Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ice Cream, Apples, and Homecoming

If you've never read this book: Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert, it's great for fall! Get it!
You probably didn't know, but this week was the birthday of the ice cream cone! So, we had to celebrate with a little treat!

Yesterday was Johnny Appleseed Day, but I left my camera at home:( All of my kids brought in apples and we measured the circumference, graphed them, sorted them, cored, peeled, and sliced them, and then of course we ate them! They always love Apple Day...even in third grade!

Last night I went to my High School Homecoming Football game with Eddie, Ambre, and the kids. It was fun, but so strange to be back at High School (actually, for me it was grades 3-12). It's amazing how it is your WORLD as a teenager and then how quickly your world view changes (thank God!) as you mature. I noticed the teenagers walking around the game in their huddles texting, talking, and laughing. Each group had a leader and all of their 'croanies' followed suit. So funny!!

They had a nice reception for the alumni at half time and I saw a few people from my graduating class (1993) and other people I knew. I'll try to post some pics later, I didn't take my camera but Ambre did. Madison really enjoyed it and actually cried really loud when we had to leave at 9pm and the game was still going on. What can I say, she loves a good party!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

19 Months Paper Pregnant

This was posted on my adoption agency's blog by someone else who is waiting. I thought is was beautiful and appropriate.

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead
Bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve you
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting

LID 2/25/2007

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Help a Family

The fabulous blog designer, Danielle, is holding a raffle to help a family that was badly hurt in a small plane crash. Their story is so sad and devastating. Please help this family if you can. If you enter the raffle, you'll be eligible to receive a blog makeover just in time for the holidays.

Review Room Update

I'm officially out of review!! I just heard this morning that my dossier has made it through the review room of the CCAA.
For those of you who do not know the routine...after you complete your dossier (huge file of paperwork fro China) you mail it to CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) and they "hold" it in the review room until they get to your LID (Log in Date). My LID is 2/25/07 it took almost 19 months to get to this step. It's a huge relief just to know that everything "past inspection" so to speak and I'm ready to WAIT for the next step which will be a referral. I think it will probably be another 2 years unless a miracle changes the current rate of referrals. Anyway, I'm really happy!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cute Pictures...

Future Farmers of America
We LOVE Thomas and he came to our town recently!!

Dental Hygiene is very important!
Look how cute!!! Eddie can't wait to start yard work with his dad!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

You must watch this

This is so funny! Did you see it?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Smile Award

Danielle over at Well, That's Just Fabulous! nominated me for the smile award! It was so nice to read her sweet comments and I really appreciate it. She is a truly fabulous person and it's too bad we live on the opposite sides of the country because I'd really like to hang out with her and see her smile in person!

These are the rules for The Smile Award...
1. The recipient must link back the the award's creator
2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.
3. You must choose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.
4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere.
5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.
6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.
7. You must thank your giver.

Characteristics for the Smile Award...
1. Must display a cheerful attitude.
2. Must love one another.
3. Must make mistakes.
4. Must learn from others.
5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.
6. Must love life.
7. Must love kids.

My five nominees (in no particular order) are:

1. My fab friend Candace. We always laugh within the first minute of communication or contact with each other! She's a great mom to two wonderful kids and hopefully one day we'll live in the same state again! We've traveled through the adoption journey together, hers lead her to Shepherd and mine, well we'll see one day! We've already begun discussions of 'pre-arranged' marriage for Shepherd and Molly. I don't think they'll mind, do you?

2. Kim over at 3 Peanuts probably has received this award before...and who doesn't love her and her fabulous taste?? But I just couldn't leave her out because I check on her and the peanuts almost daily and she's sure to bring a smile to my face with her words, advice, decorations, or adorable kids' pictures! She's inspiring on many levels, but most recently in her brave move to a strange new city.

3. Suzanne at Steece's Pieces is adorable and always brings a smile to my face. She's amazing with those 4 kiddos!! He husband and her share a very fun relationship and I think they are smiling a lot in their home!

4. Jen at 4tunate seems to make me smile with her honesty and humor at her daily life with 4 kiddos as well! Her husband and her also seem to work hard together (and laugh a lot!) in order to make in through the days with the stress that multiples bring!

5. Finally, Mimi at It's not all Flowers and Sausages (shout out to teachers who rock!) makes me laugh out loud with her teacher stories which I can relate to on most every level! She is a totally fantastic teacher and she inspires me to be a better one.

So thanks girls for making me smile!!

A Weekend Vacation

I just got home from a quick weekend getaway to Knoxville, TN. We went to the first UT ballgame to continue the tradition of cheering on the VOLS! How different game days has become now that we are toting along a one year old and a two year old! Maddie and Eddie did great considering we took them into a stadium with 100,000 other fans in the mid afternoon heat. We lasted until almost half time before we exited with the kids...first 'momma maze and maddie' headed to the air conditioned theater that was showing the game, then ambre and eddie, then aunt amy a few minutes later, and finally daddy came and joined us so we could all leave, nap, and cool off!

Maddie and Eddie thought it was very cool to all stay in the same hotel room together...everyone should have an adult/child ratio of 2/1 when traveling, right?

They always have the most beautiful orange and white flowers on campus!

Naples is one of our family favorite restaurants, we've been going there for about 25 years!

Mom and I headed to Pigeon Forge to do a little shopping before we came home...12 hours later we finally got home!! We are both exhausted to say the least. But we wanted to see the pretty fall decorations in Pigeon Forge, TN and get a little Christmas shopping out of the way while we had time.

First we got a big breakfast!
This has become my favorite breakfast restaurant in Pigeon Forge, it looks like a rinky dink kind of place, but they have the best eggs, country ham, and pancakes!

Then we quickly got into the Christmas spirit by touring this hotel (Danielle, you would love this!)

We spent the rest of the day shopping...mostly for Christmas decorations for our house. Some of our things are getting old and shabby and we thought we could spruce things up a bit this year. We won't have an opportunity to get back to East TN before the holidays so it was good timing. Now...I hope I can make it through work this week!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thank you!!

My most faithful blog follower, Suzy, sent me a $25 gift card to Staples (my favorite office supply store) for School Supplies! I think she felt sorry because of this post and wanted to help a teacher!! Suzy, thank you so much! That is so sweet of you!!! I'm going to buy something really great to use in the classroom (I have a long wish-list) and I'll post pictures for you to see.

The Science lessons and experiments with rocks are still in progress...check out these little geologists:

All of those rocks came from a hands on science kit we get 4 times a year. Honestly, I never opened any of them last year because who can concentrate on 'hands on activities' when you have complete thugs and crazy people in your classroom?? The rocks would have become weapons and they probably would have aimed them at me! But this year, these little sweeties have gained all my admiration!! I wonder if I can loop all the way to 12th grade with them??

This is a picture of fossils from my grandfathers collection. He was an avid collector of fossils (aka rocks if you asked my grandmother) and he would sit and study them for hours. He has them all categorized with index cards to describe what they are. He cleaned them and shellacked them to keep the nice. My kids are loving the chance to look at them!


In Memory...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My wish...

is to one day own my own home. I typically plan this dream out in my head a few times a year and then push it aside and move on with my life as I actually know it. I'm a single 33 year old woman and I live with my mother. Until a few years ago I actually had the exact same bedroom that I had when I was a mere 3 year old child! Then, my brother got married and I moved into his room because it was bigger. Still...same house.

I love my house, even with it's old cracks, popcorn ceilings, and dark paneled walls. Our home is home and has character. (sometimes more character than I would like, but it's charming) We live in a beautiful area full of trees and nature. The view is idyllic, it's great. But, sometimes when I least expect it I get this urge to want to move out and have my own place. Recently this "urge" came about because in talking with my grandmother about selling her house I really hoped I would be able to buy it from her and move there. I love her house, it's small, cute, and would be perfect for me. It needs some repairs, painting, and yard work, but hey we all watch HGTV these days...we can do anything!

I'm telling you I get totally obsessed with these 'urges' and get paint chips, fabric swatches, and pictures of furniture I would want to use. My 'home' folder is padded thick with these houses in my dreams. I get really bummed out when reality ( mom) strikes and tells me I'm not really in the position to take the step into home ownership, yet.

The problem is money...I don't have any, I owe too much, and I don't make enough!!! I had a very big spending above my means for about 10 years. This created a large sum of credit card debt...piled with car debt and student loans and you see where this is going. Then I was introduced to Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University and that changed a lot. I cut up my credit cards, stopped charging and over spending and began my debt snowball. It's been a great thing, but has taken me a long time to pay off (I'm still working on it). In the process of paying off debt I finished my Masters degree and began the process of adoption (both costly endeavors). But now I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm hoping that all goes as planned. I'm very close to paying off my student loans and then have a mere one more credit card to pay off (it's a doozy, so don't get too excited)

So with all that said, I know there is no way I could buy a house now. It would be a huge mistake to go backwards right now financially. But sometimes I just think it would be nice to have a place I could call my own, have my own traditions, and do things my way.

My mom is pretty flexible to live with, she's great and we're a lot alike. But as she gets older she gets worse about certain things (my two pet peeves...clutter and disorganization!!!). Somedays it's all I can take to not scream !!! She is such a pack rat about things and it doesn't help that she has a job (home daycare) that can lend itself to needing a lot of 'things' . Monday thru Friday daycare stuff is always out, strewn about the house and then she spends Saturday cleaning it up to have it trashed by Monday again. She cannot throw away (or recylcle) magazines or catalogs for anything! When I can I gather as many as possibe and take them away without her seeing. Just like when she is gone for a while I pick a drawer or cabinet to organize, but it's only a matter of a days before it's trashed again. It's the weirdest thing...she thrives on clutter. I don't need an interventionist or anything, our house is basically clean...we can see the floor, but it's just more than I prefer.

I think I'm very fortunate to have a mom I can live with (and not drive each other crazy) and to have a mom who supports me in the decision to adopt. She will be a huge support when Molly comes and I know I'll need her. I'm sure if I was on my own there would be times when I would think...'there's no place like home'!!! But am I crazy to think I might could handle it totally on my own with a child? Time will tell...I have to pay off the debt first, though.

The Weekend

It's been a busy weekend and I'm glad to be home soaking my feet and blogging...always a joy! Friday afternoon I left work early to take my grandmother to the bank to sort out some financial issues. She is 87 years old and has always taken care of herself, unfortunately the time has come for someone else to intervene and offer assistance. I have the time and ability to help her and she trusts me, so I'm glad to do it. She's been in her (paid for) home for about 15 years now and she is finally out of money to be able to stay there. She also has been the victim of several phone scams on the elderly in recent years. So Friday I took the first steps to help her, got a new, unlisted phone number, and took her to some area apartments to consider moving. It's going to be a difficult experience for a lot of reasons, but I think in the long run she will feel better not having to carry the burden that home ownership brings (taxes, repairs, yard work, etc.)

Saturday mom and I cleaned the house and then enjoyed the Nashville Home Show (still trying to decide on a kitchen floor). After the home show we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (love it!) and then shopped a little at our favorite mall. I bought this bead bracelet since it was on sale. (the multi-colored one, maybe it's cuter in person??)

Today we had Maddie and Eddie while Ambre and Eddie went to the Titans 'fallgame' (or football game for those of you who don't speak toddler lingo). On our way home (before they arrived) I noticed a baby turtle s-l-o-w-l-y trying to cross the street (we live in the country...these are not odd occurrences), I'm typically not an animals rescuer...however the little turtle seemed so helpless. I couldn't stand the thought of him being squished all over the street by the next vehicle so I picked him up. I knew Maddie would LOVE seeing him. She named him 'Tom the Turtle"...because she is totally in awe of Thomas the Train of course! (actually I named him, she said we could call him 'turtle')

I couldn't believe she picked him right up and didn't even drop him. Poor turtle was probably in shock!! We let him go at first I put him in the planter behind Maddie and we put water in it to make it nice and cozy, then when we checked it later he wasn't in there. So I guess he had found his way out.

Before naptime we made some cookies...practicing our pumpkin cookies for fall...

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