Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Plotting to take over the world....

One of the first things I plan on asking God once I'm in heaven is why in the world would he give a three year old so much energy and her mother about a 1/4 of that. Then I'll ask about the attitude of the three year old. Or maybe I'll reverse the questions....hmmm, I'm just not sure. Oh never mind, I won't even care by then.

But let me tell ya, those questions perplex me daily. THANKFULLY, those pulling-my-hair-out moments are few & far between (well no that far) and the truth is, Lucy leaves me laughing all the time.

Yesterday I was on the computer and she was sitting right next to me. She picked up my cell phone, flipped it open & frantically started pushing buttons like a like a 13 year old trying to find out what boy likes her at the moment. She put the phone to her ear and had the following one-sided "conversation" with my mother....

"Hi Ninny, whatdoin'" (she crams her words together like a gangsta planning a rumble)

"Oh, you're makin' muffins/cookies/noodles?"

Then she puts the phone to her chest as if to mute the sound, looks at me and says, "Mom, BE QUIET, I'm talkin' to Ninny!!" (please note that I was SILENTLY checking my email) Me, glaring at her with eyebrows raised....speechless.

"Oh, ok talktoyalater. Loveyoubyebye."

Then she hands me the phone and tells me to talk to Ninny. Fine. "Hi Ninny, how are you..."

Oh no, I was not free to wing the conversation on my own. My little dictator directed me through the whole "conversation."

How did I ever get by in life without this child to help me?? My boys insist that she is plotting to take over the world....they might be right. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An IMPORTANT Question for YOU...

For each and every person reading this today, whether it's just one person...or many, I have a question for YOU....not as a group, but as an individual. YOU. Yes, YOU.

Do YOU have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

Please don't misunderstand....

I'm not asking if you go to church.

I'm not asking if you are Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, etc.

I'm not asking if you live a "good" life, doing good deeds.

My question for you is...have you had a moment in your life that you consciously made a decision to follow Christ?

If not...I am here to ask you to consider doing that today. I care about each of you way too much to not share the love of Christ with you. There is such freedom, joy, peace...and most importantly, eternity in a perfect heaven where there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more sickness or death. That ONLY comes through Christ.

It's your free gift from a loving God who made you and gave you the freedom to choose because you see, if He had made us to love him without choice (and He certainly could have), it wouldn't be love at all. But because sin separates us from God, we must have a Redeemer, a Savior...JESUS.

Please choose life today by sincerely praying this prayer (doesn't have to be this exact prayer...your own words are best. But this gives you an idea of what to say):

"Jesus, today I choose to follow you...I surrender my life to you. I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness through the blood you shed for me when you died on the cross. Be my savior from this day on."

It's as simple as that. If you prayed that and meant it, friend you are now my sister or brother in Christ. Though we may never meet on this earth, we will have eternity in heaven to get to know one another....and I can't wait!!

Please consider leaving a comment or email me if you made that decision today...I would love to rejoice with you and pray for you by name for your new walk with the Lord.

And if you already know Christ, I think it would be great if you left a comment, boldly proclaiming your salvation through Jesus...or better yet, briefly share your story of how you came know Him. Perhaps your testimony would lead to someone else coming to the Lord....

All Glory to GOD!!

Ok, right now you simply MUST go to Lynsay's blog and read the GREAT NEWS!!! Only God! Thank you JESUS!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Baking Bread...during a not-happening-blizzard

Yesterday I canceled all of our plans to leave the house since a "blizzard" was on its way. I won't lie, I was looking forward to being hunkered down in my little house on the prairie with my family, while the snow piled up outside. Well, as life outside my house continued... with NO SNOW in site, I baked bread.

Being inspired after my "introduction" to The Pioneer Woman by Stefanie, I thought that perhaps...just maybe....in some small (very small) way, I could photograph & beautifully display on my blog my own homemade creation. Sure.

I have a really nice camera that I paid a lot of money for (after being highly frustrated by not being able to capture my boys' great basketball moves) but I have no idea how to use any of the fancy shmancy settings. But I'm trying.

So here is my adventure in making the most incredible challah bread (a wonderful Jewish bread with lots of eggs and butter....so forget about it if you care about calories, which I do not).

Fresh eggs (of course)
Oh the magic of yeast...it just makes me happy.
Mixing well....
Ready for a toasty hot oven
Done! Not exactly Goodhousekeeping picturesque but let me tell ya, it is good!!

Ok, so I'm no Pioneer Woman but it was fun anyway and oh-so-yummy!

Here is the link to the recipe! Note that it says to use a loaf pan...when I just use one, it gets WAY TOO BIG and overflows. So I would advise you use two (unless you have a big loaf pan) or try another method.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Blah, Blah, Blah Post

Thank you all so much for your comments and emails with suggestions regarding Lucy & Shu Li's room! You gave me some great ideas! I'm all for kids sharing a room and I think that even though my girls will have quite an age difference (at least chronologically), being together in a room will really help them bond.

I like the idea of a play room but we just don't have much space for that...although we do have a nice sized finished basement, that is kind of the boys' territory & I hate to take over with girly toys! So I think I will just get a great big (very stylish) basket for the living room to keep a lot of Lucy's toys in to eliminate them from cluttering her room and closet.

And I will definitely get Shu Li some sort of trunk with a lock (BIG lock Nancy) to keep Lucy out. This will frustrate Miss Lu Bug to no end, I can assure you of that. The girl has a strong will like I've never seen before. But my mother will tell you that this little toot is EXACTLY like her mother!! God brought us together, no doubt about it!!

Oh, and yes we do have a "contact" at SL's orphanage but he has been REALLY quiet lately...we know that he must be very careful with the information he shares with us. He is just an outsider and doesn't want to hurt his relationship with the orphanage directors. And more importantly, he doesn't want to mess up an adoption with information that he leaks.

Yes, it would be tons of fun for us to travel with Linn!! Sitting in the Guangzhou St*rbucks with her sounds like tons of fun!! Twice I've been to CO to visit her and we never got a chance to sit and have coffee....wouldn't it be funny if we finally got the chance to do that...in Ch*na!!

Well golly guys, I've got nothing else to talk about! Nothing exciting happening....

**I gotta tell you that after writing the above earlier this morning, I was annoyed by the fact that it was so blah. So I held off on posting it in hopes of something extraordinary happening. Well ummm, nothing happened. I had my quiet time with the Lord (working on my latest study, Breaking Free by Beth Moore)...

Then you won't believe it....Lucy was still asleep, so....I...climbed back into...BED!!!! And watched yesterday's Regis & Kelly!!! I'm so naughty! Oh..it felt SO GOOD! We have a big blizzard on the way so it's cloudy & windy out...making for a cozy time, just Regis, Kelly & me.

Now it's back to reality...at least it's Friday!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DTC, Baby!!!!!

For those of you who don't speak Chinaadoptionese, that means Dossier To Ch*na....or even more simply put, our dossier was mailed yesterday!!

It has been my prayer from the get-go that we would travel in June. Well, with the steps left to go in our process, that target time frame is ummm, almost out of the realm of reality. But, you know what? I serve a God who is in control and if HE wants us to travel in June, well by golly, He can make it happen!! But no matter what, I trust HIS timing....no matter when we end up going. Since He sees the big picture, yep...He knows best and I trust Him. And He wants the best for us and for Shu Li. He won't let us down. Nope.

I've also been praying that Shu Li has received her care package we sent. Unfortunately, sometimes these kiddos aren't give what is sent to them (Lucy didn't get the things we sent until the day we got her). I want her to at least get our photo album and letter. And I've been praying that I would somehow receive confirmation that she received it. And I also want to send her more things but it seems pointless if she may not be getting them.

Last night K-man was trapped in the Lucy web (aka, she had him in her bedroom playing). I went in to check on them and she quickly showed me a large card that had the alphabet on it. She pointed to each letter, and in order, recited the alphabet and got each letter correct (even telling me some words that each letter made...M for Mama, B for B-den Brenden). After showing off her brilliance she quickly told me to leave. Well now. She didn't like me interrupting her fun time with Daddy. Ok, no problem Little Miss. Later I heard K-man say, "Hey Lucy, I know. Let's go see what Mama is doing!"

But while I was in her room with them, I was looking around....boy oh boy, the girl just loves to have ALL of her toys strung out everywhere. And I'm just wondering how in the world she won't drive Shu Li crazy with her messiness. And Lucy will no doubt want to get into Shu Li's things as well. I was thinking maybe getting a nice chest of some sort for SL to put her things in that locks, keeping Miss Nosey Nelly out.

What do you think? Do any of you have a little one who shares a room with an older child? How do you keep harmony??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Insomnia, Fancy Scarf, and DQ

For YEARS before we adopted Lucy I suffered from insomnia. It was really horrible....and as we were in the process of adopting (and not sleeping) I would spend my sleepless nights praying a lot since I knew the CCA* was up and working during that time. My friend Angela would tell me that God was preparing me and I see now that she was right. However, God has so graciously changed everything about my sleep patterns. Turns out that having a toddler is equal to a sleeping pill and a shot of cough syrup. And sometimes it takes a shovel to wake me up. Thank you Jesus!!

BUT, for whatever reason (ok, time to pray? Yep, I did that for sure) I woke up at 2 AM wide awake. I spent time in prayer for my friend Patty's dossier that is sitting on someone's desk, I prayed for Bill & Lynsay who are in desperate need of a vehicle as they won't be able to care for any more children without transportation, and I prayed for my friend Paula who is in Ch*na right now getting their ADORABLE son!! Then I got up and worked on my Bible study homework.

Then Lucy woke up....about 4 different times, each time as I was dozing off. Poor little girly, she was having bad dreams I guess. She just needed a little lovin' then went back to sleep.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I told you all that except that I needed everyone to feel sorry for me since I only had about 3 hours of sleep! :) Boo Hoo.

My sister Robin made this adorable scarf for Lucy that she just loves!

Lucy sporting her new scarf....and a scrunchy face!

Oh, I almost forgot! Brenden got his job at DQ!!! I'm so happy/sad!!

Well, I knew it was only a matter of time...after all, with my statuesque physique (a frumpy 5'4") and delicate features (proudly have my daddy's nose), silky smooth hair (think Ringling Bros.) and youthfulness (40 and lovin' it)....I'VE BEEN DISCOVERED!! (ok, that's a bit of a stretch...but humor me, k?) That's right, my modeling career is about to launch. Click HERE to see for yourself (then scroll down...and down some more)! And for cryin' out loud...buy somthin' while you're there why don't ya!!

Blizzards and Dozens of Eggs

Oh my gosh. My baby boy...my firstborn...my little guy who used to sit and read books with a bucket on his head....has *sniff* a job *sniff, sniff* interview this afternoon. *boo hoo hoo* A.job.interview. I can't even imagine. It's at D*iry Queen. I just have terrifying visions flooding my brain...him sneezing in someone's ice cream, not washing his hands after going potty, licking his fingers when the ice cream drips...EATING ON THE JOB!!! Well, at least he will finally have an income AND learn on-the-job responsibility AND perhaps there's a huge discount for moms of employees!!! That's just what my backside needs....wholesale Blizz*rds.

Remember when we got a slew of baby chicks in the mail?? Oh you must take a peek at the pics...click HERE.

Well, those babies have grown up and are now layin' eggs at a hare's pace! We are getting a dozen a day now and Lucy couldn't be more thrilled. Every afternoon she and K-man go to the hen house to gather and she brings them in and proudly presents them to me like a pot of gold.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hee Haw!!

With spring break officially over & it's back-to-school today, I asked Brenden last night, "Honey what do you want for breakfast tomorrow morning?" He said, "Served to me in bed around 9:30." Yeah, we all do sweetheart.

After a very productive week of renovation (ok, not really...but a transformation for sure), the rest of my house suffered greatly. I am almost drooling over the thought of mopping my wood floors today. I know, weird. But they are so very dirty that I just can't wait to get them shiny & eat-offable asap!

I don't have any before/after pics, sorry! I will post an after picture as soon as I put a few finishing touches on my room. I absolutely love it. You all may not be as impressed though....just keep in mind, I was on a very tight budget!! And, I guess if you didn't see it before, you won't appreciate the after as much. Oh and don't worry...K-man and I are just fine! :) I hope I didn't leave you all thinking that we were in a huff with each other...not at all. I'm so thankful I have a hubby who can do just about anything house-related. But Nancy, you are right....I do tend to NOT keep my mouth shut as much as I should. BUT, I certainly do just enough to keep my place as wife around here! However, just in case I ever over-use my right to speak out...don't believe the suicide note you find with my chopped up body in the freezer. (Ok, that's supposed to be funny...get it?)

Umm, let's see what else....oh Nancy you asked about Lucy's dance class. It was just an 8 week class and it's over. Thank goodness. I am getting more money's worth out of a 15 year old Barney video cassette than her $80 dance class. She eagerly dances, marches, sings along with Barney & friends. I guess she's just not quite ready to pubicly bust-a-move. We'll try it again later. Believe me, there's a little performer inside of her for sure!

We were watching Hee-Haw last night. I don't mean we stumbled on it and stayed for a few minutes...I mean we watched it. Or should I say, K-man watched it while I kept silent (oh yes I did!), the boys went on and on about how UN-funny it was.

I remember watching this gem when I was really little....it truly was a fun show. So as we were enjoying the "entertainment" last night, Tammy Wynette (sp?) came on to sing a song. Holy smokes, the woman's hair barely fit on our wide-screen TV. I sat there in awe....no, it's not a style that one would wear now...but golly, the talent it took to get it that high (and wide). It may have been a wig....but still, someone had to back-comb for at least 30 minutes, sculpt, mold & spray, spray, spray. It took my breath away and it was more than this hair stylist could take and I jumped to my feet and announced I was going to the bathroom to try to do my hair like that. I didn't look at K-man's reaction, but I can assure you his eyes rolled and he likely muttered, "here we go again."

I grabbed a comb and began my fun. Lucy sat and watched. Who knows what was going on in her stick-straight haired mind. I didn't take the full amount of time it truly deserved to copy Miss Tammy but not having been taught Hee Haw hair 101 in beauty school, I just did the best I could.

I emerged from the bathroom, proud as a peahen. None of my clan really paid much attention to me as I entered the living room with the new nest on my head. This is sort of behavior from me is way more normal than you realize and everyone around here as learned to not make a fuss about it or it will just egg me on more. But I made sure everyone appreciated the great heights I had achieved. I grabbed the camera...B refused (snot) to have any part of it. K-man is my go-to guy for everything, including a photo shoot (though he wouldn't get up out of his recliner...so uncooperative). After about the 3rd snap, he said, "why are we doing this again??" HUH! "For my blog of course!" Learn, honey, LEARN.

So here you go...the pictures truly don't do it justice I will add. It was much bigger than it appears. And don't you know that I couldn't have this do without putting on a Hee Haw show of my own.
Thank you, thank you...I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Do you like my new blog look? I'm not sure if I do or not.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Love Nest...and Neglected Children

All I wanted was a fresh coat of paint. Why does such a simple task twist into such a complicated event? Paint on the walls turned into the need to first paint our woodwork....which triggered K-man's idea to replace our boring little baseboard with a much wider, more sophisticated trim. Then there's that old ugly ceiling fan that just had to go. The list goes on....you get the idea.

Well, K-man and I made it our mission to finally finish our love nest yesterday. Though there were times during the process that the love was feeling more like ummm......well, you know.

This sweet man and I have run a business together now for umpteen years. It all works out just fine (usually). But there's something about being in a room together painting that brings out the animal in a person and I don't mean in a fun marital kind of way. At one point I decided to just lay down on the floor to watch him paint the ceiling (after I announced that it was too hard for me to do). He wasn't amused. Good thing I didn't voice what was racing through my mind about his painting methods. Hard as it was for ME....almost 22 years of marriage under my belt has taught me to keep.my.mouth.shut.

Well being that my union demands frequent breaks, I then went to the kitchen for tea and a scone (oh I wish. Doesn't that sound quaint? No, I had a FiberOne poptart). Again, K-man...not amused. I'm here to admit, the man has a much better work ethic than little ol' me.

I guess I need to back up a bit to set up the beginning of the frustration scene. Of course, the bed had to be moved before the meat of the painting could be tackled. I have always tried to encourage the offspring to keep their under-beds clean and clear. But being a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do kinda Mama, there was a whole other world under my slumbering place. Let me tell ya....the things we found were shocking. Old pillows, old pictures (no joke, there was a picture of me in acid-wash jeans), CASSETTE tapes! An old laptop that I swear weighed about 22 lbs and was about 4 inches thick. I found books, notebooks, magazines, clutter, clutter, clutter!! Yeah, that took a good hour to clean up. Neither of us could blame the other because the junk was equally divided. From now until Jesus comes will I ever, ever, ever put one single thing under my bed again.

The children were pretty much neglected during the dreaded day-long process. I did check in once in a while and here's what I found......

Seriously...I have no idea what is going on here. I've learned not to ask questions. When boredom sets in, anything can happen with this child.

Neglect....when one's diaper ends up down one's leg. *sigh* Please don't tell our social worker.
So not to leave you thinking that we are horrible parents who secretly want to scratch each other's eyes out, I will leave you with a happier time from earlier this week....

Here we see Lucy being gently guided by her caring Mama on how to make a delicious salad for dinner. That's spinach in her freshly washed hands. Tell my social worker that.

And look...a loving father playing with his daughter!She's SO happy!!

And look...even one of the big ones gets a ride! The biggest one refused to join the fun (turd). I mean, shucks that little stinker!
Happy, happy family! :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Got Your Verse on Yet??

Seriously now. If you haven't ordered one of these fabulous tee-shirts for yourself yet, whatcha waitin' for?? I have this one that I'm pictured in (you have no idea how many pics were taken before I finally gave up and realized that I'm just not photogenic). I also have one pre-ordered. I seriously plan to own each and everyone of them. So, chop chop! Order yours today!!
I had a wonderful visit with my good friends yesterday. I had told Lucy that one of them had a baby so that made her super excited to go have coffee with Mama & her friends. What I failed to remember was that....kids grow. The last time I saw my friend Carrie and her little guy, he was quite...little. So when she walked in and he wasn't in a little baby carrier as I fully expected (I'm such a ding bat...but you know that by now), I was quickly explaining to Lucy that this little boy....who was almost her size (he's a big 2 year old), was the baby I was talking about. *sigh* And he even knew his alphabet (and could recognize each and every letter). So he was not only huge but smart too. Thank goodness he still had a pacifier because that gave Lucy the illusion that he was still a baby.

Lucy has been up since about 4:00 AM. I finally let her get into our bed around 4:45, then after dealing with Miss Wiggle Worm I gave in and we got up to start out day. She is WIDE. AWAKE. And I. AM. NOT. I'm downin' my coffee as quick as I can but not fast enough to make me the least bit thrilled to be helping with her eagerness to discuss the alphabet. After convincing her that it was still night time (sort of), showing her that IT IS STILL DARK OUTSIDE, she is on the couch watching Barney. *deep sigh*

Today is the last day of spring break & I'm super, super sad. Sure we have the weekend still ahead of us but that doesn't count. Next week it's back to the grind. But quite frankly, I need the rest.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Busy Spring Break Day

Well my ambition to have a fabulously made-over boudoir by the end of the week is fizzling quickly. I'm just pooped. And looking around at how my other household chores have gone undone makes me sink even deeper into despair. Oh well. What's a girl to do?

I am having coffee with two good friends and former clients of mine this morning and after that I'm heading back to the fabric store to make a final decision on pillow fabric. I hope that I will be energized after that and geared up for a second go at Operation Bedroom Makeover. As burned out as I already am with it....I can't walk away now...it's completely a wreck and the only excuse I have is that I'm working on it. So I need to keep that verb in the present tense.

And if you were sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for my final decision on my paint color...LaFonda Sagebrush it is. And I'm lovin' me some LaFonda! I tried it on a little section and it's gonna look delicious (thought it's a little dark...)! I will take pics once I'm all finished with it! I hope it all ties together nicely. I really, really hope.

How was my Webinar?? Ha. Considering there was no AUDIO, it was a waste of time! They gave us instructions to have a headset on and ready to chat & listen. There was some great information to READ. But no chatting with other families....turns out there was a glitch (really?) and thankfully it wasn't on my end.

Before all that nonsense began though I put the boys in charge of Lucy. I gave them stern instructions that I was NOT to be disturbed in my bedroom since I would be busy on my webinar (my spell check doesn't like that new word). I told them that they were the baby sitters and not parents....they weren't to teach her valuable lessons, just keep her quiet and happy at any cost (including candy, endless TV...whatever). So as I'm online trying to do this new up and coming way to communicate, I hear B say..."No Nick, don't shoot fireworks at it!" What's going on out there (I'm wondering)? And should I have put Lucy in charge of them instead of the other way around? **sigh** Since I wasn't smelling sulfur I assumed that no fireworks were being used as weapons. And it turns out that all was well (or they just hid the evidence convincingly well).

Call NOW and we will send you not one, but two...that's right TWO for the low price of $19.99! But WAIT! Call in the next ten minutes and we'll throw a third! All for the price of one! Operators are standing by... **You pay shipping and handling.
Zero shame, that's what that is. Sorry...I was bored during my web "chat" and snapped this pic of myself with my cell phone. Sad, really sad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Got Rim?

I just never know what my boys are going to do next. Their imaginations are vivid and I'm quite fearful now that B is driving because he has taken his antics on the road. I'm sure only years from now will I hear of some of the stunts he and his buddies have pulled. I do know that they went to W*l Mart one night to do a list of "25 Things to do at WM" that they found of Facebook. I'm not sure but I think they chickened out on most of them. WHEW!

Last night Nick was bored and got the brilliant idea to start up a b-ball game in our living room. And of course the (very amateur) photographer in me (and always desperate for blog material), I broke out my camera and got some awesome shots!

Shhh! K-man warned me not to get him in the picture! But look! There he is in his cowboy pajamas! Adorable!!

Looks like Lucy got a little more air than you Nick....

Ok, sorry this was so short but I need to clean my kitchen then head out to my women's Bible study. THEN, I have a webinar! What's that you ask? Well, I guess it's a modern day conference call via the internet. It is for the families adopting children from the Hope Project! I can't wait to chat with others adopting these older kiddos!

Have a super fun Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Where's Lucy?

This little (huge) painting project was put on the back burner for a long time because I knew (based on experience with two very curious little boys) Lucy would want to be involved with every step. But not being able to tolerate my Restoration-Hardware-Wannabe-Green (do you know what I mean?? I loved the cool green/grayish color at R*storation Hardware but was too darn frugal to pay $42 a gallon to buy it there. Seriously, who would pay that much for paint? So I tried to match it best I could and failed miserably and have lived with it all these years)...where was I? Oh yes, I couldn't stand it any longer so I decided to just do it. Repaint (and sin no more).

But much to my surprise, Miss Lucy Goosey has no interest in picking up a paint brush and "helping" me. She just disappears into her room and plays. And it's quite comical at times as I listen to her through the monitor. I went to check on her and very hesitantly opened her tightly closed door (red flag), unsure of what I would find her doing. Well, much NOT to my surprise, here is what I found.....

And where are the boys and why aren't they helping me?? Well, they have learned that painting isn't all that fun after all, especially with a controlling mother who wants it done her way (you know, like....painting in an even fashion...not sloppily and certainly not on each other). So here is what Brenden is doing today.....
WAIT...stop all cleaning...I got a text!
And Nick? Unless he shows his handsome face here soon, he's not makin' it in this post. He is probably downstairs watching some golf tournament on TV and I'm not going to look for him. It's every man for himself around here.

So as you can see, I have taken a break from painting at the moment. K-man told me he was on his way home from work early so I jumped in the shower and plan to haul him to L*wes & the fabric store. He's my best shoppin' buddy so I'm all atwitter about going out with him this BEAUTIFUL afternoon!

Spring Break: Day Numero Uno...gone

My first day of Spring Break didn't go as planned. What I planned, was apparently unrealistic at best because I didn't even come close to achieving my high goals of painting, cleaning, laundering, painting some more, cleaning some more...blah, blah, blah. Truthfully, there's not enough coffee in Costa Rica to fuel that kind of gumption.

So today I will lower the bar....really low. Then, I will hopefully exceed my expectations, leaving me feeling like the super-woman I yearn to be.

I still need to choose my paint color. Soon. I have it narrowed down to Riverbed's Edge (doesn't that sound so soothing & romantic?) and LaFonda Sagebrush, which I'm leaning toward if for no other reason than Jaime's comment yesterday (go take a lookyloo...remember, her husband is deployed. I think it's time he come home).

I also need to get fabric to redo my throw pillows on our bed....I'm so stinkin' picky I can't find anything I like. Plus I want it to be high quality, dirt cheap. I also need a picture to go above our bed. The same criteria would apply.

Okie dokie...I just finished my morning cup of mercy and I'm ready to face the day. I made K-man one of my famous omelets and I'm eager to scoot him out the door...then it's a little quiet time while sipping a steaming cup of green tea. After that, I'll bring out the big guns (paint brushes) and get my tedious trim finished up. Hopefully.

Spring Break Day Duex well underway.

Monday, March 16, 2009

LaFonda Sagebrush

Woo hoo! It's Spring Break and I'm just giddy about it! No, I'm no in an exotic location soaking up rays....or hittin' the slopes in a quaint Colorado village. I'm just sitting in my kitchen, happy-happy that my kiddos are home and that I have no school-related responsibilities! I've got a mega-long list of honey-do's (in this case, I'm the honey since K-man's work responsibilities do continue as usual).

Our date Saturday night was fabulous! We went to a Thai restaurant....it was OK, but after a high-dollar dinner like that I always regret not going to my favorite Mexican joint to fill up on chips, salsa and a gigantic burrito, ya know?

Then we went to look at paint colors for our bedroom. I can't think of anything more romantic than being at H*me Depot with my man! I'm serious. Oh and the evening was made extra special because we went to L*wes too. Back off girls, he's all mine.

But as wonderful as it is being in a mega-hardware store with my main squeeze, picking out paint is painful for me....I like so much, and I hate so much. But I've got it narrowed down to a couple of great shades, one being, "LaFonda Sagebrush".....isn't that hilarious! One of my all-time favorite movies is Napoleon Dynamite so I am having a hard time resisting this color, just for the name alone. I'll let you know what I decide.

Ok, I gotta go get busy & pick up where I left off on Saturday painting our woodwork. Today I will only have one little helper (Lucy), unlike when I had K-man laying on the bed watching TV AND watching me paint. He even made a comment about how sexy I looked painting. Flattery will get you nowhere big guy (ok, well maybe it will).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Work-Day....Later, a BIG Date!!

I've been super busy and productive today thus far. I did some knitting (yes, I'm still knitting and lovin' every second of it! You nay sayers need to give it another shot!). Then I moved onto a bigger project....starting an overhaul on our bedroom. I'm beginning with painting all of our woodwork (almond...it's very pretty!).

Right at the moment I've got hair color processing on my head(every month there is an alarmingly higher amount of gray hair popping in...it's just not right), so here I am as I wait.

I will leave you with this cute picture of my friend Martha and me. Our two boys were each awarded a prestigious award at an awards ceremony for their extreme basketball talents! Nick got MVP!!!! Anyway, Martha & I decided that behind every good young man is a FABULOUS mother. So here you go.....

Ok, I gotta go run get ready for my big date tonight with K-man!! I can't wait!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good News!

Good news! I just got an email from our agency saying that the Consulate finally emailed them saying that our remaining documents have been authenticated and are being mailed back today!!! Yippee Jesus! I just knew He was watchin' out for us!!

Urgent News!!

I feel like I have a lot of things to chat with you about today but it may not all come to mind right at the moment! So please check back in later....

FIRST....If you haven't read Lynsay's blog, please do!! They have some exciting news and really need our help if at all possible. For those of you who don't know, Bill and Lynsay have started a ministry in Ch*na, taking in special needs orphans. It has been a hard mountain to climb as they have had a lot of obstacles but WOW! God has answered prayers and performed miracles right before their eyes. You simply must follow their journey! They are on the verge of getting 5 more children!!!! THEY NEED A VAN!!! There is just no way around that...you can't fit that many people in a taxi. Thankfully, they are only a few thousand short! PLEASE, please let me know if you can help financially.

Ok, another URGENT need to share. Our agency (WACAP) has a 13 year old girl (Ch*na) who is turning 14 NEXT MONTH and MUST be adopted. She is in their Promise Child program, which means that MOST of the adoption fees (including orphanage donation) will be waived. If you have your dossier in Ch*na right now and are interested, please let me know and I will help get you to the right person, or simply call WACAP. **Whatever fees you have already paid so far will be reimbursed or put towards your travel fees if you choose to adopt this girl!! Her only SN is that she had an elbow deformity but it has been surgically corrected.

As a follow-up to our saga, there's nothing new to report! As of right now, our agency has tried to call, fax, and email the Consulate...with no response. Nice. But since we are still within the time frame that it normally takes to get these documents back, we aren't taking any further measures yet. Thanks for the idea of a courier....we may do that if we don't hear something soon but our agency was uncertain that they would release any information to a courier who had not previously been involved in our case. (Kim H. please email me...I don't have your email address).

Ok, I gotta run for now! I hope to post good news later regarding any of the above! And perhaps some pics from our basketball awards ceremony last night!

And don't forget to read Lynsay's blog AND the Morning Star Project blog!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things are.....not as I thought

Well, to continue yesterday's story of our dossier gone AWOL, I found out that I misunderstood my newest sweet Colorado friend. I could have sworn she told me she had received our homestudy AND other documents.....but when our agency opened the overnight-package, it was ONLY our homestudy. As I try to re-rack the conversation I had with her....I guess I do recall her saying homestudy over and over....and not dossier. **sigh**

Our case manager emailed to tell me that they received the homestudy and then immediately called the consulate.....and was unable to talk to anyone. **sigh** According to the tracking information, all of our documents arrived in Chicago on March 2.

SO.....I am trusting that all of our documents (and seriously, I am way more worried about all of these than the homestudy because at least we can easily get copies of that. Getting copies of all the other stuff would take SO LONG) are still at the consulate being processed. But what I'm wondering is, what if they have realized that the homestudy is missing (they know how many documents were sent and needed to be authenticated), and as they were perhaps preparing to send it all back....the homestudy is missing. And they are frantically looking for it. And our agency can't reach them to tell them what's going on!

That would truly be the best case scenario. I'm sure that eventually our agency will be able to talk to SOMEONE there. What gives me shivers is that WHAT IF all our other documents went to visit someone else's house? Surely not. According to CF (Colorado Friend), our homestudy was stuck to the bottom of their paperwork. So, I'm thinking it was just a fluke and all the other stuff is safe and sound.

Sooooo, it sure is easy to have great faith when things are going well....or when things appear to be ok. But when things are uncertain....ummm, yep....that's when our faith must be just that, FAITH.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

So as this saga continues, strap on your prayin' caps and join me in praying for protection over all our documents. I don't have to tell ya'll how precious each and every item is.

Ok, this picture has nothing to do with today's post but there's nothing like a cute Lucy pic to end on a good note!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Woot Woot!!! I800 APPROVAL!!!

GOD IS GOOD ALLLLL THE TIME!!! And today I am doin' a glory dance because USCIS (immigration) just called and we got our approval!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippee, yippee, yippee!!!!! Thank you to EVERYONE who has been praying!!! You guys ROCK!!!

Wild Olive

Ok, you simply MUST check out this new site...you MUST!! Click here to GET YOUR VERSE ON!!

God's Protection With Every Step

Throughout both of our adoptions one of my constant prayers has been that God would go along side our paperwork and get it into the hands of compassionate people who treat it with urgency and not let it set idle. There is a certain amount of uneasiness when your hard work of gathering and notarizing every document, making sure that everything is PERFECT, is sent off to various places. You definitley realize that YOU are not in control. Prayer makes a difference, I'm sure of it.

In fact, I got proof of that yesterday afternoon. While making dinner the phone rang. K-man answered and listened intently as whomever on the other end was obviously giving him a lot of information. The look on his face was not that of being annoyed by a telemarketer but that of concern...and confusion. He quickly told the lady that she should talk to me since I am the one who handles our paperwork. Oh dear....what does that mean?

I got on the phone and the gal on the other end introduced herself as another adoptive mom who lives in Colorado. With urgency in her heart, she explained that apparently, OUR dossier, which had been sent to the Ch*na Consulate in Chicago to be authenticated, had been accidentally sent back to HER with HER dossier. For those of you not in the adoption circus, this means that all of our PRECIOUS paperwork...ORIGINAL documents (doctor forms, financial forms, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.), had been sent to be "authenticated" by the Ch*nese Consulate. Basically, they just look over the paperwork, making sure it looks in order and good to go, giving each document individual attached sealed certificates...this is NOT the adoption approval process, just paperwork approval. Are you following me here?).

So, what obviously happened was that our dossier somehow got sent back with this family's dossier. BIG, BIG mistake by the Consulate...ALL of our sensative and very confidential information was now in the hands of complete strangers (they are not even with our adoption agency).

The gal said that they had been on vacation (I think that's what she said...it's all a blur to me now) and that they had just opened their mail, finding the mistake. She immediately called me to tell me about the error. She told me she would overnight it to our agency.

I called our agency to tell our case manager and she was very perplexed and I could sense that she was also a little worried.

Soon after, I received another call from the Colorado gal (I'm withholding her name since I don't have her permission to use it), and she told me she had just been to UPS to overnight it to our agency. I insisted that we pay her back for the shipping charge, though she didn't think that was necessary (adoptive families are the BEST!).

Anyway, when I think about what could have been, if this gal hadn't noticed it for a while...or simply dismissed it as not theirs so just tossed it in the trash (of course, most people wouldn't think of doing that, especially knowing how important it was). It could have set us back MONTHS in our process.

So I'm here today to GLORIFY GOD for answering my prayer of protection over our paperwork and to say a BIG FAT THANK YOU to the caring woman who PROMPTLY went out of her way to help us.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dancin' With the Stars & Toilet Tuesday

I never would have guessed that a post on grammar would generate so much "talk." My hubby came home last night, sat down to read my blog and gave me a blank stare...."what in the world?" Suffice it to say that he didn't finish reading and made it clear that I had dropped the boring bomb on my blog for the day! Well, ok I admit it wasn't exactly earth-shattering and it sure doesn't have any eternal effects (a noun so it's effect, right?) but it was worth a quick brush up on the correct way to use our language, don't ya think? :)

Oh and now I am super paranoid as I'm typing this....and I'm sure you all are too so let's just not worry about it, okie dokie?

Last night the new season of D*ancing with the Stars started, which Brenden (and Nick too....sorta) has been waiting a long time for. But only because Shawn Johnson was on. Here is how that brief moment in our evening looked:

Yes, B is sitting in Lucy's little chair. And she made it known that she didn't like him doing so! But we are trying to teach her to share so we just let B stay there for the duration of the dance. I told B to smile for the camera and he told me that the look he was sporting better showed his intense interest. My kids are so weird.

And I have declared Tuesdays to be Toilet Tuesday because I have figured out that part of my problem with keeping up on housework & other things is that I have no routine. So, I'm scheduling my toilet cleaning. So, today it is. Please hold me accountable.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Grammar Feedback....

Read the post below to understand what this one is all about! And I will update this as more comments come in. :) Look, we're learning!

Ok, this is good...I love the feedback here.

Here is a link to the rules on effect vs. affect. These words always leave me in question...I'm sure I don't use them correctly. I'll try to do better....or just avoid using them.

Well rats! In my very first sentence of my "grammar lesson" post, I just realized I misused an apostrophe. It should read, 90s not 90's according to this site.

Chris...."the cake is all" ???? What's that about? I've never heard that. :)

Anonymous.....AIN'T is truly a classic pet peeve of mine. And I'm sure your son is saying it at this point just to annoy you! My boys used to drive me crazy saying it then I finally quit correcting them and eventually they stopped. Ai not, I love it!

Jill, yes you're right on the to or too rule. I think you explained it perfectly (as far as I know!).

Jan, I'm not sure about my use of there's. So I changed it to there are. :) My rule of thumb is, if I'm not sure I just change it to what I am certain is correct. Oh and I kinda like your lack of use of caps! I think it's cool. :) And I'm so busted on the verses! Good catch, Ben! Yes, it should be versus. UGH. My bad.

Nicole, I AM SO WITH YOU ON THE SIGN THING!!! I see that all the time and I just jump out of my skin.

Jean...ha! Your comment seems flawless to me! And I think you are right...they're not so much grammar errors but typos. I like that. And good vs. well....I'm sure I mess that up as well. :)

Sarah...yes, I noticed one time (while looking over B's shoulder) that you corrected him on the use of patience vs. patients! Good for you. Stay on him. I'm paying way too much tuition for him not to use the skills he's learning.

Nancy....YES, please...people!!!! A LOT is TWO WORDS!!!!! NOT one!!!! Thanks a lot Nancy, I forgot about that one.

Keep it comin' folks...

My Grammar Lesson (for what it's worth)

Way back in the early 90's when I was in beauty school there was another student there who would constantly correct the other students on their grammar. He definitely had his work cut out for him in that place, as you might imagine. He was a super nice guy (and straight as an arrow, btw) and always did his little corrections in a kind way but it still annoyed everyone....except me! I happened to care about how I sounded and wanted to speak correctly.

One of the things he always caught me on was, "I'm done." To which he would say, "No Lori...you are not done. A cake is done. You are finished." Aahh yes. That rule has stuck with me but I still flub it up once in a while.

Also, having homeschooled my boys a few years, emphasizing grammar was important. I have learned more than they have. Perhaps they will homeschool their own children someday and learn it for themselves (and actually enjoy it).

I definitely know that my own use of ........ is a bit much (is that correct at any time?? Idk, but I insist on using ......... because it adds emphasis). I like to think that my use of commas is correct but I know I goof up on that too. Oh, and to and too. That REALLY bugs me...I DO know how to use those words. I need to go to the store. I go to the store too much. Got it.

Another thing that bugs me is the use of I versus me. Kelly and I are going to the store. Do you want to go to the store with Kelly and me?

Lay and lie?? I seriously fail with those words so I simply avoid them. I can never remember the rule, though Brenden has told me several times.

Then there are apostrophes. AAAHHH! This bugs me big time!! A Presidents' Day Sale. Not, President's Day Sale. We are honoring several presidents not just one. We are the Smiths. Not, we are the Smith's. Got it? (No, my last name isn't Smith)

Then there's there, their and they're. Just learn it, k?

Ok, I will stop there because I have made myself look like a complete grammar snob. Truth is, I'm still learning what I should have learned (or paid attention to) years ago. And I am really paranoid now since I know of at least 5 (oops, five) or so teachers who read my blog. AND I often go back and re-read my posts and constantly find mistakes. But what really bugs me is when I read other bloggers who NEVER seem to make grammar or spelling errors! Ok, it doesn't bug me...it makes me jealous! :) The biggest culprit? Stefanie at Ni Hao Ya'll. She is an amazing writer. I drool over her ability to perfectly put a sentence together.

Ok, now I'm getting weird. Here's my assignment for all of you: feel free to correct my grammar and spelling at anytime. Really! But I promise, I won't correct yours...that would be rude.

Have a wonderful day!

*Disclaimer: I am fully aware that there are likely grammar errors within this grammar lesson post. See if you can find one or two.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Day After

The party went well. The lasagna was amazing. But let me just give you a bit of advice...don't have a co-ed teenager party on the night that you spring forward. I had to peel myself out of bed this morning. Peel. I wanted to linger in my zzzz's but knew that missing church because I'm sleepy is a sorry excuse. But I am considering wearing my robe and slippers to service...honestly, no one who knows me will be a bit surprised.

At the moment I'm nursing my gigantic cup of coffee, feeling its effects (affects? I really don't know. But that reminds me...I've got a grammar post brewing in my brain. After reading blog after blog, some of us need to go back to 5th grade). Ok, I digress. I better go get ready for church....fuzzy hot pink robe or chic baby blue?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Big Party and Sarah Palin

I've got an unbelievably busy day today. Brenden is having his big 16th birthday party tonight at our house tonight....which of course means tons of work for me. And instead of just snacks, cake & ice cream....he wants LASAGNA, snacks, cake & ice cream.

I also have to clean, clean, clean....though I'm not sure that a house full of teenagers will really care or notice if my floors are squeaky clean....and they sure as heck won't still be squeaky clean after every one leaves, so really....why bother? But since there will be girls here (who will notice such details), I will give my house at least a lick and a promise.

One of B's birthday presents...yes, a Sarah Palin t-shirt! The only other gal (besides his mother of course) that he would rather have on his shirt is Shawn Johnson (Paula, B keeps asking me if I've made him a dentist appt. yet!!).
**I hesitate to tell you this but it was just so stinkin' funny. When B got this tshirt he said, "Well hello Sarah Palin! You get to be draped across my nipples!"

Friday, March 6, 2009

From Fingerprints to Guacamole

Thankfully, getting up at early-thirty in the morning to get our fingerprints done paid off because we were first in line. ALWAYS a good thing, especially anything government-related, ya know?

The gal asked me to show her my hands...k, no problem. She said, "umm, do you do a lot of work with your hands?" To which my brain is racing with thoughts because I'm just wondering....what kind of job doesn't require you to use your hands...a lot?? I told her I was a stay-at-home mom so yes, I tend to do my housework & such with my hands quite frequently. My attempts to do things without my hands just doesn't have the same outcome.

She also asked if I type a lot. All of a sudden I was questioning myself...has all my blogging worn out my fingerprints?? Has my hobby (aka, addiction) led to my identity being lost? I told her...yes, sort of (my blog posts aren't really that long, are they?)

She then squeezed about a week's worth of lotion in my hand and told me to rub it in....so I did, and did. Then she did my prints on the electronic dealy.

She still wasn't confident about how they turned out (should I be planning a bank robbery knowing that they'll never be able to figure out who done it? JK!) so she also did my prints the old fashioned way....with the ink. She looked them over and thought they looked really good. Whew.

She then proceeded to wipe the ink off my fingers one at a time. Aaaahhh. I told her that to me, it was as good as a relaxing manicure & would she mind doing my feet as well. She declinded. Snot.

We got back home around 9:30 AM (surprisingly early) but it felt like it should be noon...I was starving for real food. I pulled into the garage, carefully got my sweet sleeping Lucy out of her seat, being oh-so-careful not to do anything that would wake her (as I plotted out my path to the couch to lay her down). My plan suddenly halted when the door to inside the house was locked. GGRRR!!! This darn door sometimes just seems to end up locked....??? Sometimes, it's Lucy. Anyway, it didn't matter because it was locked and I was standing there with a sleeping girl. I felt like crying because I knew my plan had been thwarted and she would wake up as I went about trying to get into my house (no, I don't have a house key...stupid, I know).

A glimmer of hope was that Nick was inside....but still asleep (a benefit of homeschooling...but it was definitely time that he should be up). I called him. No answer. No answer. No answer. So, I had no choice but to walk around to the back of the house and knock on his window. Now if this was me on the inside....the first thing I would do would be to call 911. No way would I stick my face in the window to see who was lurking outside. But, Nick's sleepy mug suddenly appeared and he annoyingly got up to unlock the door (let's study attitude adjustments today).

So, I was back on track but of course Lucy was wide awake. Oh well. She did lay down to watch a show while I had another cup of coffee and cookies. That didn't hit the spot in the least because I really wanted lunch (but what?)....I quickly eyed an avocado on the counter and with hope in my heart my print-free fingers gave it a squeeze...Yippee, it's ripe. So I made myself some guacamole, chips and a Pepsi. Ahhh. SO YUMMY!!! And I almost at ALL of it. Don't judge me.

Ok, I've rambled enough. Have a wonderfully great weekend and I'm so sorry that we all will be losing an hour of precious sleep. As I recall, I made a plan to change the whole spring forward thing....but apparently I was all alone in my ideas because no one gave my post on it one single comment. :(

More Fingerprints

We are off early, early this morning to get our fingerprints done for immigration. Our Senator petitioned on our behalf and USCIS has agreed to expedite our case....in my mind that means we will get approval really soon but who knows how quickly it will really happen. The manager (who is the one handling our case) said they are as far as they can go until they receive our prints....I REALLY hope that means they have already reviewed our homestudy!!! I'm praying that we hear good news some time next week.

I have a super busy day today so I may not post anything else today...so sorry!

Lucy saw me kneeling down so K-man could take my picture (for Shu Li's album), so of course she had to pose the same way (sorta)!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sorry the post below is kinda hard to read....I cut and pasted it from my email and it wouldn't let me change the colors! But it's pretty funny so muddle through it the best you can....

Healthy Level of Insanity

Ok, I have a confession...(but I know I'm not alone)....I hate (MOST) email forwards. But here is one I got from my MIL that I loved and had to pass onto you all...

To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1 . At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars.

See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't DisguiseYour Voice. !

3. Every Time Someone Asks You to Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks . Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

5. In the Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ' For Marijuana'

6. Skip down the hall Rather Than Walk and see how many looks you get

7. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

8. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go'.

9. Sing Along At The Opera.

10. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because You have a headache.

11. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won! I Won!'

12. When Leaving the Zoo, Start Running towards the Parking lot, Yelling 'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'

13. Tell Your Children Over Dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.'

14. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity

Send This E-mail To Someone To Make Them Smile.

It's Called


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