Monday, December 31, 2007
There have been the continuation of friendships that have been on-going for years. The "Girls", Sharon, Jennifer, Dianne, Iris and Dawn, remain a steady source of support for one another and I know I speak for all of us when I say I can't imagine life without them. I was blessed to make new friends and even more blessed not to lose any of the ones I have. I continue to be blessed by my friend Susan who challenges the way I think, points out when I'm wrong, listens when I complain and buys me Starbucks' gift cards.
My mother was seriously ill a lot this year, but as the day draws to a close I have heard how she is cleaning and washing and organizing and preparing for the new year. For those simple activities that she can enjoy I am thankful for there were many, many times this year that those things were not possible. We have been blessed to have had the Lord provide healing from cancer, deliverance from much of her pain through physical therapy and even after much difficulty post-operatively, the successful removal of her gall bladder and thyroid.
My dad was healthy throughout 2007 and had good results from a colonoscopy this year. He continues to work at The Home Depot and get up earlier than the chickens. He developed a huge interest in computers and cameras this year.
Joshua has done well in his new school, both behaviorally and academically. It was a good move for him. He did well in sports this year and looks forward to basketball, baseball and football for the coming year. 2008 will see him enter middle school. How can this be? He just isn't old enough! 2008 will also see his tonsils and adenoids out -- a procedure that has my mommy-fear on high alert. I know that God gave him to me and that He loves him more than even I do. I know He will take care of him. 2007 was the year we learned of both his and my ADHD diagnosis and we have truly come a long way this year in finding what works for him, for me and for our family. Knowledge truly is power in this case.
Kevin has done well this year at work, completing the submission of his packet to become a Senior Geologist and move up to a more managerial position in the company. This is something he has wanted for a long time and I know he is happy to have achieved it. He has been asked to be a Deacon Partner at church in the coming year and is very excited about that. I am very proud of him and thank God for blessing this man who takes such good care of us.
And me, well, 2007 didn't bring my daughter, but it allowed God to use this time to mature me and grow me more into the person He needs me to be. I was able to travel several times this year to South Carolina to do projects and while it is always hard to be away and is hard when I return, the time away is always like a respite from "real life" and allows me time to focus on my relationship with God as I only have responsibility for myself during that time. I was blessed in my time facilitiating the Beth Moore classs on A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place. 2008 will bring about facilitating another Beth Moore class, Stepping Up. I am truly looking forward to it as I grow immeasurably from each study of hers that I do. Sadly, I know it will bring on more direct attacks from Satan as I work to study God's word in-depth, but it is a price I am willing to pay to grow closer to Him.
I have become so much more aware of the plight of poverty, homelessness, orphans and political unrest in the world around us. Sadly, I have become somewhat jaded about the world of adoption and of the agendas of the agencies who proport to serve these populations, but I know that my God is the Ancient of Days and that in the end, He will work it out so I don't have to.
I lost my dear friend this year, Scatty-Ratty-Patty-Boombalatty, aka Scat, my big fat yellow kitty who had such a hard life, medically. There are times I still catch sight of him out of the corner of my eye -- walking through the house. I suspect that 2008 might be the year we loose our Sunshine, an old girl who has been a good dog.
I feel I have settled more into my church and have made more friends -- a hard task for someone who really prefers to be the introvert. I have made many new friends online through my adoption research.
I still have my Grandmother, but each year, we think it will be her last. She turned 80 this year. She is only a little short of living to be the oldest of her siblings.
2008 brought home Reed from Taiwan; the birth of Caleb; the pregnancy of my friend DeeAnna; and the move of our friends, The Lyons to another church. It brought about the recent referral of Mikayla from Hong Kong to our friends Mark and Anita after their move from Tennessee to Florida this year. We saw the referral and subsequent travel of friends, The Hoods from Smyrna, who traveled to China to get Jadyn. My high school friend Terri traveled to China to get Teagan (and she also experienced the marriage of her daughter and birth of her granddaughter this year as well). And fellow Tennesseeans, the Hindman's traveled to China to pick up Zoey. 2007 saw the miracle of Brea Wusterbarth, a precious little one originally from China who received a heart transplant.
2007 saw me turn 40, my grandmother turn 80 and my son turn 10. It was a year of "0's". It was the year that dear friend Phyllis Trevathan, who also turned a "0" age this year, left our cul de sac to marry and move to Franklin. Sadly it was the year that my dear friend Stoney lost his brother, Dean, and uncle, Cecil, both unexpectedly.
It was the year that Kevin and I first got to attend the Weekend to Remember marriage conference at Opryland -- it was life changing and a wonderful experience -- thanks to our Sunday school teachers, The Felts'.
It was the first year that all of Kevin's family had been together for a holiday in many, many years. It was such a blessing to have Thanksgiving all together and for all of the family to finally all be in the States at the same time.
It was a good year, all things considered. It was a year that made me laugh and cry, to glorify and praise God and to question Him. It was a year to be thankful.
I look forward to 2008 and all the excitement it has in store!!
Happy New Year Dear Friends!
Heart contents by Maria at 10:13 PM
This is the link to their site, The Footprints Network. Their goals (from their site) are:
With two billion of the world's people living on less than $2 a day, alleviating this crushing poverty and the health, social and environmental ills that accompany it, is everyone's responsibility. Most projects we support are in developing countries, as these projects yield the greatest social return on investment.
We support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which aim to significantly reduce world poverty by the year 2015:
- Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
- Achieving universal primary education
- Promoting gender equality and empowering women
- Reducing child mortality
- Improving materanal health
- Combating HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Ensuring environmental sustainability
- Developing a global partnership for development
Heart contents by Maria at 3:46 PM
I came home to search for a video of this and was amazed again by God when the video I choose to watch (out of many on YouTube) was one with photos of people who are Asian. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. As I watched this video I realized just how my viewpoints on life have changed. I want, so desperately, for God to use me, to change lives. I want to fully give myself to Him to do great things. I just can't imagine knowing the needs in today's world and not wanting to DO something about it. But for the grace of God go I.
Heart contents by Maria at 3:18 PM
We are beginning to exhaust every effort we know how to in an effort to bring Ellie home this year. The fees associated with adopting from Kyrgyzstan are roughly $37,000. We have some of these fees, but no where near ALL of the fees. We are implementing some small fundraisers here on our blog.
- There are links to the left for magazine sales. We get 40% of the cost of the subscription and the rates are lower than most places.
- We have added an ONLINE MALL for those of you who shop online. We get a small percentage if you make purchases. If you regularly buy things online, consider coming here to this site, clicking the link to the left and connecting to the site that way. We only get paid if you go through our link. There are wonderful stores like Wal-mart, Target, K-Mart, Dell, Circuit City, BestBuy, Overstock.com, RitzCamera, Office Depot, Toys R Us, KB Toys, I-tunes, GAP, The Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Dicks Sporting Goods, Nike, Linens and Things and PacSun. There are also LOTS of SPECIALS and CLEARANCES that are only good through these links.
These are the small things we are doing. Some of the other "small" ways we are trying to fund our adoption account include:
- Our family is cutting out "eating out" for a month. That money we would normally spend is going into our adoption fund. The additional benefit is we will eat healthier for a month.
- We are cutting back to basic cable. We only watch a couple of channels at our house and think we can save around $30 a month here.
- We are looking for "found" money. Everyone occasionally gets a check for something they weren't expecting. Just this past month we got birthday money, a check for a sweatshirt we had sold to someone, Christmas money and money from selling a couple of extra tickets we had to the Music City Bowl. This alone added several hundred dollars to our adoption account.
- We have cancelled our Netflix account. $10 a month there is a savings, considering we hardly ever use it.
- Kevin is having repairs made to the van and we are going to sell it.
- We are considering absolutely every purchase on whether or not we actually need it or just want it. Wants are out the door until Ellie comes home.
Will it add up to $36,000? Not each of these things individually, but we hope that it is the start of a snowball effect and that other fundraising efforts we will try in early spring will help. Continue to pray for our family as we seek to do God's will.
Kevin, Maria and Joshua
Heart contents by Maria at 2:10 PM
Last night we were in the car and Joshua was trying, once again, to pop his ears. I suppose his sinuses are in a jam because he's all the time trying to "pop his ears". The feel full, he says.
So, I say, "Joshua, are your ears stopped up again."
He says, "Yes, everytime I get near water they stop up." Huh??? We were passing a pond.
Then he says, "When I stick my fingers in my ears, my eyes sweat."
After a one second pause, both Kevin and I burst into laughter. It hurt his feelings, but, gosh, it was just so funny!!
Then, this morning, he lost a tooth. I went over to see "the hole" that he wanted me to see. He had said, "Well, thank goodness I have two holes in my mouth now." Huhhhh???
When I couldn't see another "hole", I asked where it was. He ran his tongue around his mouth and then proclaimed, "I guess the hole grew in." Ahh.....
Josh-isms -- a daily breath of fresh air.
Heart contents by Maria at 10:16 AM
Kyrgyzstan was born on the 31st of August, 1991 as a sovereign modern democratic state. Though young in years, it has a rich heritage and cultural continuity that dates back to many thousand years of antiquity and history.
Situated in the North-East of Central Asia it has a total area of 198.5 thousand square kilometres supporting a population of 4.700.000. Kyrgyzstan borders with Kazakhstan in the North, Uzbekistan in the West, Tadjikistan in the South West, and China in the South East.
Kyrgyzstan is at the same altitude with Italy and only a little smaller in area.
Wool processing and cotton growing occupy a conspicuous place in the economy of the republic.
Now the republic is actively developing tourism, aiming it to be a leading article of economy in the future. To coordinate the activities and to render state assistance to the newly established enterprises the Ministry of Tourism has been formed.
Peerless in beauty and salubrious properties are forest tracks of the Tien- Shan fir, Semyonov silver fir, long-living archa-tree, pistachio-tree, almond-tree. Thickets of sea-buckthorn, black currants and dog-rose are the world largest.
Materials for making plates and dishes, horse saddles and harness - wool, leather, skins and wood - were procured on the spot. National masters have long supplied the local market with articles magnificent in beauty and simplicity. These items have been passed from one generation to the next, along with the secrets of their making.Fortunately, ancient traditions are not lost today. The traditional Kyrgyz handicrafts that are still practised by local craftsmen are rug and carpet making, jewellery making, leatherwork, wood turning, metal chasing and embossing etc.
Having a nomadic life-style, Kyrgyz people have used a material made of felt. As felt is very warm, it protects the Kyrgyz national dwelling (yurta), however it is also used to make felt rugs with coloured panels sewn on (shyrdak) or pressed on (alakiz), and wool tapestries.
Heart contents by Maria at 12:16 AM
Friday, December 28, 2007
I hope they have a wonderful, wonderful life with their blessing from God. Congratulations my friends!
Heart contents by Maria at 9:05 PM
We have officially made our decision to go to Kyrgyzstan. Our application was mailed off to our new agency and accepted. We have received our contracts and dossier checklist from them. Once we have an updated home study, we will sign our contract, send it and our first payment and will officially be "on the list" for a referral. After that we will complete the remaining documents needed for our full dossier. During this time we will wait for our new I171H. Apparently, in order to stay in line with China, we will need to file (and pay for) a new I600A (Petition to adopt an orphan). This will require another fingerprinting session. Since our others are about to expire, we will probably have to fingerprint twice in the next few weeks. WHY can our government not use one set of prints??? We are proceeding without the help (or technically, the "approval" of our first (China) agency. They have been less than helpful and have told us it could take several months for them to come to a place where they will have policy in place to allow for concurrent adoptions. We are not willing to wait any longer.
We are using another local agency (yes, our third) to update our home study. We have an appointment with them January 10 for our first meeting. After that, they will come to our house (major house cleaning coming up!!) and finalize the home study update within two weeks after that. We have multiple documents to gather for them as well.
Today we opened an adoption account at our local bank. That was another step that made this process feel "real". We felt we needed to keep these funds separate from our regular account since we were paying for our China adoption for our regular account.
I am in the "gathering" phase, paperchasing. It gives me something tangible to do. It's easier than the waiting phase -- which I don't do so well.
Hopefully, we will be "on the list" by end of January. Based on the information we've been given, we could receive a referral sometime between March and July. We would travel a week or two after that for our first trip/visit. We would stay about 2 weeks and then return home for somewhere between 4-8 weeks and then one of us will return to bring Ellie home.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:53 PM
We anticipate having his passport mid-February. He was really excited about it.
It's hard for me to imagine that as a ten-year-old he will be an international traveller. I'm a, well, we all know how old I am, and I'm just now going to be a true international traveller. I don't count Canada and Mexico or our cruises as true international travel.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:50 PM
Christmas Eve at parents
Christmas Day and Santa
Finally 40!Thanks Dianne
Contracts Received for Adoption
Caleb's Birth and Visit
Kygyzstan to Name a Mountain for Santa
I hope there aren't folks getting this on feed -- if you are, beware, it's going to all come tonight -- properly recorded with photos in fast succession as I try to catch up with recording what's going on in our lives.
Whew, I'm tired already.
Hold onto your hats folks, here we go!
Heart contents by Maria at 7:48 PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
It is with much apprehension that I post it here for fear that you all might actually THINK that my hair is this high and white -- believe me, others have thought this -- or that you will feel the need to call me to comment on this, um, lovely photo of me and it's accompanying caption. However, what blog would be complete without all the facts? And, what is life if you can't poke fun at yourself. So in that spirit, here you go ...
Be sure to note the FLAMING candles and the crown. My life is complete.
The next day, I saw the following car in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrell. I think it would be the perfect ride for "Queenie".
For those of you who are frequent readers of this blog, you will remember that a few weeks ago I made a list of the things I would be doing in my last days of my 30s. Please note: finding an ad in the Times with my "Queen" photo was NOT on the list.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:32 PM
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
What a difference a year can make.
Now, here we are wanting to continue down that path, and, at the same time, wanting to travel down another path as well.
We can't wait to see what 2008 will bring, but we know that God will be in control of it.
Heart contents by Maria at 6:56 PM
Monday, December 24, 2007
Kygyzstan to Name a Mountain for Santa
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - This former Soviet republic has mountains honoring Communist and Russian leaders. Just in time for Christmas, autrorities say they plan to name a snowy peak, 'Mount Santa Claus.'
Three climbers set off Wednesday to scale the designated peak and bury a capsule containing the flag of Kyrgyzstan at the summit on Christmas Eve.
Why is a predominantly Muslim and former Soviet land honoring the jolly old elf?
'We want to develop tourism and Santa Claus is an ideal brand to help us do this.' said Nurhon Tadzhibayeva, an official with Kyrgyz tourist authorities.
Plans are afoot to hold an international Santa Claus congress in Kyrgyzstan in the summer, Tadzhibayeva said. The country also intends to hold annual games in which Santas from all
over the world will test their chimney-climbing, sled-racing and tree decorating skills.
Other Kyrgyzstan peaks bear the names of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin and former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
And, as my fellow blogger shared, PLEASE, PLEASE let our travel dates concur with the dates of the SANTA CLAUS CONGRESS!!!
Heart contents by Maria at 8:45 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Last night, Kevin and Joshua went to see National Treasure 2, Book of Secrets. I decided to stay home because my friend Susan told me she was coming to see me today. Knowing how HORRIBLE my house was and not being able to stand it anymore, I told them to go and I'd work on cleaning out the "junk" room, putting up Joshua's tree and cleaning the upstairs.
They came home and shortly after, Kevin said that he thought he'd eaten too much popcorn and that his stomach hurt. It went downhill from there. He ended up with some sort of virus and was very sick. I couldn't understand why he was leaning over the trashcan going, "This CANNOT be happening now." I tried to be re-assuring as I told him, "It's no big deal; it's just a virus. We don't have anything planned. You can just rest." HAHAHAHAHA Little did I know.
Today, I got up and got Josh and I ready for church and took all our goodies (it was class party day) as Kevin was still laying on the couch, looking pitiful. He said to me, "We need to talk when you get back." Still, nothing -- although I was curious about what he wanted to talk to me about.
When we returned from church, I told him I needed to run into town to finish up some last minute Christmas shopping and he blurted out, "Well, I have to go to Sams." I'm like, "What??? You can't get up, much less go to Sams. What is it? I'll get it for you." He said, "It's your birthday cake. I'm having you a surprise birthday party this afternoon." Well, surprise to me!!!!
So, the irony and fun was that I got to go to Sam's to pick up my own cake and got goodies/snacks too. Imagine my next surprise when I found out that "the girls" had already taken care of all the food. *smile* My freezer is now full of all kinds of hors douevres and goodies.
The next big surprise was for Sharon and Jennifer when I showed up at the party -- driving myself and with the cake. Apparently, Iris had not told them that I knew so when I drove up they were mortified. It was just one big laugh after another. No one can say my turning 40 was anything but a surprise and a laugh. Poor Kevin, he didn't even get to come to the party he planned for me.
We all had a nice time, though, with good food and good friends (wow, I sound like an Applebee's commercial). There were presents and cake -- my two favorite things -- so the party was a success in my eyes. *smile* Ellie even got some presents and she's not even here!!!
I'm glad to report that by the time we got home, Kevin was feeling a lot better. He slept pretty much all day. He was hungry when I got home, so he's surely on the mend.
The greatest story from his being sick is when I called home to ask a question while I was at Sams, I heard him saying, "Josh! Stop, quit!" I asked what was the matter and he told me, "Joshua is Lysol-ing me and the CAT!" That's my boy!!
The Girls - Back L to R: Dawn, Dianne, Jennifer and Iris
Front: Me and Sharon (she's next on the big "4-0" train)
My parents with me
Heart contents by Maria at 7:55 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Heart contents by Maria at 9:09 PM
Tonight was our Girl's Night Out (GNO) Christmas get-together (there will be separate post covering "The Girls") and we went to eat at O'Charley's. There was a family there waiting to be seated and we started talking to them. They had a little boy who was three, twins (a boy and a girl) who were two and the mom (22) was pregnant again. Now, all that is fine. I've finally gotten to a point that all that is just ok with me. But, the little boy was a little bit lively, and as they were walking in, he was acting up and the mom grabbed his arm and kicked him in the bottom. We all just kind of were stunned. She had said earlier when we were talking to her, "I had to get a job to get some time away from them." What?
Then, I come home to read in my email about a little boy in China who died before he was able to come home to his family. Granted I know he has been "matched" with the best family -- his eternal Father -- and his best home -- heaven, but it makes me sad. He is one of three who died this week waiting for their forever families.
I think the reason this really makes me the most sad, and angry, is because of a conversation I had with our agency this week (the first one that we are working with for China). We have waited and waited to hear from them about their decision on their policy on concurrent/interim adoption. While CCAA (China's Adoption governing body) has made a public statement allowing concurrent adoptions because of current wait times, our agency says:
As soon as the multi-agency organization (JCICS) publishes the list of agencies that are participating in concurrent adoptions, we will move forward with supporting families that request and are approved to do this. Until then, there are no guidelines or practices in place, and therefore, we are not in a position to approve these quite yet. As I'm sure you and your families can understand... this affects more than just our China program and the process of establishing a new policy is quite cumbersome. We hope that families appreciate our deliberate approach to being cautious and detailed in preparing for their adoption(s). We are working on developing specific interagency agreements, refund policies, social work assessment and reassessment tools for families and workers, and of course, clarifying with CCAA the details of their eligibility requirements should a child from another placement join the family prior to a Chinese child. We ask for workers and families to be patient as we move forward with all our "ducks in a row" so that the best interest of the child can continue to be provided, all while servicing families with these additional requests.
I spoke with our social worker this week and, for the first time, have become significantly upset with her and have voiced this displeasure. While this agency continues to spend months upon months debating the impact and developing policies and researching this, that and the other, BABIES ARE DYING!!!! I have explained that we are not trying to change the world, nor this agency, nor how they operate. I understand the need for developing appropriate, well thought out policies to protect both the agency and the children. However, this agency is a MULTI-BILLION dollar (non-profit) corporation whose mission is to find homes for children who need them. What I am trying to do is ascertain how much longer they will take and if they will allow this to happen. She said it could be months and she doesn't know if we will be able to do it. The director of the China program sent an email (that apparently wasn't supposed to be shared with us) asking multiple questions about how the process would go with our doing a concurrent adoption. I answered each and every question as it related to our situation and sent it back to our social worker. I was told, "These were rhetorical questions. The agency is developing their own answers to these questions and they do not need or want your input." Hmmmm... thanks. I reminded the social worker that they are a SERVICE-ORIENTED, FEE FOR SERVICE agency and that we had paid them several thousand dollars and that maybe a little cooperation would be nice. *sigh*
So . . . when I read stories about the babies that die waiting, or when I see the moms who have the babies who probably don't yet realize what a blessing they are (myself included in this at times, I think), I stop and ask, "Why?" No more, no less -- just, "Why?"
Heart contents by Maria at 12:11 AM
Friday, December 21, 2007
Katie's brother, Daniel, was given "The Claw" a toy that resembles the large ones in the stores that you drop a buck into and try to pick up a stuffed animal with the claw. This one is for candy. Of course, I didn't READ the box and didn't know it takes 3 "D" sized batteries so we couldn't play with it. DUH!
Heart contents by Maria at 6:00 PM
For Christmas this year, we had planned to go to a restaurant in Pleasant View to eat and back to Jennifer's house to watch Wild Hogs. We had seen this at the movies back in the summer and wanted to see it again.
As it turned out, the restaurant was closed tonight and so we went to O'Charleys, followed by a quick stop at Walmart (really, only 20 minutes) and then we went back to Jennifer's house. It was 10:00 by the time we got back to Jennifer's so the movie was pretty much out at that point. We looked at some of Jennifer's old photos and talked about what we might do for a little trip or something special this year since all of us (yes, except you Dawn) were turning 40 (HOW did THAT happen???). We never really came up with a plan -- not surprising -- but we did have a lot of fun!! I am always happier when I have spent time with them. I always laugh; I sometimes cry; I'm sometimes made mad and sometimes made fun of. It is always good.
Heart contents by Maria at 12:32 AM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Josh and his teacher Mrs. Stroup
"I'm going in head first"
Josh and Meagan waiting patiently to open those stockings
What a big stocking you have there!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The full devotional can be found in the archives. However, this was not your regular Christmas devotional. It was about God's timing. There was a nice story to share:
"God is always on time, at just the right time – George Mueller, the great prayer warrior from the 19th century, once waited on a dock for a special chair to be delivered. He had a bad back and needed the chair for the ocean voyage ahead of him. When the departure time grew close and the chair still had not arrived, Mueller’s friends offered to buy a substitute chair, but Mueller said no – “Either God will provide the chair, or he’ll give grace to do without it.” Like a Hollywood ending, the chair arrived just in time, right on time. Mueller noted, “If the chair had arrived earlier, we might have dismissed the provision of God.” This Christmas, point out the provisions of God when you see them."
There was another section that struck me personally. It said:
"What if you were certain God would provide? – How would you act, think, and live differently if you were absolutely certain God was at the end of the deadline? That is, even if there were mere seconds left, you still believed with certainty that God was working through your circumstances? Believing he’s there and about to provide is the essence of faith. Tell God, “I believe; help my unbelief.”
I sat in church on Sunday and struggled with this thought in regards to the adoption. I have periods of time when I really want 1000% to believe it will all work out and that God will give us all we need to complete this adoption. Then Satan pokes his nasty little head in and says, "Don't get too confident. What if you get to the referral and something goes wrong? What if you wait, in faith, until the last minute and God doesn't provide." I literally had to tell Satan to leave my head Sunday during the service.
And then, today, this came. TELL GOD, "I believe; help my unbelief."
God is good to always provide me with the support and encouragement when I need it. Why would I think He would do less in other areas of my life?
Heart contents by Maria at 10:57 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
There are eight boys on his team. He and two other boys are the tallest -- all about the same height. His coach seems really nice but he didn't have a lot to say to the parents.
Josh did well for his first night once he got over looking over to us to see if he was doing well. He was quite nervous as he didn't know anyone there. I was really proud that he went on it and tried hard. I know it took a lot of courage for him to do that.
He's looking forward to the next practice. This is a recreation league so while he will learn, the emphasis is more on playing and learning than competition.
Heart contents by Maria at 10:53 PM
The fourth grade class at Joshua's school is studying Colonial times. They have decorated two trees, a modern tree and a colonial tree. Their teacher wanted them to be able to see someone stringing popcorn and someone stringing cranberries. Ms. Krantz came and did the cranberries while I did the popcorn.
Ms. Stroup read the class a book called If you lived in Colonial Times. It was a really interesting book.
I wanted to to eat the popcorn, but with all the kids there I couldn't. It wasn't a hard job, but it took a long time. I think we'll try to do that at home. The garland was SO pretty. I really liked the cranberry garland as well, but the berries stain your hands and it just seems a bit messy.
Ms. Krantz took a photo of Josh and and I took photos of her and her daughters. These were made in front of the colonial tree. All the things were handmade on this tree.
Heart contents by Maria at 10:29 PM
Heart contents by Maria at 9:37 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Heart contents by Maria at 10:21 PM
This gentleman does LOTS of missionary work and is currently collecting digital cameras, rechargable batteries, etc. to give to the orphanages in Kyrgyzstan (where Ellie will be from). Click the link above for full details, but if ANYONE has any of the items he mentioned and wanted to donate them, his address is provided. I'd also be glad to collect and ship a shipment of them to him.
Imagine -- having only two or three photos of yourself at age eight.
I am an adult adoptee. The one thing that brought me to absolute tears during my reunion period was finding baby pictures of me that I never knew existed (I was adopted at 22 months) and knowing that my son looked just like me when I was a baby. I'm tearing up even as I write this. There is something incredibly "void" in a person's life when you do not have baby photos. Imagine the joy for families who adopt these children and are able to have photos of their children as little babies -- feasibly from the time they enter the orphanage.
I RUIN every camera I have so the reason I upgrade is of sheer necessity. I have three hanging on the wall over in the kitchen and all are broken. I'm not sure WHY I'm keeping them. I will, however, probably purchase a battery charger and some memory cards to donate.
Blessings to all who read this and whose heart is moved to help! You could be providing the help to make sure I get baby photos of my Ellie.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:48 PM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
One of the things that is most special to Joshua is his stuffed "Kitty". We've had to replaced several of these when Bear (our dog) was younger as we'd come home and find eyeballs and stuffing all through the house where he would rip it apart. We've had this one for several years now as Bear seems to have lost interest. Kitty has gone on all the trips we have and continues to reside in Joshua's bed. *ssshhhh* Don't tell though -- Joshua would be embarrassed.
Heart contents by Maria at 9:47 PM