Monday, February 25, 2008

A beautiful day

Well, it has turned out to be a beautiful day today. The sun is out and it is warm, or at least I think it is in the high 50's. It has rained so much the last month, that between the rain, the cold and sicknesses, we have been in so much. I feel like maybe a lot of my catching sickness is due to being unhealthy, and not exercising as much. So, since we are feeling good today, I packed up the 2 bikes and the wagon. We drove over to the park and the girls rode their bikes, while I pulled Hannah in the wagon. She has never rode her big wheel on a trail as long as the one we were riding - probably a little over a mile. It was very nice to get out and about.
I stopped on the way to drop off Madelyn's money from the Girl Scout cookies she sold. She sold a total of 91 boxes. Her troop has sold over 2000 boxes so far and still may have another cookie booth sale next weekend.
It is good for Madelyn to have her own thing. I lead the Daisy troop here which has a total of 4 including Natalie. We meet every other week at the same time as the Brownie troop. Next year, Natalie will move up to Brownies and the leader of the Brownie troop this year is already trying to recruit me for next year. I will be a coleader for sure, but am not planning on being too depended on, since, Lord willing, we will be headed to Vietnam sometime during the 2008/2009 school year, and whenever you add another baby, life gets hectic and a little disorganized until you find a pattern again.
Back where we lived before here, I started a discussion group that met every other week. I read the book Created to Be His Help Meet, and loved it and decided that it would be a great discussion group. So, after much thought, I have decided to start one here too. At first I was hesitant and truthfully, wasn't looking forward to it. It is a little contraversial and I guess being sick and all lately, I just didn't feel like more stress in my life. But I finally decided to just do it and sent out 8 or so invitations. I started with 2 people I knew I was going to invite and had been praying for a few months as to who to invite if I did start one.
One lady that I sent the invitation to - whose name I got as a suggestion from someone else I had invited - and I didn't even know her -emailed me last week. It was awesome to see God working and let me know that it was God pushing me to start a discussion group even though I really didn't feel like it.
She said she had been having some marriage problems, and that a few weeks before, a friend had mentioned a book to her, but didn't tell her the name. She got my invitation on a Wed. night and she already decided to come, and thought how it was perfect timing, etc. The next day after getting my invitation - less than 12 hours later, she recieved the book that her friend had mentioned to her weeks before and guess what book? Of course it was the one we are planning on studying.
Aaron mentioned last night before going to bed "I hate making breakfast and packing my lunch" Doesn't it seem that the mundane things of life that have to be done get so old? Oh well, that made me realize that I really need to get on the ball and get up with Aaron whenever I can to cook him breakfast and pack his lunch. I love doing it for him, and once my feet are on the floor, I am awake, but it is so hard for me to get out of the bed. Last night, I sat the 2nd alarm for the time when Aaron gets out of the shower and actually woke up before. I love our time together in the morning. Usually it is kid free, but Hannah got up at the same time today. When I work, it is usually 7-11 or 3-11 pm, so those mornings after that, I sleep in until the kids wake up, but there is no reason other than my own laziness to not get out of bed in the early mornings if I haven't worked the day before.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Strep Throat - Oh the Pain!!

We went to go look at the 20 acres on Saturday. It was so beautiful. The land was almost completely covered with briars and such, and we had to weave our way through the "forest" Because that is pretty much what it was - a forest. It was hilly and had a few cliffs. There is a tiny creek that runs on the property, plus a bigger stream. Close to the stream was an area mostly made of rocks covered with lichens and moss. There was also a little cave where the stream was coming out of. I really hope that we can get it. The owner is planning on calling next week to see if we can get a road going into the property, so I guess I don't want to get my hopes up too much, but we loved it.
As I predicted, I felt much worse on Saturday. So going and hiking up and down on 20 acres was probably not the best thing for me. My throat was killing me, and since my nose was stopped up, and I have been extremely out of shape due to all the sicknesses I seem to attract. I was drugged up on Dayquil, ibuprofen, and more. I woke up this morning and felt even worse. I don't think my throat hurt this bad when I had mono.
Aaron took Madelyn and Natalie to class at church this morning and came home before worship so that I could go to the walkin clinic 25 miles from here. There were more cars there than I have ever seen and there were no chairs left after I sat down. I was there for 2 hours before they saw me, and there was only one doctor - one nurse. I know they were doing the best they can, but whew, when you feel awful, the last thing you want to do is sit around in a doctor's office. Anyway, I have strep now too.
Aaron took all 3 girls to church tonight and since we teach the Sunday night kids class of k - 6th graders, he handled it on his own. He had 17 kids. I am so proud of him. They finished watching a movie about Joseph that we had started last week, then he went over some questions that he had come up with.
Not much more news. Just hoping that the antibiotics will kick in fast and kill the pain in my throat.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dossier Update and Sick Again

Their were two documents that needed to be fixed with our dossier. I heard back from our agency on Tuesday. Wednesday night at church I was able to get our notary friend to notarize the corrected papers. So, I sent one to the agency, and I sent the other one to the state to be state certified and on the return envelope, I went ahead and put our agency's address so it will go straight to them. Hopefully it will be there by the end of next week, and then our stuff will be on it's way to be translated.
Aaron stayed home with Madelyn from church on Wednesday night b/c she has this weird rash. I thought it might be impetigo and that is contagious. I started putting neosporin on it on Thursday and she continues to get new spots as the old ones heal. So, kept all 3 girls home today from their weekly 3 hour classes that we go to every Friday. Much to their disappointment. Today was Aaron's normal Friday off and so I was able to take Madelyn to the doctor alone. The less hands touching doctor's office stuff the less germs we bring home. I couldn't find my purse size alcohol soap, so I took the pump one. If any of you know me, I am a tiny purse carrier, so this thing of alcohol scrup was sticking out about 3 inches above the top of my purse and periodically in the waiting room, I would scrub our hands. I am sure the moms in the waiting room actually letting their children play with waiting room toys and read waiting room books during flu season thought I was a bit much. But when you have taken home more than a prescription from the doctor's office too many times, you get a little obsessive with the hand soap.
Back to Madelyn, she does have impetigo and the doctor decides she wants to see her throat. I had told her Madelyn, Natalie, Hannah, and Aaron have all had bad colds over the last few weeks. So, she sees a spot on her tonsil and decides to do a strep test and sure enough - it is positive. I am so glad we didn't go to school.
I think I am finally getting their cold. I am running a low grade temp. but am taking ibuprofen and dayquil and that makes it slightly tolerable.
About 3-4 weeks ago, Aaron and I were looking at a few houses since we are still renting after moving here a year ago. Well, we really want more than 10 acres, and the houses we were looking at were less than 5. After 10 years of marriage, and 4 states, this is probably the first place we have lived where we might actually afford land if the right price came up. We live in a very rural area. I love it!!! At one house we were looking at, I mentioned to the realtor, that we really wanted more than 10. She told us that she knew a guy wanting to sell 20 acres. The price was awesome. That was a long time ago and we know where the land is, and have seen it from the road - kind of.
So, in the meantime, we stopped looking at houses, hoping that we might be able to buy some land and build a small house with a basement where we could finish the basement as we get more money. Finally, tonight the realtor called and the owner said we could go and walk the land with the realtor tomorrow. I will most likely feel horrid if today is any indication of tomorrow, but still, maybe it will be good enough land that we can have our tiny farm after all these years.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dossier on it's way!!!!!!!!!

Dossier on it's way!!!! Finally, finally, finally!!! My last paper finally came back on Thursday. The Sunday before, I had made copies of all of our dossier except that one paper. Thursday afternoon, went and made copies of that piece, organized our dossier in order, finished our picture papers and took it Friday afternoon to UPS to mail it. It should be there on Tuesday. I am so happy and it is such a load lifted off my shoulders. I should have our number on the GIRLS waiting list by Wednesday.
I am really hoping that all of our documents look good and none of them need to be redone. Now we wait...
And we need to make the decision as to whether to take the 3 girls on our trip across the world. I know we probably have more than 12 months to travel, but if we do take the girls, we will need to work on passports and possibly some preventative shots before we go. Aaron and I have already gotten half of our Hep A shots that they recommended for Guatemala and Aaron is working on his Hep B (I got mine in Nursing school). If we do decide to leave them, then it will be 2+ weeks without them. I can hardly stand the thought, but we may need to plan a few weekends away at the grandparents for practice. Then I think about 24+ hours of traveling with 3 kids, then 2 weeks in a foreign country with a 4th child we are just meeting and I get nervous. I guess I just need to pray about it and see how much money we have by that time and how much God provides. More updates to come later in the week.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Too Close to Home

If you read the last post, you see that I was up late writing b/c of the impending storm that was giving me the willys. (please excuse all of the mispelled words in the last post, I proofread it and still missed was late.) I finally went to bed. Laid there for a while giving God the glory for His power on earth and praying that He would either blow or take His finger and route the impending tornados around our house and keep us safe.
Around 3:10 am I woke to wind howling worse than I have ever heard, lightning striking all around our house and rain sounding like someone was pouring a huge water jug over our house. It was very loud. Then it stopped. It was real quiet and calm for a few minutes, then the wind and rain picked up again, although not as loud and that continued for a while. I came out to the living room and flipped on the tv to see what was going on. On the doppler radar, they had swirls drawn over right where we lived. So, I put two crib mattresses in the bathroom floor and moved Madelyn and Natalie in there to sleep. Put Hannah in bed with Aaron, so he could grab her easy and run if another one came. By that point, it seemed to be passing us on tv and moving down the road. About 20 min. after the winds woke me up we heard and saw the first responders speeding by, then the fire trucks a couple of minutes later, followed finally by the ambulances. Then the ambulances making their way back to the hospital.

They were announcing on tv that 20 people were in the ER at the tiny hospital I work at. We only have room for 37 people on the floor I work on (which is the only floor) and 7-8 in the ICU. Last week when I worked we were full.

At 5am, we started getting phone calls to see if we were ok, starting with our preacher's wife, she knew we were close to the storm. Between 5 and 7 I probably got about 10 phone calls checking on us. Work called to see if I could come in and help, but unfortunately I wasn't able to since Aaron had left for work. I was able to go in from 3-7 to help relieve some that had come in early to help.

The girls and I went to drive around the damage this morning and I took these pictures. Of course it always looks worse in person. The road where the family of 3 died was blocked so we didn't get to go down it and see the worst of the damage. The damage started probably 1/2-1 mile from our house, so it barely missed us. Sorry about the duplicate pictures.

3 families from our church were hit, I know 2 of them completely with their homes gone. One lady is still in the ICU at the hospital with a collapsed lung.
I am thankful that God heard my prayer that night and protected us.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stormy Weather

Well, it is late and I am still up. We are due some bad storms tonight and I can't sleep.
I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I would use this time to catch up.

We have been studying Canada this week, so last night, Natalie and I made Banana Bread and Peanut butter Cookies. In honor of a Canadian holiday Boxing Day, which is actually on Dec. 26th., we boxed up some of our goodies and inteneded to take them to the staff at our church. I wrote a note thanking them for embracing us this past year. Noone was at the building, so I was able to find our preacher's house on some directions she gave me long ago and decided to just take it over there. We got there about 9:30 I guess and I sent all three girls to the door with the box of food and was going to just stand at the car, but they instisted we come in. So, the girls and I ended up staying until about 11:45. It was so nice to have someone to talk to during the day. I have probably mentioned this before, but stay at home moms are a rarety here. And to actually find someone who agrees with me about staying at home and homeschool in our new city. Wow. It was refreshing and gave me hope that I may fit in with at least a few people here.
But let me just put a disclaimer here.
People have been nothing but nice, but I when you are odd, you are odd. I always feel that if you are planning on being odd when it comes to certain things, and you aren't willing to change b/c you feel odd, if your convictions are strong enough about how you are living your life that it won't make you live differently, then don't complain about feeling "odd" That is how I have felt for the last year. I am not planning on sending my kids to school or working fulltime, so I will just have to remain Odd in other people's minds and deal with not exactly fitting in. But if you are planning on staying different, that is your choice, but don't complain that you don't fit in. So, I am not complaining, and have tried not to complain about not having a close friend here yet, but I am going to voice thanks for possibly another oddball. Hopefully some of that last rambling made sense. (no offense to her, of course)
Before going on our "visit" this morning the girls and I drove the car next door to the church where we vote. I know - everyone buckling to get on the highway to immediately turn into the parking lot. We are very particular that our girls are buckled in car seats no matter how short a drive. Madelyn has not reached the limit for a booster seat and even though it seems that most kids here don't buckle, let alone ride in carseats, you can't be too careful with your children. We would have walked, but it was rainy and we were on our way to somewhere else. This is the 2nd time I took all 3 to vote. First time was when Madelyn was 4, Natalie 2 1/2 and Hannah about 6 weeks old. It was interesting and tiring, but worth it and especially good for the girls to see a little of what this amazing country is all about. Another perk of homeschooling - I never once got to go vote until I was 18, had no idea what to expect, but the girls I hope learned a little today. They actually walked over with Aaron today when he got home from work so he could vote too.
It was so cute tonight, Natalie was the last one awake and she saw on the news that there had been tornados in TN and that some people had been killed. She came running in here to me and repeated what she had heard. Then I could see her wheels turning and she said "Granny and Grandpa" and teared up. I told her that I was sure they were ok, but she wasn't convinced, so I dialed the number so she could call and rest assured that they were still alive. And they were.
Oh, yeah, still not turned in our dossier. I was all excited last week - got our homestudy back and was going through all of our paperwork, putting it in order, planning on going to the church building to make copies and I happened to find a paper, stuck to the back of another group of papers, that I had failed to have county and state certified. So... I traipsed down to the courthouse and had it county certified and mailed it off last week, and it still isn't back. I was expecting it back already, so that is a little depressing. I only have myself to blame since I should have looked through the paperwork before, just to make sure.
Ever seen the movie Poltergiest? I haven't seen it in probably 20 years, but I remember part of that movie where someone is running down the hall trying to make it to the bedroom. But even though they run and put a lot of effort into it, they never get any closer to the bedroom. The door never gets closer and if anything, the hallway seems to be getting longer.
That is how this adoption feels. I have put a lot of effort into it and it is like we are going on this long, hard journey, but aren't getting any closer to the goal. So frustrating. And I know that we are closer, and I also know that someday, when that baby is home with us, we will thank God for His timing. I will say "I am so glad that I overlooked that paper way back in Jan 2008 b/c if I hadn't, then we would have been a different number on the waiting list and we wouldn't have _____. " But right now, it seems so far away. We started in March, got on the Guatemala waiting list in September, started our change of country in October, and still are not back on a waiting list.
Well, maybe next week we will be a number.