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I'm freeeeee

Thursday, November 29, 2007

...at least for the next two months.

I am officially on maternity leave.
Wow...that sounds kind of weird.
But it's true.
I wrapped up things at work today...and I'm all done until February. The big project is pretty much complete. There are a few snags to be worked out, but one of my co-workers is going to take care of it for me.
So I'm free.
Whew.
Now the real fun begins.
Do you realize the counter is down to 2!
TWO DAYS!!!
When I first posted that thing back in September it showed 69 days and it seemed forever for it to count down.
But now the time is finally here.
In a little over 48 hours we'll be on our way to Kiev.
Tomorrow is going to be the calm before the storm.
Meshack and I both took the day off to spend time with the kids...just the kids.
There are no real errands (except for a trip to Wa!-Mart for groceries - see I told you we're keeping that place in business!).
We plan to do whatever the kids want to do...
Dinner and a movie?
Trip to the zoo? (it may be a little chilly)
Hanging out at home.
Whatever they want...
We'll see what they choose.
And we're taking it easy tonight.
The presents are all wrapped, most of our stuff for the trip is gathered and sitting on our bedroom floor and quite frankly, the laundry can just wait another day.
So tonight I'm taking the family to Dairy Barn for supper (big spender, aren't I?), then we're coming home and doing nothing.
Well, okay...I have to finish printing the Christmas letters, but other than that we're not doing anything.
I think I can get used to this! :)

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just a little slice

You've lucked out!
Kate has saved you from another post about my case of the nerves...
(which are much better by the way. Thanks bloggies for all of your wonderful posts of encouragement.)
She posted this neat little quiz about pie...
Give it a try...and let me know what you are.


You Are Apple Pie


You're the perfect combo of comforting and traditional. You prefer things the way you've always known them.
You'll admit that you're old fashioned, and you don't see anything wrong with that. Your tastes and preferences are classic. And classic never goes out of style.

Those who like you crave security. People can rely on you to be true to yourself - and true to them. You're loyal, trustworthy, and comfortable in your own skin.
And because of these qualities, you've definitely earned a lot of respect.

Read more...

t minus 3

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Okay...I'm starting to freak.

Not in a bad way...
Just in a 'Wow, this is really happening' kinda way.
And it's happening VERY soon.
A little over three days.
Wow.
Do you ever get that way?
You work so hard to do something...and then once it's a reality you start to get a little nervous over it?
I do this EVERY time.
I did it for our wedding.
I did it when we adopted each of the kids.
I do it every year with the expo.
They are all wonderful, blessed events (well, okay...except for the expo) and here I am wigging out.
Just a little.
People keep asking me if I'm getting excited.
Uh....yeeeaaaah.
I'm getting excited...
and nervous...
and worried.
Chris and Virginia wrote the other day about all of the fears that come with international adoption.
One of the first ones to overcome is the 'Should we really do this?' What if they're not healthy? Can we handle it?
Then there's the 'Can we afford this?' We have a hard time saving money for retirement, how can we handle paying for an adoption and then the extra expenses of having another child?
And then there's the fears that go along with the process...the biggest of which is the great 'Homestudy fear."
Now I'm to the 'What if he/she doesn't like us,' phase. I mean after all, our other children were too young to notice or care. They had no idea what was going on. Punky, being the oldest at 21 months, had more of an idea than anyone and believe you me...her reaction wasn't pretty.
I've been having a lot of flashbacks lately.
Especially knowing more than likely this child will be older than Punky...from the sounds of it - way older.
Okay...
I need to stop...
take a step back...
and breath...
Innnnnn....
And ouuuuuut....
Goooood.
Now I need to trust.
God is in control of this whole thing.
If you read back into the archives of my blog you will see instances, time and time again, where you can see God's hand all over this adoption.
He handled the finances at a time when there was no earthly way possible for it to happen.
He found us a homestudy provider at half the price of what the others were charging...
He took care of the USCIS paperwork in record time...
All in order to bring us to this point in time...
He wants us right here...right now.
For His purpose.
Whatever it is.
I think I need to do some reading...
and some praying.
So if you need me, that's where you'll find me for the next several days.
Well...there...and at Wa!-Mart.
After all, I only have...

3 DAYS LEFT!!!

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long range forcast

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The long range forcast is looking a bit wet for Kiev.
I just checked it out on the weather.com.
Check it out HERE.
An umbrella is now on the list of stuff to take! :)

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a big step

It may seem like a little thing to most people, but three couples have taken a huge step today.

They have moved from the 'waiting' list on my blog to the TRAVELING column!
Woohoo!!!!
Congratulations Mark & Courtney, Rick & Fran and Steve & Gail...We're almost there!
We only have...

4 MORE DAYS!!!

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this, that and the other thing

Monday, November 26, 2007

We are spending these last few precious days, doing a lot of little things...playing catch-up.

I'm making lists...
crossing things off...
and then making a new list so I can read my list.
Have I mentioned I like lists?
All of the big stuff is pretty much taken care of ...but it's the little things that'll get ya.
Thankfully most of my big jobs at work have either been completed, or farmed out. There is just too little time, too much to do and thankfully my boss (old and new) and co-workers understand I just don't need the stress right now.
I just have one HUGE project left...but I can handle it. I have two more days to get it finished. That's enough time, it's just going to take Herculean effort.
Or maybe the effort of Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Which one is the girl?
Just call me her.
In between work there are the multiple trips to Wa!-Mart. I am convinced we are single-handedly keeping that place in business. We have been there everyday this week...
Both of us.
Multiple times.
And did you know that the closer you get to a big trip, the more you realize you need to take with you?
Silly stuff...
like toilet paper and ziplock bags.
And power converters.
I have three. I just bought another one yesterday.
I know what you're thinking...does she really need THREE?!
I think so. Really, I do.
I'll need one for the computer. And two more for any items we want to have running at the same time. Like a hair dryer and curling iron.
See...there's a method.
Speaking of madness...
I finally finished the photo album and Meshack is half way through wrapping Christmas presents. Do you know how hard it is to buy Christmas presents for a child you've never met, have no idea of the age of and aren't even convinced it's going to be a girl?!
The poor child is going to have to wait until we get home for most of her presents (assuming it's a her). Santa has promised to drop off a couple of books and a stuffed animal in Ukraine, but I'm hoping Meshack and the kids can find the time to go shopping for her after he gets home.
We'll see how that works out.
And have I told you that the mom-mobile has decided now is the time to nickle and dime us?! It is only four years old for heaven's sake, but in the last week the heater went out, we had to buy a new battery, the airbag light keeps going on and now I have a tire that chronically loses air!
UGH!
I may have to ask my Dad to have the tire checked. It holds air for a couple of days before the indicator light goes on, so I'm hoping he will have time to take it in to have it worked on while we're gone.
Sigh.
Let's see, what else...

Oh yes...
The furnace still needs to have the part replaced, but Meshack can't get in touch with the heating/air guy so we can get the part ordered.
I finally finished the Christmas letter...let me know if you want a copy, but I haven't gotten it printed yet because our home printer decided to quit too. Meshack picked one up on Black Friday, but we haven't found the time to hook it up yet.
I'm starting to really pack.
Really.
That means washing clothes that we want to take and having to wear ugly clothes to work because I have to take the pretty ones (relatively speaking) with me to Ukraine! :)
Is anyone else tired yet?
Oh yeah, and we only have...

5 DAYS LEFT!!

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the phone call

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We got the 'phone call' this weekend.
Our agency called to go over everything we need to know for our trip.
Whew.
There's a lot to know.
Now keep in mind we've been through this process before...
Three times.
But each time is a little different.
And add to that the fact that this time we're going to a different country and you've got the recipe for a big case of the nerves.
I've been downing pepto tablets like candy in the last week.
Thankfully we are working with quite possibly the most patient person in the world.
And the best agency I think we have ever had.
Nothing against our previous agencies (they're both out of business now) but I never had any one of them call me on a Saturday afternoon to answer my questions. They never gave me their cell phone number so that our families could get in touch with us in case of an emergency. And they most certainly didn't pray with us.
I like 'em.
We talked about everything under the sun.
She told us where our facilitator would be waiting for us.
We discussed the SDA appointment and what to do if there are no children that fit our requests.
And we talked about warm shoe inserts that we can buy at the underground mall.
An hour later our questions were spent.
I feel better now.
Much more relaxed...
And a lot more prepared.
I think I'll save the pepto for the airplane ride.
I'll need them in only...

6 DAYS!!!

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watch what you say about my turkey! ;)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sorry...didn't mean to confuse anyone with the change in the comments section.
I went with unmoderated comments for awhile, but I missed being able to really read the comments. They had a way of sneaking into the blog - and even though I got an email letting me know they were there...I didn't always catch them all.
This way, when I log into my blog, I'll see a little note telling me...
'Hey! You've got comments!'
I'll read the notes...
Chuckle...
And approve them.
It's quite lovely.
So I'm back to moderated.
After you post your comment, the system will hold it for awhile, until I can take a look at it and truly appreciate your wit and wisdom.
And don't worry...I won't censure you.
Unless you start talking smack about my turkey cooking abilities. ;)

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we got elfed

Friday, November 23, 2007

I saw this over on Jenni's blog and just had to give it a try. Check it out...it's hilarious.

CLICK HERE.

Yes...I know I have better things to do with my time than to 'elf' my family...but I neeeeeded a break! (Am I whiney enough for you? - I thought so.) I promise to put up a 'real' post later.

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happy thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.

We're busting at the seams.
Our friends, Tom and Lynda and their six kids joined us for Thanksgiving dinner.
We had kids everywhere.
They were sitting at the table, in the living room...I think a few even ate their dinner sitting in the middle of the laundry room floor.
We had a ball.
It was great to have an opportunity to get together and just chat. Lynda and I don't get to do that too often...so while we were making stuffing, finding lost tippy cups and trying to figure how many place settings we needed, we talked girl stuff.
It was great.
And I am proud to say I made my first, official turkey...all by myself.
Well...except for the part where I made Meshack wash the thing out.
And it turned out great, except for the plastic bag full of gizzards I accidentally left inside.
Oh, well.
It gave everyone a pretty big chuckle at my expense. (I pulled one bag out of the bird...who knew they could stuff it full of so much junk! ;>)
Their crew has since left...on their way to the next stop.
My crew has since gone to bed...stuffed full of turkey, pink jello and wonderful memories.
It's time to go to bed myself.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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post number 200

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We've reached another milestone, bloggies...

This is post number 200.
I wish I had something profound to tell you.
A story with deep spiritual meaning.
But alas, I am plum out of deep thoughts.
I don't even have any clever, funny, quippy kind of kid-stories to tell.
Where are those kids when I need them?!
I need good blogging fodder!
Sigh.
So you're stuck with a plain, post full of a bunch of tidbits...but nothing too exciting.
Sorry.
It looks like it's going to take me 10 days to come up with something really interesting.
Stick with me...I think you'll enjoy it. ;)
In the meantime...here's what's going on.
  • - We got the Power of Attorney forms signed. Another item checked off the list.
  • - The mom-mobile had to go into the shop on Monday. It started making a weird clicking noise behind the stereo and I had no heat. Since it is winter, and my parents will need to drive the mom-mobile while Meshack and I are gone, we took it in. Thankfully, it was a relatively cheap and quick fix. And the best part was I got it back in time to drive to work this morning...in the first real cold day of fall. That heater felt goooood.
  • - Thank goodness for Meshack's obsession about having everything mechanical checked before we leave. We had the furnace inspected last week - and wouldn't you know it, there's something wrong. We have to order a part...and fork over another $300, but we have the peace of mind in knowing our children will be warm and toasty while we're gone. Good thinking, Meshack!
  • - We have company coming for dinner on Thursday. Lynda's family will be coming down for the day. We always have a ton of fun when they come down...I just need to figure out how to fit 12 people around my kitchen table. We still don't have a dining room table so we may have kids sitting on the floor! ;)
  • - Christmas begins Thanksgiving night. After Lynda's family leaves we're pulling out the Christmas decorations and kicking off the holiday season a little early. Since we'll be gone most (if not all) of the month of December, we need to get everything put up so the kids can enjoy it while we're gone. Sigh. I love this time of year. I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a way to take a little bit of my homey Christmas with me to Ukraine. A mini-tree with lights, a candle, some music...something. Any ideas?
So there you have it.
Exciting, wasn't it?
By the way...thanks to everyone for the comments about my bathroom dream. I am going to look at it as if I was going camping. Eventually I'm going to have to go...I'll just make the best of it.
And bring along some baggies and handi-wipes! :)
We're counting down.
There's only...
11 DAYS LEFT!!!

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i had a dream

Monday, November 19, 2007

We were in Ukraine (I never saw Meshack...I just knew he was there.)

We got on the train that was to take us to the region...
and suddenly I was standing in the door of the train's bathrooms.
I went into the facilities and was immediately called out by my friend Lynda, who had gone into labor. (She's due IRL in January).
I realized I needed to get water for her...(don't know where I was going to heat it) but every time I would try to go back into the lavatory, she would call down the hall that she needed me.
I'd run back to the berth (to help her give birth (ha-ha)) and she would be fine. I'd head back to the bathroom to get more water and she would call out to me again.
At one point my mother was in the bathroom and wouldn't let me in. And a few times some unknown kids cut in line.
Then I tried putting makeup on in the bathroom...that didn't work out so well.
---------------------
Hmmm....can anyone tell where my obsession lies right now?
Yep...
El Bano.
Mercifully, I woke up before I had to actually clean the train's lavatory...
I'm sure that was coming next.
I'm not sure what the bathrooms on the Ukraine trains are really like.
I've only heard horror stories.
But I'll have some first-hand knowledge in only...

12 DAYS!!!!

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let the packing begin

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I never did go back and get that suitcase.
Sigh.
I figured it would be just one more expense - and I'd rather save that money for VIP service at the Kiev airport.
For some reason this trip I'm wanting as much hand-holding as possible.
Maybe it's the new country.
Maybe it's all the stress lately.
Maybe I'm just getting old. (Hey! I'm only 37!)
You'd think I'd be an old hand at this by now.
Nope.
Take for instance, the packing...
I took the plunge and started putting stuff in the suitcases this morning...(it was really starting to pile up)...
and I realize just how much 'stuff' I was trying to stuff in there.
I know I don't need all of it...but even after three international adoptions I'm still afraid to leave some of it at home.
Take, for instance, the large bottle of baby powder.
Chances are, she'll already be potty trained.
And if she's not, I won't have her with us long enough to really justify a LARGE bottle.
But I purchased a large bottle anyway.
It's taking up too much room.
I'm putting that back on the 'to buy' list...
- one SMALL bottle of baby powder.
I've already put in my clothes for court...a skirt, blouse, the boots and I need to go to K0hl's for a black sweater. I'm wearing everything but the skirt, with other outfits, which of course cuts down on the number of clothes I need to take.
That's good.
Speaking of clothes...I'm going to just be myself this time.
On the last three trips I tried to blend in.
It didn't work.
They can spot ya a mile away.
So, this time I'm just going to be myself.
Jeans, sweaters, tennis shoes for everyday.
I'll save the boots for snowy days and the slacks for the SDA and dinner out.
I'm trying to be real minimalistic about all of this.
I was proud of us on the first three trips.
On our one week trip to get Q-ball we kept it to one suitcase and a diaper bag.
Same with our first trip to meet Punky and JacJac.
When we did our three week trip for court, we kept it to two suitcases (for 5 people...pretty good if you ask me.)
For some reason this trip is starting out as a three suitcaser...my goal is to cut it down to two and two carryons.
That's the plan for now.
It'll change.
I know a lot of this stuff is going to come right back out of the bags as I rethink and over-think my packing philosophy. ;)
I'll let you know how it all comes together.

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new beginnings

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm sorry for all of the complaining.

I'm usually a much more 'glass is half full' kind of gal, but something has gotten ahold of me lately and I'm really feeling it.
Maybe it's a early case of PAD...
I don't know.
Whatever it is, I need to shake it.
This should help.
I was offered a job today.
And I took it.
Do you remember six weeks ago when I told you about my boss getting 'laid-off?'
Ever since then I have been in a working funk.
It's been difficult to see past the circumstances.
Nothing felt stable...
Nothing felt familiar...
Nothing felt interesting.
Then a couple of weeks ago an old supervisor (same company - long story) offered me a position in a different department.
It would mean more responsibilities...
More freedom.
A little more money.
And a change of scenery.
But the biggest change is that the new job would be a complete departure from journalism.
I'd be in the advertising department...coordinating special events (which I love), coming up with new ideas for special sections (sounds good to me) and coordinating the advertising sales of special sections (sounds important).
For some reason...the idea didn't scare me.
Today, I told them I'd take it.
So, when I get back after the New Year from maternity leave, not only will I have a new child...I'll also have a new job.
One that will give me a some new challenges.
And a new beginning.

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so much free time...NOT!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Okay...who put all that stuff back on my 'To Do' list?!

I turn my back for one minute and things magically appear...
It multiplies overnight.
Every time I think I've checked a couple of things off the list - a couple more get added.
Soooo......
To save my sanity, I'm giving up.
There are only a few things that really HAVE to be done before December 2.
  • - Sign the POA forms
  • - Buy Christmas presents for the kids (all four of them! YEA!!)
  • - Get the new bills
  • - Pack
  • - Finish the photo album
That's it.
I'm not doing one more thing.
Nothing else.
Well...okay, just one more...
I now have to go to a basketball tournament the day before we leave.
Okay, okay, okay, okay....I KNOW!
But it's Q-ball's first basketball tournament and we'll miss a lot of games this year.
We NEED to go.
Other than that I'm wide open.
Well...except for all this work stuff.
I have yellow sticky notes all over my computer. I wish I could send you a picture...it's quite funny really. My co-workers make fun of me all the time. You should see it around expo time. My monitor looks like a sunflower! ;)
I'm swamped at work and can't seem to find the motivation to finish anything.
Hmmmmm....I wonder why?!
But other than work stuff and the few items left on my to do list I'm free as a bird...
Okay, there is the small matter of guests for Thanksgiving - eight of them.
But it's Lynda's family...and they're bringing food so that doesn't count.
And then I have Punky's IEP meeting...
one more night of AWANA...
a doctor's appt. to get rid of this yucky cough...
family fun night at church this Sunday...
AND I HAVE TO CLEAN BEFORE MY PARENTS COME!!!
Sigh.
I think I need to revisit that list again.
After all, I only have...

16 DAYS LEFT!!!

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cry of the orphan

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The closer we get to our travel date the more conscious I become of where our daughter is and what she is going through right now.
I wrote in my very first post about all the questions that go through my mind at this point. I start thinking about Maddie laying in a crib...waiting for someone to pick her up and hold her.
Knowing she may be cold, wet and hungry.
She doesn't have anyone to lovingly tuck her in at night or rock her to sleep.
No one plays with her, reads to her or colors pink bunny pictures with her.
And while I know the caregivers often do care - no one cares for her like a Mama would care for her when she is sick, starving or in pain.
And Maddie is not alone.
There are hundreds of thousands...no, millions of others just like her - all over the world.
Many of you may already know this is the campaign week for 'Cry of the Orphan'...a week highlighting the plight of orphans internationally and domestically. But there are many of our family and friends who read this blog, who may not have heard about this week and how they can help children all around the world.
The scriptures are full with stories and illustrations of God's heart for orphans. My favorite is in Ephesians 1:5 -


He predestined us to adoption
as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself,
according to the kind intention of His will...

My prayer is that you will follow some links below and let them touch your heart. They will help you better understand the plight these children face...and how you can help.
Let me know if you have any questions.

(WARNING: You will need a very large Kleenex for the video! ;) A friend of ours from the blog Kristina's Story put this together and published it onto You Tube. She is getting ready to travel back to Ukraine to pick up her daughter Kristina. What a beautiful story!)

Cry of the Orphan - http://cryoftheorphan.org/

Family Life Today - special broadcasts on adoption -
http://www.familylife.com/

Focus on the Family - special broadcasts on adoption -
http://www.family.org/



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taaaa daaaaa

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's all done (thank goodness).

Punky and Maddie's room is complete...
minus a few touches...
like a bed for Maddie...
and curtains.
But let's not dwell on the negatives, shall we?
Let's revel in the knowledge that the painting is complete and I can check off another item on the list.
The top picture shows you Punky's bed...cute isn't it? We found her bedding and just fell in love. What you can't see is the quilt-like flower stitching on the bedspread in green thread. The wall-hanging is from H0bby-Lobby...weird how they match so perfectly!
The next is the girls' dresser...an oldie but a goodie. Meshack and I bought it at a second-hand store when we were first married. Eighteen plus years later it's still holding up and it looks decent up next to that lovely green paint. Notice, Punky's newest prized possession...her fish tank. She's been wanting a fish tank FOREVER...and finally received this little beauty for her birthday last week. And to top it off, the box described the color as 'Punky Purple'.
She was was convinced they had made it just for her!
The last picture will give you an idea of where Maddie's bed will go...when she gets a bed. It's hard to figure out what to put there since we don't even know how old she'll be.
We have a white crib and toddler bed in storage, so we're set there. If we need a twin we'll have to go to the humongous furniture store down in K.C. to find one to match Punky's.
We'll leave that up to Meshack. It can be one of his many projects, while I'm spending my days in Ukraine.
So there you have it...
Another item checked off.
The tally is getting shorter and shorter.
But then again, so is our time!
We're down to...
20 days!!!

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color me crafty

Saturday, November 10, 2007

This is the weekend.

I'm going to get it done.
I'm painting Punky and Maddie's room.
We went to the store last night and purchased the paint...a lovely Bahia Grass.
It will look great with her purple bedspread.
I know...I know...It's a little over the top, but come on! This is a little girls bedroom! What would it be without tons of color?!
Actually it looks pretty good together.
Wish me luck.
I had big dreams of getting it all done today, but so far I haven't done much more than get all the stuff out of Punky's room!
I still need to track down the step ladder...
There's a roller and tray around here somewhere...
Meshack needs to pick up some spackle on his way home from work...
There are still about a billion windows to run blue tape around...
And it's already 11:47 a.m!
This project can't take up too much time.
I only have...


21 DAYS!!

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this is only a test

Friday, November 9, 2007

EDITED AGAIN TO ADD:
YEA!!! It worked! Thanks to everyone for all their techie advice! Enjoy!

EDITED TO ADD:
Okay...that didn't work! Does anyone know how to put the slideshow on here?!
------------------------------
I've seen so many other people attach albums to their blogs through Picasa, but I don't have the foggiest idea of how to do it, so I'm testing it out BEFORE I get over there!
Seeeeee...I'm thinking ahead.
That...and I'm putting off painting.
So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pics from our journey to find Q-ball.


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i've got boots!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I finally found some boots.

Yipppeee!
Of course, all of the women of Ukraine will probably be laughing at me...
And Meshack is convinced I am making a horrible fashion faux pau.
He thinks they're 'go-go' boots.
Alright...
They ARE over the calf boots...
And they ARE black...
But they're not HIGH HEELED!
That's all I cared about!
I couldn't imagine walking down (or up) the streets of Kiev (how are we supposed to spell this?) in any kind of heel!
I have my knees to think about you know.
I can only go so far in my quest for fashion compliance.
I tried finding you a picture these wonder boots but they're nowhere to be found on the internet which means I'd have to go upstairs and take a picture of them myself.
I don't know if I'm that committed to this blog! ;>)
So use your imaginations for now...and if you're good, maybe you can see them when I start posting pictures from Ukraine in...


24 DAYS!!!

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argument in aisle 5

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I don't usually get this passionate about luggage.
It's all pretty cut and dried to me.
I just want a valise to get my clothes, makeup, hair accessories, shoes, pjs and other paraphernalia from point A to point B!
I don't really care what color it is, as long as it's not pink with purple polka dots. (Although that would be pretty easy to locate in baggage claim!)
Meshack has never been married to any particular type of suitcase either. He's pretty easy to please. Make it easy to carry or pull and he's all over it.
But something came over us this weekend.
And it wasn't pretty.
Who would think that two adults would be reduced to carrying on about carry-ons in the middle of Wa!-Mart!
And if that weren't bad enough...
It was IN FRONT OF THE KIDS!
Ufta!
What a sight we must have been!
No seriously harsh words were exchanged...and voices weren't raised much above normal talking level...but anyone within a three aisle radius could just tell.
The tension was thick.
The brave souls who tried to push past us in the suitcase aisle, smiled sympathetically at our children.
One man even tried to help.
Poor guy.
Couldn't he see his sage advise was falling on deaf ears?
We were as set in our opinions as day old oatmeal on my kid's breakfast bowl.
I wanted two medium sized suitcases - because as any SANE person will tell you...when I travel back to the states by myself it will be nearly impossible for me to lug a HUGE suitcase along with a diaper bag and a toddler sized child!
The smaller the better.
Meshack wanted to buy the five-pack...because it was a good deal. Even though there's no way I can pack all my junk in it's tiny, little medium sized suitcase.
Yes...I know.
Pathetic.
I'm sure everyone that pushed past us in that aisle was thinking the same thing.
In the end we gave up.
We walked away mad.
Meshack went on to buy birthday supplies for Punky.
I took Punky and Q-ball to the van to wait.
About 45 minutes later, Meshack came out pushing the 5-piece suitcase pack in the grocery cart.
Sigh.
I guess this is when I need to think about my new camera!
And make plans to go back for a medium size bag!

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happy birthday Punky!

Monday, November 5, 2007

My baby girl turned 7 today.

Wow...seven.
How did that happen?
It seems like just yesterday we met a shy, tiny toddler in a babyhouse in Russia. She was sitting across the room on a worn, wooden bench, picking dolls, horses and blocks out of a white fabric bag. Her face scrunched in concentration as she listened to what her speech teacher was saying.
Every so often she would glance our way, and then quickly go back to what she was doing...too frightened to come anywhere near us.
We slowly worked our way across the room...taking our time. Trying not to scare her...hoping she'd let us into her world.
Slowly, she opened up to us. Letting us talk to her, play with her and eventually hold her.
Right then, we knew she was the one.
The little blond-haired, blue-eyed, tiny beauty had a personality so big, my husband called her Punky.
And it stuck.
Five years later, she's grown into a beautiful, sweet, smart, caring, compassionate little girl...who still has the personality to match her nickname.
The same little girl who enjoys reading 'Ramona the Pest', playing Barbie's and loves the color pink is the same child who loves softball, thinks nothing of jumping right in on a game of tackle football with her brothers and rides her bike no-handed.
I am so grateful that God led us to her.
I'm thankful we followed our hearts, took our time and were patient.
I'm thankful we didn't put too much stock into her medical sheet which indicated she had 'issues.' (She's completely healthy.)
And I'm thrilled to pieces she let us into her world.
I am incredibly proud to call Punky my daughter.
And there is no better sound in the world than when she calls me, 'Mama.'
On our children's birthday eve, we have pie.
It's our way of celebrating their Russian-ness. We heard somewhere Russian's celebrate birthdays with pie (we have not idea whether it's true or not)...and since it's technically already their birthday in Russia, we start the celebrations early.
Soon we'll start a new tradition...with a new child.
And Punky can't wait.
She's excited beyond words to be getting a 'baby sister'.
She tells anyone she meets about her plans for what they'll do together.
And if you were here she would tell you there's only...

26 DAYS LEFT!!

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aaaaaack!

Sorry I've been MIA lately.
My life has been in fast-forward...times 8.
You know the option on your DVD player that makes time skip forward at break-neck speed...so fast that you can't even see what's going on in the scene, let alone the background.
That's what I feel like right now.
My life is in Fast Forward x8...and it's stuck and I can't find the Power Off button!
It's been non-stop at work...and the bad news is it may stay that way until we leave.
All yesterday did was add more meetings and work to my day!
It's been so crazy around here I haven't been able to find the time to even blog about Punky's birthday.
And YES I'm cheating.
I'm posting this on Monday's date...
Because I can...that's why.
(Thank you blogger.)
I'll try to put up a post about Punky's birthday later today...
or maybe tomorrow.
Definitely by Friday...
or Saturday...
I don't know, it may be Sunday.
I'll let you know.

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less me...more them

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Okay...I have a confession to make.
I made waaaaay too much out of yesterday's babysitting duty and I need to apologize to Lynda. I'll do it the first chance I get. (Unless of course, she's reading this...in which case, 'I'm sorry, Lynda!')
I also need to admit I have been a little too concerned about myself lately and not nearly concerned enough for others.
Call it self-absorbed...
call it ego-centric...
I call it selfish.
And to top it all off I was convicted by a couple of toddlers and my pastor.
All of the kids were absolute angels. No problems whatsoever. Even the toddlers. I probably could have gotten some painting done, but then I would have lost out on the chance to play.
And what fun would that have been.
And then Pastor drives it home with today's sermon.
It was about complaining.
Hmmmm...sound a little familiar?
I can't remember the exact passage - because of course the kids drew all over the bulletin and have since lost them, so I can't even look it up - but I think it was in Colossians.
And it was good.
Anyway...
I'm going to try to be less self-centered this week. And pay more attention to those in need around me.
Less me...
More them.

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purple passion

Saturday, November 3, 2007

In honor of National Adoption Awareness Month I've gone grape. (At the urging of Elle.)
Purple is actually one of my favorite colors...thanks in large part to my alma matter.
You couldn't survive five years at that institute of higher learning without picking up some loyalty to the most royal of colors...Purple. (Go Cats!)
I'm supposed to have a neat little graphic on here celebrating National Adoption Month...but I can't seem to get it to work.
I'll keep trying.
In the meantime, enjoy.
And head on over to see Kate. She fixed me up all purple-y...Thanks Kate!
I like this so much I may keep it this way!

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too much to do

Friday, November 2, 2007

Good news.
I survived the shot.
It was a little touch and go for awhile...
but the Tootsie Pop saved the day.
(Actually, I got two for being such a big girl! ;) )
Check.
Check.
That's the sound of two more items getting crossed off the list.

  • - Get flu shot - check.
  • - Buy Punky's birthday gifts - check.
Yep...finished that one up tonight as well.
Unfortunately all of this great progress is coming to a grinding halt tomorrow.
I'm babysitting...six kids.
My best friend called tonight and asked if I could watch her children while she goes Christmas shopping with her husband.
I wanted to check another item off the list tomorrow...
- Paint Punky and Maddie's room
Sigh.
There's no way I can watch eight kids (Q-ball is going to the K-State football game with Meshack - GO CATS!) and get that bedroom painted.
Soooo...It will have to wait until next Saturday. I'm still hoping I can get something done. Perhaps...
- finish addressing Christmas cards and
- finish Christmas letter
or the biggie...
- Get one set of each size clothes out of storage for Maddie (this way I'll know what size to have Meshack pull out of storage when he comes home after court.)
Either way, it's not going to be as productive of a weekend as I had hoped.
I need to be careful how I phrase this because my friend reads my blog. Honest, Lynda...
I'm not bitter or anything. Just disappointed.
I know she would do the same for me in a heartbeat...that's what best friends are for.
It's just that right now I'm haggard, run-down and overwhelmed.
And I'm quickly running out of time to get things done.
I only have a few weeks left of just being a family of five...
I haven't been able to spend any quality time with my kids lately..
And my house is a WRECK!
And to top it all off, while I was typing this my counter reminded me that I only have...


29 DAYS LEFT!!!

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two things down...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

...a thousand to go.

I checked a couple more things off the list in the last couple of days.
I bought a photo album, ordered pictures and have started working on putting it all together.
MoscowMom has graciously offered to translate everything into Russian for me, so I'm quickly trying to get the list of pictures together for her...but I'm not sure I'm going to get it accomplished. I sure do appreciate the offer though!
Thanks MoscowMom!!
I also checked with the bank on the money situation this afternoon. I'm not sure what to make of this conversation...

  • Me - 'My husband and I are getting ready to complete an international adoption. We will be cleaning out our account in the next few weeks and need to have the good, clean, new-looking bills in $20s, $50s and $100s. Who do I need to talk to about getting these bills ordered?"
  • Teller - "I don't think we're going to be able to help you."
  • Me - Dumbfounded - "Can you tell me why?"
  • Teller - "I do the money ordering and we are not able to get brand new bills."
  • Me - "The bills don't have to be brand new. Just in good shape...new-like. The $20s you just gave me from your drawer would be just fine...there are no visible folds, marks or tears."
  • Teller - "I just don't think we'll be able to get that much new cash for you."
  • SILENCE
  • She looks at me.
  • I look at her.
  • SILENCE
  • Me - "Sooooo...what do you suggest I doooo."
Eventually she pointed me in the direction of the bank manager, who was very polite and helpful. Thank goodness...I don't think I would have been held responsible for my actions if I had to deal with that teller one more minute! It's a bank for heaven's sake - where else am I supposed to get the money? The adoption fairy?!
They certainly don't deserve any gold stars.
But I think I do.
Tomorrow I check one more thing off the list...
It's a biggie.
The flu shot.
Pray for me.
I think I'm going to need it.

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