Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
What little boy wouldn't love this room? I am really happy with the way it turned out!
Friday, July 25, 2008
For all of you who don't have the eyesight of superman, it is a design in which the engagement ring actually sits inside the wedding ring, which surrounds it. Does that make any sense? There has to be a name for that... It had baguette stones in the band and the center brilliant cut stone is surrounded by six smaller stones that go diagonal on either side. Here, I'll let the professionals show you. It looked remarkably similar to this. Except mine had a center stone in it. Anyway, the problem was that the setting did not use quality gold underneath the stones and I am allergic to a few metals. Long story short, I was allergic to my wedding ring. I quit wearing it except for special occasions a couple years ago, and I was tired of not looking married. And I thought, "While I'm having to have a new ring set, I may as well design it to look exactly like I want!" So I had them do this:Again, bad picture, but now it is two separate bands. The center stone has the six smaller stones on either side - two up next to it and one next to the two on either side, forming a triangle. Does that make any sense at all? I don't feel like I'm explaining well. The wedding band has the baguette diamonds across the top. It is really pretty, and now I can look married again. Which is good, since I look more and more pregnant by the minute.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Not only is it creative and actually attractive, doesn't your heart just melt with the sincere thoughtfulness of this gesture?
After we finished at Jerry's work, I called the jeweler since their shop is only a couple blocks away from Jerry's office. No surprise that when they told me yesterday morning that it would be done yesterday afternoon, this morning it still isn't done. They assure me it will be done this afternoon. I have only heard that 14 times so far. Still not holding my breath.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
I just love the Hormel pre-marinated pork tenderloin, but I almost never buy it because they're $10 each! And the ones I like the most (the teryaki flavor) are always smaller, but still cost the same. Well, today I got 7 of them. That's right, 7. Because the "use or freeze by" date was today, they had them marked down to $1 each! I couldn't believe it! I bought every single one they had left! Guess what we're having for dinner tonight?
Even with that wonderful find, I learned today something Jerry has been telling me for a couple months now - I need a new method for grocery shopping! Because I shop the sale ads at three different stores and match the sales to coupons and stock up, I go to at least three stores every week, and often it is four or five. When I am by myself, I can get this done in a couple hours tops since I am only buying the things on sale at all but one store, then the last store I buy the sale items plus anything I need for the week. This saves me more money than I could ever have believed before I started shopping this way, so I am willing to continue to go to multiple stores. The problem is that children have way too much energy and not enough patience for this method, especially when it is 93 degrees out at 9:30 AM. I have to start going when I can go by myself. After today, this is a must.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Then each morning this week, Aaron was in a soccer camp. He signed up with a friend of his, which is really good becuase they were each other's courage when it came to going out on the field since they were the smallest two kids there! My friend said she got some really good pictures of the two of them actually playing, which I didn't get, but she will e-mail them to me soon. I got a couple of shots though.
After I rolled the dough into balls, I put it in the oven with a dish that had boiling water in it. The steam and heat from the water caused the rolls to rise perfectly and kept them moist. I highly recommend this method.
Finally, I went fabric shopping and got the fabrics for the baby's room yesterday. I wanted the quilt to be a really simple design and then choose bold graphic prints to shine instead of intricate cuts of fabric on the quilt. I chose an Amy Butler pattern for the quilt. As it turns out, I also chose Amy Butler fabrics for the crib pieces and the quilts from her Midwest Modern line. My mom went with me to the quilt shop, which was good because it was hard to pick exactly what would go with what. My mom makes the quilt, and has for each one of my kids, and since this baby will be sharing a room with our daughter when she comes, my mom wanted to go ahead and pick out her quilt fabrics too so that they would both look good together. (Did that just break the "not talking about adoption" part of this post?) Here are the fabrics:
For the bumper pads:
For the dust ruffle:
For the curtains (a valance):
An accent fabric to go on all three as a border or for the cording:
His quilt will have all four of these, plus this other one:Her quilt will have all the same fabrics as his, plus pink, yellow, and orange fabrics that are the same print as his. Together, they all really go well, and I think that the quilt pattern we have lends itself to having vastly different colors thrown together. Here are her fabrics:
I'm really excited to see how it will all come together. As I make the crib set, I'll post pictures - but don't hold your breath - I'm not very fast at these types of projects. Another thing to not hold your breath about is my ring. That's right, I still don't have it. They are supposed to call me today when I can go and look at the ring without the stones to approve it before they set the stones in it. But I've heard that one before...
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Furthermore, the other office that my social worker had just contacted already got back to her, so once we hear from the one I am faxing today, she will have all the information she needs. And she sent me and my adoption agency the first copy of the completed home study report today missing only the information I am faxing for this afternoon. Wow. Can I just say that again? Wow.
On top of all of that, my devotional this morning was based out of Proverbs 3. Many of you have already guessed where I am going with this, haven't you. I could not help but notice the brightly highlighted 5th and 6th verses when I turned to that chapter as I finished my devotional book,
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Do you think he could be speaking to me any more clearly right now if he was actually sitting on the couch next to me looking into my eyes?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I asked our adoption agency today if my social worker can go ahead and submit her first draft without the child abuse registry information, knowing that it will have to be added before they can issue the certificate. They said that would be a good idea. I called my social worker and asked her to do that, and she said she would finish things up and send it tomorrow. This will shave off at least three days from the total four weeks of delays.
Unfortunately, we are now in a situation where we are looking at sending our paperwork in to immigration six weeks later than we originally anticipated. We are looking at getting it in mid-August at the earliest. If immigration takes the full three months they said they might, we are already to my due date and will be disqualified from submitting our dossier to China. The dossier has to be received in China before this baby is born per their qualifications. If we miss this deadline, we lose half the total cost of the adoption as well as all the work we have done so far. We would have to wait until this baby was about 7 months old to begin the entire process again and would be allowed to send in the dossier any time after our baby is 12 months old.
I cannot tell you how distraught I am about this. In my heart, I am already attached to this little girl who has not even been conceived yet. She is already my daughter in my heart, and the thought of losing her, even if it is only a delay, is difficult beyond words. Please pray that God works a miracle and causes our paperwork to move through the system faster than normal. I know that he told us clearly to proceed with the process when we first began. It is, and always has been, in his hands and he is more than capable of causing it to all be done before our baby is born. Please pray that he does just that!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Another good thing - I was super frustrated with a jeweler that I took my wedding ring to so I could have it re-set. I developed an allergy to my ring under the setting since the gold didn't extend to the underside of the diamonds. I took it to the jeweler along with several other rings to melt down to use the gold that would be needed in addition to the gold already in my ring and redesigned the setting to something new - over 8 weeks ago! I was told it would take 4-6 weeks. I called at 5 weeks and was told it would take 2 more. I called at 7 weeks and was told it would be done the following day. I called the following day and was told again that it would be done the following day. I didn't really believe them any longer at that point and waited four additional days before going to the jeweler to get it. It wasn't done. I actually cried. I am chalking that up to pregnancy hormones. They told me they were casting the ring that day and that if I came Monday (today) it would be cast and I could look at it and approve it before they put the stones back in. I told them that was *exactly* what they had told me that week before! At that point, the sales lady got a look of semi-horror on her face and I wondered if they were finally getting my frustration. Anyway, I dragged the kids out this afternoon to go see it, and guess what? It wasn't done. I can tell that at this point you are beginning to wonder where the other good part comes in, aren't you? Here it is. The owner came out to talk to me and told me that they were casting it as we spoke and that it would be done tonight. I told him that I really wished I knew that before I had come out to the store. He must have realized how poor his customer service had been up to that point and told me that he was going to reduce the price because of the time it had taken. I was thrilled. I was thinking $25 or $35. Nope. One. Hundred. Dollars. Thank you very much. Finally some good in a very long, bad saga. I'll let you know tomorrow if it is really done or not. I probably wouldn't bet the farm or anything.
Have you ever noticed that when God wants to teach us something, he continually puts it in front of our faces until we get it? That happens to me. Little things happened throughout the week to confront me with my lack of patience and lack of faith. Then at church yesterday, the sermon was on Mark 9:14-24. I feel just like this man who knew Jesus could heal his son, but had begun to doubt and cried, "I believe! Help my unbelief!" This is where I am. The message really spoke to me and gave me lots to think about. Jerry and I talked on it for an hour last night and then I spent some time in prayer handing this whole situation over to God.
This morning I woke up feeling so much better and lighter and freer. I pulled out one of my favorite books, Beth Moore's Praying God's Word, and opened up to the section titled "Overcoming Unbelief." Again, she writes in the introduction about the same passage of scripture! Okay, I hear you, God! she also brings up Eph. 1: 18-20, "I pray also that hey eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead." Is getting my paperwork in before the baby comes more difficult than raising someone from the dead? I think not. Well, then, I think God is fully capable of doing that if I believe!
Another verse that spoke to me this morning was Isaiah 26:3-4, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yahweh, the Lord, is everlasting strength."
Sunday, July 13, 2008
On another note, this week Marie will be working her last day at KPMG and then coming home to Caleb. I wish I could throw her a "WELCOME HOME" party or something like that. And I wish we all lived closer since being a Full-time Mom (phrase given to me by Marie) is a job that needs a lot of support and I wish I could be there to support her. It'd be really good for me, too. Let's pick a place in the middle and all move there. I sure do miss you guys. It's lonely here.
And hey, if you're new to homeschooling, thinking about homeschooling, or thinking of doing classical education with your kids, make sure you read Susan Wise-Bauer's blog. She has recently put up her notes of what her days were like 1998, 1999 and 2000 and will be putting up a fourth. She had three older kids and an infant in 2000. I re-read these on her website lots of times and they were such an encouragement to me. Homeschooling is not like public school. Make it YOUR school and don't let anyone tell you you're not doing a good enough job because you're not schooling every minute of the day between 8 AM and 4 PM. Go read and get encouraged!
I am looking forward to posting pictures of the boys room once it is done. So far, Jerry has scraped off the popcorn ceiling and re-textured the ceiling, removed an old intercom system box and redid the drywall there, removed the old baseboards and added new ones, primed the walls and ceiling, painted the ceiling, painted the doors and baseboards, and painted the walls adding two gigantic baseballs. He still has some baseboard work to do, outlets and light switches to change (we live in an older home so all of them are yellowed beige color), cutting in to do on all the paint, a second coat to do on the main wall color, and he needs to add the red stitching to three of the four spots on the baseballs. He works so hard to make our house nice and updated. He has done all of this and more in almost all of the rooms in our house since we bought it less than four years ago. What a man!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
That's a pretty good representation of what my face looks like currently but the hand picture doesn't do it justice. There are huge blisters growing and popping.
For the record, I will not be working with hot oil to make anything, even donuts for dessert, no matter how hard you beg me.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
Isn't it just so cute? There are a couple things about it that I don't like and hope to improve upon with the second one. If the second one is much, much better, I might even trash this one and do it again. It will depend on how perfectionistic I am feeling when I finish number two, because you know this is just project three out of about 12 I want to do for the baby! For the other two, see my other blog. (I am dividing knitting posts so that people don't get sick of reading the same thing over and over and over...)
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I got a coupon in the paper for a free iced coffee at Starbucks. I have never had iced coffee, but when I was out running errands this afternoon I popped in for one. I had them add a bit of vanilla syrup and I added a bit more than a bit of half-and-half, and it is really good! I may have a new habit forming if I am not careful!
Today is my 11 year wedding anniversary! It is hard for me to imagine that it has actually been that long... That must mean that I am getting old - time is moving so fast now! But I can tell in other ways that it is getting that long because the kitchen utensils that I got for our wedding as gifts are starting to break. And I having to replace kitchen towels, too. I would have done that a long time ago, but I got so many that I just packed half of them away and pulled them out about 2 years ago. What are we doing for our anniversary this year??? Well, we went to my parents house for lunch...that's it. We are so boring this year. Last year we went to Oregon for a long weekend by ourselves. That was great. This year, well, there's always next year.
I cannot believe how into yarn I am again all of the sudden! The ladies on Mother's of Invention are going to get sick of seeing all my knitting posts. Maybe I'll start posting half of them here and half of them there. I was making an exchange at Joann's this afternoon and found some balls of wool/cashmere blend on clearance for $.97! I had to have them. They'll make a great hat and bootie set for this as of yet unnamed baby boy!
Ethan has had us in stitches lately! He has always been funny, but since turning three, he has started to perfect the art of humor. The other day, we were at McDonald's (on our way back from Branson) and they got toys from the Kung Fu Panda movie. They asked if they could see the movie and I told them that I saw a preview and didn't like it so they would not be seeing it. Ethan has had an imaginary friend named Jin for almost a year now and he promptly said, "Well, Jin's mommy saw it and she loved it." He said this so matter of factly and with so much expression of the "loved" that we just laughed for about five minutes! Now I am competing with an imaginary mommy! Then Wednesday he was talking to my mom and told her, "My mommy's tummy is going to get bigger and bigger and bigger. Then - pop goes the weasel!" I think he really thinks that once my tummy gets too big it is just going to pop open at the belly button and the baby will just pop out!
We are about to start redoing the boys room into a nursery. We are moving them over to our other empty room which is bigger than the one they have now and making their room the new nursery. I cannot decide how to decorate it. I know that it will be used for a boy this time, then a couple years later for a girl, so I want something I don't have to redo. They will also be in there together for a bit, so it really needs to work for both. Any ideas? In a couple weeks, Aaron will be in a soccer camp each morning, so I think I will go to a lot of fabric stores those mornings and try to find some fabric that inspires me. I am thinking yellows. Who knows. I need some inspiration.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
We all went to several attractions together. We went to a Chinese Acrobat show that was fascinating. The things these people can do!! We went to a musical called "Noah" that was really neat. They had live animals and mechanical animals that looked so real, and they stuck to the true account from the Bible. They added some stuff that isn't stated, but it wasn't anything that seemed like it couldn't have been part of the actual story. We also went to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. That was interesting. They do a rodeo type show while you eat your dinner. The only catch is that they don't give you any silverware for your food. They serve soup, Cornish hen, pork loin, potato, corn on the cob, and an apple turnover. To be eaten with your hands. It was a bit messy, but Ethan was totally in his element. He loved having permission for once to eat with his hands. Then as our family of four, we rode a train, took a cave tour, did some outlet shopping, went swimming and fishing, and did a lot of driving! It would normally take about 7 1/2 to 8 hours for us to drive to Branson, but for us (with two young boys and a pregnant lady) it actually took about 9. Yeah, we stopped for a lot of potty breaks!
Here are some pics of our fun:
These were taken inside Talking Rocks Cavern. Ethan thought it was really cool to be in a cave, but Aaron was scared for the first half of our time in there.
The boys also had fun playing with play dough on the patio. Aaron here is modeling his fish that he made out of dough.
Overall, our train ride was a bust - it was boring. But one of the workers let Ethan put on his ha for this cute picture. I think he still looks so babyish here...such cute chubby cheeks!
This is all four of us on one of the dining cars on the train. I hate to say it, but the pink milk and snickers bars we bought the boys were the only redeeming things of the whole ride for them. And all that for over $80! We could have just gotten them the milk and candy at the convenience store on the way to the train and saved a lot of green...
We had fun fishing too. Believe it or not, this was my very first time to go fishing. My parents weren't really the fishing sort...Ethan did not want to hold the pole at all, but he played with the worms the whole time and was as happy as could be. Aaron caught the first fish of the day. It totally freaked him out when the fish first started to pull the line though and he was about to throw the entire pole into the water when I took it from him and brought his fish in! He was disappointed that we threw it back though. He really wanted to take it back to our room and cook it for supper! Notice Ethan holding up half a worm to show. Yes, he tore it in half himself.
As it turns out, we should have had someone take a picture of all four of us with Aaron's fish because after he caught it, the fish swam off and told all of his friends to avoid the worms and we didn't catch anything for the longest time. Even I as bored. Finally Jerry caught the one shown here - yes, there is actually a fish in that photo with us. Look really hard! Did you see it???
Finally, I reached the halfway point of this pregnancy this past weekend. Suddenly, my belly popped too. I am half sick of people telling me I have suddenly "blossomed." Okay, so I know they are trying to come up with a nice way to say that my stomach is suddenly twice as big as it was last week, but I am not a flower. I feel like I have exploded. I guess it is appropriate considering it is almost the fourth of July. My baby thinks he is a firework and needs to explode in size all at once! Well, it was bound to happen...
Lily is now walking full time.