Monday, December 10, 2007


I am putting some pictures in of Natalie and Hannah dressed up as Dora the Exploror. A friend from church gave them the costume. We are also growing out Natalie and Madelyn's bangs. Madelyn's hair is much thicker than Natalie's and is long enough to go behind her ears and doesn't hang in her face like a horse. But Natalie's is very fine and hangs right down in front of her eyes. So she still has to wear something most of the time to keep it out of her eyes. I still have never cut Hannah's hair.

Hannah is in love with horses. She is so cute and runs around the house neighing all the time. She also has started telling me things like "horses don't wear shoes" when it is time to put them on. Some other horse don'ts... "horses don't wear panties" "horses don't eat carrots" We convinced her they did and Madelyn got her to eat 2-3 little ones that way. She wants to watch SPIRIT every day, more than once if I would let her.

I am still pretty puny. I took 2 naps yesterday. Got up and helped Aaron get the girls ready for church, then went back to bed. Made lunch when they got home, stayed on the couch for a few hours and after that exhausting morning, took another nap on the couch. I prepared for our kids class A and I started teaching on Sunday nights. I was just going to do a craft and let them watch a movie. So, I went to church and they were going to have a 15 minute service, so they cancelled class, but ended up lasting almost an hour. oops. Oh well, I started feeling horrible during church and we left early. A took me and H home, and took M and N back with him to the Christmas dinner at church. My throat still hurts, but not as bad, but now it seems I have moved into the exhaustion mode. I have to lie down all the time. Oh, it is so annoying. Today, I have felt much better. We did school, although it had many breaks and drug out all day, and I cleaned the kitchen and made no-bake cookies. But by suppertime, it took all I had to drive to Pizza Hut for dinner. My neck on the sides is starting to hurt today - Swollen lymph nodes?
Natalie has been sneezing and coughing some. Also, has started to lie around a little and cling to me. Her throat looks a little red and I thought I saw a spot on her tonsils. I asked her if her throat hurt. She said "no". I told her she shouldn't have to take medicine for it, but I really wanted to know if it hurt, so she should be honest with me. She said "it only hurts when food goes down it" Good thing is, you usually don't get mono more than once, so we can all have it done with in one year.
15 days until Christmas. Have I bought the first Christmas present? Why no I haven't. And does it look like I am going to feel like shopping anytime soon? No. I don't like to shop when I feel good. Oh well, maybe next week.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Well, the verdict is in... I have Mono. Which would explain why I have had no get up and go for the last 3 weeks or so. Also probably explains why every few days a joint hurts that I don't remember injuring. Last week it was my knee. Then my right thumb joint, then my ankle. Then my right thumb joint again. Very strange. I had taken Madelyn to the doctor last week. The pediatrician said that tonsils like that were usually either Mono or strep and her strep test was negative. So was mine. Thanksfully, I went back to the doctor, when my throat got worse and armed with the info the pediatrician gave me, asked if I could get a mono test, therefore saving the kids from having to get their blood drawn.
I thought I was just getting lazy. I managed to go to church yesterday with the girls alone, although I really didn't feel like it, but the thought of staying in the house another day was depressing. Aaron got called to work, so he was not home. He did get back in time to go last night though, and after that busy day, I feel pretty horrible today. Lightheaded and slightly sick to my stomach. And of course the ever present sore throat and headache.
I think Aaron probably has a mild form of it. His throat has hurt for a few weeks, and he had a headache for about a month off and on starting before we got sick. He doesn't have tonsils though, so it is hard to tell in his throat.
I have seen how sick people have become with it and maybe the worst is yet to come, I hope not, especially for the kids sake. The fact that Madelyn and Hannah hardly act like their sick, is something to be thankful for. Luckily, we can still go places if we feel like it, as long as no one drinks or eats after us, and we don't cough in peoples' faces or have a fever.
Please pray we have a swift recovery and that Natalie avoids it, which she has done so far.

Monday, November 26, 2007

the Best Cat ever & the Best Man ever

Madelyn brought the cat to me today with this blue bag and says "can you help me get the cat in the bag, she is not letting me do it" I told her that she probably didn't want to go in the bag, but held it open while Madelyn dropped the cat in head first with only her tail hanging out the top. She eventually got turned around and Madelyn carried her around like this for at least 5 min. Which is a long time for a cat to stay in a bag. The cat goes for walks with us (unleashed), plays soccer with the girls, carries sticks around like a dog, and will race the girls in the yard. She also likes to go in front of them while they are riding a bike, or in front of me while pushing a stroller, and just stops. It's a good thing we like her.

The next picture is of Hannah tonight when she was getting ready to go to sleep.
I didn't get to work as much last week as I had planned. Got some strep throat like illness and had to go to the doctor for antibiotics. Now Madelyn is complaining of a sore throat, so I get the flashlight out - I thought my tonsils looked bad - hers are covered with white spots and HUGE and red. So, I mention getting a doctor's appt. and miraculously, her throat stops hurting, but I have the proof, I can see it myself. So, tomorrow, we risk bringing home more disease when we go and try to get rid of this one. It took about 2 days of my throat gradually getting worse before I got to the point of hardly being able to swallow.
We got our Christmas tree up and decorated Thanksgiving day. Since I was planning on working and ended up being sick that day, we did have Turkey dumplings that I made from some frozen turkey, but that is as far as the traditional Thanksgiving feast we got to.
I haven't started shopping for Christmas and haven't even made out a list of who I am going to buy for. Seems like the older I get and the more kids I have, the more hectic life gets and the later in the season I remember that Christmas is coming and maybe I might ought to go shopping.
It doesn't help that I HATE to shop. Add the crowds on top of that. I am going to throw this out there in case there are other women out there reading this with shopping aversions. My mom says she doesn't know what happened to me as to why I turned out this way. But I finally figured out one reason I hate it... I get motion sick pretty easily. What do you do when you shop? Constantly turn your head side to side. Add to that the smell of new clothes and what we have here is a motion sick shopper with a headache that is depressed that she can't fit in size ___(I'm not telling) clothes anymore. Now, is that the type of person you want to spend a day with? So Mom, be glad that I don't grace you with my presence at the mall. If Aaron reads this, he will laugh b/c I don't know if he really believes my "motionsick at the mall" excuse, but he's not complaining. I have saved thousands of dollars in our years of marriage being a "miser" (another nickname Mom gave me when I was younger) and a mall hater. Of course the trade off is that he gets to live in a very undecorated, plain house with a wife who is pretty much content to wear the same 5 shirts and 5 pants every week, b/c why buy more when you can just wash the ones you have?
Anyway, if he does laugh, who am I to compete with the excellent specimen of humanity he is.?
He is the one who has gained 40 lb since we met and he still wears a size 32 pants. So while he is gaining muscle, I... well if you have seen me lately, you know. Then, I always thought my eyes weren't that bad. I mean, I can see well enough to read without glasses or contacts. That is - close up. I can't see that great far away even with my glasses on. At least I thought that I was deficient since I am constantly squinting looking far away asking Aaron, "what time does that clock say?" "What does that say up there on the screen?" Little did I know that I was comparing myself to someone with 20/13 and 20/12 eyesight....WITHOUT glasses or contacts. Yes, he comes home tonight after having to take a physical for a CDL license, bragging about how he impressed the nurses and everyone in the hallway watching him take the seeing test. (He later says that he could have read 1/2 of the next line, but didn't want to only get 1/2 a line, would rather go out with a bang, reading a whole line )
There are two ways to look at this...
#1 wow, I am so blessed to have such a wonderful specimen of a man for a husband!!
#2 Man, you make me look bad!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

What we've been up to...

It has been a while since I posted. Life is good. Let's see...I will start today and go backwards. Today was the last day of coop classes that we have every Friday until January. We didn't miss any Fridays this semester. Which I will say "Thank you God for our health!" I think Hannah missed one day for a 2 day fever.
On Wednesday, we took a day off for a field trip to an American Indian Heritage day. It was about an hour away from here at a government owned place. When I signed up, I had to give the names and ages of all of us coming. Then they sent us a map and a letter, telling us to bring a photo ID, our car tag receipt, and proof of car insurance, and be ready to have the car searched. Well, luckily, we didn't have to go through all of that. This place is real big, I mean miles big, the directions were "drive 2.3 miles, then turn L, then 3 miles, then turn R, then 4.5 miles etc. All that was after going through the guard gate. Well, I made a wrong turn and ended up off the property and had to go back to the interstate and start all over. Luckily there was a different guard at the gate when we got back around.
It was a lot of fun, and to quote Natalie "this was the funnest day of my life" There were lots of American Indians dressed up, and others showing how to make flint knives, throw spears, there was a mud hut, huge tee pee, samples of Indian food, crafts, etc. But the best was the Native dancing which was excellent. One guy was the 2007 champion ring dancer. Of course they did lots of loud Indian drums and chanting into microphones, which made it very loud. As we were walking to it, Hannah of course, completely lost it freaking out. I must admit, to a 3 year old, they probably looked and sounded terrifying. I ended up having to carry her to the circle to sit down, screaming. Luckily, the singing was so loud, I don't think anyone heard her. Then all 8 of the dressed up Indians started dancing right toward us (we were at the far end) I kept on pointing out to her that there was a girl about 8 or so dancing, so they couldn't be all that scary. She settled down and wonder of wonders, for the last dance, they asked for volunteers and Hannah raises her hand. Madelyn and Natalie were too scared. So, Hannah went out there with about 30 other kids and they all joined hands and danced in a circle, weaving in and out. I was so proud that she overcame being terrified so quickly.
There was also a life size robot that talked to the kids and moved around on a base with wheels. He was pretty funny. The guy controlling it and talking to us was really good. He just paced back and forth behind all of us like he was just another visitor.
I forgot the digital camera, so all I had was a disposable and don't have the pictures yet.
Still working on the Vietnam dossier. It is coming together fast and I hope to have it done by December.

Monday night was our Thanksgiving dinner with our homeschool association. Madelyn has been taking drama for kids, so she was in a short little play. She was an angel and we only got a picture of her before. There were so many people there, and our camera only took black pictures from as far back as we were. She didn't have any speaking lines, the group of 7-8 angels, just periodically got up and sang a song. We were able to hear them, but we heard nothing of the rest of the play. It was fun to watch her and I am proud of her and told her many times how good it is that she gets up in front of people even when she was scared. My estimate is there was probably at least 250 people there, but I am not that great at estimating.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Field Trip


A few months ago, I scheduled a tour of the Parthenon in Nashville since I knew we would be studying Greece this last week. We read a few of the stories about Greek gods, and what they believed. The girls really liked a lot of the stories, and we rented Hercules from the library in honor of it. Let me suggest if you want to go to the Parthenon, schedule a tour. You only have to have 10 people for a tour, with a tour guide. We had 11, and since we were a homeschool group, we got the discount rate. I think if we had gone without the tour, it would have taken us 20 min. to go through the whole thing. However, we were there about 1 hr. and 20min. The girls did real well, and the husband/wife team that led our group was real informative and tried to involve the girls. The only other child was my neice who is 12.

Hannah the strongest 3 year old is pushing shut a door that weighs 7 1/2 tons!! All by herself!!

Athena, goddess of wisdom and war - a 41 foot tall statue. There was about a 3 foot statue in the first room we went to and I had told Madelyn there was a huge statue. She thought the 3 foot replica was it and she was very let down. When we walked into the room with the real one, Natalie's mouthed gaped wide open for a good 30 seconds.

The girls enjoyed chasing the geese in the grass surrounding the building.

We finished the tour and walked over to the park and ate a picnic. It was a great day and another reason to homeschool!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recipe #5

Cube Steak

4-8 cube steaks
1 packet of onion gravy
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup water
1 tsp of garlic powder

Dredge the cube steaks in flour on both sides.
Brown both sides in a skillet with oil.
Put beef in crock pot on low.
Put the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot with beef.
Cook on low 8-10 hours stirring a few times.

I love cooking in the crock pot. I probably cook 75% of the meat we eat in the crock pot. It is so easy. Plus, there is not a mad rush at the end of the day trying to time the meat getting done with supper time. Bad thing is, you have to remember to plan ahead and start it in the morning.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Here are some pictures of the girls getting their hair curled and getting ready for the Church's Halloween party. Can you tell who likes to pose the most? Natalie's costume was supposed to be an angel, but the wings wouldn't stay on and we decided she looked more like and Egyptian, so she did a few poses for that.
Madelyn had to try and figure out what to do with a hoop skirt while sitting down. I think we got it down pretty well. There is a Trunk or Treat Wed. night before church, so they will have another chance to dress up.

Also, I got solved the problem of taking chairs back and forth between the classroom and the diningroom. Last Saturday, Madelyn and Natalie and I went on a search for chairs for the kitchen table. Our first stop was this huge warehouse type building in town. Instead of chairs, I found these old school chair/desk combos. They were just $10 each, so I got 3. The girls are excited to do some of their school work in them and now I don't have to carry 4 chairs back and forth every day. I still could use some dining room chairs, for when we have company, but at least it is not a daily problem.

Finally got our Vietnam dossier paperwork. I am anxious to get to work on it. Looks like it is a lot less than the Guatemala one, and hopefully some of it will transfer. Can't wait to get back on a waiting list.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Recipe #4

1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 8oz tub cool whip thawed
1 cup chopped keebler fudge shoppe grasshopper cookies
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 6oz chocolate graham cracker pie crust
additional grasshopper cookies for garnish
Mix cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until well blended.
Fold in whipped topping, chopped cookies and green food coloring.
Spoon into crust.
Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Garnish with cookie halves.
(can substitute oreos instead of grasshoppers)
This recipe is quick and easy and very good. I got it out of a book of recipes using graham cracker pie crusts. Yum!

The paperwork begins again.

We finally got our change of country paperwork on Thursday. I was very excited, seeing how our agency won't send us the Vietnam dossier package until they get those papers back. Thankfully, a lady from church is a notary and so I called her up and she and her husband graciously met us at the church building Friday night for some signing. All in all, I think there were 12 pages she had to notarize. Just wait until we start the dossier!!! Those were just the change of country papers and the Vietnam contracts. I mailed it Saturday morning and I am really hoping I get our paperwork by the end of next week.
I hate to wait. Sometimes it gets discouraging when I think of all the time I have been waiting to adopt. Hannah will probably be around 4 by the time we get the referral of the baby. I was hoping they would be closer in age. Sometimes, it is good to not know how long something is going to take to happen. It would have been discouraging to know from the beginning that it would be at least 2008 before we would get a referral. All in God's timing, I know, but still a little discouraging at times.
We took a hike tonight at "Daddy's work" which to other people, would be known by an official
name. The girls love to hike and with her short little legs, Hannah does rather well.
Then, we decided to go through the Taco Bel drive thru for supper. The older two love it. We should have known something was wrong when we pulled in and there were about 7 or 8 cars ahead of us, but hey, it's fast food, right? Not tonight. We pulled into the drive thru at 6:20 and didn't drive off with our food until 6:57, I am serious. It was soooo annoying. Bad thing was, by the time that we realized that the line was not moving, 2 cars had pulled in behind us and there was no way to get out other than drive over the curb. Since we were in our van, we decided against that. Strange thing was, we watched so many people park, go in and then come out with food. I don't know what the deal was, but Aaron and I didn't even order food for us. Luckily, what the girls eat is already prepackaged, and not made as you order, so we figured, their food would be ready quick.
Church services were great today. They started at 8am and lasted until about 12:30. Once a year they have a special day where all 4 of the elders speak. During the 1st and 3rd speakers, the kids had class, so that was nice that they didn't have to sit still 4 hrs. straight. Plus they took a break after the first hour for breakfast. The girls loved today. Especially after the last speaker, we got to eat lunch at church. We had driven separately, just in case the 4 hrs. was too much and we needed to take a break with one of the kids. We didn't. I ended up getting to stay and meet a few new people and talk to someone else considering adoption while Aaron got to take the girls home and get Hannah down for her nap. I didn't get home until 2pm. Been a good day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I know what Aaron's getting for Christmas!!


Here is a picture of the girls pointing to Vietnam on our atlas on the wall. Hannah is pointing to where we live. The girls are excited. We watched Bizarre foods the other night on tv and the host was in Vietnam. All I have to say is that I am dedicating one suitcase for each of us that goes to prepackaged food. I have never been one to like to try new foods anyway, so this will be a great test for me. The host of the show talked on and on about how most people living there went to the markets 2-3 times a day to cook each meal and how fresh the food was. I told Aaron I am going to asked where the prepackaged - preservative- filled food market is. Now I am not cutting down what any culture eats, since I am sure there is lots of food I eat that people would turn their nose up on, but like I said, I am like a kid when it comes to being brave with new foods. I tend to order the same thing everytime I go to a restaurant. Plus, as sick as I get when I eat soy, I would hate to eat some and not know it and end up miserable the whole time, since when I get a good dose of soy protien in me, I am sick off and on for about 3 weeks at least.

I am anxiously awaiting our change of country papers so that I can start on our dossier. I was told they were sent out on Monday, so they should be here in a few days. I know that our agency is probably overwhelmed with paperwork right now with all the problems with Guatemala, so I am trying to be patient. Once we get our dossier turned in, it should take 9-12 months for a referral and then 1-7 months to go pick up the baby. I am really hoping that it will work out where we can take all 3 girls with us, I can't imagine being away from them for 2 weeks. But it will also require 3 more plane tickets. We'll see as the time draws nearer.

Also, I have enclosed a picture of a shawl I made for the girls. I am currently making #2 and I will probably make a 3rd one that will fit Hannah, although right now, other than wanting to try it on for the picture, she has not fought over wearing it. I found that real soft expensive, small skeins of yarn for sale at Hobby Lobby. Usually it is $5 for a skein and these were $1 each. I bought 19 skeins in different colors. That one shawl would have cost about $25 in yarn alone, but only $5 on sale. It took me about a week, but I didn't work on it everyday. Pretty easy pattern.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Recipe #3

Creamy Fruit Salad
20 oz canned pineapple chunks, drained
15oz canned peaches, drained
11oz mandarin oranges, drained - reserve 1/3 cup
4 med. apples, peeled and diced
1 cup milk
1/3 cup orange juice from mandarin orange can
4 serving sugar free vanilla pudding mix
8oz plain yogurt or 8 oz sour cream
Put milk and orange juice in a large bowl.
Stir in pudding mix until blended.
Stir in sour cream or yogurt.
Finally add all the fruit and mix well. It will become thicker upon refrigeration. This is also good with grapes or chopped nuts on top.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Madelyn and Natalie had their 2nd soccer game today. Natalie scored. Madelyn scored last week. They are both on the same team, which is nice for us. Next year, they will be separated. We are very proud that there is more hustling and less holding hands and playing with the other girls on the team this year.
Hopefully, I will get the information on changing countries this week and I can start on the Vietnam dossier. When I got done with the last one, I kept thinking that the next dossier, I would do things a little faster. Less staggering paperwork like they suggested and try to get all my stuff out the first week and wait for everyone to return what they need to. Who knew the next dossier would only be a month away instead of a few years away like I had imagined? I guess God did. Funny joke on me.
Not much news today, I worked 7-11 Friday, 3-11 Saturday and 7-11 Sunday, so the days I work, not much else goes on. I like the evening shift, but it is hard to go to bed early on the days I don't work when I am used to staying up to at least 12:30 am on the evenings I work. Last night I was up until 2:30am. Good thing Aaron was off for Columbus day today.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Recipe #2

Creamy Broccoli Casserole
2 pkg. frozen broccoli florets (about 20 ounces)
1 can cream of mushroom
1/4 cup milk
1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Bisquick
1/4 firm butter
Cook and drain broccoli (I usually microwave with a vented cover about 8min.)
Place broccoli in ungreased 8x12 casserole dish.
Beat soup and milk until smooth.
Pour over broccoli.
Sprinkle with cheese
Mix baking mix and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cheese
Bake at 400. until crumbs are light brown. About 20 min.

This is my favorite broccoli casserole. Unless you enjoy the hard broccoli pieces of stem that they fill up the broccoli bag with, spend the extra money to get broccoli FLORETS. They are so much better.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pumpkin Patch, Doctor, and Adoption

Here are the girls waiting on the hay wagon to go and get their pumpkins. We had a good time, although it was quite a bit hotter than October should be. I had to have 20 people for a tour and barely made 19 until 3 people showed up about 45 min. late. The farm was way out in the boonies and took a lot longer than we thought. I was panicking the last minute on Tuesday, since I had 2 families cancel on me, but I called Aaron's parents and invited them, and they brought 2 of their friends. We went with a group from our homeschool church school.

We got to ride out to a field and pick pumpkins, crawl through a trough of corn, play in the hay, dig for root vegetables in a sandbox, pick cotton, feed chickens, pet goats, listen to a pumpkin story, and have a picnic. Aaron took off work and went with us. Madelyn's favorite part was picking cotton. She said she could pick cotton all day long and never get tired. Of course we picked for about 15 min. She spent all evening last night trying to separate the seeds from the cotton so she can grow some herself.

Took all three girls to the doctor this morning for their yearly checkups. Everyone is healthy and they did really well. We washed our hands numerous times with the hand sanitizer, so hopefully, we didn't come home with more than we took in. So often, when we get home after doctor's appts., the kids end up sick within the week. All three got their flu shots. I was hoping they would have the flumist nasal spray like our last pediatrician in Georgia, but no, everyone got stuck. I was very proud of Madelyn who cried silent crocodile tears while waiting for the nurse, but stood there motionless while she got the shot in her arm. Natalie was very brave and laughing, until the nurse came in and made her lay down, then she flipped out a little. Hannah of course had no idea what was going on until she got to watch both of them get it, then of course she flipped out a little too. While Madelyn was silently crying, it was cute and sweet when Hannah went over to her and wiped her tear away and said "It's ok poopy" All in all, the doctor's office wasn't the total nightmare I was expecting.

We are seriously considering changing countries to adopt from. I spoke to our agency yesterday for the first time since hearing the news last week, and they don't have a whole lot of info. A lot of stuff us up in the air right now. I am waiting to hear from the case manager from Vietnam to call me and talk about that country. I dread starting a new dossier and am hoping that some of our Guatemalan dossier will work for our Vietnam, if we decide to change. They told us that no matter what, they know there will be delays in the Guatemalan adoptions and at some point they will be closing down to completely redo the system. When that happened before, they said it was closed for 6 months. So, Aaron and I figured, whether we stay with Guatemala and wait through the delays hoping that it opens back up or change countries, it will mean redoing a lot of our dossier, since many things in the dossier we did this summer will expire in a year. Hohummm - that is me sighing. Been praying hard that God will lead us as to where to go.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Recipe of the Week

Since I enjoy cooking so much, I thought I would try to post a few of my favorite recipes. Here is one that makes lots of gravy while cooking, so make sure you make some mashed potatoes or rice to pour it on.

3-4 lb sirloin tip roast, or beef roast of your choice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1tsp of garlic powder
1 packet of dry mushroom gravy
1/2 cup of A-1

Brown roast on both sides in large skillet using some oil.
Put roast in a crock pot. Put all ingredients in on top of roast and turn crock pot on low for about 10-11 hours. Turn roast a few times while cooking to mix the sauces. No need to put any water in, the roast makes it's own gravy while it cooks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

date and time

For some reason, my posts are all showing up the same date and time. I don't know why, I will have to look into this. By the way, it is Friday about 4:15pm.

New Adoption Update

After that excited blog yesterday, last evening about 20 min. before leaving for work, I checked my email and there was a letter from our agency. I don't really understand, but the jist of it was that starting Jan. 1 2008 there will be no adoptions allowed by the Guatemalan govt. to nonHague countries, which includes the US. So, we have two choices 1. change countries 2. wait and see if they change their mind or it is overruled.
So right now, of course, our agency is not going to refer any more babies.
I know that God knows where our baby is, now it is up to Aaron and I to pray and listen to see where God decides to lead us. Whether to stay and wait, or maybe this was God's plan all along and our daughter was never in Guatemala.
I am so stressed and last night at work, I was almost lightheaded with worry. It didn't help that I read it right before walking out the door. So, I am slowly calming down. If our daughter isn't in Guatemala, I know someday I will be able to look back and be thankful that God led us in this direction.
It is just hard to give up a dream even if you know that God has better dreams for you. For instance, I went through mild mourning of the dream of having a boy that looked just like Aaron. Everyone with an awesome husband I think wants a boy just like him. When it became clear that God was planning something different, then I had to give up that dream and it is hard,but I don't have a problem with it anymore. It won't happen, no sense in grieving.
Then, when I knew I wasn't going to carry another baby, I mourned that dream and prayed that God would help me get over that. And He did and now, I don't really have a desire at all to get pregnant. (And when I waver, Aaron makes vomiting noises and brings me back to reality) For 5 years, I have pictured our adopted baby as Guatemalan. A little, chubby long black haired, dark skinned baby. Now, I have to alter my dreams. Of course, they may change their minds. I just want everyone to say a little prayer that we will go in the direction God wants us to. Thanks for listening.
I will be at a Ladies Retreat tonight from church and Aaron is taking the girls to see his parents - his dad's birthday is tomorrow. Karen

Adoption Update

We are currently number 51 on the girls' waiting list. They are predicting that it will take around 9 months for a referral. That was last month, so now I will say 8 months. The first week of every month, they call all the people on the waiting list to update them on a number, so next week we should be getting our call. I am excited because yesterday I received an email from our agency that they sent to everyone on the girls' list saying that there are currently 53 families on the girls waiting list and only 16 on the boys'. The agency was just letting us "girl" people know that if we wanted to change over to boy the wait would be much shorter, so if any of us didn't care which gender, then maybe we would want to change.
We aren't going to change, since we feel 100% that God made it clear to us that He has a girl in mind for us.
But, as I told Aaron last night, there may be a lot of "girl" people who switch to "boy" to get a shorter wait time, and if they do, then that means we will move up faster when those people switch. Who knows though, there may be no one switch.
We went to Birmingham Saturday morning and got fingerprinted for the 4th time and hopefully the last. We got fingerprinted twice for our homestudy, the first set wasn't readable and had to be redone. Once for our agency, and the last time for CIS. I was so scared and prayed all day Friday and Friday night that we wouldn't get sick and miss our appt. time. It was 9am Saturday and at our Friday coop classes, there were 2 kids in Hannah's class vomiting. Then, Aaron took the girls to a birthday party Friday night while I was at work and the birthday boy vomited 3 times at the party. My prayer was "Lord, just let them wait to get sick until we get back from Birmingham" Missing our appt. would have meant losing almost $800, since we would forfiet all that money and have to reapply. God answered my prayer even better in that none of the girls got the stomach virus this round.
There were 3 papers in our dossier that need to be corrected. I have 2 back to the agency corrected and I am still working on the 3rd. Aaron's medical form. He misspelled a word on the original and put a line through it and the Guatemalan govt. doesn't allow mark throughs. So, I sent it back to the doctor and asked the doctor and notary who works in the MD office to please just redo it exactly as before and send it back. If they were nice enough to put the same dates as before , I wouldn't have to county and state certify again. Unfortunately, they put September date, but upon further inspection, they signed 2 separate dates. The whole point of having a notary is that the notary is saying that they actually saw that person sign, so having 2 dates makes it a little unbelievable, so I will have to get it redone again. I hate to keep bothering them, but usually when people find out they are helping with an adoption, they are happy to help.

Working hard!

Here are the girls working hard at school. I have trouble finding enough space for all of them to have enough room to work, so these tv trays have been real nice for that. Unfortunately, we don't have enough chairs to furnish both the kitchen table and our homeschool table, so every day it means carrying chairs back and forth. Don't feel sorry for me though, it is my fault. I am too cheap to buy new chairs and despise shopping so much that I am too lazy to make myself go t0 yardsales.
As you can see behind Hannah, there is a mess on the dresser. Or you could see it as a blessing - most of them are clothes given to us that I haven't gotten around to sorting through.
Madelyn is in 1st grade this year, Natalie is in Kindergarten, and Hannah just likes to be in the same room with all of us. Sometimes she wanders out to the living room to watch cartoons or plays, and sometimes she colors, and other days I read books with her while the other two work alone. (And some days, I say "stop interrupting/talking/humming/singing/making noise/etc. so that I can help your sister!!!")
We are enjoying the curriculum this year. It is called Children Around the World. I thought it was fitting since we will be adopting a child from another country this year. It comes with maps, books, cookbooks, cultural activities, stories, books for me to read to the girls, books for Madelyn to read to me, all about children from other places. Last night we had our meal from Spain - Spanish rice, flan, and fried bananas (I couldn't find plantains, and the bananas ended up looking like a pile of grubs. I couldn't even bring myself to taste them because of how they looked) The Spanish rice was really good, although Aaron and I are the only ones who really liked it. Flan was good since it was really just vanilla pudding with cinnamon.
A few weeks ago, Aaron's parents were here and we had our Irish supper - Irish stew (made with beef since I couldn't find lamb - not much choices in the grocery stores here), Irish Soda bread, Irish potato cakes, and apple cinnamon bread. Again, mostly the adults who liked the food, the kids just picked at it. France is next week, maybe it will go over better.
Enough blogging for now. Karen

Just Starting to Blog

Hello! I finally decided to start bloggin after reading numberous blogs daily. It seems to be a good way to help our friends and family keep up with what is going on in our lives. I am also hoping to use this blog to keep people posted on our adoption and our homeschooling.
It will probably be a while before this blogsite is nice and pretty and I start utilizing all it has to offer. I am not too good with the computer and if anything messes up, I am usually yelling for Aaron to come help me. Plus, all of you that have been in my home realize that I am not a very decorative person, so plain and simple is what you will get. By the way, it will most likely be me, Karen, who writes these blogs, if Aaron ever decides to write, I will tell him to be sure and identify himself.