Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
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
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
~ 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!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
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
Thursday, December 20, 2007
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.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
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
~ 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
~ 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.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
~ 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.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
~ 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.
Friday, December 7, 2007
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.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
~ 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.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
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.
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.
Friday, November 30, 2007
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
Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
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.
Monday, November 19, 2007
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
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
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
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.