Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Stuff

Well, all of our adoption paperwork has been signed off on and APPROVED! This means that we can now actively start seeking the newest addition to our family. The agency is also looking through their files to find a child (or children) who meet our "criteria." It sounds weird to phrase it like that. We don't know how long it will take, but the process has begun.

James has learned to swim! After having swim lessons twice, and not succeeding, we tried again this summer. Well, it's true what they say - 3rd time's the charm! 
While we aren't going to the pool every day, we are going a lot more frequently than we had been. You can see that both of the kids love jumping in the pool. I'm not ready to turn James loose on the diving board yet. You have to have a green band (he's not quite test ready for that). Sabrina, on the other hand, has been swimming for several years now, and loves nothing more than jumping off the board!

Sabrina took a couple of pottery classes this summer. She absolutely loved it! She and I are going to sign up for a class together at some point. Here is one of her projects:
One of our goals as a family is to get healthier. We joined the YMCA, and go multiple times a week. I've given up sodas (again), but am now motivated to continue with it. Due to regular exercise and no sodas / healthier diet, I've dropped 10 lbs. in 2 weeks. I went cold turkey on the soda nearly a month ago now. Still have days (the past 2) that the temptation is so great to have another one...then I get on the scale, smile, and grab my water bottle, or my new favorite - green smoothies, homemade, loaded with a lot of green veggies and some fruit. They make a great breakfast and lunch.

Chris and the kids are all taking Karate! I spend my time in the workout area, alternating my days between weights and the treadmill. My personal goal is set...I am going to run a 5K in November. To do so, obviously, I need to work on my running! 
I am working on it, though. My time is getting better. The first day took me over 75 minutes. I'm still pushing it, though. I'm nowhere near in good enough shape to run. My best time is an alternate walk / jog effort. One of my cousins likes to run for fun (she's a 5K / 1/2 marathon junkie...I swear she gets high off of it), and she's very encouraging. Who knows? Maybe we can meet up sometime and do a 5K together. Haven't seen her in years, so this would be a fun way to reconnect somewhere other than Facebook.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The big toe

I was given a school assignment by my daughter. The assignment was to write a thesis on the big toe. I do hope this brings you some enjoyment. The word "hallux" is the Latin translation of the largest toe.


            I am quite the thespian, if I do say so myself. To paraphrase the great William Shakespeare, “A toe by any other name would smell the same.”
            It is unfortunate that my possessor cannot appreciate my merit. I am, after all, the largest attachment to their foul smelling foot. Do they have any regard for my feelings? It is doubtful. They would have some concern, however, if I no longer existed. Their sense of balance would be precarious, at best.
            They fail to even take notice of my presence unless I am wounded by their own carelessness. Then, however, they tend to cast blame on me. How inconsiderate! I have no eyes to see that they left the Lego on the floor, or left a chair leg protruding from under the table. If they would take responsibility for their actions, my tender body would not be wounded quite as frequently. If I am placed on one more of their sharp, plastic blocks, I do believe I will be blemished for life.
            I deserve to be treated with gentleness. I crave a fine pedicure, with a wonderfully scented lotion being rubbed into my delicate skin and beautiful color placed upon my finely shaped nail, so that I can be proudly displayed in my owner’s open toed shoes…those shoes that they refuse to wear because I am hideous in their eyes. Well, if they would care for me as I deserved to be cared for, then they could display me with delight. I am not a vain hallux. No, far from it! I just desire to be cared for as much as they care for the other “more desirable” components of their bodies!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vacation time was fun - a much needed break from all the chaos that goes on around here! We got to go to my youngest brother's high-school graduation! He wasn't keen on having his picture taken, so decided to go for silly / serious. His answer to why he was goofing off and not giving a serious or happy photo? "I graduated. Whatcha gonna do about it?"

Since we weren't going to be able to stay until Sunday, the kids got to play with the props my mom got for silly photos at the graduation party. What hams!

We spent some time in Nashville, visiting other grandparents and saw classic cars.

After Nashville, it was off to Knoxville for a couple of hours. Chris had fun showing the kids his Alma Mater, and they all enjoyed standing at just the right angle so they could get a good picture by Neyland Stadium and see the sign over the scoreboard.

Gatlinburg was our next stop, where we had a much needed vacation staying at a cabin and hiking. We were excited to see a bear up close (relatively speaking - the zoom on the camera was helpful). A hike to Abram's Falls was a must - Chris proposed to me there, and we really wanted the kids to see it. The sign said it was a 2.5 mile hike there. GPS said it was 3. So, we compromised and said it was a total of a 5.5 mile hike. As you can see, the kids were excited that they made it (and kept up!) the entire trek. 



A journey of nearly 2000 miles (more, if you start down in GA) begins with a single step. So, we took those first steps down the Appalachin Trail. Eventually, we hope to hike the entire trail (though not at once, of course!) We began at Clingman's Dome, which is the highest point. It's all downhill from there!

 Our journey ended in Georgia, where we stopped in Savannah to stretch our legs for a little bit. It was later in the day, so most of the shops were closed. I did snap a picture of the "Lady and Sons" restaurant sign. We also wandered around the historic cemetery, which has been closed for burials since 1850.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Catching up

So, we moved to our new house in March. (Ready to pack the truck!)

  The front of the new house:

The kids have been having a blast playing in the backyard - we're on just over an acre, all fenced in, with climbing trees, swings, fruit trees...all kinds of fun activities!

Apple and peach trees

We enjoyed watching a caterpillar become a butterfly! Happy looking little guy, isn't he?(The caterpillar to the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly):

Their rooms are ready...wish I could say the same about the rest of the house!

A neighbor gives us eggs...straight from the  chicken! Gotta love "country" living!                                                                                                                                                                      

We submitted a huge stack of paperwork for adopting. Our 2nd home study is complete. The papers have been submitted. We are now waiting for the home study paperwork to be sent to us for review and sign off on, then it's submitted to another worker who will give final approval saying "Yes, they can adopt." So...I guess all of that will be done by the end of July, then we can start looking.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Haven't posted in awhile, because everything was pretty much the same. Sit and wait for the phone to ring so the home study could be set. Try to find a house.

Well, yesterday, the phone rang! We have our first home study on January 29! The second one will not take place until after we move. It suddenly is all very real. It's not "at some point."

We also found a house that we like. I turned in the rental application today, so hope to hear in the next couple of days if we've been approved for the house or not. This is an ideal house as far as size and location, so pray that we are able to rent it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Progressing Right Along

Tonight is our final class for adoption. Next comes home study, then matching, "getting to know each other," then final placement.

We are 111 days into the process. 111 days since we attended the seminar to give us information on how to begin the process. 111 days closer to bringing our child(ren) home.

We found out a few days ago that we're going to have to move. Our landlords want to move back into the house, so come January, we have to begin the search so that we have somewhere to move to in March. This is a blessing in disguise. We had hoped to be able to stay put for awhile. God is funny, though. Shortly before we received the "you will have to move" phone call, I had been looking around our house, wondering where on earth we would put another child or children. Two days later, we received the phone call, informing us that we would need to move. Prior to that, of all things, I ran into a stranger in the restroom of a doctors office in Orlando. I felt compelled to strike up conversation with her, and discovered she was a foster mom. I asked her advice on if she had any questions to ask the foster mom and caseworkers of the child(ren) we adopt. She asked what county we lived in...I told her Brevard. She asked what age range, and I told her 6-10, and mentioned that we are open to possible siblings. She proceeded to tell me about a sibling group that has been on our hearts for months now, how she actually knew them, etc. That meeting was a one in a million odds chance. I had gotten lost twice on the way to the office, as well as had a car problem. I was 15 minutes late getting there. They called us right back, and within 20 minutes, we were leaving. I had to use the restroom, and that's where the whole thing started. IF I hadn't had car issues, IF I hadn't gotten lost, IF I had gotten there on time, that meeting would never have happened. What I thought was Satan causing problems, I now believe it was God orchestrating that meeting. Whether or not it's meant for us to adopt that particular set of siblings, or if God has someone else in mind...the orchestration of events has further confirmed that we are making the right decision with adopting. Now, pray that God provides us with a van. I believe in praying for specifics. So, we are praying for a used Toyota Sienna, under $8,000, in good condition.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


So, we are over half-way done now with our required adoption classes. Paperwork / profile has been submitted, along with a scrapbook. Since we will not be dealing with biological parents, we don't have to go into a great detail - this scrapbook is pretty much just pictures for the child(ren) to look at. We have to write a letter to the child(ren), and the county wants us to write a letter to their parents, too...I guess just acknowledging that we know this is a difficult time, and reassuring them that their child(ren) will be loved and cared for. Here are the pictures we put in the scrapbook. There were captions with each.