Sunday, May 31, 2009

In My Next Life ....

I'd like to come back to be my cat. Look at this life of leisure:

It seems to be a common theme around here today:

And, it looks like such fun, I think I will do it too.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ellie, AP and C

Here are two cutie-pie pix I lifted off A's blog from when we met up on Friday. Aren't they all sweet? In the last picture, Ellie is showing off by performing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. I have to video her doing it; it's so funny. And yes, Josh WAS with us, but he did not want to be in the picture. Ahhh.... eleven-year-old boys. *smile*

Monkey Ellie

You'll remember I mentioned Ellie was turning into a monkey, right? Well, I've lifted these photos from Dee'Anna's page showing exactly how Little Miss climbs right out of her pack and play. Of course, the pack and play is no longer her napping location. Silly monkey ... how does she DO this??

Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Job, Josh

We got Josh's last report card today and he had 2 A's and 2 B's for the final nine weeks. His year end averages where definitely more A's than B's. He's had a very successful first year of midde school. I hope he continues to do well in school. We are really proud of you, Josh!!

14 Months Old

Today "The Princess" turned 14 months old. She is such a pistol. We met A. today who brought Ellie some birthday presents from AP and C. and from Hotdog. Hopefully, I can get pictures of the goodies and post them tomorrow. It was all so, so cute!! A. took some cute pictures of Ellie, AP and C. When she posts then, I'll add a link. Dee'Anna also took some cute pix of Ellie too (and of her climbing out of her pack and play), so I'll link to her as well when she gets those up. In the meantime, here are a couple from last night's ballgame. Speaking of last night's game Joshua made an incredible diving catch last night. He was absolutely "on" during last night's game. Unfortunately, his team lost by two runs.

Ellie hanging out with "Aunt Maggie", who brought her a bag of Honey Nut Cheerio mix to eat during the game. Ellie loved it!!

Ellie eating some icing off a cupcake. One of the boys had a birthday yesterday and brought cupcakes. Ellie was pretty darned fond of that icing!!

Happy birthday, wee one!!

Josh's Golf Disappointment

Yesterday, Josh went to try out for the middle school golf team.

While most parents are very quick to point out their children's successes, it's hard to challenging to share when your children are not as successful in obtaining their dreams. However, when Josh looks back in life I want him to understand that just because he didn't get what he wanted all the time, it wasn't a life altering event. I want him to see the disappointments in perspective to all the good that is in his life. But, on the other hand, I want him to realize that in life there will be disappointments -- sometimes many, and most bigger than this one.

So, Josh went to try out for the middle school golf team. We sort of thought that if you tried out, you made it. At least that's the way it was last year. This year, however, there were 14 kids who were trying out so it was based on skill levels and not just "showing up". There were 5 girls who showed up too, and we think the school is starting a girl's team. That's good news for the girls! But, after spendingi 2.5 hours there, we found out this morning that Josh didn't make the team. She only added two incoming sixth graders to the team.

Josh took it well and didn't seem very upset (on the outside). We did tell him we would check into the free lessons for kids at our local golf course. He seemed excited about this.

It really hurt to find out he didn't make it and to have to tell him. Being a parent in these situations really stinks. You want your children to be successful and happy, and it's just hard at those times when you realize that they aren't always going to be.

Ah... parenting, hard work!

Parenting Lessons from ... My Hair

It was time; it was way past time. My husband had even commented, "I didn't know you had so much gray in your hair." Tact is not his middle name. So, I managed to eke out a half hour today to put some color on this head of hair.

I've discovered I have follicularly challenged hair. It does not matter what the box says my hair color will be, my hair doesn't understand. I even had a conversation with it this time, telling it that it was not to turn out too dark. Instead of medium brown, or warm brown or any of those "medium" colors, I decided to try to "fool" my follicles by getting a "light" shade. There was a lovely color chart on the side of the box that said, based on my hair color, I would get this lovely honey, golden brown color. It was a beautiful shade, honestly. I showed the box to my hair, reminded them of their job and then covered them up with color. I was supposed to wait 25 minutes. At 10 minutes I realized the color that had dropped on my shirt was turning an alarming shade of dark, dark brown. Understanding the limitations of my hair to perform its job correctly and understand directions, I decided to rinse right away. Ten minutes -- not twenty five, mind you. Did I get a lovely honey, fawn colored, light brown? OF COURSE NOT!!! I have some kind of auburn dark brown. Oh well, it was a much better improvement over the black I got when I used "medium" brown. I'm fine with the color, honestly, but it is certainly not what I expected.

And then, as I got to drying my hair I started to think about how my hair was a lot like parenting. You go into parenting with "the manual" (your preconceived notions of how it will or should be) and a picture of what this is going to turn out looking like. And then, you realize after several unsuccessful tries to obtain that picture, that this is not turning out right. For some, it means that their children learn, act or behave in a manner that is not like what they expected. Then, you begin to tweak a little here and there; you try things in ways you've never thought of before. As you do, you start to see a subtle turn toward the direction you were planning to go -- toward that picture you have of the "perfect child" (which, by the way, doesn't exist). And then one day you wake up and realize that even though you didn't get "lovely, honey, fawn-colored light brown" that the auburn dark brown is a color that is good that, even though you didn't expect it, you really, really like it -- one might say you love it just the way it is.

I think, in all honesty, the chemicals might have gotten to me and might have fried some of my brain cells. *smile*

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


There have been those that have asked what we plan to do about our logged in dossier in China. I wish we could give you a firm answer, but the truth is, we don't really know either. When you have paid as much as we have, it's hard to think we would "lose" that money if we don't go forward. However, to complete another adoption would cost more too, so it's a Catch 22. In addition there are so many other factors to consider: our ages, our financial resources, our house size, our abilities to parent another child, our current children's needs and wishes, God's desire for our family -- so many things that Kevin and I have just begun to talk through and pray about. We have to make some decisions soon because we are due to fingerprint (again) in June. However, just because we fingerprint doesn't mean we would complete an adoption.

I looked on the China Adoption forecast website and found the following:

Our prediction for LID 2006-12-25:
China has 286 days of dossiers to be processed before they get to your dossier. China currently processes about 4.2 days of dossiers each month.
Our best guess: 2014-12-22 (EIGHT YEARS from start to finish??)

I KNOW we will not wait that long. However, if we considered the special needs route, it would likely be much sooner.

I think we are both leaning toward no, but the maybe is still sitting there and the yes raised it's head a fews times over the past months. Stay tuned to see where God leads us next.

I "Heart" Goodwill

It's my new favorite obsession place. Yesterday I stopped at the Hendersonville Goodwill and found an original Ka*te Spa*de purse (from 2000, I looked it up) for $1.49. HA! Of course, it didn't matter because I liked it no matter what name it had on it.

Today, I stopped at the one in Springfield and got Ellie a VCR (we have tons of kids movies with nothing to play them on) for $5.99 and TA-DA, it works! It even came with a remote AND, best of all, the battery in it worked. HA!! I'm having great luck at Goodwill!!
Oh, and an added note: Josh has been out of school two days -- yes, two days and this is what I heard today, "I wish I were back at school. There is nothing to do here. I'm bored." *sigh*\

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is she turning into a monkey???

The little one living in our house has discovered climbing and she has embraced it fully. Today, Dee'Anna said that she climbed out of her pack and play at naptime. Now, those of you who have kids and pack and plays know that they are pretty deep. Dee'Anna said she put her feet one on top of another over in the corner and just climbed up and was about to fall out when she grabbed her.

At home, she's climbing on the pillows, over the back of the couch and trying to climb over it onto the end table. She's learned how to back down off of anything she gets up onto and just shows no fear. She scares the heck out of me. When she's around, you have to be constantly on your game.

To be so little, I don't know how she does it, but I know that the bumper pads are coming out of her crib before she realizes she can climb up on those.

Firsts ...

One year ago today, I held my daughter for the first time as did Kevin and Josh. It was the first time our friends Bill and Elizabeth met their daughter Aidai. We forged relationships that day that will never be broken. The gamut of emotions were high that day for all of us, but I think the photos speak volumes.
My first picture holding Ellie. She was such a tiny peanut. She never opened her eyes the entire first visit. Funny, she doesn't sleep like this anymore -- haha!!

Daddy's first time holding Ellie...

Josh's first time holding Ellie ...

My two children -- I love this picture!

Our first photo as a family of four (even though, technically, we weren't yet -- God knew we were!)
Bill, Elizabeth and Aidai -- look at those smiles!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day

I hope everyone had a great weekend celebrating Memorial Day and remembering those who have given their lives for our freedom.

We didn't do anything very special this year. Josh went to a birthday/swimming party today and Ellie and I went to Wallyworld to get Josh's annual slip and slide and Ellie a blow up pool. We have a pool, but it's not ready yet and Ellie is so small I thought she'd enjoy something more her size.

I realized we've been home now for 7 months with Ellie (as of yesterday), and she will be 14 months old this week. Time flies when you are home compared to the wait on the other side of the process.

Some funny new things Ellie is doing: putting her hand up to her ear like a phone and talking to it; pointing to the dogs and going, "GOGGY", babbling ALL the time, wanting to cuddle and lay on top of you or beside you while watching TV, "reading" her books (all the time), doing the hand motions to the "Itsy Bitsy Spider", taking a few steps by herself (I'm certain she could walk, but remind myself that she was two months premature, so her adjusted age is only 11 months -- I expect serious walking soon - oy!!), climbing the steps, climbing up on the couch (climbing on EVERYTHING!!), backing down off steps and the couch, petting the dogs and cats very gently, holding her hands out to everyone so she can move from person to person (the girl has more energy that the energizer bunny I promise!!), and still being such a drama queen.

Here are some pix from today ...

Here she looks demure, sweet and innocent -- don't let the look fool you; there is drama shortly ahead...

See!!! This is not her saying, "Cheese", I assure you. She wanted OUT of her highchair.
The hairbows stayed in longer than I thought -- through the trip to Wallyworld. But, in typical Ellie form, she took one out as soon as I wasn't looking.
Then, we were on to the bathing suit photos. This is my FAVORITE. Marilyn Monroe has nothing on this bathing beauty. Check out the shades and the wave ...

"I was just thinking that a lovely sunbathing hat to match my suit and glasses would be appropriate, Mother" - ha! (check out the hair sticking out!!)
Then it was on to her blow up pool. Now, THAT was exciting! She LOVED putting her hands in and splashing (I'm guessing she thought it was a huge dog water bowl or something).

But, as soon as she climbed in, she wasn't quite so enamored with it. I think it might have been too cold.

She stood there for a second ....

And promptly climbed back out.
I did manage to get her to stick her toes back in when I put mine in with her.

After Josh got home from the swimming party, he immediately hooked up the slip and slide (on a hill no less) and got busy ...

Is he posing here???
No, the water doesn't smell -- he's trying to drink it.

On the way down the slide...

Oops! Too fast down the hill and no way to stop! Funny!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Crazy Eights -- Tagged

My friend Diane, has tagged me in a game of Crazy Eights.

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:
Financial freedom
Grandchildren (ahhh... paybacks!!)
My 50th anniversary (will we live that long???)
Ellie's first trip to Disneyworld -- I still remember Josh's trips, how sweet...
Meeting up with Allison, Rachel, Johnda and any other Kyrgz friends this summer
Tomorrow (and many more of them!!)
Watching my kids grow up (but not too quickly)

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
Entered jobs on the computer (this took the majority of my day)
Played with Ellie
Watched Josh rebuilding his "fort"
Slept late (ahhhh....)
Helped Kevin re-arrange the living room
Started reading a new book (finished it today -- a miracle!!)
Ate too many Krispy Kreme donuts
Updated my blog and accepted new friends on Facebook

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:
Be out of debt and not have to work any more
Go to Europe and spent a month or two traveling around
Make a difference every day
Make my husband and kids feel happy and loved -- every day
Be on the Amazing Race
Have my kitty Punch back
Bring home the 65 kids waiting in Kyrgyzstan
Go on a mission trip

8 Shows I Watch
The Amazing Race
The Young and the Restless
Sesame Street (yeah, I know ...)
Big Brother
Good Times (when I can)
Sanford and Sons (when I can)

And, I'm not sure how many I'm supposed to tag but I'll go with the eight theory and tag:

1. Mayme at McGowan Moments
2. Rachel at Bringing Home Baby Girl
3. Amanda at Casa de Barrios
4. Laura at Ladybugs and Dragonflies
5. Kim at The Stanke's New Journey
6. Jennifer at Our Family
7. Elizabeth at Our Adoption Journey
8. Kimberly at Hoping for Hannah

Be sure to let me know when you do the post so I can read it. Tag eight more friends when you are done. Have fun!!


It's been a while since I've posted a great Josh-ism because normally he says things while we are driving down the road and I forget them before I can post about them. Tonight, we got one while watching the 10:00 news. There was a story about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Josh, very innocently says, "Why don't they just open it up and go in there and see who it is?" I burst out laughing, and then Kevin shared with him what the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier really is.

For those interested, the website for the Tomb can be found here. I love this kid!!

Happy Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kyrgyzstan Update -- Call to Action

As you have read on this blog, for months and months families have been trying to get their children home from Kyrgyzstan to no avail. Efforts continue to be made but still no children have made it home. Next week six families are meeting with Kyrgyz officials who will be in Washington, D.C. They are a wonderful cross-representation of all the 65 families who are waiting. I know they will do all in their power to help these officials to understand why Americans want to adopt their children and how strongly they already love these children and want to provide good lives for them.

I got this email on Friday. I would like to encourage anyone who will to take the time to make the calls and send the emails to their representatives. The details are below. I know I will be making my calls and sending my emails and continuing my prayers.


CALL TO ACTION: Kyrgyzstan

Dear Friends and Families,

As noted in Joint Council's President & CEO's communication yesterday Joint Council has worked closely with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) to secure a 15 minute meeting with Congressional Staffers and the six families traveling to Washington D.C. to represent the group. The meeting will occur just before the Kyrgyz delegation meets with Congressional staffers. In order to ensure that as many Congressional Offices are in attendance at the two meetings Joint Council is initiating a Call to Action requesting the 65 families contact their Senators and Congressmen. Joint Council requests that all families contact their U.S. Senators and Congresspersons on Tuesday, May 26th. The purpose of your call is to request they attend the meetings on Friday, May 29th. Please note that Friday, May 29th is during a Congressional Recess.

On Tuesday, May 26th we request that you do the following:

1) Call both of your U.S. Senators and your representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives:

You can find your Senators' phone numbers and email address at

You can find your Representatives' phone numbers and email address at

2) Include the following in your calls and emails:

"As constituents, I/we urge the Senator/Congressperson to attend the meeting with Kyrgyz officials hosted by Senator Landrieu and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute on Friday, May 29th."

If they have not heard about the meeting, ask them to contact the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute at (202) 544-8500 or Joint Council at (703) 535-8045.

3) Send an email to everyone you called:

The email is important, but the phone call should be placed first.
Additionally, feel free to forward this request to your friends and family, asking them to contact their Senators and Congresspersons requesting they attend the meeting.

Thank you!

Rebecca Harris
Government Relations and Communications Manager

Goodwill Finds

Yesterday I stopped by Goodwill for a little bit during the day because I wanted to see if they had any t-shirts in good condition. Josh is going to 4-H camp and I didn't want to spend retail on shirts that he'll likely destroy during a week at camp or during the summer. Just last week while working on his "fort", he ruined three t-shirts, a pair of sweat pants and two pair of shorts by getting paint all over them. I didn't know this until I started to do laundry. We've since had some rules about painting wearing good clothes. Now, he can paint wearing already ruined by paint clothes.

Anyway, I digress. I went in and browsed through all the t-shirts and came away with 9 for Josh and 2 for Kevin. I racked up with a Nike tee, two UK tees (one still had the tags on it), a Polo/Ralph Lauren tee, an Abercrombie, an American Eagle, an Eddie Bauer, two Titans and a baseball and skateboarding tee. All of them looked hardly worn. They were originally $2.49 each, but with my Smart Card discount, I got 11 shirts for $20. I couldn't have bought the American Eagle tee for that.

I also found a pair of Liz Claiborne shoes for me, still with the plastic inserts and paper in the toes (aka - NEW) for $5.99. With my discount, I got them for $4.79.

I was pleased with my deals!!

If I'd had more time, I would have browsed more, but, I had to work.

Last Day of Fifth Grade

Yesterday was Josh's last day of school. There are two days next week which apparently aren't required unless you are involved in the activities going on that day and Josh tells me he is not. I found a large trash bag full of his workbooks, papers, folders and planner this morning. He is obviously so done. Being the nostalgic packrat mom I am, I drug out the planner and will tuck it away for him to look at one day. He might or might not want to see it, but he drew in it, wrote names, comments, etc. that I think he might find fun to look at when he is older.

I feel like there ought to be a "last day of school" photo -- much like the first day of school, but there isn't.

To celebrate, we watched a couple of movies and had pizza last night. Ellie made it through 1/2 of the first movie before she passed out so it was sort of like "old times" with just the three of us watching movies.

Congratulations, Josh. You've had an excellent first year of middle school. We have been very proud of your grades and your behavior this year. I wish you'd stop growing up so quickly because I'm realizing how very few years I have left with you. Time, slow down!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Year Ago Today

Kevin, Josh and I were talking last night about what were doing a year ago today. We were leaving our home for the journey that we had waited excitedly for almost FOUR YEARS to take -- the journey to meet our daughter and sister, our prayed for child, our blessing -- Ellie. We didn't have a clue where that airplane ride would actually take us or the vast array of emotions we would feel before we touched back down in Nashville 17 days later, but we left filled with excitement and anticipation in meeting this wonderful gift.

I'm filled with nostalgia as I think back to it all. I have been all week -- more so, I think than even I was over the year anniversary of her referral photo. As one who can't remember anything, I am in awe of the intimate details I remember of the days leading up to us leaving, the actual trip there and my reactions in country when we arrived. They are as fresh as if they happened a month ago and not a year ago. Kevin even commented it didn't seem like a year ago that we left.

And now, we have this sweet little girl who laughs a lot, tries to talk, tries to walk, throws terribly "hissy fits" when she doesn't get what she wants, loves broccoli and ice cream (although not together!!) and her brother, is finally growing some hair and who delights every one of us every day. There is not a day that goes by that she doesn't make one of us burst out laughing with something she does. She is an absolute joy.

Thank you, God, for giving us the child we prayed for -- for allowing us to take that long, long plane ride to the other side of the world, for the country that allowed us to bring her home and be her family, for her birthmom who made the choice to have her, for the test you put us through to get her, for our tested and growing faith because of the decisions we made and the way you brought about a miracle for her and us, for the love we have experienced as a family because of her. Thank you seems so small, but, I know, to you, it is enough.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ellie and MeeMee at Josh's Ballgame

Tonight at Josh's ballgame Ellie and MeeMee had lots of fun playing. Here are some photos of the two of them.

Josh's team won their game tonight 19-6. They've been on a real winning streak lately. Anyone interested in their team's blog can visit it here. Here's a cutie of Josh from tonight.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Ellie likes to "help". I'm thinking of it as helping as opposed to being a one woman room destroyer. *smile* This morning as I cooked her some lunch to take to Ms. Dee'Anna's she "helped". Here's the evidence ....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Now THIS is a First ...

I've been inspecting houses for about six years now. What happened today was a first.
I pulled up to a house and there was a dog on the back deck. As is normal for me, I wait a bit to see if they are going to come out barking. Then I get out slowly, talking to them. I can tell pretty quickly what the temperment of a dog is. It's a skill you have to learn quickly when you do what I do. This dog was obviously a puppy (albeit a large one) and he was terribly excited to come over to "meet" me. In fact, he jumped right up on me and planted his paws on my shoulders.

Right after I got him off me, I realized my pants were wet. Yes, looking down at the ground, he had gotten so excited, he peed all over me. JOY!!! I was over an hour from home and had to just endure peed on pants until I got home. Definitely a first -- and hopefully, a last.

Here he is looking remorseful -- yeah, right!!

Cute Pix from Baseball Tonight

Ellie wishing Josh luck before he bats.

Ellie hanging out with Mr. Jamie and sporting a Bulldogs hat.

Leaving the park with "Bubba" (yes, we ARE in the South, after all). Isn't this sweet??