Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pop Quiz

Q: What is white and green and red all over?

A: The flag of the birth country of our next child (or two) - Bulgaria. 

Eric and I officially started the process to adopt from Bulgaria at the end of last week (i.e. we sent off the first payment - ouch!)  Hopefully our homestudy packet will arrive today and I can get going on that.  Now that we are out of the waiting phase I'm ready to just get moving and get that referral as fast as possible.  You know me - very little patience when it comes to getting my kiddos home!  I'm not sure what to expect from this adventure.  I should really stop reading the blogs - they only confuse me; such different information and experiences.  The good thing is, we have complete trust in our agency and their staff.  I know they will make this process as painless as possible - love them!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not so great news

A few weeks ago we got an update on the registration of the other 4 children we were hoping to add to our family. The news is - they aren't registered yet. The judge apparently wanted some more information and it has slowed the process down considerably. The bottom line is that by the time the kids are available for adoption the oldest one will be 14 years old. I hate saying it but that puts a whole different spin on things. I know the hormones are going to be out of control with 4 girls all within 4 years of each other anyway but the reason it was doable was because they would have been with our family for a couple of years before things really kicked into high gear. We're not sure it's smart to add 4 of that age when we will be dealing with another 4 that are only slightly younger than that. We won't be able to give anyone the attention they need and I'm afraid it is a recipe for disaster. Technically we don't have to make any real decisions on this issue since they were never truly "ours" but it feels like a loss all the same. I feel really bad for the kids. They didn't have a great shot at finding families before but now their situation has just gotten worse. Please pray for these poor babies. Pray that God will open the hearts of their forever family (I really thought we were that family) and they would obey the call and go get their kids. As for us, stay tuned....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Odds and Ends

I've kept you, my lovely readers, up to date for the most part over the past couple of weeks but I do have a few fun pics that haven't had any place in any of my other posts. So, in no particular order here we go:

Michael is in his first year of 4-H. This morning they had an electric workshop for 1st year members and they actually worked on their projects. My step-dad provided MJ with the board for his circuit-board (beautiful piece of walnut) but Michael had to stain/polyurethane it. Go WITH the grain Michael, with the grain. The workshop was a success. Michael and Eric worked hard and took their time and it looks nice. Hopefully the judge agrees. Most important is the fact that Michael did the work and understands the ins and outs of his project. I'll admit I was NOT saying that when they came home - in fact I did a pretty good impression of the Wicked Witch because the wires aren't perfectly straight, they don't have crisp corners, etc. But I'll just keep telling myself - he did it himself and he's 9 years old. For now we will strive "To Make the Best Better", perfection will come in time :)

Another Michael 4-H picture. He is mixing up feed for his pig - Hank.

Meet Hank.

This is not something I see a lot of out of this kid. He is SO active - getting him to sit still and read is torture. Reading is also still on the difficult side. I mean, he's only been in this country for 18 months! He's close to reading on level so hopefully a few more moments like above will bring him closer to that goal.

Our neighbors are hosting a Ukranian girl this summer (in fact, she comes tomorrow!) We are all excited but Charity especially is beside herself. This family has 4 boys and the kids pretty much run back and forth between our 2 houses all day long. Adding a girl to the mix for a few weeks will be like heaven for Charity. She went over to help set up girl toys in the guest bedroom for her yesterday.

Yet another boy in our neighborhood! He was in Charity's class for the past 2 years and he and my daughter are good buddies. He has more freedom than my kids (I watch too much crime-drama on TV to let my kids run around unsupervised) and will show up often to play with our yahoos.

I had kind of forgotten about this feature but since I looked back at my blog I realized that I kind of like it and will try to remember to keep it up.

On the menu for today - Smothered Pork Chops. My kids got me The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook for my birthday. I love that show and have a great time reading the cookbook and all their magazines. We will be trying this recipe for the first time tonight but I know it will be a success because the ATK staff has already tried it dozens of times!


So my mom has one of those pools that you take down every year (we affectionately call them hillbilly pools and love swimming in it!) but she decided not to put it up this year. Instead she decided to send it to my house. I'm sure our neighbors LOVE us (the kids actually do) but we set it up in the backyard the other night and the kids have been dying to use it ever since. Yesterday the pH leveled off so Eric let Charity take the inaugural swim. It is still cloudy and probably 68-70 degrees but in she went.

First she had to check her goggles to make sure they don't leak...

And jumped right in!!

And this is today:

The neighbor kids have been as antsy to get in as my own 4 were. They don't care that it isn't pretty (or warm) yet. Just like everything else at our house (myself included) it is a work in progress....

Friday, June 4, 2010

Slip Slidin' Away

Today is another beautiful day! We've had a few pop-up thunderstorms this week but it's pretty much been sunny and mid 80's all week. What a perfect way to start summer break! Yesterday the boys decided to play on the slip-n-slide in our yard with the neighbor boys. This is apparently one of those activities that you never grow too old for. I was really wishing I was a little less reserved (and about 20 years younger) so that I could join in the fun without injury - to my body or my pride :)!

Apparently the problem isn't that you outgrow them mentally - but physically. My "big" boys were sliding off the end of it so what do they do - add another one of course!!

My poor grass! An afternoon of the watery playground has completely destroyed it. Hopefully it will bounce back in a few days :) but even if it doesn't - it was SO worth it. They had so much fun!

In other news, with the start of June comes the start of the SUPER SUMMER CHALLENGE!!

Since it's the first week, the kids are still pretty motivated so I'm getting quite a bit of work out of them - without argument. Joseph especially has been racking up the points today. He even power-washed the front porch for me. It was a dirty job but it looks great now. Amazing what a little water will do!

The safety glasses were HIS idea!