much clean up the mess after! That will come.
We also got our craft/extra school paper/play dough toys/ catch all cupboard sorted out. There are a bunch of things to take to the CC community to use and to share with my new HS'ing friend. Things, too to take to book benevolence. I believe this is the last "have to" organizational thing I need to do before school starts. I'm ready for a movie!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We had our practice run of school today and actually did more than I planned to do. Surprise, surprise, the kids really enjoyed it. They learned a bunch of new information and were quite pleased to share it with their daddy tonight when he got home from work. We'll have a play date tomorrow and the library to stock up on some books, then another "practice" Thursday. Our field trip was rained out today, which is why we got to have school this morning. It's rescheduled for Friday.
I've picked our scripture for the year- the fruit of the spirit. Each week we'll be learning scriptures that represent a specific fruit. I'm convinced after one day with the Classical curriculum that my kids are far more capable than I have given them credit for or required of them. No more! We'll be learning chunks of verses and using them as our handwriting practice.

I need some input of Caleb. A few days ago, he climbed out of his crib. Thankfully, their room is a bit tight and the recliner is right by his crib, so he must have gotten onto that. Tonight, we hear this panicked cry only to find him with his arm stuck in the rails. Easy for Buddy to get him out of it, but a bit much for him to do in his panic. He's not even 2 yet. Do I switch him to a toddler bed? I hate to think of the struggles of keeping him in his bed when he can just climb in and out like he does on Hannah's. Help!

To the person who gave me the multiplication game idea, thank you very much. It looks like something he'd really like.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Well, 2 batches of scones, 2 of blueberry muffins, 1 of bisquits, a few cups of rice, and a big pot of soup done. However, after all that, I'm in no mood to cook dinner. Out comes that fabulous pizza I was saving for another day. Oh well, at least I put more in the freezer than I took out.

Getting ready

We don't officially start school until the 24th, but I've planned some "practice" days for us next Thursday and Friday. I told Samuel it's to help me out so I can see what it'll look like when I'm tutoring.
So, in an effort to help myself not be so overwhelmed, I've started baking ahead. I have 3 mini loaves of banana bread, a batch of biscuits, blueberry muffins are in right now, and FINALLY I've made a loaf of bread that didn't flatten out too much and tasted great! So, I'll make a few loaves this weekend and throw those in the freezer, too. Last time it was Customer Appreciation Day at Papa John's, I ordered an extra pizza and froze that, too. I plan to get the crock pot out and make up some soups and anything else I can to get this year off to a better start. Out Mondays are going to be a bit intense. 8:30-4pm will be school. 6-7 is ballet, 7 is Caleb's bed time and 7-8 is cub scouts. I'll have to be on top of things on Sunday night or we'll be in trouble! We'll have ballet on Thursday, too, one night of football practice, and a game on Saturday.
That being said, I need to get back to the kitchen!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

this and that

The promised Blue Bird picture. She has some blue feathers in her bun, which flopped around while she did her little dance.
I wish I had great, exciting news to share, but I don't. I do know that some meeting is supposed to happen today.
We had a full weekend with the ballet and meeting with our homeschool community. I've been working on getting myself ready with tutoring materials. Today, we sorted through shoes to see what fits, I went through last school year's "treasures" and tucked quite a few in places which will never be discovered! Got our big catch all closet thinned out, too.

We don't have a nice stereo, just little cd players and the dvd player. I need all the counterspace I have and prefer to keep it as uncluttered as possible with things since (most often,) there is a pile or 2 of papers that just creap up on me! What I really wanted was an undermount stereo so we could listen to things while we worked- our memory work, classical music, Bible teachings, and just music while I'm working in that area. We had a credit card we'd paid off that had some points on it- just a few less than an undermount stereo. A few months ago, we switched back to using this card for business expenses and ta-da! we now have enough points for the stereo! I ordered it last week and today it arrived. I got out the drill, used the template for the holes, and hand screwed 4" screws through the cabinet and into the stereo (the drill was too big to use inside the shelves.) Great sense of accomplishment as I listen to beautiful music, but my hands say I should have let Buddy do it! Very thankful for that blessing.

Tomorrow we're headed to watch Open Season for $1 each. Book benevolence Saturday, possible homeschool co-op get together Friday. Monday, meet to put together homeschool folders for the older kids, next Tuesday a scavenger hunt to meet the students and them find out who their tutor is. We need to take some time as a family to go away before school starts on the 24th, so we'll see where we can squeeze that in.

What I'm really hopeful for is a play date for both older ones at the same time, which will include Caleb's nap time, so I can have undisturbed time for me to escape into a book or clean/organize as it strikes me! We shall see...
I have to tell a few stories about Caleb. "Dop" is one of his frequent words. As we were playing our instruments together, he kept saying that to us. As he was eating breakfast yesterday, he put his hand on his chest and said, "Oh my goodness" just as playing as can be. Everything is "um" and "OH!" Lots of fun. Having little success on the potty. Yesterday he took care of both duties in the a.m., then 2 accidents before 10 a.m. Today, nothing on the potty and 2 accidents. Maybe I should wait, but it sure would be nice to have all the stinkies in the potty instead of in his pants!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sleeping Beauty's blue bird is sleeping

Tonight was the performance. No cameras allowed, no parents in the "black box." So no sweet blue bird pics yet. It was very sweet and Catherine had a blast. Samuel enjoyed it with LOTS of questions about what was going on. No, they've never seen the movie. His comment was that if it was a boy that got pricked, he'd just be snoring. As soon as we picked Catherine up, she told her daddy she wanted to do another ballet. Auditions for the Nutcracker are next month. We shall see...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How could you resist these eyes?



I'm not sure how long Dolly's been waiting, but she sure has caught my eye on more than one occassion. Honestly, while we've waited, I've been tempted to start the process with her. She happens to be in the country right next to Hannah's.
A few Sundays ago, our Pastor read from Isaiah 58. One of the verses says the fast God has chosen "is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house..." I'm pretty sure Dolly qualifies.
One of the things that stops so many people from adopting is the cost. You may not be ready to adopt or feel you are called to at all. However, you can help someone else give this special girl love and care to help her grow to her full potential. I'm so plesed that since I started to write this post a few weeks ago her grant fund has gone from $55 to $595!
Here's her information.


Dolly Girl, Born September 11, 2007
Beautiful, doe-eyed Dolly! Dolly was born with Spina Bifida. She was operated on without complications. Her Spina Bifida is not severe. She has some movement in her legs. Otherwise from birth she is a healthy child. Present condition: At almost two years, she is developing very well. She smiles, plays, reacts normally. She takes milk and puree food. She attends the orthopedic clinic for regular assessment. She wears orthopedic braces forher legs, but the doctor hopes she will not always need them. Orphan care in this country is VERY good. These children are well loved and well cared for and fed. You can see it in their faces. And this country has recently offered to drastically reduce it's initial country fees for these children! Full medical info and social history available prior to commitment! Contact Waiting Child for more information I have $595 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!
You can donate tax deductably by going to
this link and specifying funds go to Dolly.

Monday, August 3, 2009

We're still here. Just not much to post. It was a football weekend for the boys. Lots of playing catch in their spare time, while watching "Facing the Giants" and "Giants Among Men." It's pretty obvious they will be eating up flag football when it starts!
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We've bee reading together over the summer and have enjoyed a few books you might like to read with your kids. Cabin at Trouble Creek, Abraham's Battle, Weaver's Daughter, and just now reading If You Please, President Lincoln. They are historical fiction set in the 1800's. Very interesting to see life from different angles. They have both enjoyed the stories, as have I and Buddy when he gets a chance to listen.
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Tomorrow we head for OKC to get fingerprints updated. They expire on the 8th, so rather than let them expire and start the I-800 process (lots more money and time), we can make the 2 hour each way trip to get it done now. Fortunately, we have until December for our homestudy. It's all so amazing how the time has flown by!
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Tonight and the next 2 nights I get to be tied to my computer while I "attend" a webinar to help with my tutoring this year. It's very informative and I'm sure it'll be a great thing to fall back on when I actually start tutoring. However, it's from 5-7:30! Couldn't have asked for a more challenging time. Thankfully, the kids were content to eat what I'd thrown together ahead of time and watch videos!
Great news is that I won't have to tutor either S or C and they can just be them. My other curriculm for math and language should be arriving the week and I can be set with that. Part of me wants to just get started and part knows the kids need time to be kids. Patience, as in other areas of my life, is key.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ride 'em Cowgirl!

Tuesday, Catherine got the great opportunity to ride the Urban's calf. She was sure she wanted to do it, so I was fine with it. Leisel patiently helped get Buddy where he needed to go. Once Catherine got on, she wasn't too sure what to think, especially after he started to walk. I think you can see that it was a pretty cool experience. Thanks to Leisel for helping her and to Charissa for taking these great pictures.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

God cares for us!

One of the things we heard this weekend is how God cares for the birds and flowers. He doesn't care any less about you.

Last week, Samuel attended football camp and had a BLAST! I do believe the boys had a bit more of a spark in their eyes after it was over. However, the cost is several hundred dollars and requires 4 nights a week to be out at practices. A bit much when you have other children in activities and want any family time together. So, we talked about how we could do it and couldn't come up with anyway time-wise. I had a thought about the Y and called them today. Good news, it's less than $100, one practice and one game each week for 8 weeks. Great thing is that it starts in September so we miss the worst heat! Isn't God so good to us?

Monday, July 27, 2009

If you hadn't guessed yet, we've had a little delay in the adoption. However, the scripture that came to mind is "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day." Quoted from memory which may be a bit fuzzy. Bottom line, we committed to Him to be obedient in this adoption. Despite many delays, we are not released from it and will continue to believe He is caring for Hannah, protecting her from anything that would be a potential problem in such a long wait. We're going to see this through. We're closer today than ever and the calendar ticking by doesn't change anything.

That being said, we (the 3 kids and I) took off to Branson Friday am to be with our friends, the Storments, go to church, Silver Dollar City, be at a birthday party and relax. It was a great trip with fun for everyone. Amazingly, traveling with 3 on my own is not a problem. I think it helps a bunch that we stayed with a family who has children our kids' ages and that we traveled this time in the morning. Everyone was ready to go, no passing of naps and bedtimes as can happen. Buddy got to sleep in, read as much as he wanted AND got the girls' room painted Ballerina Gown pink. I wish I knew how to post videos from my camera because Catherine noticed the smell of paint right away and then was thrilled with her beautiful new wall color. After a few touch ups tomorrow, we should have everything back in place.
The boys and the girls spent the weekend very differently...
After having a very rough time on the frog ride, Caleb enjoyed having a friendly arm around him on the lady bugs.


Samuel thought Buddy's hair got really long while we were gone, Buddy thought Caleb grew, and we were all happy to be together once again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Getting things ready to throw in the car and head out to Branson. We're going without Buddy because he is blessed with work. The plan is to surprise Catherine and have her room painted when we get back. We picked up the paint yesterday, but she thinks it for whenever Buddy can get around to it. Hee hee hee! Looking forward to that surprise. We hope to catch up with friends we haven't seen in quite a while an perhaps leave on Monday instead of Sunday night. We shall see. However it goes, it's going to be good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Three days in a row!

We've put Caleb on the potty on a pretty frequent basis, but it's been hit and miss, mostly miss. However, 2 mornings in a row he went peepee and poopoo after breakfast, and this am went right after he woke up! So funny to see the cheering section as the kids are sitting on the counter waiting to see what happens.
Nothing much happens during the day, but that does speak to my consistencey since this has been a busy week for us. But I think we're on the way to something!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy day

I took a friend with me today to OKC for a Classical Conversations Practicum. She was curious about the curriculum and I wanted to go to the tutor training. We had such a nice ride there and back. A lot was confirmed while we were there. The awesome thing is that tomorrow, she and her husband will go together so he can see what it's all about, too. I now have a homeschool buddy to do fun things with this year! I'm so thankful for that.
Mom so kindly watched the kids at the very last minute so we could go. Very nice. Caleb was very excited to see Grandma today. As I was getting him for bed, he took the phone away so he could talk some more to her. I'm so glad they had a good time.

When I got home, my curriculum had arrived! I'm the type who gets something, takes out all the pieces, reads about it and puts it all together. So, my memory cards for the whole year are in order and my manual for the afternoon class is in a binder in the book shelf. I'm ready to start teaching right now!

Samuel's friend Ian is in football at the tender age of 9. This will be his second season. I remember when my brother played in jr. high how tough it was. I played in the pep band at each home game and felt really bad when he got hit or didn't get to play. They start them young here and work them hard. Ian's mom called to let me know there was a football camp 3 nights this week to give Samuel a taste. Oh, my! I'm not prepared for the time commitment, nor the pain for him. However, Buddy thought it would be great for him to try. So, this evening, in 90's weather, he was on the H.S. football field running drills. He came home exhausted, but quite pleased. There is a draft for 4th graders and he said, "mom, do you think I'll get drafted?" Hope and concern all in one. He tried a linebacker position, of all things! Isn't there something with a little less contact? Oh, my.
I'm sure they'll all sleep nicely tonight.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Awww!

I bought a few things for Hannah yesterday and was putting them away in her dresser when I found Catherine had put her too small ballet shoes in one of Hannah's drawers.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Nothing

That's what we heard today. Hate to disappoint, but that's where it's at. At this point, I have to believe everything's working out for my good and for God's glory. So, I'll keep anticipating something good while I focus on other things like getting ready for school and keeping the house clean. At least I don't have to shop for school supplies and backpacks!

Not yet

Yesterday, I got up and checked emails right away. Nothing. So I told myself I couldn't check until 11:30. That's when we got the "news tomorrow" kind of email.
So, today, I got up and checked emails right away. Nothing. I checked more often today. So far, nothing. I woke up at 3 am and couldn't sleep for a while, so I prayed. Now I'm going to take a quick nap while Caleb is sleeping, Catherine is in her room playing, and Samuel is at a friend's. Maybe when I get up?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tomorrow

Tomorrow has great promise of good news. Believe you me, I'll be posting as soon as I know anything. Of course, after I call Budy, and my mom, and my ...... ;o)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

When I anticipate something happening in our adoption, I get a bit weepy when I read others' blogs, especially when they're seeing, touching, and enjoying their little ones. Don't get me wrong, I'm not jealous of them or feeling bad that it's not me. I honestly am so happy that their dream is becoming a reality.
Yesterday was one of those days. So, play dates were much in order. My friend Shawn brought 2 of her 4 girls over to keep C company while S was at golf camp. They kindly put Caleb on the potty for me! (He did fairly well, but I gave him a new sippy cup with a different valve and he didn't have much to drink in the am.) They stayed for about 4 hours, then after S got home and we had lunch, the neighbor's grandson came to play with S. After about an hour of that, we headed over to Charissa's to meet some blog world friends. The Heflins came to visit the Urbans and we got to crash the party for a bit. It was really neat to be able to see in the flesh people whose lives you've watched from afar. She said to the kids, "Hi S, C and C! I feel like I already know you." So true. Her little Addy is a cutey pie. It was rough having such a huge change, no nap, and all the kids, but she did ok. It was a good visit.
We left the Urbans and came home long enough to throw 2 pizzas in the oven, scarf them down and head up the road 15 miles to go swim where the kids had their swim lessons. Everyone had a good time. Nice to relax together. Caleb really hasn't been in a pool since last summer, so it was a bit overwhelming to him. We kindly dunked him 3 times and by the 3rd, he didn't even cry. We were all ready for bed, except Caleb who was awake the latest of the 3. I'm sure he'll take a really good nap today!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I got training pants for Caleb today, knowing it is time to get him started again. We did well for a while, then had a busy schedule where we were gone a lot and wouldn't be able to consistently put him on the potty. We've been home a lot lately and he's 22 months. I know not to compare, but Samuel was already bowel trained by this time.
Today, Catherine wanted to help me by changing his diaper. Samuel is at golf camp in the mornings this week, so we have special time together. Anyway, C got C on the potty and the shield isn't big enough cuz it made a great spray. We put his training pants on, set the timer for 30 minutes and went to get a snack. I got an email this am with good news on our adoption, so I went to see if there was anything else that had come in. Here he came and said "poo poo." Sure enough, he'd filled his pants. To the potty to clean up and put on new pants, only to wet them a few minutes later.
He's back in a diaper and down for a nap since he went to sleep 2 hours after we put him in bed. We did put him in 45 minutes before Samuel, but was still awake, we rocked him after Samuel was in there and put him back down, but he still talked and talked. We'll get there!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We had a great, productive weekend. We got to enjoy the Farmers' Market and had some really good fresh fruits and veggies. Steamed snow peas, new potatoes with dill and olive oil, butternut squash, green beans, blackberry cobbler. Not all in one meal, but what a treat!
The kids found 2 cukes on the vine large enough to make into "pickles." There's not enough yet to really make a batch, so I just put dill, garlic, apple cider vinegar, water and salt in a jar with the cukes. We'll see how it turns out. They were pretty excited! Plus our corn is tasseling! I grew up in Minnesota and it was "knee high by the 4th of July." Sadly, our crop was not much past that because we planted so late. We're really looking forward to sinking our teeth into some sweet corn from our garden.
I was having some Basil envy, so I bought a basil plant, dill and green pepper plant to grow in pots. It sounds so delicious to me! Plus, how much better to go to the garden then going to the store!
Buddy finished up what I couldn't do in our bathroom, which looks great. I'll post pictures after I clean it up. He also painted the crown molding in the girls' room. Now, I need to figure out how to paint the base boards without getting it on the carpet! Then we can paint the walls. Could we be nearing the end of our preparations for Hannah?
Anyone with suggestions on how to get a 22 month of age child and a 9 years of age child to go to sleep? We've had them together for a while now, and Caleb is staying awake talking to Samuel, who thinks it's a hoot to goof around with him. Some nights we put Samuel to bed in our room until Caleb's asleep (and we do start him out almost an hour before Samuel goes to bed) and then move him into his bed. Honestly, that's not what I want to do for long range plans. Samuel and Caleb both need their sleep, and I don't think what's going on is fair to either of them, especially when Caleb cries and keeps Samuel from sleeping. Sigh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Whew!

I got to checking again and our fingerprints expire August 8th. I was thinking our I-171 H expired the same time, too. That means new background checks, new medicals, updated homestudy, etc.
I was also concerned that I didn't have the right paperwork and had misplaced the I-171 H, which tells me we are approved for 1 child.
Thank God, as I looked through my notebook full of papers- contracts, homestudy, dossier, education, etc, I looked more closely and saw I did indeed have my paper AND it doesn't expire until December!
Part of the frustration was that there was another little delay (the 2nd this week, 3rd in 2 weeks) and I was faced with the possibility of not having our updated background checks completed in case we had another delay and didn't get our court date for a while.
Last night as we read the Bible together, I read in Psalms how I should Delight myself in the Lord, commit my way to Him, trust Him, bestill before Him and wait patiently for him, not fret, refrain from anger and the Lord will bring all kinds of blessings to me. I also read in Isaiah 46:4 "Even to your old age adn gray hairs I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you." Ah, peace comes when you remember how good and faithful He is.
If nothing else, I was inspired to have a little clean up the desk project and got rid of a bunch of things that were cluttering my space.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

random posts

We took off for the zoo this am, trying to get out before it got too hot and muggy. Amazing what 2 hours of pushing a stroller in humidity does! Gives me a good idea that I need to do it more often! Everyone had fun, so I'm glad we went, even though no one could join us.



I've been praying about what to do for homeschool this coming year, since our very helpful and fun fellow hs'ers are making changes in their schooling. One day in the spring I met a lady at the library homeschool group who told me about a Classical Conversations community starting in our town in the fall. I'd heard of schools using this model, but not homeschooling, and really liked the idea. Well, I finally contacted someone about it last week, found out about a practicum going on in a nearby town, went the next day and knew this is what we should be doing. Long story short, I offered to be a tutor for the community this year. We'll meet on Mondays for 24 sessions. My request is to not tutor S or C's classes, but to allow them to have some time to learn from someone else and be kids, not my children. I will have to sit with Samuel in the 2nd half of the day so I can learn what he needs to be doing at home in those classes. C will be just mornings, S will be morning and afternoon. (It is a requirement to sit with your children during these tutoring sessions so you know what to be working on for the week.)



It was a shock for me to realize I needed to plan for Hannah, too, during this time. For so long it's been a far off thought that would be here "someday." Someday is really coming up fast and she'll be here for the school year! Great news is that she can be with me where ever I am and does not have to go into the preschool. When she's ready, I'm sure she'll enjoy it. So, in 2 weeks I'll be heading to OKC for another practicum where I'll get the training for tutors, and a meeting before that to learn more about our specific group. Very exciting, but I'm wondering if I've bitten off more than I can chew. God is there to help me do this, too. Catherine is so excited about this new event she is saying she wished school could start tomorrow! Right after she asked if any mean people will be there. I told her we could work on language tomorrow. he he!

We've had news that final documents have been obtained for Hannah. We're just needing the court date. I've been tempted to get frustrated with delays, but in the end had to decide if I still believed God was bringing our daughter home to us. She IS our daughter in our heart and was immediately. If our wait was years and years, she would still be the daughter of our heart and we would patiently wait for God to bring it to pass.

Friday, July 3, 2009

While we wait for our call, which we believe could come next week, we're headed out to camp at some friends' parents' house. A pond to fish in, pool to swim in, horses and 4-wheelers to rides, and a 5th wheel to sleep in. Not like camping at a Corp of Engineers camp ground with no electricity as we'd originally intended, butI'm sure everyone will be ok with that!
Thanks, Baileys!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Look what I got!

I've been on craigslist off and on trying to find a great stroller. I'd look, get excited, email, and find it sold. Well, today while the kids were playing I saw an ad for this.

21 pounds, easy folding and opening, holds up to 90 pounds, big storage, steers with one hand. I called and it was still there after 3 weeks of being listed! You better believe I loaded up the kids and went to try it out. I paid less than half for this barely used beauty. Sadly, I forgot my wallet at home! I only live about 3 miles away, so no big deal.
What a thrill to watch God providing for Hannah as we get really really close to her arrival. We did get some more information on our progress. Things are moving and we're closer than ever! Now, does anyone have a YukonXL or Suburban to sell?

Checking off the list

Yesterday was a great day of accomplishments at our house. We went to church Saturday night so we could relax together on Sunday. Buddy was able to mow while it was still cool, we took apart the bunk beds and totally rearranged both bedrooms. I was able to put Hannah's things in her dresser!
We now officially have a boys room and a girls room. Of course, in all the rearranging, we found many treasures that, at the end, had no place to go but the trash. 3 Walmart bags of trash and 2 bags of clothes to donate came out of one room. Mounds of laundry got washed, dried, and put up, as well as vacuuming done. We washed both vehicles, checked out some camping equiptment for this week, and had a great time together through it all. I was so pleased with all we'd accomplished in one day. So grateful for everyone pitching in and making it happen.
When I put Samuel and Catherine to bed (Caleb needed a little extra attention since we moved his bed and added a bed to his room) they had big smiles on their faces. Samuel whispered, "I'm trying not to laugh!" He was so tickled about having a boys room. Catherine did have some trouble falling asleep. She's been with Samuel for 5 years now and had all this space to herself!
Funny thing is, today they have been playing so well with each other in their separate rooms with doors closed, going from one to the other. We've also added the signs of "No Girls" and "NO Boys" etc. We'll have to talk about that.
Now, if we can just get the girls' room painted, we should be about set.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fishing fun

Yesterday was the cub scout fishing derby. At 9:00, it was already 89 degrees. We loaded up on the sunscreen, asked for help getting our fishing poles ready, and off the kids went. We spent quite a while in the sun, Catherine and Samuel fishing, Buddy and I taking turns keeping track of Caleb. At the end of the fishing time, Catherine won biggest fish and most fish caught. We all won door prizes as well as 2 prizes C won. Look at all this loot! We went from having our tackle in a small shoe box to having to go a big tackle box today. What a blessing. It was 100 degees by the time we left a little after noon. Caleb slept 3.5 hours! We bought a sno cone machine that afternoon and have really enjoyed it.
That's a new bobber he's sucking on.



We're going camping this week, so we hope to make good use of all the great gadgets.