Posts

Showing posts from 2010

The Tree is Up!

The past few days have been full of christmas decorating. The stockings are hung (all six of them-- yay!) and most of my Christmas/winter decor is up. This afternoon Tristan was feeling a little under the weather so I stayed home with him and Olivia while Dan took Will, Hallie and two of my sisters to the tree farm to get our tree. We spent the evening dancing to "All I Want for Christmas is You" and hanging ornaments and stringing lights and... just having fun and being silly. I really wanted to break out the cookies and hot chocolate, but all the kids have been fighting colds the last week, and I figured the last thing their immune systems needed was a sugar blast! Much to my own disappointment...

Anyway, the holidays are in full swing around here and I couldn't be happier!! A cookie exchange with friends is happening next week, and I'm making these little babies. So simple, and yet still one of my favorite christmas cookies ever!

I am very much looking forward to …

Dec. 1: World AIDS Day. Get the word out!

Image

decided

to not put out every Christmas decoration I own this year. Enough is good.

to stop importing my blog to facebook. I don't know, I'm just over it. You wanna read my blog, come here.

to consider every day, every weather, a beautiful day. there is beauty in everything, even cold, rainy mornings, and gray, misty afternoons.

to try to be intentional about my life. what I say, what I do. way easier said than done.

to read more books next year.

i'm sure I'll think of more soon. yep.

Book Review: A Time to Embrace

From Publisher's Weekly: In this sequel to A Time to Dance, beloved evangelical Christian novelist Kingsbury brings readers up to date on the trials and tribulations of Abby and John Reynolds, who, after 20-plus years of marriage, are enjoying something of a second honeymoon. Then John's career comes under attack when anonymous letters smearing his reputation are sent to the high school where he coaches. Worse still, he is in a car accident (a well-worn device of evangelical fiction), which he survives but which paralyzes him from the waist down. Abby and John's new challenges sit at the center of this novel, but there are several engaging subplots keeping the narrative moving at a fast clip: their newly married daughter learns she's pregnant, even though she had planned to wait four years before starting a family; a divorced couple is thrown back together and must work out their anger and mistrust; and Jake Daniels, the student whose car hit Coach Reynolds, must try t…

:: thankful

:: for dan, the love of my life.
:: for the kids. all four of 'em, but this year, especially for olivia.
:: for my beautiful life.
:: for all my friends, near and far. you all bless me in so many ways.
:: for all the opportunities i'm given every day to be more patient, more kind, more giving.
:: for times to spend with family. i'm grateful for all my family, all across the world. the times we spend together, no matter how frequent or infrequent, are a true gift.

:: thanks mostly to God, who has blessed me so greatly with all these and more.

thank you, thank you God.

Review: What's In The Bible #4... AND A DVD GIVEAWAY!!! :D

Image
This is my second review for the What's In The Bible DVD series, put out by Tyndale and created by Phil Vischer, of VeggieTales fame.

My kids love these DVDs. They are easily their favorite movies to watch, and as I've stated before, the videos are chock full of good, solid biblical teaching, much of which I didn't even have a really thorough grasp of myself! WITB #4 covers Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. They are full of hilarious puppet characters, from a conservative priest to two Aussies on safari to Cap'n Pete (Tristan's personal favorite), a pirate who spends most of the episode in a hot air balloon. :)

I asked Will a few questions about the DVD:
What did you learn from the DVD? I learned a lot of stuff about the Bible I didn't know before. I learned what the Pentateuch is. (That's actually from WITB #3..) and I learned about obeying God.
Do you like WITB? YES! I loooooove it.
Would you like to watch the next WITB DVD? Yessssssss!! (grinning, crossing his ey…

on cooking

so despite my self-professed dislike of all things kitchen, today i found myself in a foodie mood, so i made several dishes that all turned out delicious! i thought i'd share.

first, for breakfast, pumpkin oatmeal, from my sister-in-law shelley. scrumptious!
to a bowl of hot oatmeal add a heaping spoonful of pumpkin puree and top with brown sugar, pecans and milk. very, very easy and so delicious!

for lunch, chicken salad, recipe courtesy of my friend bekah.
i shredded two cooked chicken breasts and added mayo, diced celery and red onion, chopped apple, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, garlic powder and salt. YUMMO! i have been singlehandedly working my way through the leftovers (and a container of lemon hummus, what can i say) throughout the day today.

this afternoon i made peanut butter balls with the kids from a recipe i made as a kid out of a really old kids' cookbook! the fact that i find them as addicting as the kids is probably not a good thing.
mix 1/2 c. peanut butt…

Checkups!

Image
Yesterday my biggest and littlest had their 7- and 1- year check-ups. I'm a slacker when it comes to check-ups (if you remember, Will turned seven in July..) But hey, at least they're done -- I'm moving on!

Will was in the 75th percentile for height and weight. (A perfectly proportioned boy if I do say so myself!) He had to think hard about his favorite food when asked; he loves to eat so much that picking a favorite was hard for him. Olivia was 50% for height and 30% for weight-- she weighed in at an adorable 19.5 lbs.! None of my other kids were under 20 lbs. at a year (or under 25 lbs. for that matter.) It is so much fun having a baby who is actually staying small(ish)!

Otherwise they are both right on track with all of their milestones... not that I expected anything different, but it was nice to hear anyway. :)

A Bloggy Award!

Image
I am happy to accept, very belatedly, this award from one of my childhood friends, Alison! Alison and I were in the same homeschoolers support group growing up, and one of my earliest memories of her is of sitting in a book club together. Some things never change! :-)
Now, about this award-- Rules of The Versatile Blogger award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award. 2. Share seven things about yourself. 3. Pass on the award to fifteen deserving bloggers. 4. Contact the bloggers you chose for the award.
Seven things you might not know about me: 1. I am a fanatical fan of The Sound of Music. I know all the music, much of the dialogue, all the actors real names, a lot of the background info, own the soundtrack... and have seen the play in Broadway, Philly, and STL... and been to the sing-along showings twice. (Wow, I can't believe I actually admitted to all that. :b)
2. I'm a news and talk-radio junkie. Although I generally consider my political views cons…

Today at "recess"...

I always send the older kids outside to burn off steam for about 45 min., after school and lunch, and before rest time. Today Tristan came busting through the back door with this gem:

"Ummm, mommy? I was trying to go pee standing up, and I peed a little in my pants."

Great.

Upon further investigation, I found his underwear, pants and socks (!) completely soaked. (And, I am wondering, did he actually get any on the ground?!)

After changing, Tristan, nonplussed, proudly proclaimed to "the guys," "Hey guys! I went pee standing up!"

It's the little things. :)

One Month Later...

I realized when I logged in tonight that it's been a whole month since I last blogged! I am such a slacker. (I hope at least you all think that even if I'm slacking on blogging, I'm not slacking on the home front!!!)

Anyway, I will be keeping it short and sweet tonight. We have our wood fire going tonight for the first time this year... yay for cozy, homey wood fires! (And boo for dusting all that soot off the mantle every week!!)

Sweet Miss Olivia turned 11 mos. old a few days ago, which also means we've been home 4 months-- a third of a year, and over half as long as her life before us. I can't believe she'll be one soon. What the HECK is that about. Can't my baby just stay a baby?? The kids are really enjoying having her be more interactive though. She is more amenable to being carted about and plopped here and there than she used to be, which is nice for me, and for the over-eager older siblings too!

Book Review: The Boy Who Changed the World

Image
This is a cute kids book by Andy Andrews. Will actually really likes it and gets the "domino" effect that the book illustrates. I am not sure that he was inspired to change the world per se, but he definitely saw how one person's actions are never the "whole story" of what happens in a life. I would recommend it for ages 7 and up... the younger kids don't get the concept, and also bore easily with the more detailed narratives of the different characters' lives.

music

I have been listening to Chris Rice a lot lately. His stuff is just good. I play it in the kitchen while I'm cooking/feeding kids, and at night when I'm doing stuff around the house. I love all his albums, but lately I've been listening to the "Peace Like A River: The Hymns Project" album to start, and then letting it run on shuffle from there. The old hymns have such good theology. It's something I truly miss in modern worship music. Where are the lines like "He to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood" or "When my eyes shall close in death; when I rise to worlds unknown and behold Thee on Thy throne" or "Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; the body they may kill; God's truth abideth still" or "Oh that day when, free from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face; clothed then in blood-washed linen, how I'll sing Thy songs of grace." Where are they? Are they too un-PC for Reuben Morgan?? …

My little drummer boy :)

Image

The world's cutest 7 year-old...

Image
...and his creations!

This is the aptly named, "One-Hundred Percent World Record" airship. It can fly all the way to Pluto (which, as all good scholars know, is a current impossibility by any other aircraft.) The bricks in his right hand "weigh as much as a thousand brick houses", but amazingly, the OHPWR carries them with ease.

Hallie and mama go for a walk

Image

Livi loves the lake!

Image

lately...

:: routine has been returning. Not the rigid kind that you might expect, but ... just doing little things, prep work the night before, for example, that makes our mornings go that much smoother.

:: along with routine, our church has kicked off a 30-day read-through-the-Gospels challenge that Dan and I have a decent bet riding on, significantly increasing the likelihood that we will both complete the challenge. (Nothing like a little competition to spur on your devotions, right?!) :)

:: even though we are back in a fall routine, and already two weeks into school, I am dreading the end of summer. I have this dreaded sinking feeling that fall is just around the corner, and this year, like never before, I am so loathe for summer to end. I just love summer so much! This is the first year I can ever remember not being ready for fall. I usually love the fresh start fall provides, but this year... I dunno. Last night after dinner we took the kids swimming at the lake, and I couldn't help …

and just like that...

Image
... our baby girl turns 9 months old.

and, we pass our two-months-home milestone.


If life could slow down just a little, I would really appreciate it.

*sigh*

Book Review: Angel Song

I finished reading Angel Song by Sheila Walsh and Kathryn Cushman last week. Life has been crazy lately, and I"m just now getting around to writing a review. 


When tragedy strikes Ann's life, she is haunted by what she thinks is an audible hallucination, but comes later to think of as angel song. Ann is tasked with preparing her childhood home for sale, and through her relationships with her sister's neighbor, her neighbor's Down Syndrome son, and their friends, she finds love and healing. I enjoyed this book. I don't know what I think about Ann hearing the "angel song" (it turns out that the neighbor's son also hears the music), but whether it is real or not, it's an interesting element to throw into the plot. 


The book has the requisite "chick lit" aspects, but it is also original in enough ways to keep you reading and interested in where the story is going. 


Side note: if anyone ever reads one of these book reviews of mine and wants to …

tonight...

i'm single-parenting it, so i had my whole evening planned out: kids in bed, me and livi will watch the news, maybe a movie, do some emailing, get livi to bed, then i'll head to bed by midnight.

i guess livi was extra tired today because she fell asleep nursing while i was singing/praying with the older three. imagine my excitement when, at no less that five minutes after eight, i had all four kids in bed and asleep. seriously, that never happens to me.

i was (as silently as possible) re-making my bed when i noticed olivia doing the gassy-scootch thing in her pack n play. "great," i thought. "stupid gas." i tried the whole pacifier/pat her back/pat her butt/wish like crazy i was imagining this whole episode... to no avail. she started into full-fledged fussing, and with visions of o'reilly and lie to me going up in smoke in my head, i scooped her up and flopped down on my bed with her in my arms. curling up on my side and resigning myself to a not-so-al…

my favorite salad (from my garden)

a cucumber or two
a tomato or two
half a small onion, preferably a red one
balsamic vinaigrette dressing
fresh basil
a brick of fresh mozzarella cheese

Quarter and chop all veggies. Dice a slice of the cheese. Chop the basil. Toss together in a bowl, add vinaigrette and refrigerate until ready to eat.

MMM delicious!!!

DVD Review: What's in the Bible?

Image
This DVD series, What's in the Bible, is brand new from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. Since my kids (like all kids, right?!) love VeggieTales, I was excited to receive the first three episodes from Tyndale House Publishers for review. 
My kids LOVE these DVDs. They are easily the most-requested DVDs in our house! They are funny, smart, entertaining, and best of all, Bible-based and chock-full of good solid Bible teaching! Just two days ago Will told me, "Mommy, I know what the Pentateuch is." Since I actually wasn't sure on the answer, I faked it and challenged him: "No, you don't!" He proudly (and correctly) replied that it is the first five books of the Bible. I have watched these DVDs with my kids, and feel like I get more solid on my understanding of the Old Testament books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy every time! Even though these DVDs are aimed at kids, the content is not elementary. They cover concepts like the physical vs. the spiri…

One Month Home

Image
It has been one month since we came off the jetway in Philly with our sweet baby girl. I can hardly believe it!

It's crazy-- most times I can hardly remember life without four kids and just bask in the loveliness of our pretty baby girl's smiles and coos... but sometimes (usually when I am singlehandedly trying to "rush" out the door) I think to myself.... WOW! Four kids is wayyy harder than three!

We are so very, very blessed to have sweet Olivia as part of our family. Adoption is just such an amazing thing, you know? An orphan from Africa with no future is now an integral, beloved family member. Her bright eyes and happy giggles remind me every day what a blessing she is to have as part of our family! It's truly such a crazy, mind-blowing thing!

Here are a few pics from the last month. :)

cute baby <3

my 3am laundry helper, her first week home

cuddles with big brother Will
please notice Tristan's very SCARY tiger teeth! (taken with the awesome Hipstamati…

Froggy Grass.. ?

Tristan: "Mommy, isn't our grass so froggy this morning?"
Me: "So froggy?"
Tristan: "Yeah, see, look at it. It's so froggy."
Me: "Do you mean foggy?"
Tristan: "Oh yeah, foggy. I thought it was called froggy."

Welcome to a froggy morning in the Poconos, everyone. :)

Book Review: Hurricanes in Paradise

This is a review of Hurricanes in Paradise, by Denise Hildreth. Coming off my so-so read by Karen Kingsbury, I loved this book. I loved her characters and the way she built the storyline. I like that her characters were very "real", dealt with real-life issues, and everything didn't just pan out "just so" as most chick-lit novels are apt to do.

Even though I am not Southern (far from it, actually ;)) I did appreciate the Southern charm she threw in to the plot, since I  don't know much about the Southern culture at all.

This book was a light, fun read that dealt tactfully with several weighty issues (HIV, adultery, death, etc.) in a fairly thought-provoking way, given the genre's general tendency to shy far from such  topics. I enjoyed this book and recommend it as a good summer read!

*summer*

i love summer.

afternoon swims at the lake.
cute brown babies in bathing suits.
boys squirting water guns.

lazy mornings.
no schedules.
candy land, memory, one more book.

plants growing bountifully.
our first cucumbers, scarfed down by ecstatic children.
snap peas, picked and eaten as fast as they can grow.

sitting on the porch watching a thunderstorm roll in.
kids picking blueberries in the rain.
the rhythm of the fun, fast-paced days and the slower, lazy ones.

gosh, i love summer.

Book Review: A Time to Dance

This is a review of Karen Kingbury's novel A Time to Dance, which is in her "Timeless Love" series. I finished this book about a week ago, and I have to say that I was not very impressed with it. I am generally a non-critical, fairly passive fan of chick lit. Something about Kingsbury as an author has never particularly grabbed me, though, and this book was no different. I am pretty sure this is my second Kingsbury book. I know there are lots of Kingsbury fans, but somehow she just... doesn't... "do it" for me. 

I liked the premise of the book (John and Abby hit a crisis in their marriage after 20+ years, and are headed for divorce) because I know personally of several couples to whom this has happened, so I was hopeful going into the book that Kingsbury would deal with the situation in a realistic (yet still romantic) way. What bothered me most was that 90% of the book was about John and Abby hating each other, and then in the last 10 pages they suddenly r…

Two Weeks Yesterday

... since Gotcha Day.

I can't believe that two weeks I wrote about has already come and gone. It has been so amazing, but I am just so aware these are moments I will never get back. I am just trying to soak up every minute with my precious, brand-new, 7-month-old baby girl. I just want to freeze time-- sometimes it feels like such a rip-off that we just got her and already she will be turning 8 months old. :(

It has been such an awesome and amazing journey to our little girl. Sometimes I just feel myself welling up with love... just so grateful that she is ours. Of all the babies in the entire world... God knew she was supposed to be ours. And she is perfect; she fits our family so well. She's like the missing piece we never knew was missing, until she came home and now, all is right with the world.

Except for sleeping. We kinda hit the ground running the week we got home, and haven't slowed down since. Olivia (now called 'Livia, Livi, Livi Lou or "honnnnneeeyyyy&…

Day 3

Being home has, so far, been a smooth transition. Olivia fits into our family so perfectly! All three kids are in love with her... she is a sweet, easy-going baby, making her all the more easy to love. :)

The only thing I am struggling with so far is finding my stride. Before, I had life with three kids pretty much down to a science-- I knew how to utilize my time and how much time I needed for certain tasks. Now I am trying to do everything with an infant in tow, and am finding myself much less efficient and hours can blow by without me accomplishing much of anything. Add to that the complicated task of trying to nurse a baby who has been bottle-fed most of her life, and you can see that my life (as I knew it) is in shambles.

The great thing is that it's ok, because life as I knew it with three kids is non-existent! Soon I will find a new rhythm with four kids that will be just as great. And I need to remember that this is day 3, not week 3, and that everything takes time. Especi…

Thoughts

I can't sleep tonight. I keep getting up to check on the beautiful brown baby sleeping in the bassinet next to my bed. She is sleeping on her side, one hand tucked under her chin and the other sprawled to the side.

She is so beautiful and so perfect, I can't believe she's mine, ours. I want to soak up all these moments. I know in a few short days we'll be jetting back to the US and have three other adorable munchkins competing for our attention and we'll be jet-lagged out the wazoo and before I know it, 2 weeks will have gone by and I will think... were we really in Africa? Was that really me with the screaming baby, pacing the balcony? Was I really in a home in Addis Ababa, picking up my baby girl forever and always?

I am by some standards a seasoned mom. But find myself at a loss already. I have never bottle-fed a baby before. How do I warm a bottle? How many scoops of formula again? What do I do if she wakes during the night? What did the nannies do? Feed her? I…
We made it to Addis Ababa! We are staying at the Yebsabi Guest House. It's COLD here, a lot more than I was expecting. I have no idea why I didn't believe the weather reports. I brought 2 long sleeve shirts, and the rest are shortsleeved. I'm sure I'll be fine. :)

Our group of 6 families finally all made it through "customs" and met our drivers last night. Last night we went to bed at 2pm EST and got up at 1:45am EST. Which is actually 9p-8:45a here, so not bad at all! I slept 2 hrs. of the Philly-Frankfort leg and then not at all from Frankfort to Addis, so it helped that I was tired. 
We are going to try going to church this am (if I can get Dan out of bed ;)) and then see what happens. Today is a down day-- our official itinerary starts tomorrow. (If you don't stay over a Saturday night, airline prices double. Go figure.) 
Anyway, the most "exciting" part of the trip thus far has been in Frankfort. They changed our gate, so we had went all th…

This Is It.

Tonight is my last night tucking three cute blonde kiddos into bed.

Last night being a mom of three, in a quiet post-bedtime house.

Last time I'll drive home from the lake with a girl behind me and two boys in the back.
~~
Next time I tuck the kids into bed, I'll be the proud mama of four munchkins, including one beautiful brown baby who we can't wait to get our hands on.

Tomorrow we drive two hours to Philly, fly 8 hours to Frankfort, then 7 to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and next Friday we do it all over again in reverse. Next Saturday I'll be home and tucking four beautiful children into bed, and I'll get to do it again all summer long. All year. For years. How great is that?

I can't believe that our 19 month journey to adoption is nearly complete. We are almost done. So close. 
~~
We will have internet access at the guest house where we'll be staying, so I hope to catch a few minutes here and there to update on how the trip is going. If not, I will definitely…

Wow...

Well, the past few days has been quite the adventure. I was on a girls' weekend with two friends from St. Louis, when I got the call that Dan was being hospitalized back here in PA with unknown heart issues: irregular heart rate, chest pain and fever. Initial medical guess ranged from pleurisy to a pulmonary embolism to a heart attack. The outlook for our pending ET trip wasn't good. I quickly cut my trip short and flew home to be with Dan and the kids. And after lots and lots of testing, it turns out that he is in great cardiac shape, and that all this was due to a "perfect storm" of an asthma attack, a mutant H1N1 flu virus, and stress. Goodnight!!! He has one more EKG tomorrow, just to make sure they didn't miss anything, but otherwise he is cleared to go on Friday! Thank you Jesus.

Dan's mom arrives Friday around 11:30 and Dan, Abby and I leave for Philly at 1:30. (Not a lot of overlap!) We're praying that they have a peaceful week without us. We'…

WE GOT THE CALL!!!!!!!

Today I was at the BC lake play area with my kids and a friend and her kids, when, upon one of my many daily compulsive cell phone checks, I saw I had MISSED A CALL from the (703) area code!!!!!! Horrors!!! Of course I IMMEDIATELY began listening to the voicemail, and it sounded like Theresa (our interim travel coordinator) was simply introducing herself, when suddenly she added.... "and I have some great news for you so if you could give me a call back..." at which point I abruptly ended the voicemail and hit redial... at which point I was connected to Theresa and got the big news firsthand! The embassy has finished their investigation, and we are cleared to travel and bring our baby girl home! We are taking my younger sister Abby (she's 14) with us, who will, along with her new tough-as-nails camera, be documenting our trip in picture and video! We have a call in to the travel agency to book our tickets... and we will be leaving for ET in nine days! YES!!!! I CAN'T…

Book Review: Bringing Up Girls

This was, I think, the very first book I've read by renowned author Dr. James Dobson! (I'm not sure if that's a good selling point or not. ;))

Anyway, I had no idea what to expect when I started this book, but overall, I was pleased with it. It covered, in Dobson's friendly, conversational style, many aspects that go into raising healthy girls, and while much of what he writes about seemed to be common sense (to me), there were several chapters that I read eagerly, happy to be gleaning more information about these complicated little creatures we call girls!

I especially loved his charm-bracelet story by the girl who saved herself for her future husband. What a great idea! I plan to give Hallie (and Olivia! wow! :)) similar bracelets of their own one day... if finding bracelets in that unique style is not too difficult!

I appreciated all the research Dr. Dobson went through for the writing of his book. Although sometimes reading the research behind the topics got a bit …

Book Review: I Am Hutterite

This memoir by Mary-Ann Kirkby describes her growing-up years in a conservative Canadian Hutterite community, and her struggles and insecurities in the transition to the outside world, once her parents left the community when she was 11. 
I was expecting this book to be along the lines of "Stolen Innocence" by Elissa Wall (previously of the FLDS)-- full of tragedy and human suffering. It surprised me with it's non-condemnation of the Hutterite community lifestyle, and it's open admiration for many of their traditions. I enjoyed the book, especially once I got going. At the beginning I found Mary-Ann's history of her grandparents lives somewhat dry. Also, her use of the German-based Hutterite language throughout the book, especially the more frequent usages in the beginning of the book, disrupt the flow of reading and become merely a nuisance to be skipped over while reading. Overall I enjoyed the book and found it an interesting read.

Stream of Consciousness Post (but aren't they all?) :)

I talked to our social worker today. She said that she was really surprised that we hadn't gotten "the call" yet, (the one saying we are done our embassy investigation and cleared to travel) but that possibly because of the Memorial holiday (which some Ethiopians apparently take time off for as well), our investigation hasn't been officially closed. She said we should absolutely be expecting to travel on the 19th so... we are! Two weeks from tomorrow, we're coming for you, baby girl!

I have planned a girls' getaway weekend with two friends, which is next weekend! I am very excited about getting away for a few days before we go get our baby girl.... mostly because this will be my first ever mom's time away, and also because I  know I won't be getting the chance to get away again for a long time! And also because when I get home we'll be (hopefully!) just 6 days from ET! Woooo! (Andalso because it will be fabulous to spend time doing nothing but exa…

Are We... Aren't We... ??

So our social worker told us a few days ago that if we're going to be traveling this Saturday, we should have THE CALL by today or tomorrow. So we're halfway through this two-day waiting game... if they don't call tomorrow, we will be expecting to travel in two weeks, on June 19.

In other news, Will and I only have about two days of official school left till we wrap up 36 weeks of Kindergarten! Dan and I are going to take him out for dinner to celebrate. I am so proud of the way he has tackled school this year! Not only has he memorized 26 Bible verses (with references!) and the poem "Trees", he can read at a 3rd grade level and works hard at every subject we tackle. His hands-down favorite subject is Science. (It is a pretty fun science curriculum, I must admit...) His and Hallie's books for next year arrived a few days ago and Hallie is sooo excited about starting school with Will in the fall. She has been sitting down with us the past few days, pulling out…

MDB Update- 6 mos. old today! :)

Image
Okay so I guess last night was a bad time to update-- our pictures and May update arrived today! Poor baby girl has thrush AND an upper respiratory tract infection. :( I just want to get her home so she can have a mama take care of her full-time!! We got two new pictures though, that are adorable. Minkesh is 6 months old today! Happy half-birthday baby girl! We're coming for you as fast as we can.

Our social worker also called today and said that we will most likely be traveling in June! Yay! She said that as SOON as we are cleared (even it's it just 2 or 3 days before the travel date!) they will try to get us on the plane over there! So we really could be traveling a week from tomorrow! We obviously won't know till we get the phone call, but having Kristen say today that they think it's likely we'll be going soon boosted my (timid) hopes for a June arrival!
This pic is one we just got today. We have a purple bumbo seat just like this one, and Hallie was so impress…

and we wait

We are now waiting for the American Embassy to finish their investigation into baby Minkesh's case. We have four potential travel dates:
Wednesday, June 9th (travel dates of June 5th -12th ) Wednesday, June 23rd (travel dates of June 19th-26th) Wednesday, July 7th (travel dates of July 3rd -10th) Wednesday, July 21st (travel dates of July 17th-24th)
As soon as we hear that the investigation is done, we can buy tickets and go get our girl. It is kind of strange that we could be traveling a week from Saturday (!), or not until 6 weeks from now at the end of July. My heart is  constantly  jumping when I get an out-of-area call (which strangely enough has been happening a lot lately) because I keep thinking this could be THE CALL, that we are cleared to travel and can be OUT OF HERE to bring our baby home! I'm not sure I can take another 6 weeks of this! 
Funny side note: When an Ethiopian orphan passes through court, their adoptive parents become her legal guardians and they change her…

Baby Love

Image

Details, Details...

So we passed court! We're now the legal guardians for our beautiful baby girl. Thank you Lord!! :D I was just thinking though, now that I'm coming back down to earth a bit, how hard this "hoping and waiting followed by elation just to have to wait some more" is. I am sure glad there is a bright light at the end of this tunnel, and it's coming soon! :)

So. Our agency will now apply for Olivia's visa, passport and new birth certificate, which will take about three weeks to complete. After these documents are ready, our agency will give our entire file -including the new documents- to the American Embassy who will review our file and make sure everything is in order, and issue our appointment with the Embassy.

We then travel to get her, and show up at our Embassy appointment in person. If all goes super well, we could have an appointment with the Embassy as early as June 23rd! Our other potential dates are July 7th and 21st. Of course we are praying for the Jun…

WE PASSED COURT!

Olivia Hope is officially our baby girl! Thank you Jesus!

Our SW gave us three possible travel dates in late June and July.

Let's just say we're hoping for JUNE!! :D

Court Date! (Almost)

Well I spent most of the morning on pins and needles, checking and rechecking my cell phone, waiting for THE CALL from our agency. Finally, around noon they called. She said everything went really well, but one small piece of paperwork that we needed for our file, a letter from the Ministry of Women's Affairs, was still en route to the court and had not made it in time. :(

However, we have rescheduled our hearing for Wednesday, only TWO days away!

Pray with us that the letter arrives and we pass court on Wednesday!!

Update!

Well, it's been awhile! Last week we were visiting Dan's family and ALL THREE kids came down with a stomach bug. For days, it was coming out both ends-- I'll say no more. Somehow I still managed to have a pretty fun time despite the 1,020 loads of laundry that were done. ;)

We're six days out from our court date in ET for our baby girl. If you could keep us in your prayers from now till next Monday that we would pass court, we would all very much appreciate it! We also learned that our poor baby came down with chicken pox this week-- apparently it's making its way around the transition home. At least she'll be done with it at an early age! :)

Despite the chilly weather, I've been hard at work in my perennial bed-- weeding, mulching, planting. I love it, but have to admit I'm anxious for the real spring weather to arrive! (We actually had frost this morning!) Dan built me two 4x10 raised beds for which I'm busy planning my veggie garden. Those pumpki…

Book Review: Captivating

Let me just start by saying: I loved this book. John and Stasi Eldridge do a fabulous job of delving into the mysteries of being a woman and encapsulating the true desires of women as pertaining to self-image, relationships, and the way we are viewed by others.

One of my favorite sections in the book expounds on the common lie that women have bought over the years: that we are simultaneously "too much" and "not enough". We feel we are too needy, too emotional, too weak, too much work for guys to really get to know us. On the other hand we never have enough time, never enough grace, and no matter how hard we try at whatever we do, we won't feel that it is good enough.

I love how the Eldridges embrace the natural femininity that so many of us have squelched over the years, and encourage women in every stage of life to rediscover the hopes and dreams they once held, before the harsh realities of “real life” caused us to store them away for safekeeping.

I highly r…

Court Date!

We found out that we are going to court for baby M on May 17th. If we pass, we will be traveling to get her 8-12 weeks later. But... since only 50% of families pass court on their first try... well, we just would appreciate prayers that we will be in the 50% that PASSES! :)

Hallie is 5

Today was Hallie's fifth birthday. Dan had a late meeting tonight, which is totally unusual for him, throwing off our traditional b-day dinner plans. (And my attempts at pushing the celebration off till tomorrow were soundly defeated. Anyway.) Dan was able to come home a little early (before leaving again) with Hallie's "big" present.... a fish! She has been asking for a pet fish for awhile, so her daddy got her a bright purple beta fish. She named "her" Pumpkin... and she frequently trots over to the side table where Pumpkin resides to "check on her". Here's hoping the little guy lives a long and healthy life!! :)

On a side note, as you may have seen on my facebook post, Will wrote Hallie a cute birthday message with sidewalk chalk. Although he missed a few vowels ("hppy" and "brthday"), he nailed "your"! When I asked him how he knew how to spell the word "your", he replied that he'd just seen it ar…

Adoption Stuff

Hey all-
Just thought I'd post a bit on the adoption, timelines and stuff. :)

But first, one thing I am thrilled about is: last week, some friends of my brother and sister in law found out about M and happened to be traveling to Addis TODAY. They offered to take a care package to her, so I was able to quickly dig our some baby clothes, a few toys, and throw together a cloth "baby photo album" and send it for them to take to M. I am hopeful they will get some new pics for us also! We are so grateful to these unknown friends who are taking a little bit of love to our baby girl who is so far away.

Ok, so now that we have officially accepted our referral of our baby girl M, we are waiting for a court date. (Due to confidentiality reasons, we cannot post pics or her real name in a public forum until after we pass court.) After our agency received our acceptance letter (on 3/30) they moved forward to request a court date. We will be notified of this court date roughly 2-5 w…

Book Review: Will The World End in 2012?

I just finished reading the book Will The World End in 2012? by Dr. Raymond Hundley. At 184 pages, it's a fast read. The author examines the top 10 theories as to why the world is supposedly going to end in 2012, or more specifically for some theories, on Dec. 21, 2012.

Each chapter begins with a (slightly cheesy, IMO) scenario in which that prediction occurs in real life. And although there are 10 theories, as the author notes in the eleventh chapter, (entitled Final Evaluations), only four of the theories hold any scientific credence whatsoever (Writing as a Christian, the author includes Christ's return to Earth as a plausible theory.) The remaining "realistic" three reasons for the earth's demise include:

-- massive solar flares hitting Earth, triggering earthquakes, tsunammis, etc. This theory is backed by the best scientific evidence. Scientists at NASA and other respected institutions are expecting a peak of solar flares in 2012; the question is whether t…