My Etsy Shop!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wish Me Luck

(this was before I got my hair cut short about 6 weeks ago)

So, my oldest Thing turns 9 tomorrow (the 31st). Weird how that has happened while I still feel like a college student in my mind.... I have never really liked New Year's Day because I don't really like change much and it just sort of depresses me for some reason, always has. But then we were surprised with a New Year's Eve baby 1 year into our marriage and it changed things for me-gave me a reason to celebrate and have great fun with her and our family. Only the stinky part of her having a birthday to continually celebrate is that with each birthday, she is getting older. And I am having a hard time with that. Every year the tears come sooner as I see her life rocketing ahead, not waiting for my heart to catch up with having a big girl, a "tween". I am always floundering with how to parent this creature-with her funky edge, hilarious sense of humor, absolutely maddening ability to make a disaster zone out of anywhere she is in a matter of minutes, sensitive heart, complete lack of self-control, absolutely brilliant mind, sweet way of loving, ugly way of not loving--I rarely feel like I know what I am doing with her, but I know one thing without a doubt. I love that girl like mad and I am so thankful she ushered me into motherhood so many years ago. But I AM going to cry about it, a lot-so wish me luck tomorrow. And please pass the tissues.....

Friday, December 19, 2008

Almost There

Ok, I managed to get the teachers' gifts finished and the things I needs to ship finished. Here are some pictures of the finished objects for various folks on the list (who shall not be named in case they read this, even though I think they do not but you never know....)

I still have a few more things to finish (ok, and start) before actual Christmas Day but I think I am on schedule to get everything done. And by saying that, I just guaranteed that something disastrous will occur and that I will be at Wal Mart at midnight Christmas Eve boo-hooing and buying cheesy, sorry, mass-produced scarves machine-knit in horrible yarns.
Not that there's anything wrong with that ....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cramped Fingers and Crossed eyes

Every year it happens. I think I plan out my gifts that I am making with plenty of time to get them done. I feel as though I've got it all under control and this will not be a year of sleeping 4 hours a night and racing to get stuff finished Christmas Eve. I pat myself on the back about the 1st week of December for my excellent planning and ability to get things done early, even! And then it happens. All hell breaks loose, things don't work the way they're supposed to, something falls off of somewhere, something gets tangled up by "someone" (oddly the same mystery person is responsible every year...), some stupid pet of ours eats/knocks over/sits on/eats whatever project I am trying to finish and I am forced to choose between animal cruelty and running to Wal Mart at the last minute to buy something, which is, in fact, people cruelty. So here I am, feverishly finishing up some knitting and developing carpal tunnel syndrome and cataracts. But here is my progress so far: a scarf is done, a pair of knitted wire earrings just got finished but not without some major finger cramping and maybe a wee few cuss words jumping out, and a mitten mostly done without a thumb and the other mitten started. I still have a big bag to knit and at least 2 hats (one of which is 2/3 done) and maybe a snowflake ornament to knit. Stop that laughing, I have time....if Christmas happens to get postponed a weekish maybe. I will post pictures of my finished stuff tomorrow but I cannot today b/c we got some new fancy pants camera (for when we go to Ethiopia-woop!) that I have no clue how to use. I do not like having a camera smarter than me-it probably would have finished it's Christmas knitting in October...

Since I have none of my crafty projects available to share right now, I will show you my AWESOME surprise I got in the mail the other day from my friend Dawn. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and take it everywhere with my knitting in it:

And here is what the inside looked like within 24 hours of getting it:

Good to know that if I am ever being trapped somewhere, I will always have snacks.

Finally, this weekend was my kiddos' school Christmas program Friday night and ballet recital Saturday afternoon so I will leave you with some pictures of my beauties, although one is a grumpy ballerina who didn't want her picture taken, even though she looked super cute.

Have a great day-and pray for some referrals, I am tired of carrying my phone into the bathroom, out to get the mail, to the attic to get wrapping paper, etc!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Please Watch with Your Husband

This is a very important holiday message for couples. It really could make a huge difference in your marriage!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Smiles That Make Me Smile

These were all taken last weekend when we put up our tree-everyone was in a happy mood after Thanksgiving and with Christmas music blaring in the background. I just thought I'd share with y'all what makes my days worthwhile. (And the 2 in the silly dresses were playing dress up-while I live in the south, we do not dress like characters from "Gone With the Wind" for everyday wear.)

I am about halfway or more done with my Christmas gifts-I am ordering a good many of them online and the rest I am knitting. I like to give my kiddos' main teachers something hand-knit and beautiful because they are beautiful ladies who pour so much into my kids. I also like to knit for other special people too. I have finished one thing but I have a lot left to knit though so I better get to it!! (Funny how my "To Knit" list always gets shorter the closer I get to Christmas and my "To Buy" gets longer...) What about you-what are your favorite things to give as gifts to the people on your list?

Friday, December 5, 2008

3--It's the Magic Number

Did you just love School House Rock? I totally did-and that is still how I remember my multiples of 3 (this Blind Melon version is actually my favorite). So I think we are unofficially #3 on both boys and girls lists, if some assumptions about some "mystery" folks on the list prove to be accurate(of course we all know what Mom says about what happens when you assume...) But, y'all, THREE. That is a very tiny number. Oh my. We are going to have another baby.

ETA: apparently, it is SUCH a magic number, it has changed to #2! ack!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Finally, Thanksgiving in Review!

News flash y'all: WE HAVE GOTTEN A NEW WIRELESS SET UP THINGY-DO AND HAVE HAD A FEW THINGS FIXED ON THE NEW COMPUTER!! So, in short, I think I can be back to life on my blog(for now-must not anger the computer by sounding too cocky or anything...) Anyway, our Thanksgiving turned out awesome! Things got a little mixed up family-wise this year and so we found ourselves without any definite place to be for Thanksgiving dinner, which made us sad. But also got us thinking that we had several friends here who are from various parts of Africa, none of whom have any family here in the US. So we decided to have them to our house for dinner on Thanksgiving!! We live here in Blacksburg, Virgina, home of Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!) and one of the awesome benefits of living in a university town is the international population that Tech draws. Through VT, there is something called the International Friendship Host Program in which you can be matched with international students as their host family/friend to give them some insight into typical American life. Last winter, we got matched with a family of 5 from South Africa (the dad is here for grad school)and this fall we were matched with a man from Malawi. The family from South Africa was unable to come for dinner, but we also have some friends from Kenya who have lived here for several years (not students at Tech, though) who were able to come so we had Kenya and Malawi represented at our dinner table. (ok, sunlight in our window and very dark faces make this picture somewhat hard to see-sorry)

Our friend from Malawi is here by himself and had to leave his wife and 2 daughters behind in Africa while he completes his degree. We had the blessing of speaking to his wife and children on the phone during our dinner-it was neat to be connected to someone in a village in Malawi across the world-thank you, Mr. Graham Bell!! Anyway, our friend had never experienced an American Thanksgiving and had also never in his life eaten turkey and he was very excited to try it! He also asked about why the turkey was part of the meal and what it was about so we got to tell him the story of the pilgrims coming over on the Mayflower and their dinner with the native Americans. We also got to mess with him a little bit. Early in the semester, we all went to a dinner together and we were discussing what kinds of foods he eats in Malawi that are different from here. He told us about eating hippo, elephant meat and....MICE. Yes, whole mice, with the FUR STILL ON. I was totally grossed out and he thought that was so funny. We have joked back and forth about it ever since, with him saying he was going to catch himself a squirrel and bring it to Thanksgiving dinner. So, this is what he was served at our house last Thursday:

Ha ha-it is candy, no fur! And our friends from Kenya brought a Kenyan dish that was SO yummy and we talked around the table for 3 hours-it was absolutely fantastic. The kids came and went and played and had fun and my mother in law was here and really enjoyed herself and talking with our friends about all things Africa, which was nice since she is still extremely apprehensive about our adoption. God was in the mood to bless us that day-He is so GOOD! Here is my oldest Thing and our friends' daughter getting ready to break the wishbone:

All in all, it was a great day with super yummy food and good friends and family-exactly what Thanksgiving is all about.

Oh, and getting a KILLER deal on a high efficiency washer and dryer on Black Friday, without even having to get up early! Told you God was in the mood to bless us! (yes, He can bless with major appliances for which I have to pay a bunch of money-y'all it was an AWESOME DEAL-a blessing, no???)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Letter

Dear Computer,
Why do you treat me this way? Oh little black box of plastic and wires, lovingly dusted and kept from drinks and sticky fingers, why do you act so hatefully to me? I do not understand all the freezing and the disconnecting. I have spent so much time with you. Often at the expense of my children being fed at regular intervals and surely at the expense of the gathering dust bunnies being sucked away into the Hoover vortex, I sit with you and gleefully tap your keys. I gazed upon your bright screen and found lively conversation and information. But now? You come and go when you please, connecting when you want, freezing when I am in the middle of something important. Why? I keep you properly updated, delete unnecessary emails, and give you lovely pictures of my beautiful family to gaze upon when I cannot be with you. Why do you turn away from my inquiring eyes? Why must you shield the internet from me and keep my ears from your gleeful cry of "You've got mail!" I love you and I need you, oh sweet beacon of technology. You are such a part of my life. Is that the problem? Was I too dependent on you? Was I smothering you? I can change, I promise. I'll give you some space. But don't turn your back on me. I am tired of this game and I am getting frustrated. Let's give up the freezing and the shutting down and the refusal to connect to the internet, okay? Can't we try to start over, to re-boot our relationship--but maybe just ONCE, not every 10 minutes? On my end, I will try to keep my cuss words to a minimum. But I have been faithful to our commitment, to our time together. I seek you out all the time-is it too much to ask some cooperation from you? If you don't feel like you can work with me, know that it will not end well for you. I have a hammer. I know how to use it.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Is Foshizzle Rizzle

Make sure you watch it ALL!!

Disrurbing on so many levels. I almost died laughing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ooh Ooh, I'm It!

OK, so I got tagged by Dawn to choose the 4th picture in the 4th file on my computer, which was kind of hard because we have ALL of our pictures on here. Each year is one folder and within that year, each month has its own folder, but I just followed blindly and so here is a picture from 2005. This is my oldest daughter (aka Thing 1, now almost 9 years old) and I at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up in Pittsburgh and we were home visiting my mom. The museum is well known for its dinosaur exhibits (the ones they show on Mr. Rogers-woohoo!) and we always went there on field trips when I was a kid. It was fun to go back with my own children. Anyway, they have part of the exhibit set up as an archaeological dig for children to grab some tools and scratch/scrape/dig away at the buried dinosaur skeleton. It was a lot of fun and as you can tell, Thing 1 was pretty intensely into it! It was great to remember that day from looking at this picture. She was so small and cute and fun-not that she's not now, she's just not a little kid any more and I miss it some times :(. So, now I tag Michelle, Jana, and Charisa to do the same-find the 4th picture in the 4th file folder on your computer, post it and explain it to the rest of us here on these innernets. Enjoy your stroll down memory lane!! :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Official Numbers and The Thoughts They Bring

We are #10 girls, #7 boys on the waiting list, as we expected. So close, and yet so far...ish. Oh the unknown journey of adoption. "When will your adoption be finalized?" We don't know. "When will you go to Ethiopia?" We don't know. "Are you adopting a boy or a girl?" We don't know. "How old will your baby be?" We don't know. "How much longer will you be on the waiting list?" WE DON'T KNOW. Some days I want to scream it, and tell all well-meaning friends and strangers to stop asking me all manner of questions to which I just do not know the answer. Other days I wonder why people are not asking and why they don't care. Some days I just want to be there, meeting my newest little Thing and locking eyes with the dream that was conceived in my heart a year and a half ago. Other days I pray that it will never come because I am just not ready and I have so many fears of what the future holds for our family. Some days it is all I want to talk about and I want to tell the world about the plight of the country of Ethiopia and shout from my soapbox about how we CAN make a difference and we SHOULD do something, RIGHT NOW. Other days I want to curl in a ball on my couch, not speaking one more word about it, not even thinking about something that seems so hard, so unreachable, so overwhelming. The juxtaposition of these opposite days, these incessant questions with no answers, can be hard to reconcile in my mind, but fortunately, I know the Master of reconciliation. Every day, He knows the answers to all the questions. Every day. Every question. I don't need to know. And every day, He asks me to walk with Him. What an honor. What a blessing. God is good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We have been Compassion sponsors for years, actually I started in college. We have sponsored 5 children and are currently sponsoring 4 of them still. It has been a joy, blessing, eye-opener, and unifying thing for our family. My children have become aware of the lives of children in other parts of the world, parts that don't have the things we have. They have developed an understanding of the fact that we CAN make a difference in the daily lives of these children, even thousands of miles away, through the amazing work of Compassion. If you do not already have a child that you sponsor with Compassion, or you'd like to consider sponsoring another, click on the Compassion link next to this and get started today. If you are interested in a firsthand account of some of the Compassion projects, check out Owlhaven's blog where she is reporting from a Compassion Bloggers trip to the Dominican Republic. You too can make a difference in the life of a child or children, and be abundantly blessed as well. Go check out Compassion and let me know if you find a child to sponsor or if you already do so, share a little about your sponsored child in the comments. Let's change these kids' futures together!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Shoes We Can Use

I found this website for the CUTEST little baby shoes. The prices for these adorable leather shoes are great AND a portion of the profit goes to the International Justice Mission, a Christian human rights organization that fights human trafficking. Charisa also talks about this incredible organization on her blog-check it out! This is something we all need to make an effort to STOP and if we can help do that by buying the CUTEST shoes ever for our sweet wee ones?? Sign me up!! Off to Christmas shop.....

(btw, no, this is not sponsored or anything by Bugaloo, I just thought it was an AWESOME website discovery and wanted to share it w/ my peeps :)!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Baby is 2!

Happy birthday, baby! You are an absolute joy, a ball of laughter, a strong-willed spitfire, and a tremendous blessing to our family (well, maybe not to the kitten)-I can't imagine life without your chubby smiling face. I love you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Cousin in the Family

My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last nite (well, early today I guess-3:15 a.m.) and he is a whopper-9 lbs 4 oz. So cute but a big boy! This is her SIXTH child-woohoo for her family! They have 3 boys and 3 girls so they could have some good family team competitions :) She went in to be induced at midnight so I was up most of the nite staying with her other 5 kiddos and waiting to hear news and canning pear butter-I had to do SOMETHING to pass the time :) While I have been fine most of the day and have hung in there, the 3 hours of sleep are now kicking my butt so I'm off to bed. I cannot help but think how amazing it would be if our baby was born the same day-how cool would that be??? But at the rate referrals are flying, who knows?! I do know things are just a bit better with one more sweet nephew in my family.

God is so good.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Whittled Down to 7

I was tagged by Jana and Dawn both so here goes!

1. I LOVE to sing. A lot. And I suppose I have a decent voice-I recorded a CD for the husband for his b-day one year. But the weird part is, I am PETRIFIED to sing in front of other people by myself. When recording said CD, I asked the studio guy to put me in a room off to the side where he couldn't see me when I sang and when I gave it to my husband, I sat in the other room so he couldn't look at me while he listened to it. And to make it weirder, I sing on the worship team at my church-I love it so much and am getting better at overcoming my fear since I think the Lord gave me the gift of song to be used to glorify Him, but still freak out a little if people can actually hear me a lot. I have issues with people pleasing and I think that I am afraid that people will be less than pleased with me if I don't sound perfect. No, it does not make sense. Yes, it is stupid.

2. I love soda. Have since converted to diet which is good-well, Coke Zero mostly. It is less for the caffeine and more for that sweet sweet burn of the fizz when you take that first sip-ahhhhhhh. A day without it is NOT a good one for me.

3. I have a wee bit of a grammar obsession and cannot STAND it when people end a sentence with a preposition. ( I think this shirt is the greatest and would totally wear it if it was made in a less dorky style) It takes every bit of self-control I have to not correct them. The husband finds this both funny and annoying, depending on whom I am correcting :).

4. Wet things give me the heebie-jeebies big time. Not like a swimming pool or shower or anything that is SUPPOSED to be wet, but when wet bits of water are clinging to things and then I touch them, like the bathroom sink after someone else has used it or sweaty cup in the summer or whatever, GROSS. And if there is any hair that is in the wetness??? OH. MY. GOSH.

5. I like to knit a lot. I used to do it a lot more and it was a bit of an obsession for awhile and I have enough yarn in my house to knit for a few years but I will still buy more if I see some that I like. I did reduce a large percentage of my "stash" by sending a gigantic box of it to an orphanage in Ethiopia where the girls were learning to knit as a profitable life skill so I felt happy about mixing my 2 passions. Now I spend the majority of my "knitting time" obsessively reading blogs and adoption listserves :)

6. I really like cheese. As in, a LOT. So much in fact that my nephew gave me a bar of cheese one year for a birthday gift, my nieces all drew pictures of me as a mouse living in a cheese house, and they asked my sister (their mom) if she thought I might have my headstone made out of cheese when I die. Nice.

7. I have developed a loathing for jeans because they "squeeze me" in a way that I am not happy with. I like the APPEARANCE of jeans mind you, just not the effect of them on my body. And this is not just a weight issue, although the squeeze has, ahem, increased a bit in recent years. But even when I was skinny, I did not like the way they felt all heavy and confining on me and the button jabbed me in the tummy and now that I am out of college and not trying to keep up the appearance of coolness at every moment (or really any moments it seems, much to the growing embarrassment of my oldest daughter), I spend much more time in non-jeans and it makes me happy. I am also going to confess that they most often have elastic waistbands (see above issue with the button factor) but they are nice, yoga-type pants, not old lady wear. Life is too short to spend it in uncomfortable pants!!!!!!

There you have it! A bit of my weird, randomness for you to enjoy. I am too tired right now to think of anyone to tag who has not already been tagged so if I think of someone good, I will change it later :) and like Renee said, if you are reading this and have not been tagged, consider this a tag and and air that randomness!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Can Brown Do For You?

Recently Thing 3, my almost 2 year old with adorable fat rolls on her cute little forearms, has developed a fierce love of baby dolls. Baby dolls that are usually not hers. Baby dolls that belong to the church nursery and kid rooms. I spend a lot of time there doing childcare for various ministry groups-sometimes 3 days a week-so it doesn't bother me much when she wants to "borrow" one when we leave b/c I know we'll be back the next day and can just return it. Like a baby library of sorts. (baby DOLLS of course-not real babies-the would be weird, people) But thie week, a new part of her baby love has developed. She only wants to love on, rock and take home the brown babies. It is entirely based on her naturally seeing beauty in them b/c since she is still mostly a "baby" herself, she knows very little about our adoption other than to point at my Africa necklace and say "Baby!" (based on a wee bit of prompting from her Mama). She was carrying around a peach-colored baby and a brown baby the other day and it was time to go. Since we already had one purloined bean-bag infant sitting on the counter at home (I forgot to bring it back that day-whoops), I told her to put the babies back. She very sweetly handed me the peach-colored one to put on the shelf, then fiercely clutched the brown one to her chest, patted the baby, said "my!" ("mine" for those who don't speak Toddler), and walked away with her little one. I have to admit, while I am not condoning disobedience or theft, that little brown baby doll is still at our house and she has not put it down since and I love it. Her birthday is in 2 weeks and I know exactly what she will be getting from us! It has been sweet to watch my little spitfire be so sweet and tender toward her little baby and I am thinking she may just turn out to be a nice big sister after all (we have been a little concerned-she's pretty possessive of her things, particularly her Mom) But most of all, it has brought tears to my eyes as I think about the day when I am handed my own little brown beauty and I can clutch it to my chest and say, with praise to my almighty God, "my".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What Number Do You See?


on the girls list ...........................................on the boys list

(by the way, "unofficially" I think we are #13 on the girls list I think b/c there were 3 referrals the other day but they are not official yet so those folks are still counted on the waiting list-c'mon baby!)

ps-If you are color blind, we are #16 girls, #12 boys :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

You Do The Hokie Pokie And You Turn Yourself About

I thought I'd give you a little glimpse into my life outside of adopting (like there is a life outside?? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it when you're in the middle of it!!) It was Homecoming this past weekend here in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech and we always love Homecoming weekend-it is the best parade all year (which really isn't saying much but we like our small town parades :) ) and the kids love it-they get tons of candy from all the sorority girls in the parade who "ooh" and "ahh" over how cute they are-b/c they do not yet have any children!!! Said sorority girls also walk the whole parade in stiletto heels so maybe they are a bit delirious-my daughter calls them the "shiny girls". Here are few pics from our weekend:
3 Hokie cuties!

Some of the Cadets in the parade (Thing 1 took this picture-not bad, eh?)
Aforementioned Shiny Girls (oh my feet!)

Yours truly serving up nachos at the Tech football game-my daughters' school operates a concessions booth at the stadium and I work most of the games-we get a portion of the proceeds--it truly is a FUNdraiser (haha, the cheese!)

There you have it, a Saturday in the life of a Hokie family during football season! My husband went to Virginia Tech and now works there as well and I went there for grad school so the Hokie blood runs thick in this house. Can't wait to make a Hokie out of our little Ethiopian sweetie!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


So, I have a confession to make. I am a worrier. I like to mentally analyze an issue to death, and then fret about it some more after that. I am not the out-loud, whiny worrier-type though--no, I prefer to lay awake half the night, mulling over all the "what ifs" and then spend all my quiet moments of the day doing the same thing. And boy, as a mom, do I have a lot of worry-fodder! In fact, if I start to run out of worry-fuel, I can just worry about how much I worry! Sometimes it IS good to think things through and analyze them so you are not walking blindly into a situation, but it is easy to let the thinking and wondering turn into genuine worry. When we were considering adopting from Ethiopia, I had a million things I worried, er, wondered, about. How will I take care of an Ethiopian child's hair? Will other people in our family have negative reactions? Should we add another child to our already nutso family? Do Ethiopian children sunburn like I do? How long will it take? Is this just a "whim" that I will act on and then back out on? Will I love this child just the same as the other Things since it will look and feel so different than what I know as a mom-and yes, I do mean literally look so different-I have no issue whatsoever with race, obviously, but it is just so different than what I've ever done before, you know? I have to say, that last one is the one I worried about the most (and worried about even sharing it with everyone). And honestly, it is still the one that likes to plague me when I am feeling tired and worn out, and lacking in sleep, and most of all lacking in time with the Lord. (ok, and when I have PMS-yeah, I said it) There are days when I just feel like "what were we thinking?" about this adoption, because I just don't feel cut out for the job. And oddly, as we inch closer on the waiting list, the worries get a little louder. Some days bringing home our baby is just so crazy of a concept that I cannot fathom it actually happening and then I just feel like maybe I misunderstood what God was telling us. And I worry about my other girls-what if all the kids don't gel? What if things are too weird of an adjustment? And the worst, most horrible-feeling worry of all, what if we regret it? Now, please do not be angry with me, I am trying to be super real and honest about my innermost thoughts. I feel like this is hard to say because so much of what is seen in the adoption community is incredible excitement and joy about the journey and I do feel that way, most of the time. But like I said, there are times when these little whispers come through my thoughts and I feel alone with them, like if I dared to share them with other adoptive parents, they would think I was crazy and maybe shouldn't in fact be adopting at all. However, I don't think this is the case because I distinctly remember feeling this exact same way when I was pregnant with all three Things (well, except the Ethiopian hair issue, I mean I pretty much counted that issue out). That fear of "oh no, can I get out of this? what the heck will I do with another baby? who thought this was a good idea?" that seemed to creep in at the most inopportune times was there with all my pregnancies and I think it is the same fear that is here with this adoption. It is the fear of the unknown, the not knowing what to expect, and the irrevocability of it. I know without a doubt God has asked us to walk this path, and that is what I cling to when I feel consumed with my questions and worries (well, that and some PMS meds and chocolate, but I digress...) and I know that I should not be anxious or worry about anything, according to Philippians 4:6-7, and I do lay these thoughts at the feet of Jesus regularly. And I know that at first sight of my babies, I was incredibly, irrevocably, intensely, unconditionally in love with them. But honestly, I do worry, like any expecting parent I suppose. I have been encouraged by other folks, like Melissa Faye Greene (in articles like this) and Mary from Owlhaven when they have written about concerns, worries, and even post adoptive depression. This adoption brings with it new sets of concerns-things I never really thought would float across the expanse of my mind-and I want to ask other adopting parents, do you worry about this stuff too sometimes? If you do, would you be willing to share those feelings from time to time so we can all encourage one another, not just in the exciting times, but in the scary, uncertain times, too? Or if you have "been there, done that" and are on the other side of things with your sweet one home, can you share that, too? It is nice to know that these feelings are normal and that we have folks running this marathon with us, as well as those cheering us on from the finish line.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The kitten is driving me crazy. It is a total spaz-extremely cute and fuzzy, but a spaz nonetheless. Same goes for all my children. Well, except I guess the fuzzy part. I am thinking that they are sucking all the available energy that exists in this house into their little bodies and that is why there is none available for myself and my husband. It is just a hypothesis mind you, but I think it is a good one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We've Been Adopted

This little critter seems to have decided we are its family. I wonder if it knew a Jeep was included in the deal? This little kitty "found" us in a McDonald's parking lot under the tire of the car parked next to us. We pulled in, my mommy-radar went off and I said, "I hear a kitten!" My kids had no idea what I was talking about and my husband had the "oh no...." face on when I opened the door and there it was, meowing it's fuzzy little heart out at me. It was SO tiny and super-scrawny. I could fit it in our car cup holder! And it weighed like 3 ounces, it was so bitty-we are guessing it to be about 4 weeks oldish. I gave my husband the speech about how it would DIE if we left it, and what if it had been a BABY (human) and we left it, and it NEEDED a family. He rolled his eyes and said no way and of course he would never leave a baby (human) there but this is completely different and NO WAY....and so here it is in the Barbie Jeep and skittering it's fuzz-ball self right into our hearts. We have given the responsibility of the kitten to Thing 1, our eldest, since she was the one who begged and pleaded and conjured up some good tears to keep it. She is responsible for feeding the kitty, changing it's litter box, and keeping our ridiculously huge and semi-stupid golden retriever from eating it. (Seriously, we love the dog, but he's not the sharpest pencil in the drawer is all I'm sayin'....and he weighs 100 pounds, just huge) We will see how she does-she's not so much with the follow through sometimes so it will be a good test for her. So far she's been pretty good about taking care of it, with a few reminders, and didn't even fuss about the litter box. Better than I would do!

Anyhoo, sorry it took me forever to get a post written-things here at Chez Thing have been super busy the last 2 weeks-I subbed for Kindergarten for a couple days (phew! there is a special, WONDERFUL and QUIET section of Heaven for Kindergarten teachers!!), I went to the Extraordinary Women Conference, and my hubby was out of town for several days, all of which added up to somewhat chaos and no time or energy for blogging. The conference was fun-got to go with a group of women that I know and enjoy but don't spend a lot of time with usually so that was really nice. It was also fun to be away from mommy duty for a day and a half (even though honestly, I missed my family a lot-I am cheesy) and there was great music and some really good speakers. Also, there was a wonderful group represented there called World Help which works with HIV/AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as other countries, to find them food, clothing, shelter, sponsors and just the general things that we so often take for granted. (go check them out-I'll wait...) They had a wonderful Children of the World choir who performed representing the Children of Hope part of their organization and it was awesome-made me literally bawl to hear those beautiful children from all corners of the Earth praising the Lord-so beautiful! And it made me EXCITED to go to Ethiopia and get our baby. There has been several exciting referrals this week and things seem to be moving. We have "unofficially" moved up a few spots so we are in the teens and it is seeming more real with each spot we move up. Hopefully we will have no more excitement other than oochying up the waiting list and keeping up with our newest furbaby for awhile-I'm tired. So incredibly tired-I wonder if I will ever sleep again in the next 18 or so years???? Hmm, adopting another baby makes me think sleep is not in our near future....oh well, sleep is for sissys.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


We got our new numbers today and I wasn't expecting much change so I was very surprised when we had moved up quite a bit on the waiting list!! So, we are now number on the girls list and number on the boys list! Woot woot! Oh my goodness, time is flying by! In 3 weeks the courts open back up and things are supposed to pick up a bit in the referral world, too, so it seems pretty encouraging! We will just keep our trust in the Lord and our eyes toward Ethiopia!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And They're Off!

Well, Thing 1 and Thing 2 successfully made it to school (it started Monday) and here's a few pics from the 1st day:That's the big 3rd grader! We take a picture in front of the sign every year-it is a way of seeing how much they have grown each year. And, as previously mentioned, I'm a sucker for traditions!
Here's our sweet little 1st grader-she loves school!

And here is my favorite assignment Thing 3 brought home this week:
It was an info sheet about things they like/dislike, etc called "The Back to School Times" and in this section it asked for 5 things they are most proud of. Thing 1 listed: God, my parents (whee! at least until the teenage years-I'll take it while I can!!), my sisters (awwwww-funny, it doesn't always show so much....), my "etiopian" (oh. my. goodness.- yes, I cried), and my classes & teachers. It totally made my week!

(We will not talk about the section where she listed her favorite foods as "gum, cotton candy and KFC gravy"-I was so proud. KFC gravy? what?! I think she's had that 2 times in her almost 9 years. And I did inform her that neither gum nor cotton candy are technically food. Now I feel like I really need to go out of my way to pack wholesome, all healthy, 200% organic, 75 million grain lunches so as not to be deemed a pathetic parent. Sayonara, fruit roll ups...)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh Boy. School Needs to Start.

"Mommy" giggled Thing 2, "come downstairs and see Thing 1-she looks so funny!"

"What is she wearing?" I asked, naively assuming they were talking about some new and exciting dress-up adventure as usual.

"I am not telling you-I want it to be a surprise!" Thing 2 said, through mischievous laughter, and pranced off downstairs.

I finished putting my laundry away and headed down to see my funny little princess, or maybe a cowgirl, or even a little wee tiny bride.

This is what met me downstairs:
(note the proud big sister looking on)

It has been a long summer.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Go Tirunesh!

Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won the gold medal for Ethiopia in the 10,000 meter run -yes, TEN THOUSAND-oh. my. goodness. ouch. You go girl!!

That made me tired just to watch it.

I'm going to bed.

PS-the U.S. runner won the bronze after having food poisoning a few days ago-I am officially a horribly out of shape lazy person with no excuse. The Olympics are demoralizing for couch potatoes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Woo hoo! my 100th post! I never thought I'd get to this point and I have nothing even interesting to write about. Here are 100 things about me:

1. I hate writing lists like this.

Times 100.

The end.

(Here's some better lists if you need a list fix-which, you know, makes you kind of weird-just saying...)

Anyway, I have a funny "coincidence" to share with you all that happened this week. I have been searching for an ergo baby carrier that I could actually afford because I have had terrible back pains with other baby carriers and know a stroller is not really an option in Ethiopia and I like to wear my babies a lot, too. So, the price tag of the Ergo was keeping me from buying a new one but even on eBay they are pricey. Anyway, I saw an ad on craigslist where someone posted that they were looking to buy an Ergo so I emailed to person and said if they got more than one response, could they let me know b/c I was looking, too. Well, that turned out to be a person from my church that I know! So we laughed and then talked about the priceyness of the ergos and I thought that was it. Then, a few days ago she emailed me to tell me she had a person locally who had a used Ergo to sell and she didn't need it b/c she had gone ahead and bought a new one but did I want the person's contact info. I said sure and then emailed the person, explaining, for no other reason than the fact that I tend to bleed words sometimes, that I needed to but the Ergo for my baby I was adopting from Ethiopia especially for when we go there b/c we cannot take a stroller. For some reason I just felt like I needed to tell her that. She wrote back immediately to tell me that the reason she bought the ergos (she had 2) was to GO PICK UP HER 2 ADOPTED CHILDREN FROM ETHIOPIA LAST SPRING!!! What?! And she lives in the next town over, 10 minutes from me! (I will take a moment here to add that I live in a pretty small town area-although one that was slammed into the spotlight on April 16th, 2007, unfortunately-and while Blacksburg itself does have great diversity b/c of Virginia Tech, the outlying area in general is not necessarily a booming multi-cultural metropolis.) Crazy! Not only that, I went digging through some old Bible study notes I had where someone I know had given me the name of someone they knew who they thought had adopted from Ethiopia (get all that? they saw Ferris pass out at 31 flavors last nite....if you do not memorize random 90s movie lines, ignore that last part) and it turned out it was THE SAME PERSON!! I had never gotten around to calling her and yet here we were emailing back and forth and kicking around the idea of having a get together of families in the area with Ethiopian children b/c we each knew of one other family. Too funny! And so now, the same ergo is going to cross the ocean again to Ethiopia and back. That thing is a world traveler! Anyway, I just got such a kick out of the craziness of it all. It seems like God drops these moments in my lap just on the days when I get caught up in a swirl of fear and "what the heck are we doing?!" moments. He's good like that. I like Him.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Well, we got our updated waitlist numbers yesterday and they are pretty much the same numbers we had before-#20 on the boys list, #25 on the girls list (we moved up one on that list somehow). I was startled to realized how disappointed I was that we hadn't moved further-I thought I was overwhelmed at how quickly things were happening and was looking forward to some time to exhale a bit and maybe even enjoy a bit of a wait so I thought I didn't have high expectations, but then my heart sank when I read our "new" numbers that really weren't new and my eyes were filled with tears for a moment. Sometimes in all of the hustle and bustle of paperwork and chaos and research of preparing for the adoption, it is easy to lose sight of what brought us here (the intense desire for another baby) and just get bogged down in details. Then, when you least expect it, that fierce desire to have that baby RIGHT. NOW. sneaks up and smacks you upside the head and heart and you feel like you are so far away from that happening, especially when you have not budged an inch on the wait list. Today was better and I was much more okay with things and I know that God has His timeline in place, but it is still hard to just want to know MORE MORE MORE about how things are going and when we might know something, anything, etc. Adoption is not for the faint of heart, that is for sure!

In other family adventures, Thing 1 had her first real sleepover with friends last night (she is 8 1/2) and my summation of sleepovers? Over. Rated. Ugh. The moaning, weeping, wailing and crabiness that ensued, AFTER her 2 hour nap from exhaustion when she got home, made for a very long day and quite possibly a Sleepover Embargo of undetermined length here at Chez Things. She did have a lot of fun, so I will give her that. (Who wouldn't have fun when you get to eat chocolate chip pancakes with chocolate syrup and ice cream for breakfast?! hello?!) And the fun mom of the friend at whose house this event took place is a Mary Kay rep so she did makeovers on all the girls, which they LOVED! So, Thing 1's assessment of the sleepover=good times.

Off to comfort poor Thing 3 who may just be perishing in her crib by the sound of her wailing "Mama!"-it is nice to mean the world to someone small :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oooooh, Shiny New Stuff!

It was my birthday today and I got wonderful gifts from my sweet hubby and the Things :). I got 2 wonderful books that I have been dying to read : I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla by Marguerite Wright and There is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene, both of which discuss very significant issues in transracial parenting as well as the AIDS epidemic in Ethiopia in the Greene book. I have been wanting to read them for months and the library didn't have them and now I have my very own! Woo hoo! I also got this beautiful pendant which I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Just such a sweet picture of motherhood and such a great memorial of sorts of this period in our family's history as we pursue our sweet new addition. Finally, they gave me cherry Twizzlers and Reese's peanut butter cups (my favorites!!!) which are kind of a "tradition" on my birthday. I love traditions-they just make things very special and give so much to look forward to, I think. It is true, I am cheesy that way :) Plus, one of my very best friends brought me a DOZEN asiago cheese bagels from Panerra bread for my b-day! (I have great family and friends but I do not think they are trying to help me in my weight loss goals!) My family is such a blessing and I just wanted to take this day to tell all the folks on the innernetwebs how great of a family I've got and how thankful I am for them!!! So, thanks you guys-you are the best family I could ever want and God sure knew what He was doing when He put this crazy bunch together!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Day in the Life....

Here's a recap of the other (typical) day around here:

-Drop Thing 1 off at Theater Camp and hope I do not have to walk her in b/c I have not showered in days

-Get home and decide to weed the neglected jungle, er, yard while it is a teensy bit cool for once b/c of some recent rain

-While weeding, watch Thing 3 sit in large muddy puddle and another large puddle in her clean, only-worn-for-30 minutes clothes

-Try to keep Thing 3 from running out in street after Thing 2 who has decided to ride her bike in said street

-Decide to try to contain children in yard b/c it would really ruin my day if they were run over by a car

-Search for Thing 3's shoe while slowly realizing the last time I saw it was when she was playing, in the road, near the storm sewer (thank goodness that home study is over, eh??? I kid, I kid...sort of)

-Try to pretend that said shoe is somewhere other than the storm sewer

-Spend 45 minutes retrieving shoe from the storm sewer with cleverly constructed device involving a steel ceiling hook and rope while throwing my shoulder out, getting my hair in gross muddy water and trying not to cuss (in front of the children at least)

-Run inside, realize I have to be at the post office in 10 minutes for our passport appointment, and smooth hair back with the help of the aforementioned muddy gross water that has gotten in it (ooh, a silver lining!)

-Get Thing 3 off middle of kitchen table where she is sitting in her diaper and drinking/spilling my Coke Zero down her adorable little face

-Wonder why she looks funny (besides the Coke puddle around her) and realize it is b/c she got into the markers while I was fishing her shoe out of the sewer and has "decorated" her mouth, eyes and buddha belly-nice.

-Try not to berate Thing 2 for leaving the markers in reaching distance of her little sister

-Decide shirt will cover the belly and her face will just get dirtier at lunch and decide to ignore it even though I am going to the post office where we will be visible to other people

-Get passport taken care of and realize there is NOTHING ELSE for us to do other than wait wait WAIT for our newest Thing!!!

-Take Things 2 and 3 out to lunch and wonder why watermelon has impenetrable staining power and is only attracted to my child's (second) clean shirt

-Come home to temporarily fixed AC, hoping I did not miss the AC man who was supposed to finish the repair (and who still has not shown up, 2 days later) and crash upon sofa for a few minutes

-Put Thing 3 down for a nap (oh thank you LORD for the sweet blessing of nap time for the wee children!!)

-Vacuum 20 billion pounds of dog fur off of everything in the whole house, and wonder how it got there when I had just done the same thing the day before...and the day before...and the day before (why does my dog still have any fur?!?) while it gets very dark and rumbly outside

-Listen to Thing 2 read, and read, and read to me-she is a machine!- while we put dinner in the crock pot and I smugly congratulate myself on getting dinner planned and ready ahead of time for once

-Pick up Thing 1 from camp in the pouring rain and listen to her tearful recounting of her forgetting her lines in front of everybody and try to reassure her that it is ok and that is why God invented rehearsals (and silently wish more things in life had rehearsals where I could get my goof-ups out first)

-Watch everyone turn their noses up at dinner, refuse to eat it b/c it is "too yucky" and Thing 3 gleefully throw it on the floor for the dog

-Get all Things to bed amid tears and wailing and gnashing, I mean brushing, of teeth-and get them to bed and get them to bed about 50 million times b/c there are concerns about forgetting lines again, what to wear tomorrow, if the hamster is lonely at night, what bed the American Girl doll should sleep in, and the injustice of having to clean up their room enough to be able to clear a path to their beds

-Thank God that I get to be a mom as my full time job every. single. day. (yes, even the ones where I am hanging out in dirty storm sewers with hair sculpted with funk-water and my kids and house are a mess-those are often the best ones!!)

I think it will be good to have another baby in the house b/c things are so dull around here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stupid Hot

Wow, it is HOT here. Like 90 degrees and 500 eleventy million percent humidity. And I have afro-prone hair. And our A/C is not working. Good times. But it is all good-our paperwork is back with the thumbs up from D.C., will be making it's little trip to Ethiopia early next week and we will finally be getting our fingerprinting done on Tuesday. That was a HUGE relief to get the appointment notice for that and also to only have to drive 2.5 hours away to do it instead of the 4.5 we were expecting-double woohoo to the Lord on that one! As an added bonus, since the appointment is at 8 a.m. and I have a hate-affair with the wee morning hours, we are going to go the nite before ALONE and have a tiny little getaway without the kiddos. OK, it is kind of lame to call going to Charleston, West Virginia for federal government fingerprints a "getaway" but we will take what we can get :)! Plus, working air conditioning!! This could be the best trip EVER! (Oh, well, maybe not as good as the little one where we go to AFRICA and all....whatever)

In other family news, Thing 2 had the end of an awesome week at theater camp today. The fine arts teacher at their school holds this camp every summer and this is the first time we have participated-totally worth it!! They performed the musical Bugz! and she was a honeybee-too cute! When will I ever stop crying at these events??? Oh the weddings will kill me! Not to worry, I have 40 or 50 years till those, right??? They worked so hard and it was amazing the cute little performance they pulled together in a week. I was so blessed by watching my timid, shy little honey bee just sing and dance away up there-God is so good to our family! I will post a picture of my honey bee when I am awake enough to find the camera and get the pictures from it-until then, imagine a cutie pie buzzing away and singing her heart out! Thing 1 goes to the bigger kid theater camp next week where they will learn and perform Life School Musical, a Christian take on a semi-well known little Disney movie :) Should be interesting!

One more evidence of God's blessing today was connecting with some of the other families from AGCI who are at the same point in the adoption process as we are. It felt like college when you meet your new dorm mates-only better! Come to think of it, it actually feels a little like my sweltering dorm room at the beginning of the school year in here, too...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It is official! Our dossier is done, reviewed, approved and we are OFFICIALLY on the waiting list for our little sweetie! Yikes! This is both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. You see, we had initially thought it would take longer and we would have a longer wait, but it is now looking like things have moved quite quickly and we may have our baby much sooner than we were thinking. We have not specified gender so we are on a list for either one and there are not a tremendous number of people ahead of us. Like I said, exciting and terrifying. We were thinking we would be traveling to Ethiopia in the Spring but it may be as soon as early winter. But we know God's timing is perfect and so we will keep looking to Him in everything. It was a year ago this week that God stirred my heart into a frenzy about adopting, that my husband said no thanks, and now, we are a few months away from meeting our newest family member! Feel free to join me in saying---

Monday, June 23, 2008

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

So, Sunday nite we had the worst hail storm I've ever seen in my life. Here are some shots outside our house post terror-inducing storm:It was eerie and weird and scary. And SUMMER. Not winter, as it appears in these photos. We went to bed wondering what damage we might find in the morning. But alas, God had a nice little surprise for us! We have this gigantic cherry tree in our yard that produces bazillions of cherries-none of which are reachable without a fire department ladder and/or some possible circus-like acrobatics of climbing that may or may not bring about death (and which have been used in seasons past nonetheless). I was just lamenting yesterday that it seems like such a waste to have all that fruit and not be able to get to it. Well, when surveying the yard today to see how many of my plants were destroyed and what clean up was necessary, one of my daughters called me over to look at the ground. "It's covered!" she yelled. And sure enough, the ground was blanketed with cherries, some squished, some perfect. The hail had knocked them down off the branches-woohoo! I spent an hour gathering what I could, along with my trusty little "helper" till my back just couldn't take the bending over any more and I had more than I knew what to do with anyway. (Note the plethora of leaves all over the yard-leaves that just yesterday were considered "branches". Also note the lovely attractive fence that is destined to make it onto the cover of Better Homes and Gardens any day now. Hush up-we're working on it.)

Hope your trials turn out to be "sweet" in some way, too-God is good like that!

PS-have any good recipes for wild cherries?????