Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Found my camera! It was in the bag I usually take with me when I knit on the go. Haven't used it for a while, and wanted to get my projects together for travel. Praise the Lord!
So, we're coming down the the wire. Feeling good about what we're getting done, but still feeling so much to do...

Yesterday, I got all the pictures we've ever received of Hannah onto a cd, went to have them printed out so I could make an album for Hannah's foster mom, and 1/3 of them were usable. The rest were "pixle-ated" because they were emailed to me. If someone knows how to fix it, please let me know. I was so sad. For me, for Hannah, for her foster mom. Plus, it was pictures of Hannah and the people she's been around for so long. I was making an album for her to have with her as we travel- a combo of our family and her foster family. God knows, and it'll be just fine.

Went to Hobby Lobby to get my knitting needles for my projects, only to find they were not having the coupon I was wanting. My parents told me to get them anyway and they'd help me with the cost. I know it's silly, but I don't really have to have them, it was just a way to help spend my time, and I didn't want to spend the extra money. When I got to the register, I was talking to the ladies there and told them what I was doing. The cashier pulls out a 40% off coupon and let me use it! God is so good. He cares about these little things!

Finally have decent money to take with us. Still not perfect, but I'll be happy with it.

Got fabulous family pictures taken by one of my friends. So happy to have that off the list. Plus it's the first time it was not in a little studio. Nice to be outside, by beautiful scenery.
I've got an hour to make some bread, clean up the house, and pick up the kids. Oops! Just discovered I'm out of yeast. Next thought- clean and find the camera!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hit with the "lasts"

Today was our last time for a while together as a family at church, last trip to Whole Food, last time swimming at the Y. I've not been away from the kids for more than 4 days, but that's been several years. Never more than overnight with Caleb. Of course, I'll be returning, and of course, it'll be really exciting when we're back together, with our sweet Hannah. It's just looking at their faces, sharing silliness at the pool, hearing their voices, cuddles together....

Tomorrow starts VBS for Catherine and Day camp for Samuel. It'll be great to have less pulling on me so I can get things done, but I'll miss having them around.
One of the locals was killed while on duty in Afghanastan. They requested scouts be there to honor him. I'm so pleased Samuel will be able to take part in the program. I want them to understand the price paid for the freedoms we take for granted. How can you say thanks for something like that?
We're also going to have our family picture taken. It's a tradition before each child. Looking forward to the after...

A few little stories to share, because they're so cute.
We were driving to sculpting class last week, and I was telling the kids how I'd told people I wanted to spend the 4th NOT in America.
Samuel said, "Great. You can see how the Georgians celebrate."
I replied, "They don't celebrate the 4th."
Catherine, "Why not?"
Me, "They didn't sign the Declaration of Independence."
Samuel, "You could show them how we do it. Just take some fireworks with you."
Me, "I don't think they'll let us through customs."
Then we discussed how we could share with Hannah.

Caleb was "petting" Nikki, our cat. "The kitty needs some earrings."
Driving down the road, Caleb said, "Caleb goes to the potty and the trampoline. The end." Over and over.
"My friend Joe is my friend Joe."
Going to the Y to swim, he doesn't want to swim, "I walk on the water."

When we went to the Y today, I was sitting knitting Caleb's sweater sleeves. I'm trying to finish them up so I can have new projects for the plane and wait times while I'm gone. Catherine came over and took my flip flops, which Caleb calls flap flaps. She took off across the pool with them, and it turned into a game where the all had some good fun. Who needs pool toys?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Got most of yesterday's list done. Today, it's more around the house things. The vacuum cleaner belt broke, so we have to find/buy a new one. We'd done so much paperwork during this time, I now need to pick out just the essentials and put them in the precious envelope that represents our work. Starting to think about packing, but the papers are filling my mind most.

Of course, when I pack for our usual trips, I think that there's a Walmart close by, so no need to torture myself. It's ok if I miss a few things. There are so many unknowns about Hannah, too. We've never seen her in person, nor have heard a clothes/shoe size. We're only making one trip, so we can't bring back the appropriate size later. We don't know how long we'll be there with her in our custody. We don't know if she's potty trained. I have some travel sized space bags, and it's summer, so clothes are lighter and we'll be able to pack more in our suitcase. I assume I'll be able to do laundry somewhere, if just in a sink, so we should be ok. I live in flip flops during the summer, so I need some shoes.
Right now I need to be making lunch...

Friday, June 25, 2010

One week!

How wild is it to be saying that! We've gotten a lot done, and I have a lot on my list today. Mom and Dad came over yesterday and we got the girls' room decorated, the boys room painted and put back together again, as well as placing some decorations I've had and needed another eye to help. I was wiped by the time I was done. Pizza for dinner, and I thought I'd just fall asleep right away. However, I couldn't sleep for a while, then Caleb got up 4 times. Oh, I need a nap!

Our family sponsorship page is still open, but here's the wonderful thing about God. We had enough, between savings and our fsp to pay for all the fees due right now! I'm so thankful for everyone who's given to help us fulfill this call.

To do for today:
Buy some groceries
Cell phone store- get international coverage, figure out why I can't text
Bank- wire final fees to Hopscotch
Other bank- order new money (Thanks Charissa for the tip)
Put up curtain rod and shelf in girls' room, put the window sill back on in the boys' room.
Get the car looked at
birth certificate for Caleb for insurance (I gave them his info last year, too)
Clean my house so I can find my camera
Get my glasses adjusted

I did take my video camera in to be looked at (I left it in the rain last summer and have been very sad ever since) so I should find out today what's wrong and if it can be fixed.
I also had enough points to order an iPod, so that should be coming in and I can fill that.

Ok, that's all I can think of right now. I'm sure I'll think of other things I should be doing...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What have I been doing for the past 30+ hours? Well
-I've made our flight arrangements. Funny story. Didn't hear back from the travel guy, so I went ahead and got a ticket for Buddy online. When I went back to get my ticket, I couldn't find the same flight! Thankfully, P.J. at helped me out. Not only did I get the tickets for a bit less, I was able was able to cut off almost 10 hours from one direction, and 3-5 hours on the way home. Can't tell you how nice that will be.
-Slept about 4 hours last night. Instead, I cleaned toilets, did laundry, made a triple batch of muffins and homemade tortillas, and did dishes.
-Made a few lists.
-Filled out 3 more forms for immigration.
-Got a hair cut
-Got ink for the printer so I could do the above forms.
-Got paint for the boys' room.
-Spent some time with CC friends and got a little knitting done.
-more laundry and dinner.
Now, it's time to get some reading done as a family, get Caleb in bed, and get ready to paint tomorrow with mom and dad's help. Buzz Blaster Blue returns!
Check a few things off the list.
Oh, and no bank in our town orders new bills! Will have to cross that bridge tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We got our date!

Oh my! I wish I could tell you, but I haven't even told Buddy. If he would just be a slacker, I could do it, but he's busy with work and not available. Let's just say, less than 2 weeks and we'll be in the air. Did I just type that? I did! Ok, a little overwhelming to think of all that I need to do, that I'll be away from my children for an extended period of time. That I'll be alone in a foreign country for a week or so by myself. That I still need/want someone to come in and tell me what I need to be doing! That I need to plan ahead and bake/cook up things so mom won't have to do so much on her own (not that she isn't totally capable) and the kids will have familiar things.
This is the answer to my question- what am I going to do with C & C during the CC practicum next week? I think I'll keep them to myself for last minute snuggles and memories.
Oh, and WHERE did my camera go? I need to buy another memory card and battery. Do I take our laptop, or leave it here? Do I take a stroller or get one there? I need a list and a list to find my list...
Stay tuned!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What a fabulous Father's Day we had! First, I want to say how thankful I am to have a godly dad, who has lived his life as an example for us. Then, I want to say how thankful I am to have a husband who loves us, has been faithful and true to us, who loves the Lord and is willing to do the hard things to obey Him. He's stuck with this adoption through 2.5 years of delays, ups and downs, wonderings and waiting. To still be with me in this vision is pretty amazing. I was thinking about him as head of our home. You could say all those great things I did, but when I think of what he could be doing instead of what he is, it makes be even more grateful.

Today is the first day of the kids' sculpting class. They have the art teacher they'd had during the school year. It was actually kind of comical watching them go into the room. The only person they knew was the teacher, and they stood there like they didn't know where to go. Thankfully, one friend from CC was there, and when they came out, they both were bursting with news of new friends. While they were away making faces, I was home being productive. (I think I'm going to enjoy this week!) The girls have a yellow room with a dark blue stipe around it, and cute little Noah's ark scenes, along with stenciled stars, moons, and planets. So nice for Caleb, but not so much for the girls. Today, vinegar and hot water were my friends. I was able to remove all but 2 arks (couldn't move the bunk bed by myself) and kilzed over the blue border. My goal for tomorrow is to paint the stripe white and maybe touch up the trim. Could be a bit ambitious, especially if Caleb doesn't have such a lovely nap like he did today! Then Thursday I'd like to put these cute flower wall stickers in that stripe to complete the look. After that, I need to shampoo the carpets and paint the boys' room. Ballet slipper pink STINKS for boys! They've been great sports about it, though.
Keeping busy until I get the info from Robin... Not sure if I'll be done with Caleb's sweater before I'm feeling the push for travel, but I'll be working on that, too. We'd also like to take a family weekend before we go. One last hurrah as a family of 5. Hoping to have that really soon. Oh, and a new vehicle. That, and we should be done!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wow! More than a week passed since I've posted. It's been a fun-filled week, so it did zoom by. Caleb was playing with my camera, so I tucked it up where he couldn't get it. Oops! I can't get to it either!

We do know that our papers are in ROG and should've been given to the judge already. It's just 3 copies of the same thing and 2 copies of 2 other POA's, so it shouldn't take that long to decide they're all in order and give us a date. At this point, I'm pretty sure the Hauflers are going to be there for a while without us, afteral, it's the 17th and they leave in 8 days. This truly gives us time to get through all the plans I have for June and sail into a very calm, unplanned July.

Meanwhile, the goats went home Friday, we had 4 hours of rehearsal for Catherine's ballet that night, and 2.5 hours Saturday morning. It paid off beautifully that night- they were really sweet. I look forward to finding my camera so I can share pictures with you.
We've had a great 2nd week of swim lessons, lots of good discussions about homeschooling solutions, grains, making butter, discipline issues, communication, etc. I must say that steamy sauna-like environment has been very helpful to me. The kids are doing well, too. Lot's of improvement. Thinking about a second round if mom's up to driving... and sweating...
We went after lessons yesterday to Will Rogers' birthplace and had a picnic. The kids had a blast running around together, and the moms had a fabulous time continuing our chatting. I think I'm going to go through withdrawals Monday morning!
Today I tried to make butter. I'm all about hormone and antibiotic free foods. However, I've never been very picky about my butter. Kind of silly when you think butter comes from cows who have received all those. There's a creamery not too far away that sells cream! So, not having a hand mixer, not the desire to sit and shake a bottle for hours on end, I decided to use my Vitamix! Brilliant idea if I'd wanted to make butter soup. So, I went to the food processor, and it worked beautifully! The butter is beautiful and light, just begging to be eaten. My plan is to get a bunch and freeze it so I can have this yummy stuff all year round (and make the mess all at once so I don't have to keep cleaning it up!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The papers are on their way to ROG!
The goats are still here.
Had a great time with moms last night.
Getting ready to start some Kombucha.
Looking forward to a great rest of the week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The package is on its way!

Just saw the tracking that it left OKC, so it should arrive tomorrow to Hopscotch.
VERY good news for the other family who's traveled parrallel journeys with us. They got their travel date today. I'm so happy to see their equally long wait coming to a close. I'd like to be able to join them, of course, so hopefully our judge will act quickly when our documents arrive.

Monday, June 7, 2010

No calls from the Secretary Of State, so our forms must have been in order. Looking forward to tracking their progress tomorrow.

Some good things must come to an end, and the goats have been fun. However, they are in a little pen in our back yard since we've had to keep them tucked up so they don't eat my roses and trample what garden has survived. (By the way, one of the watermelon plants just peaked through!) In their eagerness to get to the bottle, Catherine has been cut twice, and they just aren't being played with very much. So, looks like tomorrow is our last day. It's been fun, a great experience with responsibility and goat tending. The neighbor kids have had a chance to feed them, and today, my niece is spending the night and will get a chance to, as well. Thankfully, Dolly and Jefferson will go back to their original home and join 2 other goat friends. Since we're friends with the owners, we'll get to see them again, too. NOW Catherine is expressing sadness over them leaving and is wanting to take them for walks. Silly girl!

Samuel is at a friend's for a long anticipated sleep over while my niece is here. She and Catherine get a long so well, as do Samuel and his friend. It'll be fun to get them up for feeding the goats and swim lessons in the morning!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What's the hold up?

Ok, so you're probably noticing that it's been more than 2 days since I thought it would be 2 days until we found out if it was going to be a court date for us, or an added bit of paper work. I did find out yesterday that it was the latter. Sadly, there wasn't a whole lot I could do to take care of it- it was Friday, working toward rush hour by the time I got to OKC (a 2 hour drive if all went well), and I had all 3 kids on a 90*+ day. So, I put my trust in the good old USPS to get my package safely to OKC, and that I had done everything correctly to get the papers then off to Hopscotch to go to ROG.

As I was driving home, frustrated that I couldn't make something happen, I was reminded of this song.

I will cast all my cares upon you.
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet.
Any time I don't know just what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon you.

Something to hold on to during this seeming delay. I still know God is working, that He's bringing this to a close- in a good way, and that it's for our good and His glory.