Thursday, August 27, 2009

God sent a grasshopper

Yesterday was our second day of official homeschooling. Caleb started kindergarten this year. We're doing an insect unit and have been learning about all kinds of beetles, bugs and crawly things. Yesterday, I sent the kids on a bug hunt in the backyard. They dug in the dirt, searched by the fence, under the mulch, rain gutters and storage building, but no bugs. We did find teeny tiny little white bugs under the mulch, but they were less than interesting. I joined in the search and we found one rolly polly-which got away. We were on our way in when we spotted this huge grasshopper by the fence. We've lived here over two years and I can't recall ever seeing a grasshopper in our yard. After some heroics on my part (scooting the grasshopper into our bug catcher with a stick) and bravery on Caleb's (slamming the lid shut), we got him. The kids had a great time checking him out and affectionately named him "Hopper" (so creative:). When we went inside, we realized that the grasshopper we caught looked like the grasshopper that was on the front of the book we had read that morning. Thanks God for the excellent addition to my lesson plans. We set him free this morning.

Do you see what I'm dealing with?

Lexi's attempt to remove her bandages.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Photo Shoot

One good shot of kids and S.C. Gee Gee!

Weekend News Continued

We also traded in our two vehicles for an Excursion. Yes, we traded cars again. This is our 8th vehicle change since June of 2007 (due to various circumstances). At this point, it has become a joke and a guessing game as to how long we will actually keep a vehicle. This time we think we got it right??? We bought the largest SUV made, with seating for 8 and storage room to spare. Aside from it being a gas guzzler, it meets our needs and makes room for our new additions. We've been at car dealerships so often in the past two years that our kids now complain "not the car place again". The dealership was near the beach, so we decided to take a picnic lunch so the day would not be a total waste. Unfortunately, by the time we got our picnic set up, a big storm blew in forcing the picnic into the car (good thing we have an Excursion).

Weekend News

We had a fun long weekend. Nick took Friday off and his mom was in town. Friday started and ended with new school orientations and "meet your teacher" (for two pretty cute school kids if I do say so myself). We also squeezed in our weekly visit to the vet. We were supposed to be going for bandage removal. Lexi decided to throw in a "mysterious limp" as well (note red arrow). Bandages had to be replaced (because her ear was still bleeding-return in 1 week they said with a touch of annoyance) and the limp was declared a soft tissue injury after $120 worth of x-rays (rest, ice, compression and elevation). Good news-her ear looks much better and she had no signs of arthritis, so she should be enjoying many more happy dog years.


We've been working on a little "cloning" experiment. We haven't quite perfected it, but we're getting close. (top Colton, bottom Caleb)

Referral Update

So, zero referrals this week. We knew we were in for a long wait, but it makes the wait seem so much longer when such little progress has been made this month. So far, only 4 referrals have been made in the past 4 weeks. I know it varies week to week, month to month (but at that rate, it would take 300 more weeks to get a referral (that's almost 6 years if you do the math)--this is the torture that the weekly update can bring). Last month, I was calculating a 6 month wait based on the 50 referral received in July (which I also knew was a long shot calculation), now, who knows? Good news is that God knows (unfortunately, I'm one of those types of people who enjoys a "heads up" on the plan). This process has taught me and continues to teach me to be patient and wait on God's timing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Tonight we managed to bake cookies without a complete meltdown. Colton is getting the concept that the cookies will come out of the oven. He waited patiently tonight for his "coo coo".

The saga continues with our dog. Since July 27th, we've made 6 or 7 trips to our vet, one midnight run to the Animal Emergency Room, had several bandage changes and filled multiple prescriptions. Yesterday we took her back in for a second surgery to drain her ear. The Vet sent us home with "anti-anxiety" medication (at this point I'm not sure if it was for me or the dog:).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Referral Update

Weekly referral update: 2 referrals placed, 10 families past court, and 6 families traveling this week to pick up their children. Slow, but steady progress.

Almost every night Caroline wants me to pray for her "Africa kids" (we've been working with her on getting away from this term and calling them our kids in Ethiopia or your baby sister-kind of hard when we don't really know who we're praying for). Anyway, I asked her what she wanted to pray for and she said, "that they would get here soon". I told her that it would still be a long time and she said, "it's already been a long time" (we told them about adopting last November, so that is a long time for a 3 year old). So, we prayed that they would come home in God's perfect time. When we were done, she said, "so will they come the next day after this day"? (meaning tomorrow-patience is not one of her strong points). Not tomorrow, but sooner than later, we hope.

Friday, August 14, 2009


In an effort to burn endless energy and have a little family fun, the kids turn up the jams and ride scooters through the house (the biggest "kid" also enjoys this activity).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Referral Update

So, we were so excited by the large number of referrals coming in mid July. I of course started calculating that if 50 referrals were made each month, we should get a referral in about 6 month. I should know better than to go into "theoretical planning mode". Last week's update reported zero referrals again and today the update was that two children were referred. At least we're making progress-we estimate that we moved from number 302 to number 300 on the waiting list. We had a teleconference last Thursday and our agency said that referrals just vary week to week. The only reason they can cite for the small number referred in the past few weeks is that the Ethiopia office has only had power 1-2 days per week, making phone calls and email very difficult. They do not see this as a trend and still predict referrals of young children to be between 12 and 18 months with most receiving referrals at the 14 month mark (so, 2 months down, 10-16 month to go).

On another note, we went to our second Ethiopia Adoptive Families play group yesterday. It was actually my first one (Nick went with the kids while I worked last time). It was really fun to be around other families that have already been through the process and others that are at various stages. One mom has her court date tomorrow (keep her in your prayers tonight). Hopefully she'll get news tomorrow that her little girl is officially hers and she'll be able to travel in September to pick her up. I can't imagine how she'll sleep at all tonight.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate Covered Cookie Tantrum

There's a great children's book called "The Chocolate Covered Cookie Tantrum" about a little girl who throws a fit over a cookie she wants. It always reminds me of how Caroline can so easily erupt over the littlest things (although she has been doing much better lately). Last night, Nick was baking cookies and Colton wanted one immediately. He threw his own "cookie" tantrum while they baked. He seems to be particularly advanced in his tantrum throwing skills at only 19 months (he did learn from the best). Not to be out done, Caroline had three "all out fall outs" today-let us not forget who holds the title for "ultimate tantrum champion" in this house.