Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We usually "blow up" our Christmas tree on New Year's Eve but I worked all day, T volunteered all day and we are getting ready to leave for a mini-vacation tomorrow. We didn't really feel like celebrating anyway so, we're being duds and going to bed early. We are looking forward to our little get away. Have a safe and happy celebration and a blessed 2008!

T's Christmas break

T has had a chance to work on his truck some during this Christmas break. He's not trying to "restore" it, just make a daily driver out of it. So far he has put power steering, power brakes, new steering column, rewired it and this week he got the new gas tank mounted. The gas tank was in the cab behind the seat and now it's underneath the bed. He had to give up a day working on the truck to put a new alternator on the van. Here is a pic with the bed of the truck suspended from the carport rafter while he fastened the gas tank on.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Soup Joumou (Haitian pumpkin soup)

I've learned to cook a few Haitian dishes. This is a recipe for pumpkin soup which Haitians traditionally serve on New Year's Day. People make a batch of soup and then if someone visits that is what they serve them. New Year's Day is a big holiday in Haiti. I'm not one to follow recipes exactly. I tend to think of them more like suggestions or outlines. And Haitians of course use fresh herbs and seasonings and pumpkins that they cook down but I can buy it ready to go in a can. I'm for easy recipes. This doesn't sound that great but our girls ask for it sometimes. My mom has never gotten past the pumpkin part and tried the soup but it's basically a veggie soup in a pumpkin base instead of tomato base.

Soup Joumou (Haitian Pumpkin soup)

1 lb. cubed (or ground) beef
1 lb. chicken
1-2 sliced onions (to taste)
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. parsley
pinch of cloves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. beef bouillon
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 can pumpkin
turnips, carrots, potatoes, celery, cabbage
1/4 lb. spaghetti or other pasta (if you use spaghetti, break it into 1/4's)

Cook beef and chicken. Shred chicken. Put meat in a large pot and add about 6 cups water, seasonings, veggies (except cabbage) lemon juice, pumpkin and pasta. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer over low heat for 1/2 hr. Add more water if necessary. Cut up cabbage and add to soup. Cook until veggies are done. Serve with French bread or garlic toast. Bon appetit!

Friday, December 28, 2007

One of THOSE days

Today is Friday, not Monday. It seems they got confused somehow. Last night we heard that the files that our O had in MOI were sent back because some stamp was missing from the second legal office. At this point I'm just like, ha! Whatever. We've been "paper pregnant" for 27 months now. This is absurd. But I don't have to understand it. I have to trust God. Prayers appreciated. ~ The girls and I had planned to shop today since R and I were both off work. My mom decided to go with us too. It rained all day. ~ Dexter yacked a hairball on my purse in the middle of the night and I found it this morning. ~ We decided to take my mom's van because ours has been iffy on the starting. T took our van to Autozone and had the battery and alternator checked. They said the alternator was bad. $200. Thank God my hubby knows how to work on cars. Curse the people who designed the minivan engine compartment. Kidding-sort of. He had to take like 50 things off to the get to the one thing that really needed to come off. It is back on and he is returning the old alternator for the deposit money back. Hopefully that solves the iffy starting problem as we are taking a little trip next week. T had intended to work on his truck today. There's always tomorrow. ~ I wasted 45 minutes at the DMV office this morning because my driver's license expires on Jan. 2 and I work on the 31st and leave for mini-vacation on the 1st. I got in the information line and they told me to fill things out on the computer in the corner and then they would call my name for my pic. Should take 15 minutes. I got in line for the computer, filled it out and sat down and waited. Okay, somebody farted in there. It wasn't pretty. Then the two people who were ahead of me on the computers got called up. I thought, okay, I'm next. Not too bad. Then they call like 6-8 other people up there. I finally got up without my name being called and asked if they even had me in their computer. Oh no. My name got lost between the computer where I filled things out and his computer to have my pic taken. Yes, that would be me. Lost between the computers. Just call me Ziggy. I told him that coming to the DMV was one of my least favorite things to do. Right up there with doctor appointments. He said this was his least favorite thing to do also. I looked at him and laughed. Turns out he's a state trooper who just had knee surgery and they stuck him in the DMV snapping mugshots with inferior computer equipment. He was great. 45 minutes after I entered, I did walk out with my new driver's license. ~ All I ended up buying today was boring groceries and household stuff at Wal-Mart. My children found some cool bargains though. ~ In light of the current theme in my life to "praise God anyway" I am thankful for a few things. I'm thankful for time spent with my mom and daughters. I'm thankful that T was able to get the part on the car and to do it before our trip. I'm thankful that they are at least working on our file at MOI. I'm thankful that my finger is so much better. Who would've thought that cutting off the side of the fingernail would help so much. Go figure. I'm thankful that I don't have to sit through the DMV and get my pic taken for another few years and for a state trooper with a good attitude even though he has to sit at the DMV office everyday. Bless him. And I'm still thankful for my cats, even if they yack on my purse in the middle of the night.
Amy

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas thoughts and pics

~ We really did have a nice Christmas this year. I had some mixed emotions. I remember watching the Muppets Christmas Carol last year and wondering how J would react to it. I never dreamed he wouldn't be here for this Christmas. His gifts are here waiting on him. Our O directors set it up so us adoptive parents could call our kids on Christmas day but we were never able to get through. That was sad. This is our third Christmas without our son here. He's been legally ours since May. We've been waiting on a signature to apply for a passport for 7 months. We've been in the adoption process for 27 months. It really shouldn't be this hard to adopt a child. At times I struggled with laughing and having fun here while J sits in an orphanage, separated from his family. And yet, we can't stop living life because he's not here. It's a struggle. I know I don't have to understand, I have to trust God. But it's so hard. I'm thankful J is alive and healthy, in a good O and enjoyed Christmas with his friends. I'm glad we got to send him his gifts. I'm thankful we were able to enjoy Christmas and laugh with family and friends in spite of the pain of our son not being with us. I'm thankful that our friend who was just diagnosed with Guillian-Barre Syndrome was able to get a pass from the hospital and join us on Christmas eve. I'm thankful for the love and support of family and friends. Above all, I'm thankful to God for sending His Son, the greatest gift of all.

~ We joined our friends on Christmas eve which has been a tradition for several years now. We ate, laughed, sang, read the story of the Lord's birth, played "dirty Santa" (where one person opens a gift and then the next person can "steal" it or open another one and on down the line) and opened gifts. T and I were given a set of framed pics of our kids-all of them.

~ On Christmas morning we opened gifts here and then cooked and got ready to go to my brother's house. We ate, laughed, played games and opened gifts. My niece got one of those dance video games. What a hoot! Then the older generation played against the younger generation in Mad Gab. The youngsters won but my ever competitive brother said one more round, winner take all and we beat them. Then we played Need for Speed. I must admit that this is one of my favorite video games. My children have been beating me for years though and I don't play much anymore. Well, the girls whooped the boys. My nephew's girlfriend took top honors in that game. Whoo, whoo, whoo! You go girl! We noticed that A could carry on a conversation about something else and whoop someone at the same time. This is a little scary considering she can get her learner's permit in a few short months! I forgot to add here that the kids also played a karaoke type game where you sing along with it while it shows the words and how well you sing it. It tells you things like perfect, good, bad, awful at the end of each line and you get more points the better you do. My nephew creamed the girls on Britney Speers "Baby, Baby" and Cyndi Lauper "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". Too funny.

~ Here are some pics; This is the tree with gifts under it including J's bike. I can't wait for you to get here, son, and try out your bike. R wanted the dishes. She has been collecting that pattern for 6-8 months now.
This is Dexter on his perch, getting a bird's eye view of the house. And looking down on us, his loyal and attentive servants-oh, I mean his owners.


Misty sleeping in an opened box under the tree. She probably just removed several ornaments and had to take a nap. The cats broke the smoke stack off of the train that goes around the tree.

At our friend's house Christmas eve. We're so glad that M and C could join us. Go M! Kick Guillian-Barre's butt.
Awww, sisterly love. Actually, they must have been telling a secret.
Le cousins, at my brother's house.
Dance revolution. Dance, dance, baby! That's nephew's girlfriend and R.

A and her uncle.

T and my dad. Too funny!

And here is J under the Christmas tree at the O. Thanks to another adoptive mom for taking the pic. He does look happy, doesn't he? We sent those gifts down in October firmly believing that they could take J's name off and give them to someone else because J would be home. Ha! Again, I don't understand it but I just have to trust God.

Hope y'all had a Merry CHRISTmas!

Amy

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Rambling again

Fat finger update; the doc said it looks good and that it can take up to 6 weeks for everything to resolve and new nail to start growing in. I'm supposed to keep lotion on it. It still has some tender spots but I noticed on Wed. that it wasn't swelling much through the day anymore. Yeah!

I think all my Christmas shopping is done. All the wrapping is not done and I have a lot of baking to do. Sigh...

We still haven't heard anything regarding the adoption paperwork. We were hoping to hear that our file was out of MOI before Christmas. I just don't understand this process or how it's good. But I guess I don't have to understand it, I have to trust God.

Both girls were gone last night. A was babysitting so the parents could go out to eat and then shopping. R was serving at a dinner theater to earn tip money for Beta club trip. We answered the phone and took messages for our girls while they were gone. Oh wait, someone did actually call to talk to me.

A's cat, Misty, has had a special little bond with T since we first brought her home. She is such a funny cat. This is the one that likes to sit in the stroller and drink water from a sippy cup. We got her from the humane society when she was about 3 months old. As soon as we walked into the room she was clinging to the side of her cage and had her paw out reaching for us. A adopted her immediately. We think she must have been separated from her mother fairly young because she would suck on our earlobes. She still does this now and then. Anyway, one of her favorite things to do is to jump up on T's lap and touch his nose with her nose. Then she rubs her face in his beard. The other night she got in his lap and rooted in under his arm. This is how they looked.
Aren't they cute?

Friday, December 21, 2007

If you've got a minute...

...check out these guys singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas". It's really good and too funny. Not as much energy as the Johnsons-McCormick twins, but good none the less.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The official word is...

...our file is still in MOI. Sigh...our O asked about their files, giving the file #'s MOI had given them, and 4 out of 9 had the wrong file #'s. Ours is one of the wrong #'s. So now our file is lost in MOI but our O director seemed pretty positive about them finding our file and signing it out soon. It just doesn't seem to end for us. At least they are working on it and God knows where it is, even if we don't. Please keep praying. Our file has been in MOI since the end of May.

Finger update; I see improvement every day. It looks kind of nasty because the dry skin is all around what remains of a tiny scab. But it is not swelling every day like it was. I can make a complete fist with that hand now. I haven't been able to do that in a month. I do have a Dr. appointment tomorrow. Hopefully the last one. I'm ready for this little trip to be over too.

Amy

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas pic of J

We just got this new pic of J in an email from another adoptive mom who is staying in Haiti until she can bring her daughter home. We met her in June when we were there so she has been there for 6 months. He's looking so much older. Sigh...please, Lord, bring him home soon.

Monday, December 17, 2007

R's target practice

We live in a rural area. We go to a small church. One of the things that the guys in the church do regularly is get together for target practice. They got together yesterday after church, at our house, and decided to invite the ladies this time too. Keep in mind that it was the coldest day of the season so far and we had snow flurries in the morning. A surprising amount of people bundled up and came for target practice. R had to work and was let down that she had to miss the target practice. She was happy to find out that she could leave early and got home in time to fire her daddy's gun. For those of you who are wondering, we do keep our guns locked, unloaded and out of sight. Anyway, the gun slipped down her shoulder a little and the scope got her in the eye on the recoil. She came in the house and checked herself out in the mirror. When she saw blood, she decided to lay down before she passed out. This is her laying on the floor. I have no idea why she is smiling.


The little cut looked an awful lot like the one she got on the bridge of her nose in a horse riding incident with her cousin. She had a run in with a cedar tree and the tree won. She had "cedar rash" all over her face at that time and her glasses cut into the bridge of her nose leaving an open cut that required 4 stitches. This cut looked like that one. She refused to have it looked at and thinking about explaining to ER personnel how she cut her eye at a "church shoot out party" we decided to respect her wishes and just put a butterfly on it. Her eye went bloodshot right away so she took her contact out of that eye. Then we had to patch it so she wasn't straining her eyes. Here she is with her butterfly before the patch. Again, we're not sure why she is smiling.
She wore the butterfly to school and both contacts and answered the "what did you do?" question multiple times. When she got home she peeled the butterfly off. Here is what it looks like now. A did something that made her laugh and that is why she is smiling in this pic. You can see that it's bruising just a little. Goofy kid. It's not like she never fired a gun before and her dad was right next to her. Just one of those things.

It was Monday all day today. I kept getting strange interruptions, phone calls, and more phone calls, I spilled a basket full of little office type supplies, etc. We still haven't heard any word about the adoption process. And so it goes.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cats

~ It's late at night and here I am putting some pics on the blog. R is on a date with her boyfriend, another “J”. They are double dating with another couple and went to the Chipmunk movie. The problem was that by the time they got there it was sold out. So they all had to call home and get permission to stay for the late show. The rest of us went over to some friend’s house and practiced for a dramatic interpretation of the song “Christmas Shoes” that we are doing for church. It’s a family of 4 and they are all in it. The 8 year old (well, he turns 8 just after midnight tonight) is playing the little boy, dad is playing the man who narrates/gives the kid some money, mom is the mom (of course) and the 4 year old is going to sing in the last part where the kids sing the chorus. Talented family. The 8 year old is doing an awesome job. He looks so cute trying to pull money out of his pockets and putting the shoes on his momma. A and T are watching Santa Clause 3 and T is waiting for R to get home. She's a senior in high school but she's still his little girl, as far as he's concerned.

~ Sometimes it feels like a zoo around here. I'm sure adding J to the mix will be quite interesting. If he ever gets here. We haven't heard anything new since the possibility of forward movement on Tuesday. Here's a pic of A's cat Misty holding her own sippy cup. I know, we have strange animals. Now if we could just get her to fill it up on her own. Isn't she cute?
Ah, same cat a few minutes later. Cats are so bendable, like Gumby. She cracks me up.

Dexter is 10 now. He's getting to be an old man cat. He's real bad about waking me up in the middle of the night to let him outside. I usually try to put him out before I go to bed. Two days ago we had record breaking high temps. It was in the 70's. Now it's c-c-cold out. I feel kind of bad putting an old man cat outside on cold nights. But I also feel bad when he wakes me up in the night to go out catting. Sometimes he makes the decision for me by going where I can't get to him and put him out. Last night was one of those nights. He jumps onto the counter. He knows this is a no no but he thinks the 5 second rule applies to having his feet on the counter so he quickly jumps to the top of the refrigerator and from there to the top of the cabinets. This is a pic of his favorite cabinet to hide on. Can you see him?
Peek-a-boo, here he is. He's hiding between the collectibles up there. He is the black stuff with the glowing eyes.


I had to stand on a barstool to get this pic. He was really up there. Silly cat. And yes, he woke me up in the middle of the night to go outside. Who has who trained?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas fun

Oh my goodness. If you want a laugh go to the "Johnson-McCormick blog" and watch the video they posted of their boys called "Happy Holidays". The link is on the right, scroll down to the "other blogs I read". It's great. My favorite part is the "how-way-you-yas". Too funny.
Amy

Heat, kids, finger update

~ I tried to take a pic of my finger the way it looks now but it didn't turn out. It seems to have it's normal color back, it's not tingling anymore and it's not so sore across the front of the nail. It's still swollen but I guess it has a right to be at this point yet. There is a scab replacing the left edge of the nail.

~ I'm not sure what's going on with our children. I grilled A on her homework last night. She brought home mid 6 week progress reports. Almost everything that was a low grade had to do with her forgetting something. Not turning something in. She did her homework last night and asked her if she had this and that in her binder. This morning I asked again if she had all of her progress reports. She stopped eating and ran and got another one. Sigh...then I asked her about the whole list of homework, extra credit, and progress reports. I got in the shower and the phone rang. It was R saying she needed me to bring her cap and gown order and the check for that. I told her I wasn't going that way, I was going the other direction. She said it's due today and she'd call dad. Her daddy came and got it for her. Then I discovered that she left the cheese out this morning. What is with them? They need some gingko or something.

~ T talked to our O director last night and she believes that there is the potential for forward movement of our file. I pray it's so. T is excited but I've been disappointed to many times to be excited at this point. I'm grateful for the possibility but not excited yet.

~ We've had record breaking high temps the last few days. I had the windows open yesterday. Weird. It's raining again today so that may cool things off. It doesn't feel that much like Christmas with record breaking heat. I'm not complaining about it though. I've enjoyed it.

Amy

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ambidextrous, J, CD's and laundry

Well, for those of you who are keeping up with the fat finger saga the big bandage is off. T helped me cut most of it off last night and then I soaked off the part that stuck to it. It doesn't look too bad really. It's still fat but I guess it has a right to be at this point. It better start to slim down soon though. I'm tired of this game. I guess the Lord wants me to be ambidextrous or something. I've discovered that my middle finger on my right hand is a lot more talented than I thought it was. I've also discovered that I can do a lot more with my left hand than I thought. And then yesterday I got stuck driving the Jeep for some reason. This is a 14 year old Jeep with 207K + miles on it. T rebuilt the bottom of the engine (whatever that means) last summer so it does run pretty good considering it's age and miles. It was my car about 10 years ago. When we got the van it became T's. R is looking forward to the day when she can call it hers. I don't know why she wants it really but if T ever gets his truck going R is welcome to whatever is left of the Jeep. Anyway, it was stalling on me when I came to a stop. So I had to keep my right foot on the gas and work the brake with my left foot. See, ambidextrous. If you've ever worked the pedals with your left foot you know how interesting that is. When I had my second diagnosed stress fracture in the right foot a few years ago I had to wear a "boot" and worked the pedals with my left. It can be done. I was a little rusty though and we had a couple of abrupt stops. I had A and her friend with me and we all just laughed at it. Sometimes you just have to laugh. I'm not sure why the Lord wants me to be ambidextrous though.

~ I got to talk to J a little bit ago. He sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to me. Too cute. Our conversations have a lot of dead air time. We use Skype so there is a bit of a delay. Most conversations consist of us asking him questions, wait for the delay, and then he says, "Yes." That is his answer to all questions. We've got to figure how to word our questions so that he can't just say yes. I asked him if he had anything to tell me and he said no. Besides the song and a bunch of "yeses" and one "no" I did ask him what he likes to play when he goes to the playground. He said, "Ball." He didn't ask when we were coming to get him. I hate to think that he may have given up. It would hurt so bad when he would ask us each week but it's worse that he doesn't ask. Please Lord, let him come home soon.

~ What are you're favorite Christmas CD's? I like Jim Brickman's "The Gift". It's better than his second Christmas CD. I also like the original Martina McBride Christmas CD from a few years ago. The one she put out this year has some re-mixes from the original one and some different songs and I just don't like it as well. I also really like Patty Loveless "Bluegrass, White Snow". If you like this genre (bluegrass) it's excellent. I also have a set of Celtic Christmas CD's that I got at Sam's several years ago that I really like. You can leave a comment if you have a favorite you want to share.

~ I'm working on laundry today. I don't mind doing it but it seems like the lion's share of laundry is done by me. Every person who lives in this house is capable of doing laundry but it never seems to enter their minds that it needs to be done. I hate to iron though. I definitely have an iron deficiency. T was trying on shirts one time and he really liked this one in particular but it wasn't wrinkle free. I try to only buy wrinkle free shirts for him but he said he'd iron it. Ha! In the 20+ years we've been married he has probably ironed 5-6 times. He'd just as soon wear a wrinkled shirt. I tried to explain that it's a reflection on me when he wears a wrinkled shirt but he doesn't seem to get it. If you know us in person and happen to see him in a wrinkled shirt remember that it's a reflection of him, not me. Thus ends my laundry diatribe.

Amy

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rambling again

Well, sleeping was much better last night. Yay! It's dreary again today but we'll take the rain. We need it so bad. T's mom sent some old pics and a CD with old family pics on it. What a hoot! The girls thought their daddy looked like a geek in some of the pics but they liked his shoes in one. They want some like that and said that they are back in style now. It was fun to see family resemblances and who looked like who. I'm always fascinated by that stuff.

~ Thursday evening we went to a concert put on by the high school choir, which R is in, the concert band and the jazz band. It was pretty good. The jazz band was very good. It didn't sound real "jazzy" to me but they did some Transiberian Orchestra stuff that was pretty cool.

~ R is taking her ACT today for her second try. She got a 26 on her first attempt and that was without having any Algebra 2. It will be interesting to see how she does this time. If she could crank it up to a 29 that would seriously help in the scholarship area. She has a 4.0 GPA at this point too. Our kids never cease to amaze us.

~ R's cat, Sanome, likes to scoop food out of her dish and chase it all over the house before she eats it. I think it has something to do with catching her food and killing it before she eats. Sometimes she drops them in the water dish and then tries to scoop them out. That's funny. She'll scoop and then shake her paw. And repeat. And repeat. Goofy thing. I swear sometimes that she has opposing thumbs. She's very good with her paws and uses them almost like hands at times.

~ Well, I'm going to go feed Lillybet in the rain since R was running late. Then I'm going to wrap my gauze up in plastic wrap and take a shower. Should prove interesting. Oh, I played the keyboard last night so my friend could practice a song for Sunday. Bum finger and all. She's singing "Mary Did You Know" and sounding good.

Amy

Friday, December 7, 2007

Next AM

I didn't sleep well last night but not because of pain. My finger is still pretty numb. That's kind of handy but I wouldn't mind it feeling like a part of me again. Typing is very interesting. Sanome the cat is trying to help me but she's not a good speller. Here's a pic with the inch of gauze hanging off the end of my finger. Just in case you wanted to see.

My Christmas cactus has decided to bloom. I have two of them and a lot of times they think they are Easter cacti and bloom then. This one is really close to on time. The other one has never been the same after Dexter knocked it over several years ago. I don't see any buds on it so maybe it will be an Easter cactus this year. I definitely do not have a green thumb (just a white finger, ha-ha) so I'm amazed and grateful for any plant that lives at my house. Blooming is above and beyond the call of duty.

It's kind of dark and dreary here today. I have a goal of getting some cabinets cleaned out and taking a nap. I did finish a book last night while I was supposed to be sleeping. Maybe I'll start another book today too. Pretty lofty goals for this close to Christmas and the shopping not done, aren't they? Oh well.

Amy

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fat Finger update

Okay, it was decided that an ingrown fingernail was at least part of the culprit for the fat finger. I am now sporting about 6 layers of gauze over the already fat finger. It makes typing an adventure. The left side of my right index finger is now sans nail. The numb juice that they used at 4 is still in effect at 9. But that's okay because I'm not looking forward to it wearing off. The good news is I can take off the gauze on Sat eve and soak the finger and put a bandaid on it. So I should be able to play keyboard on Sun. The bad news is I can't get it wet until then. T has already offered to help me sponge bathe. Hmmm.
Amy

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

No news and Christmas is coming

No adoption news. It would drive me nuts if I let it. I was crying out to God on Monday morning and I said, "It's too much. I can't bear this and You're asking too much, God." And immediately the thought popped into my head that J is still alive. Our daughters are still alive. T is alive. We're relatively healthy. We have a house to live in, cars to drive and jobs to go to. My day got much better after that train of thought. There again is that resounding refrain, praise God anyway.

~ A was in rare form last night. She was emptying the dishwasher and singing with gusto. She was singing a song from Shrek. R rolled her eyes and A said, "I can't help it if I'm in a joyful mood and you're just not." Then she moved into songs from Annie. Then we folded a load of laundry and we were both singing songs from Beauty and the Beast. Then she started belting out "Don Juan". Then R joined us and we sang songs from Big River. Then I started singing "Anything Goes" and they both stopped and looked at me. They don't know that one. I love times like that. I sure hope J can sing.

~ We watched "White Christmas" last night. Well, T and I did. R and A were playing video games. Anything that helps put us in the Christmas mood is good. I can't believe we're facing another Christmas without J here. It blows my mind. People have bought him gifts. I guess they'll just have to wait for him. Like everything else. I thought about his clothes the other day. I had a closet full of summer clothes for him when we thought he'd come home last summer. Then I put those away and now there's a closet full of winter clothes for him. Now I wonder if he'll even need those. It's heartbreaking.

~ In spite of it all, we are decorated for Christmas. R's boyfriend came over on Sunday and the kids all decorated. Here are some pics;

Here is this year's New Year's Eve fodder-I mean this year's Christmas tree (we blow them up on New Year's eve).
Same, only you can see the lights.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hope's that J would soon be there. My grandmother made the girl's stockings like 18+ years ago. She made several, giving them to all of her great-grandchildren. J's is in the middle. My cousin made it for him last Christmas. I never dreamed he wouldn't be here yet this Christmas.

Here is the entertainment center that T made a few years ago out of old barn wood. He was concerned that I wouldn't like it, but I love it. There are lights in the garland that turn on with the tree lights.

Ah, the stairs. Something new to decorate. And the loft. And J's room. We've done a little decorating in the loft but nothing in J's room. If by some miracle he gets here he can pick out some decorations for his own room. The lights are those chasing, flickering things.
Here, you can kind of see the lights.

~ My finger is still swollen and tender. Go figure. I have another appointment tomorrow and if they can't do anything I'll have to take matters into my own hands (punny). I've been soaking it like 4 times a day. One of our dealers told me about something called Iodex ointment that helps "draw out". I'll find some of that and see if it helps.

Amy

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The parade

I started posting this last night but our internet was acting weird so I finished it after church. The parade was fun. It was a good diversion. Here is a pic of the church float.
This is from the work float looking ahead. It was a fairly long parade. The church float was ahead of us by about 15 or so.


This is a pic of people taking pics of us. We had two dogs in our float and they were wearing antlers and a santa hat. We had lots ooohhhing and aaaahhhing and "look at the doggies". It was fun.


Here's another shot of the people lined up for the parade.

I'm not sure how we managed to both be making the same facial expression just as someone snapped our pic, but we did. Maybe we were saying the same thing to the dogs. Aren't they cute?-I mean the dogs.
This ones a little better.

Well, the parade was fun and the weather was good. We're going to work on decorating the tree and house today. T cut the tree yesterday and set it up. It smells so good.
~ Church was good this morning. We had the lighting of the first advent candle and it was the "prophecy candle". Our pastor spoke some about Joseph's part in it all. We looked at Micah 6:8 and how Joseph did "justly" and did not divorce Mary. Even though they didn't understand it all they said, I'll do what is right. Mary said, "Be it unto me according to Your Word." Our Pastor basically said we need to be willing to say, okay God. I trust You, just because of Who You are. Or that's what I got out of it. I'd say I got just what I needed to. None of this process makes sense to me right now, but I need to trust God just because of Who He is.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Aaagggghhhhhh/cont.

Well, the official word on the fat finger is, he thinks it needs to be drained but he's not sure where to cut. Could be that it just needs more time and hot soaks. So, he's sending me to a surgeon for a second opinion. It was just a hang nail! Is a surgeon really necessary? I just want the use of my finger back. I had an offer from someone to fix it for free with his pocket knife. I may have to take him up on his offer. ~ It's Friday and no adoption news yet today. SCREAM! This is one of those days where it seems like God doesn't care anymore. Before you get all theological on me, I know that He's there and that He really does care. I said it "seems" like He doesn't, or that He's forgotten about us somehow. It's been 6 months of waiting for a signature just for a passport. There is no one to complain to. There is no one holding these people accountable. They just don't care. They have a powerful job and they like it. They like the power of being able to say, yes I'll sign or no I won't. It's sickening. I'm sick of the journey. ~ In other news, it's sunny and cool but not cold here today. There is a Christmas parade tomorrow and I had my choice of two floats to ride on; work or church. R and I will be on the work one and T and A will be on the church one. Lillybet has been invited to be on the work one. I thought it might stress her but it's R's call, not mine. I remember holding a goat on a parade float when I was a kid. I fed it a bottle and it peed on me. With that in mind, R can hold the goat. ~ Not much else going on.
Amy
Later...The "not knowing" is driving me crazy. I don't know how much more I can take. People lovingly try to tell me not to dwell on it. How can I not dwell on it? It's like T said, if your child was in the hospital for a month and they told you to go home and think about something else, could you do that? We are J's parents. How can we not think about him when he is not with us? Yes, we do carry on with our lives. We do have two other children in the home and have really enjoyed our time with them. We've played a lot of games and watched movies, sharing with them movies that we enjoyed when we were their age. Our time with them is great. But how can we not think about J? He exists. He is real. We've met him. He is a part of our lives. I wish there was a way for the Haitian officials to understand our love for our son and how it breaks our hearts to have to wait so long. It's a seemingly needless wait. None of it makes sense to me. God's plan is not making sense to me. But I have no choice but to lay it at His feet. So I do.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mid-week and nothing to report

Not a lot going on here. Pretty much just the usual stuff. The plays are done for now but both girls are talking about trying out for the next play. ~ My finger feels some better but continues to be swollen. I go back on Friday to have it looked at again. ~ We're having a little trouble getting in to the Christmas mood for obvious reasons. J didn't come home for Thanksgiving and unless things make a dramatic change it's not looking good for a Christmas homecoming either. It absolutely crushes me if I think about it too much. I'm kind of at a place where I just say, whatever Lord. I can't change things or move things. It's kind of a suffocating feeling and it's beyond my ability to understand. I'm really trying not to give in to the depression. I'm just so weary of the process. ~ We've had a lot of rain this last week and it was very much needed so we're thankful for that. The sun has been out yesterday and today. ~ R was talking to someone on the phone last night and when she hung up we asked who it was. She said it was her boyfriend. This was news to us. T seems quite happy for her. As long as she doesn't loose her focus on her goals I'm happy for her too. I think she'll do fine. She seems to take most things in stride. Well, that's it for now.
Amy

Friday, November 23, 2007

The hang nail gone awry


It was just a hang nail, I promise. This morning we decided that I should seek medical treatment for my fat finger. (It's the fat one in the pic, not the red one). My GP was closed. My dermatologist was closed. I was not going to go to an emergency room for a hang nail. I finally found a walk-in clinic that was open and it was on the closer, not so busy (as in, not near any shopping malls) side of town. Yay! ~ Now, I have worked at my current job for 2 1/2 years and had not called in sick. Until today. Because of the hang nail gone bad. It wasn't a problem but I had to ask and that was hard. ~ I expected the clinic to be over run with people and sickies coughing and hacking on everything but it wasn't. Pleasant surprise. I waited about a half hour, got into a room and waited another half hour. The doc comes in and says, "You have an infection called 'parnichia' (sp?) and we're going to take care of you." Treatment began with a shot. Not so pleasant surprise. So now my butt hurts too. Anyway, I got a script for antibiotics and then they took an X-ray. It was just a hang nail! They had to make sure the infection hasn't gotten into the bone or muscle tissue. And get this, if it's not better by Friday they will lance it. I am seriously hoping and praying that my hang nail gone awry does not lead to the use of sharp instruments in it's treatment. Watch out for those hang nails. They'll get you one day.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey everyone. We just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!...

...from our "bunch of turkeys" to yours!
That's not the headless horseman on the end, that's T. Hey, at least we were having fun.
And the girls wanted one with the cats. I am holding a cat, he's just so dark you can't see him. And the other two are looking at him because at the last second before the timer went off he looked at them and meowed. In the close up of the picture he looks like he's baring his fangs. Too funny.

The lack of J's presence was definitely felt today. We just have to trust that God knows what He's doing and surrender to His will. We did get a little update from the O that they had Thanksgiving dinner with all the kids and managed to get some pics of everyone together. That would be something to see, a family pic with 100 kids! Our O director reports that the kids had; " turkey, rice and peas(their choice!!!), dinner rolls, salad, custard pie, and juice." They also had a soccer game before lunch.
Something strange has been going on with my finger. Last week I had a hang nail and tried to pinch it off with my thumbnail and ended up pulling it. I put peroxide on it and a band-aid as it was bleeding and I was running out the door. When I got home I clipped it. It never really got over being sore. Yesterday it was very sore and when I looked at it, it was very swollen and warm. I must have some kind of little infection in there somehow. It's still swollen and occasionally warm and throbbing. It was just a hang nail for crying out loud! It lets me know how sore it is every time I bump it. It's my right index finger. You know, the one you do everything with. And I am scheduled to work most of the day tomorrow. You know, the busiest shopping day of the year. Sigh...
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2007

our hearts songs

video

I don't know what's going on with this, if it's our connection or what. I hope it works for you because I'm having a hard time getting it to load. Sorry if it doesn't work.

This is a video presentation that we put together last year for Adoption Awareness month. Most of the pics are from July ’06. Never mind the date printed on them. I wrote the song for J in June ’06. I never thought I’d still be singing it a year and a half later. I’m ready to sing a new song. It was recorded at our church, just kind of a “one take, play the keyboard and sing and hope it turns out” thing. This song and video presentation is copyrighted to us. We hope that you enjoy it but wouldn’t use it or post it in part or whole without our permission.

~ I don’t know exactly what to blog about. So much is on my mind. Since Thanksgiving is only three days away and we haven’t heard any news about the adoption moving forward, I’d say it’s safe to say that J won’t be here. Not that I think God can’t do it, just that it’s not time yet. Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told king Nebbie, I know my God is able but even if He doesn’t, I won’t bow to your idol. I’m not going to bow to depression. I’m not going to bow to defeat. We just have to trust that God knows what He’s doing and surrender our will to His. It still hurts but we’re going to choose to be thankful anyway.

~ We’ve been enjoying some older movies that were popular “back in our day” with our girls. It’s funny to watch their reactions to the clothes and hairstyles that were popular then. We just finished Karate Kid. Something that spoke to me was that Daniel didn’t understand how the things he was doing were helping him learn karate. He couldn’t see how waxing the cars, sanding the deck and painting the house were teaching him what he needed to know. He did most of it without asking questions but finally got frustrated with this old man who he felt was “using him”. Then the old man showed him how to use what he had learned and the muscles that he had built. Maybe for right now we are waxing cars and painting a house and learning what we need to know.

~ I have some people who are concerned about me. I will be fine. Psalm 108:1-2 says, “My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.” I can honestly say I was happy to be at church yesterday morning, singing and making music with all my soul. We will survive.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

No creativity in this title

I tried to post the other day but I just couldn't do it. The last time I posted I said my emotions were all over the board. Now I'm mostly just depressed. This road is too hard sometimes. So I'll write about other things.

There was an open house at work last night to kick off the Christmas season. We were very busy and had every kind of sweet treats you could think of. R was doing a play and A was at a friend's house. T just stayed in town since I didn't have a vehicle.

Speaking of vehicles, T is working on the truck today. He was going to move the gas tank from behind the seat to underneath. He cleaned up the new-used one and when he went to put it on, it didn't fit. Back to square one with that. He planned on having it road worthy this week. Sigh...he is working on door handles though and the brake lights do work now.

This afternoon A did the last play that she was working in. R's last play of that one was Wed. Now she has to finish up her other play and we can take a break. She still has tonight and then next Friday and Saturday. Both girls are already talking about trying out for the next one. Whew! I need a break.

Please pray for us. The adoption process feels overwhelming and like it will never end. I know Thanksgiving hasn't come and gone yet, but we haven't even gotten any news. Hence the depression.

Amy

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall is in the air

We've actually had a little rain today. We're still so far behind for the year that we'll take whatever we can get. As far as J home by Thanksgiving goes we still haven't heard a thing. The human mind says, there's no way it could happen but the part of me that believes says it still could. My emotions are all over the board. One minute I'm sure we'll get good news and the next I'm depressed because we haven't heard anything. This is a hard road to walk, that's for sure.

Here are a few pics. I didn't think we'd get any color in the trees because of the drought but I've been pleasantly surprised. I may post a few more over the next few days. These are from yesterday. A and R took them when they went for a horse ride after school.

This is the newly weaned Lillybet.

This is the trail they ride up in the woods.


There's a little bit of color in the trees.

And there are some that are downright showing off.
A took a pic of R on my dad's horse, Arrow.
And R took a pic of A on my horse, Lady. R's horse, Bridget, is doing okay right now. She had sore feet again last week but seems all right for now. R did hop on her to see how she'd do and it was fine but she didn't want to push anything.

And another fall pretty. I'm not really sure what my favorite fall color is. I think it's the bright orange. Yellow is okay and I like red but there's something about the brilliant orange that I really like.

That's it for now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A few pics and a prayer request

It's been another interesting day at the zoo. I thought I'd share some pics with you. Here is what's left of Lillybet's bottle after the dogs got a hold of it.

This is Dexter on the ironing board. I was making some polar fleece pajama bottoms for J and as soon as I got the ironing board out Dexter was on it. He's not only on the board but on the pattern pieces too. And he has his nose tucked in to his paws. I love it when he sleeps like that.

This is Sona sitting on top of the ironing board and checking out the bottom of it. Maybe it's some version of quality control.
I love this one. Both cats got up there and Sona has her head resting on Dexter's butt. There he is again with the nose tucked into the paws. Too funny. Gotta love it.
We have a prayer request we’d like to share with you. In October I read Sherri’s blog (Everyday Miracle) entry titled “Becoming Real”. They also adopted from Haiti and in this post she talks about deciding to believe that her children would be home for Christmas. When it seemed like everything was against them, she believed they would be home for Christmas. I’ve always struggled with that concept for myself. Just because I believe something doesn’t mean God has to do it. Or what if I told someone that I believed something would happen and then it didn’t. What would that do to my faith and theirs, besides looking like a fool? But I began to pray about that and wonder if I could believe the same thing for our son. But Christmas was Sherri’s promise to believe in, not mine. A few more days went by and finally I had a date in mind. I shared with T about it without telling him the day and asked him to pray too and see if a date came to his mind. That was a Sunday morning. That evening I asked him if he’d prayed about it and he hadn’t really seriously prayed about it yet. That night the girls and I ended up laying on our bed and talking. I love those times with my girls. I told them what I had prayed about and that dad was going to pray too and wondered if they wanted to also. Then the conversation turned to other things.
The next day at about 2 in the afternoon T called me at work and said, “You know that thing you asked me to pray about? I did and the date that is in my mind is Thanksgiving. That he’ll be home by Thanksgiving.” I squealed, even though I was at work and said, “That’s my day too!” Later that evening I asked A if she had prayed about it and she said yes but she didn’t want to say the date in her head in case it was different than mine. I wonder where she gets that mindset from? Hmmm. Anyway, I told her that dad and I had Thanksgiving day in our heads. Her mouth kind of dropped open a bit and she said, “That’s what my day is. That he’ll be home by Thanksgiving.”
We chose to tell a few people. My mom was one of them. She said, “Hmm. I had that thought yesterday afternoon, that he'd be home by Thanksgiving.” Then we told our other “mother figure” about it and she got goose bumps just thinking about it. So that’s been in our hearts for over a month now but here it is less than two weeks from Thanksgiving and we haven’t heard a thing. The human mind says there is no way this could happen. It would absolutely take a miracle and we’d love for you to pray with us that J will be home by Thanksgiving this year, if the Lord wills it. We understand that believing something doesn’t make it so and like Shadrac, Meshac and Abednego said, we believe our God is able but even if He doesn’t choose too, we’re still going to praise Him. For the reasons I mentioned above, this is hard to share. Some might ridicule us or think we’re nuts but we felt it was time to share it. Will you pray with us, please?