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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I got an award!

My sweet friend has blessed me by giving me a "Lovely Blog Award!"...I am honored to receive this, my first award. We are both adopting from ROG, although she is also adopting from another country and has just gotten her court date for the 2nd adoption they've started! God is so awesome!

So here are the two rules to accepting the award...
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs.
Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.So, sweet friends, here goes...
The blessing is all mine to give away--so here are some blogs that I think are just absolutely lovely...
(I received this a few days ago but haven't taken time to copy and paste, my apologies.) I started following their blog while Merideth was stuck in Ukraine doing a double adoption. What a blessing to see this family following God's leading and seeing His provision as they do. I'm in awe of this ever growing family! They have opened their hearts and home again and are about to travel to add again. It's a pleasure to see how they can keep things going and deal so well with issues that arise as their children grow up. Martha took Hannah her first presents from us almost a year and a half ago. They are a family of courage- they've faced amazing obstacles and have overcome! The reason I like this blog is because Tami is so honest, so much like me in many ways. Their family is made up of 4 adopted children and the honesty of her posts make me laugh and nod my head; I'd say that, too! This family has dedicated their lives serving our country. I'm thankful. They also have adopted 2 sweet boys and are on their way back for more! Their love for the Lord and willingness to obey earn my respect. I'm so thankful for my wonderful friend of the past 20 years! We have shared so many of my significant moments together. Because of her, my life has been changed several times. Thanks, friend! How Mary found my blog, I'm not sure. She did and has not only contributed financially, but sent us music from Hannah's country and a cd-rom to help us learn her language. She is an amazing cook, her knowledge of food is so beyond me and inspires me. I'm grateful! I've know Jennifer for many years, been out of touch for most of them. Reading her blog, I hear her voice and experience her appreciation of all God has made and her love for Him. At one time, this family prayed about adopting Hannah. Instead, we get to. They have triplets, have adopted 2 special boys who are flourishing in their family's love, and are in the process of going back for more! This is another family I know, living just across town, but rarely see. This is a great way to watch their sweet family's experiences. Her kids say and do such sweet things! Kelsie is a friend's daughter. I knew her before she was! She's smart, funny and a creative baker/cook. You'll like her life. This family, I met the mom once, the kids twice, have moved to Africa to foster a son they've loved for several years. It's actually the dad who blogs. You'll enjoy the great photography and witty writing style. May we all have that perseverance to obey God's leading as they do. This is someone I went to nursing school with and have been out of touch with for years. Now, I get to follow their lives and enjoy their adventures.
I know that I'm supposed to list 15, but I've had to cut down since I was becoming addicted to Google Reader and checked too many times a day and wasn't doing what I needed to do! Thanks for sharing your journeys with me, I'm blessed as I watch God moving in your families.

Swimming and such

Catherine just finished practicing her Blue Bird dance.
He's looking really serious after diving for rings.

We're done with swimming lessons! I must tell you, I'm quite thankful. It was 2 weeks of slow roasting in hot, humid conditions. Either you could sweat off a few pounds, or you could come out plump and juicy. Thankfully, it was not the latter! The kids did well and showed great improvement but didn't pass. Time will not allow another round before summer is over (I'm thankful!) so we'll have to play in the pool a lot.
I was able to get a 16GB memory card at Sam's yesterday. I have the capability of taking over 6000 pictures or 480 minutes of movies on one card. I was able to film some of their lessons today, practising for our trip. Now, to just get extra batteries. Thanks to an anonymous tip, I'll be better prepared.
Waiting patiently as some very important things are being done today. It's a big step closer to travel. Trusting God for favor and speed to accomplish this task.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I thought off and on about how we'll communicate with Hannah once we are with her forever. Her language is not an easy one. She's young and will learn quickly around 3 siblings. We'll have interpreters while we're there. I've signed with my other kids to help them communicate. We could use pictures to help her express her wants/needs. I bought a book with phrases and met a lady from her country who helped us some. However, I haven't yet put myself into figuring it out fully.
Mary, who was so kind as to send us some traditional music earlier in our journey, sent us a cd-rom to help us learn the language better. I tell you what, hearing beats trying to pronounce on your own any day! There's a web site that has a variety of languages to learn. Another nice thing about it is that you can print out a picture dictionary! Worst case scenario, you can point to a picture which has the correct spelling in both languages and the phonetic spelling. Yesterday the kids had fun with it. Today, after talking to a friend who kindly encouraged me to not have this summer be just for projects, I decided to have some time by myself learning. I really do like learning new things and this could be a great way to have some "me" time with a benefit! I'll have something to do on the plane ride over, too! I actually think a good, long nap will be the best I could ask for on the plane.
Off to our next task of the day- quick errands, dance class, then celebrating a belated father's day with the family.
By the way, I didn't post on Father's Day because I was having too much fun having Buddy and Samuel back from their camp out and being a family. I'm really thankful for both my wonderful husband and my awesome Dad. Couldn't ask for better!

Monday, June 22, 2009

My new camera is here! Ok, I'm ready to go! Painting the girls' room can wait til we get back, but now I can go and record all the great moments. It's a Canon Power Shot SD1200 digital elph. It's tiny, but hopefully really easy to use and very good at recording memories for posterity's sake. (I think this will be the first ever adoption on either side of our family. Pretty cool!) The best thing is that it didn't cost a cent. Points on your credit card is the way to go!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Today was supposed to be filled with accomplishment! Buddy was taking off for Webelos Residence Camp to spend the day, night, and tomorrow with Samuel. I was only going to have 2 to work around for painting the bathroom. (By the way, my trim painting job was met with approval!) However, we've had a little swim in the pool- Caleb actually did not leave my lap and kept pulling my legs close to him if I tried to sneak him off, had some coloring time with Catherine, started watching Chicken Run, mom and dad came for a quick visit, I've done a bit of taping and caulking, but not ONE drop of paint has made it onto the walls! Without Buddy, I don't know where things are or exactly how I should be doing them. Terrible how much I've come to rely on him and not learned how to do more on my own. (However, it is VERY nice to have a husband who is so good at so many things when he has time to do them. I am more thankful than ever for his expertise.)
So, off to Home Depot to lighten the paint, buy a new roller, and hopefully get at least one coat on before I call it a night.

Friday, June 19, 2009

In my continued efforts to make improvements that are in my capabilities without taxing Buddy's time, I am painting the bathroom by myself. While I'm at it, I though I might as well paint the trim. Let me just tell you how much I appreciate Buddy's steady hand that can make perfect looking trim- no smudges, bumps, or lines. I've done 2 coats and may have to do a third. Then it's onto the walls. Hopefully the heart and effort will show most of all! One step closer to being ready!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

recital pics and random updates

Got me a little teary eyed when I saw these. She looks entirely too big, but oh, so happy.

Swimming lessons are going swimmingly this year. We weren't too sure about Catherine staying with Samuel in level 4, but she's hung in there. If only we knew our travel plans! I'd do another round to help her and a mommy and me for Caleb. I just hate to make mom do it. The kids do enjoy it and it would certainly take up a good chunk of the day....

Today is Catherine's first rehearsal for Sleeping Beauty. It's a good time for me to get errands done in town. This week has been really busy with running up to swim lessons in the am and then something in town in the afternoon. Really ready for next week when we'll only have 2 things in the afternoon and swim in the am.

Caleb has started calling trucks and cars "boom boom." He actually was crying yesterday because he couldn't find a big dump truck when we were headed for mom and dad's. Then, he found a Diego doll at their house and fell in love with "baby!" He walked around rocking it, saying "nigh nigh" and "Jesuth." On the way home he was kissing it and giving it a drink from his sippy cup. He spent a lot of time taking his cousins' Barbies and making crashing, smashing noises with them. It was quite entertaining for the adults. ALL boy. Monday we went to see my parents. When we met them, my mom was on the phone and had a report of some kind in her hand. Caleb saw it and said "d-e-f." We sing the abc's and I sign them. He anticipates letters and gets a big smile when it's time for "ZEE!" His little fingers are moving and trying to make the signs. I know there are some other fun things, but need to run at the moment. I'll remember to share with/bore you later.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


It's not this week, but next week we'll be hearing something. I heard wrong last night and got excited, but it's still pretty exciting.
On to what-project-can-be-done-next? REALLY need to do laundry (didn't I just do 4 or 5 loads Saturday?) I'm going to attempt painting by myself on walls! Buddy is really great at straight lines and cutting in. I'm the prepper and roller. Never have the roles reversed. Should be fun! I'm also going to attempt painting trim. EEEH!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Seriously, right after I posted last, my monitor decided to say goodbye. After 4 years, my lovely 19 inch LCD monitor will not turn on. So, no computer until yesterday afternoon. So grateful for my friends lending me a monitor until I can figure out what the scoop is with this one. Amazing how many times I wanted to look something up and couldn't, or check email, or blog and couldn't.

Thursday while I was painting light fixtures, I took before pics with the video camera since my other camera quit (I had points from a credit card to order a new one, but didn't do it before the monitor died). I moved it out of the way so no overspray would get on it. Unfortunately, I put it on the grill and forgot about it. Friday am, we drove to a town about 35 miles away because a store was going out of business and had great deals. It rained really hard while we were driving, but stopped and we found some good things. However, upon returning home, I was going to take a picture of something and remembered what I'd done. Of course, it was dripping wet. Guilt, near panic, disgust at myself all came on me at once. I called Charissa who told me that Shelley told her to pack it in rice and put it in the freezer. I did, but when I pulled it out and saw all the ice crystals, I got concerned and just left it in the bag to see what would happen. Clicks and that was it. Buddy is not yet aware of this. I called a friend after hearing from JVC that it would be $65 just to look at it and could be the entire cost of a new camera to repair this one. Back in the freezer it went and will stay for a few days. Almost 4 hours of video and over 100 pictures are on it.

I also got a brown recluse spider bite on my leg Friday. Praise the Lord it was not serious. As soon as I saw it, I prayed over it and began doing what I knew to do to help it. I finally went to the Dr. today, but since it hadn't spread or gotten infected, he said to keep up what I was doing. When I got home I found a needle to start IV's from when I worked in the ICU. This was probably 7-10 years ago. The intent was asking Buddy to let me practice on him. Can you guess why it remained in my drawer, unopened all that time? Anyway, I got it out and dug out the little part that was black and all is lovely. I'd show you a picture, but....

Cooky weekend that could seriously destroy your joy and trust in the Lord. He's so faithful and has come through for us so many times before, I can't doubt Him now.

HOWEVER, we have had some news on our adoption. I can't give details at the moment, but I do believe something very exciting will be happening the end of this week/beginning of next.

Catherine had her ballet recital on Saturday, which ended up being a very long day for her- rehearsal and performance totalled about 5.5-6 hours, and me as a stage mom for some restless girls who had to stay in the black box for the entire performance! It was lovely, she thoroughly enjoyed it. I'd show you pictures, but... She will begin rehearsals for Sleeping Beauty this week. Very cool stuff.

There are many cute things to share about the kids, but I must go take care of Buddy who just got home from work at 9:20 pm!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I promise, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet. We've had a lot going on at our house. The agency that gives us a court date has our paperwork and a time frame they need to give us the date. That being said, reality has set in BIG time! Yesterday, 2 friends plus my parents were here helping rearrange the living room. Now I'm painting Catherine's chest of drawers. I have a paint picked out for the girls' room, but will wait until closer to travel. I want as little as possible to disrupt what is our norm. Sounds silly since it's about to be majorly disrupted. However, after 5 years of sharing a room, Catherine and Samuel will be in seperate ones. This will happen as close to Hannah coming home as possible so they can have all the time they can together. It's just a room away and Samuel could camp out while Caleb is getting used to his bed being in there. Details that will soon be figured out. I must say, the progress feels really good. We did go buy some clothes for Hannah to add to what we'd already gotten. Still don't know for sure her size, so we will have to wait for some of it.
Will post pics when I can. Just trust me for now that it's looking really good!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

They're home!

This morning, I baked lemon poppyseed scones and blueberry oatmeal muffins to welcome the kids home, made them each a sign and placed it on the door, and couldn't get motivated to do much else. It was time to get them home!
When I got there, no busses were there yet, Caleb had fallen asleep, so I drove around for a few minutes until I saw other cars heading to the opposite side of the church. I kept watching for the kids to come out and scanned the crowd, unsure of how Catherine was doing. Sure enough, she was crying because she didn't see me. Where was Samuel? Off with some of his new friends and having a time. The whole way home, it was "Oh mom..." "Guess what mom..." "One of my friends...." This was one of my favorites. "When we get home can I take a shower? I didn't take one the whole time because the showers weren't closed very well and you could see in." "Wasn't it all boys in there?" "Yes, but you could still see." "That's the wonder of it being only boys. You all look pretty much alike and it's ok if you see something."
They had a blast and didn't stop talking for about 1.5 hours. There are still other stories to come, but it sounds like they had a blast. Swimming, canoeing, b-b guns, archery, zip line, very late nights, fun new friends. Just what you need to make lasting memories. As we were leaving (with someone else's sleeping bag) Catherine asked if we could do this next year.
Is my house as clean? Definitely not. Is my house as quiet? Not even close. Is there more hugging and joy? Most definitely. Glad they're home.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's amazing what a few days without your kids do for you. FIrst, I've had way less laundry, way less cooking, way less noise, less fighting and discipline, way less "hey, mom," and way less messes to clean up. Second, I've gotten a ton done on painting projects and cleaning of their rooms. Third, we had an adult dinner that I knew the kids would not like, but we enjoyed. Fourth, we're having a friend over for dinner tonight where we'll have a nice conversation without interruptions (or fewer since Caleb will still be there.)
However, I've also been noticing less laughing, less hugs, less watching as they discover things. Now, it has been fun watching Caleb more closely and seeing him get to express himself more. I've had a chance to think of things I should do more of with the kids and plan how to implement that. More hugs, more praise, more encouragement, more time snuggling. More of what makes being a mom so great.
In 26 hours, they'll be home and things will not look the same around here in many ways. It was good for me, and I hope very memorable and life changing for them.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Yesterday went by with no updates. Not disappointed, though, because this is normal for our journey. I got the kids off to camp, got the car picked up from the shop. It's clean, had some repairs, and is ready to sell. I got one of our dressers repainted, another emptied out so I can tackle it this morning, some things rearranged in the living room, and ready to get started today. Caleb is sticking around today, so it's going to be fun getting my painting done around his schedule. I feel very productive already!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

5 hours is a long time for 2 excited kids to wait to leave for camp. Oh my, they've already gone back to bed because they were pestering each other so much, and I'm trying to think of what other chores I can give them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


...Is a potentialy important day for us. Actually, while we sleep tonight people are to be meeting and looking at our papers and possibly giving us a date. I admit, there have been so many potentially exciting days that have fallen miserably by the wayside and getting your hopes up about things you have no control over is a dangerous thing to do. However, I believe we are coming to the end of this looooooooooooooooong (1 "o" for each month of waiting) journey quickly. Before you go to bed tonight, thank God with us that He is working on our behalf and the other families going with us, and helping those people do what needs to be done.
After I got the potentially exciting news yesterday, I spent the majority of the day doing only laundry instead of doing the many things I really need to be doing. Wouldn't it be great to have someone come over to your house, tell you what things you need to do and help you figure out the best system for it? Dream day for me. Anyway, reality says- start making your list and hop to it! The kids will be gone starting tomorrow afternoon and I've made plans to take Caleb to a babysitter Thursday morning so I can paint dressers and do more in depth work. While the kids are away, many of their "treasures" may go away too!
I'll keep you posted!