Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To store or not to store... that is the question!

I'm trying to get all the kiddos clothes cleaned so we can do the bi-annual changing of the clothes, storing the ones that might fit next Spring, and giving away those that won't. Then, we drag out the ones we stored from last Spring and see if they still fit.

Well, here's my dilemma. Do I store, or give away Titus's 12-18 month Summer clothes? He's quite comfortably still smack-dab in the middle of that range. His 12-18 month clothes are neither too big, nor too small. They fit perfectly, and they have for, uh, a looooong time now! I honestly don't remember how long he's been in this size, but it seems like forever now. I'm hopeful that he'll move up to at least 24 month clothes by next Summer since he'll be 3.5... but given the current trend I'm thinking he might be 6 before he moves up a size!

Leeann, on the other hand has gone from all of her summer clothes fitting well at the beginning of the Summer, to looking a little, ummm, immodest in most of her shorts and skirts. She must have grown 1'5" this Summer! Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little, but seriously, she just keeps getting bigger and bigger and prettier and prettier every day!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Adoption and Trip Updates

I heard from the case worker today and we're still at least 2-3 weeks out. They are waiting for the home study of another family to come through and it's taking longer than originally expected. So, we wait. I promise though, I'll blog when I get an actual date. I've thought it would be 2-3 weeks for nearly a couple of months now. Oh well, patience is a virtue right?

In other news, I made it back to the West Coast without any difficulties or problems. It was sooo good to see my family! I'll try to update my blog with pictures and such soon, but I'm still trying to catch up from vacation. Until then, enjoy a short post for once!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Wedding!

I can only sneak off one picture while we're cleaning up. But meet my new sister-in-law Mia!
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Missouri Day 1

*I'll post more pictures later... we're heading off to go jet-skiing and I can't finish adding pictures to this post!*

We woke up before the dawn cracked and headed out the door just after 6:00 in the morning to head up to PDX. Rob, Leeann and Titus came into the airport to see me off (or, to see me to the security check-point at least). It was hard to say good-bye, but I had met my big brother Jason so at least I wasn’t flying off on my own.

We flew into Minnesota and had just enough time to grab a drink and head off to our next flight. I had to be able to say I’ve gotten to drink a Starbucks in Minnesota! Today, I hope to be able to say I’ve also gotten to drink Starbucks in Missouri :0)

I got the window seat on the way to Missouri and we flew through some awesome clouds. It’s not every day I get to fly through clouds so I took a bunch of pictures. Jason made fun of me, but its okay because I got some great ones!

As soon as my brother Greg and his fiancé Mia picked us up at the airport in St. Louis they whisked us away to the Gateway to the West, which is a 650 foot arch. It was really cool!

As we were down by the arch we saw the Rock of Love bus (I’ve never seen the show, but both my brothers have). Since I’m the one with the camera I got to take pictures of Bret Michaels who is the star of the show and the lead singer of Poison. He came over and shook our hands, which was pretty cool.

We ended the day with a 3 hour drive back to my brother’s house where I got to meet my little nephew Payton. He’s 2. I’ll have to post pictures once I get some.

I’ll get to see my 5 year-old niece Trinity, today as soon as she gets off the school bus. I haven’t seen my brother or Trinity for 3 years and I’d never met Mia or Payton. It’s good to be here, though it’s hard to be away from my babies. I won’t bother telling you how many times I’ve called them in the last day and a half!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

48 Pages Later...

Suzy came over after church and helped me with the last (well, almost last) of my scrapbook. It's 48 pages of sheer craziness. It's mostly pictures that you've seen on my blog over the last year and a half. Not all of the pictures, of course... but enough to get a good sense of who we are as a family.

I prefer blogging, as it doesn't take nearly as much time or energy. Though, it certainly isn't as cute either!

I'm not sure if I've said this before, but the scrapbook will be shown to those who make the choice for where she's placed, and will be shown to her to introduce her to her new family. The state of Oregon mandates that each family does a book, and usually 3 families go to committee.

Idaho is different though, as they don't require a set number of families and they don't require a book. We decided that we would do our book anyway, because we thought it would be a great way for her to get to know us, and far more informative to her than one simple picture and a brief introduction by a case worker. This is especially important as it may be a couple of weeks between when we're chosen (if we're chosen) and when we actually get to meet face-to-face.

I can't believe how many hours it has taken to complete it, but it feels soooo good to have it done. Now I can reclaim my counter space and know that other than reading more about adoption and adoption issues, there's nothing else I can do to prepare for the arrival our daughter... whoever, and whenever that might be!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Scrapbooking Fun

Today is my crazy scrapbook marathon day. I'm hoping to put the finishing touches on our adoption scrapbook and get it sent out by Tuesday!

We gave the word yesterday that we want to move forward and go to committee. There is another family too, so our chances aren't as likely as we were thinking they might be, but last I checked God doesn't care about statistics and he has a perfect plan for our family and for this young lady. So, regardless if it's just 1 family or a 100 families I know that God will work it out precisely the way He intends!

I'll let you know when committee is, please continue to pray for our family and most importantly for this young lady and a good fit and transition for her as she joins her 'forever family'. Thank you for your prayers!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Lazy Day

Today I'm recovering from a still sore neck, though I have more range of motion today than I did the last two days. Weird I tell ya! I had a message yesterday at my chiropractors and that seemed to have helped a little.

The kids and I are just hanging out being lazy today. We launched Kidstruction last night which is our Wednesday night kid's program. It went well, but I'm pooped! I was feeling less than par yesterday (obviously) which made it tough, but that's okay. I'm surrounded by super leaders!

I have a fair amount of cleaning up to do after being barely able to move for a few days, so I'm sure I'll spend my day doing some of that. Does anyone want to come mop my floors? I have light floors throughout my downstairs so it doesn't matter how much you sweep or mop, they always look dirty. It's probably the most frustrating thing about this whole house to me. I don't like dirty floors, but for the life of me I can't keep them clean! It seriously takes a good hour to take care of the floors, if I can manage to keep the kiddos off.

If you're wondering where we're at on adoption stuff, we're still waiting to talk to one more person. We've been trying to get ahold of her for more than a week now, and I'm trying to be patient, but it's hard! Once we talk to her we'll likely give the go ahead to set a committee date which takes 2-3 weeks. I left her another message this morning so hopefully we'll hear from her today.

I've likened this process to a marriage. The 'dating' step is getting to know more about her and allowing her worker to get to know more about us.

The proposal step is where we ask to go to committee. We're saying, for better or for worse we're planning on spending our lives together, but we need time to make the plans.

The acceptance of the engagement is where we meet and she decides that she does want to be placed with us (she has to consent to her own adoption since she's over 12).

The wedding is adoption day (6-12 months after the placement). This is where she's legally a part of our family as if she were born to us.

Right now, I like to say we're shopping for rings. It's not quite engagement time yet, but we're fully proceeding ahead as if proposal day is imminent.

Where this analogy falls short is that she has to live with us for 6-12 months prior to the legally binding 'wedding' if you will. I'll be sure to let you know when we take the next step!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why you should never make a bed...

Today I was making Leeann's bed and all the sudden I got a kink in my neck and it hurt every time I looked to the right. I gimped around most of the day awkwardly turning my whole body to see things, but it wasn't so bad. Then I went to the Chiropractor and he did a number on me. I was really hoping I'd feel better after that but now virtually any movement is enough to make me shriek in pain.

So, Rob made dinner and played with the kids and is putting them down for bed now. I'm laying on the couch like a complete lazy bum wondering if this terrible pain is going to go away. I'm sitting here typing with my head leaned all the way against a pillow on my left shoulder.

I'm surprisingly quite bored. I read some articles on adoption, helped Leeann with some worksheets and now I'm writing you because... well, because I'm bored! Oh, and I talked to a guy conducting a survey about politics. Nothing like a cold call to help you realize how uninformed you are regarding political issues eh?

Anyway, it sounds like the kids are down so it seems as though a movie with my husband is in order. I love Netflix!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Big Sister's Bedroom

So, after months of hunting and gathering, we've finally put the finishing touches on Big Sister's Bedroom! Well, at least the big stuff!

We got her bunk beds, though she'll have her own room. We'd like all of our kids to have bunk beds so they'll feel more comfortable having friends over. I imagine these will become Titus's by the time he's ready for a bunk bed. Minus the pink comforters of course!

Titus helped Rob put them together!

It's not a great picture, but it shows you the other side of the room. Just a desk with a computer.
I didn't put a picture of the closet because, well, that part isn't exactly ready yet!

This is my $10 Craigslist find. I'm proud of this one!
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

50 mm lens and some old/new friends!

I helped Eroica at a wedding a few weeks ago and my payment was a new 50 mm lens for my camera. I've wanted one every since I knew what it did! It focuses on the foreground and blurs the background... which I think makes for super-dee duper pictures!
I got a chance to try it out for the first time tonight when Suzy, Weston, Logan and Landon went on a walk with us around the track.

In case you don't keep up with Suzy's blog, they now live 10 minutes away from us!
I'm SO excited to have Suzy in town. I've missed her terribly in this last year! It's hard to live with someone for 8 months and then be in a different state. Now we have them back! Even better though, they have their own place! Of course she's stayed the night twice, the kids and I stayed at her place once and we've had 6 dinners together since the August 31st. We've been to the park, the track, McDonalds, the church and have partied at each other's houses. We've watched a movie, helped her unpack and unload, scrapbooked together until wee hours of the night... but at least we have our own space too!

These kids ran and ran and ran around the track. Weston must have clocked at least a mile and half. He jogged 3/4 to a mile of it. This kid has speed and endurance! The other kids ran lots too. They're speedy little buggers! They got some comments from some high school kids about being out-paced by all these little kids, it was quite funny!
My princess posed for a few pictures for me so I could test out my lens.
My cute, snuggly, cuddly baby Landon. We've enjoyed bonding!
The gang! My kids have been beyond over-joyed to have the cousins around. Friends are fun too, but there's just something extra special about family. Have I mentioned it's been really nice to have them around?
Leeann dressed herself today. Can you tell? She's going to be my independent fashion queen for sure! As long as she's wearing a skirt she's pretty sure she's a certified princess!
Titus and Logan have buddied up quite a bit and especially enjoyed each other's company. Titus makes Logan nervous though when he does things like climb up the stairs on the wrong side of the banister. I can't imagine why!
Titus is showing off his sweet new Lightning McQueen shoes!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I miss Benjamin Franklin...

... and Benjamin Franklin, and Benjamin Franklin... and Thomas Jefferson too...

Because I like to rant about bad customer service, let me tell you about my day trying to book a flight with Delta.

I dropped Titus off with Deborah and took Leeann to a travel agency then for a little shopping for a Back to School Breakfast at church on Sunday. The stop at the travel agency didn't last long because they told me they would charge me $50 per ticket to book our flights for us.

I'm tech savvy, so I decided I'd go home and do it myself. I did have questions though (which is why I went to the agency in the first place), so I had to call Delta SkyMiles to get my questions answered before I could accurately proceed with booking the tickets. Well, for 3 hours straight they were having 'technical difficulties and couldn't seem to connect me to a representative.

Fine, I'll see how far I can make it on-line on my own then. I proceed to find the flight I want for me and my brother Jason, but I couldn't figure out how to use my sky miles to purchase my ticket. After a repeat run-around with a lady I could hardly understand in one department we finally tracked down the proper account number and I was able to change the pin via the web without hassle, which was something I appreciated greatly after my last run-in regarding this.

I still couldn't get ahold of anyone to answer my questions though so I got on-line to 'chat' with a representative. The first one sent me on a wild goose chase. The second one couldn't figure out how to answer my question, and the third one lost connectivity on me so our case closed. My blood pressure rose.

I was finally able to get through to someone on the phone (that I could barely understand) only to hear them tell me that I didn't have enough sky miles to get to Missouri and back. Even though it says I can get tickets from 25,000-90,000, it was only showing me tickets worth 50,000 miles. I asked if I could trade them in for part of the ticket price. No such luck!

So all this time I've been assuming that I can fly to Missouri for my brothers wedding by cashing in my air miles. I've told Greg I would be there (my brother Jason and I are the only family members able to make it that I'm aware of), and now I'm staring face-to-face with the reality that I can't go. I felt so bad because I really want to be there for the wedding and I've already said I would go. Furthermore, I was booking both mine and Jason's tickets and I wasn't sure he'd go if I didn't go (the tickets were already creeping up in price beyond what he'd planned to pay) which means none of Greg's family would be at his wedding.

So I did what any sane, rational woman would do when bawling her eyes out and frustrated to no end. I called Rob. I sobbed about how stupid I felt for thinking I could get there for free, and that I had enough miles. I cried that I felt terrible for making a promise I wasn't going to be able to keep. I said I was mad at myself for waiting to book the tickets because they were $70 cheaper just a few weeks ago. After I calmed down enough to have a rational conversation he encouraged me to buy the ticket anyway. He said it was important that I be there. "Where's the money going to come from?" I sobbed. My wonderful husband assured me that we'd figure something out and told me to book the tickets.

Shortly after I hung up the phone Leeann came downstairs crying. She sat next to me in the rocking chair with tears streaming down her face and said, "Mommy, I heard you saying that you were stupid and that made me sad and made me want to cry!" Isn't she so sweet and sympathetic? I love my little girl!

So, four hours, lots of tears and several hundred dollars later I have my ticket to Missouri! It's the same days Rob has school so I still need child care for 3 full days (and nights)... but after booking the tickets that ought to be easy right?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

One of Those Days

Today was one of those days... ya know, that nothing goes terrible, but nothing goes right either.

I had to take the kids to work with me today and what I hoped would take no more than 30 minutes took 2.5 hours. I had fought with the printer settings on Friday trying to print out a newsletter, to no avail. I came back in today to finish it and it took me hours to figure out what my problem was.

Meanwhile, my kiddos were having a particularly difficult time today. They had quite a long weekend, and we were all short on sleep. That meant we were all short on patience too! Leeann and Titus both threw a number of raging, non-sensical fits today. I felt like throwing one of my own too!

Rob took the kiddos to the park after dinner, and they aren't back yet. It's beautiful to have the house to myself for a short while. I have a great husband, have I ever mentioned that? Of course it probably wouldn't have taken a rocket scientist to figure out that I could benefit from some time alone this evening :0)

Our house is continuing to take shape, but I find myself dreaming of being back in our other house more and more often. Even more I dream of a new house, one with 4 or 5 bedrooms! Ah, I hear the sound of little squeals, "Hi mommy! I got a leaf!" Titus says as he proudly shows me his treasure! I best be going... I've got hugs and kisses to give!