OUR PLANS MULTIPLIED
Friday, December 31, 2010
This is the last nine kid picture until summer when Gabriel returns once again!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Our anniversary dinner is delayed until tomorrow night, as Alei had a friend here the last few days that had to be returned tonight. On top of that, I spent today re-doing Julia's hair, taking the three older girls for hair-cuts and getting a flu shot!
Tomorrow's agenda is looking more fun already.
Monday, December 27, 2010
After attending the Orphan Summit in November, (which I personally consider the high-light of my year,) we both felt it was the time to actively work towards another international adoption. At this point, we know specifically what we think God is calling us to and are excited at the opportunity! There are a few things that we need to fall into place, but it appears that the Lord is working in our behalf. The biggest is closing on our home. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the short story is that the market crashed in our area between our building loan and final loan, so we have been trapped with a ARM building loan for the last two years. While we haven't closed yet, we did get the appraisal we needed and it still looks like we should be able to close in January. Beyond that, we need to refinance a loan that moved our temporary home down the street to set it up as a rental. Finally, we need to pay off our current Liberian adoption loan, so that we can re-use it for Ethiopia. While it has taken us four years to fund our three Liberian adoptions, with the new adoption tax laws, we hope to be able to pay off an Ethiopian adoption in only a year. And for any wondering, I am a big Dave Ramsey fan, but I don't think it's irresponsible to have a low interest loan to adopt, especially when you know that tax time will refund the loan.
So, skipping forward, we hope to see the above financial things align by spring and then we plan on starting a new home-study. There are new challenges that we will face at that point, but since we know God is already working in behalf of the child(ren) that he knows will be ours, we trust they will also work out as we go forward in faith.
For the logistics, we hope to adopt two children that are at or under Elijah's age. We are also planning on adopting siblings that are one or both special needs. I have been told that siblings are rare and that we can not count on that, but I'm praying that God will align the paperwork cycle to allow us the occasional set of twins or young siblings. The reason for this is that we know that we want at least two from Ethiopia and it is way, way more affordable to do two at the same time, rather than separately, as Ethiopia is now requiring two trips per adoption.
I can be stopped in my tracks with all the unknowns, if I focus on them. Although we've done this before, it is still an emotional and unnerving process. What drives me is knowing that the Lord has set aside a child(ren) for our family and once it's "my" child, there is nothing that I wouldn't do to bring him/her home to our family.So hopefully, 2011 will bring a new adventure for our family and two new blessings to love.
Here's one of my 2007 African blessings on Christmas afternoon; all the excitement was too much for her.
Julia asked me, just today, "Mom, if I get a sister from Ethiopia, will she be brown or peach?"
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Christmas is a wonderful time to have a big family! Hopefully, by Christmas next year, we'll be even a little bigger!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Now on to the 23rd -
This morning we dressed the kids in their Christmas attire to attend JD's work children's Christmas party. They get a turn to receive a gift from Santa, do some crafts and eat pizza. It's one of the Christmas traditions that they look forward to.
Here's "the little girls" before we left -
Amazingly, Elijah actually sat on Santa's lap when it was his turn. Elijah hardly goes to anyone, so I would have never though that he would go near Santa, much less sit on his lap.
Ben was almost very last and patiently waited though an hour of names being called. He and Santa had a nice conversation about football though.
After the party, I took the older kids and did the final Christmas food shopping trip and random errand. Gabriel wanted to drive, so he dropped me off at the Post Office to buy stamps. When I came out, he was parked at the far, far end of the lot. As I hiked to the car, he, Alei, Moriah and Alyssa hung out the windows taking pictures of me with their phones like they were the Paparazzi. Oh, it's nice to have teens to keep you on your toes!
Here are a few other noteworthy 23rd happenings. Hunter, our cat, likes coffee. He patiently dipped and licked his paw in the mug for quite some time as we put groceries away. Thankfully, he only likes it cold, so your coffee is safe as long as it's hot.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Elijah choose a gingerbread man from the front.
The house is now just a bare shell. It makes me kind of sad, but the kids sure enjoyed themselves; I guess that's what it really is about. Thank you Aunt Bonnie and Aunt Cyndi!
We are still going to make and decorate cookies for our neighbors.
Monday, December 20, 2010
My canvas, however, is such a natural dancer that I feel it would be a waste of God-given talent to withhold her from dance lessons any longer. I am going to look into ballet lessons for Tori and Julia after Christmas. While I'm going to start with ballet, it probably isn't Julia's natural tendency. Several times, while working on her hair, I have had the pleasure of watching Angelina Ballerina. In my favorite episode, Angelina is entering a dance competition and her competitor is a hip-hop dancing mouse. While the classical music plays, and Angelina dances, Julia sits very still. However, when the hip-hop music starts, for the opponent mouse, Julia is virtually incapable of sitting still - her hips keep perfect beat with the music while I hold on to her hair!
Have a blessed "Monday before Christmas."
Friday, December 17, 2010
Elijah has been waiting for this moment for quite some time; he was nervous, excited and showed off for us while we waited.
I really didn't think Elijah would go to Gabriel right away, but he did without hesitation.
It's cool to see the bond between brothers despite 17 years of age and living 2,000 miles apart!
We are so thankful that Gabriel is healthy, happy and home!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Tori had eye surgery in Richmond this morning to remove the little skin tag from her eye-lid. She came through just fine and is home playing normally. JD also got a chance to visit the girl's father that I posted about asking for prayer for last night. She made it through the night, but still needs prayer.
Our Christmas fun project and clean out project has fizzled today - I'll try to get back on track tomorrow.
Monday, December 13, 2010
I made bread first thing this morning so that Deb could take a loaf to her Arabic professor; (doesn't everyone give their Arabic professor bread?) I have also been making small loaves for the widow down the road from time to time.
I didn't mention that it snow-flurried last night. You would have thought the sight would have been far more impressive by all the excited yelling at my house this morning, but it was enough that James, Ben, Tori and Julia played outside far longer than usual since it has gotten so cold.
Tori worked hard to make a tiny snowman like she had just seen in one of the books. He's sleeping out on the bench by the front door.
Moriah helped the kids make paper snowmen, since we didn't have enough real snow to make the real thing. They turned out quite cute.
I'm not sure what our project will be tomorrow - maybe the ornament kits that have been up in my closet for the last several years!
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
He isn't so impressed, however, with the quilt I labored over. He told me he likes white beds and threw everything off of it. While he was napping, on the couch, Tori re-made the bed nicely for him and he threw a bit of a tantrum when he saw it. He again ripped the blanket off and tossed it on the floor.
That's my wild little man; he is so much fun. I've always enjoyed the two year old stage (seriously.)
Tomorrow's Friday again? Where do the weeks keep going?
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
So, here's the quilt all quilted and pieced. I need to bind it, then trim and clip the in-between-the-square-seams so that they will get all soft and fluffy when I wash it.
Here's the website if anyone is interested in making the easiest quilt I've come across.
You shouldn't have to see the quilt again until it's finished on the bed.
A more important thing to note is that my oldest son turned 19 yesterday and spent his first birthday away from home! Thanks to the wonderful people in Durango, he had a wonderful birthday in spite of not being with his family. He does fly home next Friday for his Christmas break, so we are all looking forward to seeing him for the first time in four months. Whenever the kids ask Elijah what he wants for Christmas, he says, "Brother to come home." It will be fun to see Elijah's excitement when he walks off the plane. We are all heading into D.C. for the big event!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Long story short, we came back for more appropriate winter gear and flashlights, but we couldn't find little silkie in the 100 acre woods. I'm hoping that he somehow survives the cold night, the foxes and raccoons, and her dogs in the morning long enough that we can find him in the day light. This is the hard part about country living - we've lost several cats and lots and lots of chickens.
Something is currently killing my guinea hens, one every few days. Whatever it is doesn't drag it off, like the foxes do, but kills it and eats only a portion and leaves the very unwelcome mess for us to come home to. So far, it's been only during the day when we are gone. I DON'T know what my wimpy dogs are doing while this is going on , but I'm back to thinking that we are going to have to get a "real" watch dog in the spring.
So, tomorrow I'll plan on my quilt update post; I still have to figure out how to border a quilt. I'm thinking that I'm going to keep going on my little sewing time over Chirstmas and whip out some twirl skirts for Julia! Oh, and Alyssa is going to start her own quilt for a very special somebody as soon as Grandma picks out squares from her suitcase of already-cut quilt squares and sends them to us.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
So, so sad.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
I haven't touched the quilt since Thursday, because since school ended yesterday, I have done nothing but hair - NOTHING! I took out Julia's hair, washed it, combed it out and then redid it. While Julia played in the bathtub yesterday, I took out part of Tori's and started re-cornrowing that part of it. I just finished Tori's this evening.
I'm pretty excited that I've finally mastered basic corn-rowing; I just wish that it made the whole hair experience faster - so far nothing seems to make it faster.
I cornrowed all of Tori's, in three different layers.
I also cornrowed the front of Julia's, but did box braids in the back. They are both happily covered in beads and you can hear them coming two rooms away.
I asked them to stand for a picture together and this is what I got -
I sure do love my little girls; one day they will appreciate hair-day! There will be no quilting tomorrow either as my house is begging to be cleaned.