Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kenzie!

12 years old!

Girls gotta stick together :)
A trip to the spa (ok, so Mom gets to go too:)
Is it the cake or the funny people?

Having fun with Kenzie's bath wrap. Go Kolton ... go Kolton ...

Super Kolton. That's the rest of my desk still in the box ... someday we'll be put together.

Super Kenzie!
Yummy, donuts!
Kenzie, you are such a blessing! After little hope of having even one child, then the struggle to have two, God surprised us with you, only 15 months after Kolton. You came into this world 3 weeks early and became very ill with RSV, sending us back to the hospital. I remember the miraculous turning point when the doctor said you'd either fight back or we'd put you on a ventilator ... and you chose to fight! You've been a fighter ever since. You love life, family, friends and most of all, your Lord! Precious Kenzie, you've made my life so much richer, and I praise God for you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What we all really want to see ... of the kids! Fire up the grill and have a picnic after church.
Don't think you're going to pose without me!
Aaaahhh, so sweet.

And then, maybe not!

Pretty cute!
Need a hat, Bubby?Thanks, Sissy!
If you can't find something to smile about this week ...

... put one on anyway!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Rainbows & Lemonade!

Let me first preface this post by saying we have nothing on the walls except 'the picture' and one photo of the kids. I've been out of town the last two days for work, and we've kind of thrown things together, but here it is! Thank you for being soooo patient with me.
We're just giddy about being home!
Two days ago ...
Today! (Look at the difference in the tile!)
Two days ago (yuck!)...

Three days ago ...

And today!

Kolton is making pancakes and sausage so we can eat here tonight!

My 'new' bathroom

Cornhuskers, what's that doing there? Gotta laugh!

It's been a long three weeks, but we are home, and it's awesome! Thank you to the Muellers for allowing us to invade them and for April inspiring me to paint! Unless something extraordinary happens this weekend I won't be posting. My kiddos need some Mommy time, so please excuse me while I gulp LEMONADE AT THE FOOT OF THE RAINBOW :)
Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! Psa 147:1

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fabulous Blog Award!

My dear friend Nicole honored me with this blog award. You are so sweet, Nicole! Nicole and I 'met' each other through our amazing adoption agency, Lifeline. She has 5 beautiful children and is quite an inspiration to me!
As per the rules of the award, I have to list five fab things I love, and pass the award along.
1) I love my GOD, my husband and my kids!!!
2) I love my friends, whether I've gotten to meet you or not!!!
3) I love that I have a 20-year-old son who loves the Lord.
4) I love that my dad accepted Christ three weeks before he passed away!
5) I love the fact that God's plans for my life are so much richer than anything I could imagine!
And now to pass this award along:
PS: I have so many precious bloggy friends that it's hard to choose! May you be blessed by these four! And I promise to post pictures as soon as we are 'put together.' I had to go to the chiro today as a result of three weeks of 'moving', exhaustion and upcoming jobs - but I'm great! Our tile is being cleaned as I type!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just Checking In

This seems to be growing! You know how it goes: I can't do this until I finish this; I can't start that until I do this ... and so on. Right now I can't clean anything until the carpet is in. Where does all the dirt come from? It's concrete, for pete's sake! But I've decided I'm chasing my tail trying to clean until the carpet is installed - which should finally be today and tomorrow! Our tile should be cleaned and sealed Wednesday afternoon, and then I'm gone for two days of depositions. Maybe Saturday I will enjoy my 'new' house. In the meantime, we've been running organized chaos. I managed to delete everything from our DVR - rats! All the Dora, Ni Hao KaiLan, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Olympics Opening Ceremony - rats, rats, rats! On the up side though, I took down all the curtains and cleaned the windows and baseboards, I found all the supporting docs we needed to complete our Shaohannah's Hope application and file our taxes. I still haven't found some of the bills we threw into a basket the day of the flood - too bad so sad :) New pics as soon as we get carpet!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

May this day be extra special for all my bloggy friends! I hope you get to stop and smell the roses!
Kuyler's home from college, carpet's coming Monday, kids and hubby are healthy, got some Cornhusker's lotion (thanks for the tip!), and I'm sure I'll get chocolate today - couldn't get any better!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Can You Say "Approved"!!!

Yep, doing the Snoopy Dance here! Bright and early this morning we received a call from a very nice immigration officer who asked one question about my state of residence while in high school. As soon as we cleared that up, she told me our application is approved and ready to go once we receive our fingerprint approval. She also told me we are scheduled for prints on March 6. That leaves three weeks for my hands to heal from all the extra work on our house ;-) It's actually a matter for prayer because my prints have been unreadable the last two times, and it has caused a delay in receiving our 71H. The technician says it's probably due to the amount of paper I handle, and it's easily resolved with an affidavit and background and criminal clearance from local and state agencies (whew, still passing!). It's just a headache and seemingly unnecessary delay. Will you please join us in prayer that my prints will be readable the first time so we can get our dossier to China. So, here's the amazing thing - our application has only been at CIS for two and a half weeks! I think this should be a huge encouragement to prospective adoptive families that CIS is committed to streamlining and processing applications efficiently. We give God the glory for His perfect timing!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

S'long Old Friend

The up side to no carpet for another week - my Kirby will be a distant memory :)
What else do we need to keep this from happening again?!?
We're back home, such as it is. I think this is a good time to do some spring cleaning!

I think the worst is behind us. We're putting things back together so we can break it down again when carpet is installed, but we're making the most of it. Please tell me why our carpet will arrive at the store tomorrow but our installation is only 'tentative' for next week??? Recently I was thinking there were only a few of the Top Ten Stresses we haven't experienced in the last year, one of them being a move ... hmmm, this feels kinda like a move ;-) Life is good!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Paint Progress

The office, before.
The office, after (almost)
The living room, finished! I love it!

The entryway, before.

Entryway, freshly painted.
Well, the fans and de-humidifiers were removed Wednesday evening so we could finally get a good look at things. We found some cabinet damage around the kitchen sink where the water sprayed the woodwork, but we can have it restored. Yes, I believe the 'rainbow' is new carpet and fresh paint. We built our small home and moved in a week before Christmas when Kenzie was 22 months old (she'll be 12 this month!). With the adoption processes there just haven't been any extra funds to update, and I've been okay with that because I'd much rather bring my children home. Now it seems the Lord is providing both! And speaking of good things, we should receive a fingerprint appointment from CIS next week! I'm afraid I've worn April ragged with painting ;-) We've finished the living room, office and entryway. We still have to paint the hallway, master bedroom and bath. The colors are bold (for those who know me, that's huge!). I hope they make our home warm and inviting. I can't wait to see the finished product. Thank you for your continued encouragement, emails, comments and prayers. And please remember the Muellers as they continue to house us. We didn't get to spend any time working on the house yesterday as I went to my 'other' job, you know the one - gainful employment - the one that pays the bills ;-) We are so very blessed!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One week ago ...

...we had no idea what the next day would bring. There was water, lots of water. Here is my kitchen now. When life gives me lemons, I'll make lemonade! The walls are bare, there is no carpet ... let's paint.

April is the one to coordinate these projects!

Out with the oldThere are still fans and de-humidifiers in the kitchen and utility so it's pretty loud for painting, but we're making progress. We hauled off all the carpet yesterday, and today we have to inspect all our furniture, personal property and fixtures for damage and loss. We're also going to try to paint 4 rooms (don't tell April ;-) There is a chance for rain soon, and we've got some large items on our front porch so we need to get a move on! Our tile has to be professionally cleaned when we get everything off of it, and our carpet won't be in until late next week at the earliest. We are so grateful to the Mueller family for taking us in for so long, and for the friends watching our kids while we paint and do the necessary tasks. I will never again wake up without praising God for my family, my life, my friends, my home ...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Flood update

Thank you all so much for your prayers and sweet words. We haven't fallen off the face of the earth, though it kind of feels like it right now. We had no idea what kind of aftermath even a 'clean' flood would have. The day of the flood, the amazing professionals came out, assessed the damage, ripped out all the carpet and set up 30 ginormous fans and 3 de-humidifiers. Thanks to the guys who came and moved all our furniture into the kitchen/dining area and the stock trailer! We also appreciate our i. agents personally coming out and bringing cookies, hot chocolate and coffee! Most of all, thank you to David and April who have opened their home to our larger-than-life family! You have saved us from moving into a hotel. Unfortunately, we've brought 'germies' into their home because the night after the flood I got sick, really sick, and was flat on their couch for ... well, a long time. Anyway, maybe today (Monday) most of the fans will be removed. We've ordered new carpet (the rainbow???), but it won't be installed for nearly 2 weeks. Since we have no carpet this seems like the perfect opportunity to paint walls - except that I'm terrible at home projects! So with April's lead, we're going to try to paint several rooms and move back in (even with tack strips) until the carpet is installed. There's the matter of my work, which is suffering, and the thought of living on a concrete slab (woohoo!), but we still have a home! This is a major inconvenience and even a financial hardship, but it is a temporary and momentary struggle! We have felt the prayers and the depth of love for our family, and through this the Lord has wrapped His arms around us. May His name be praised!
ps. I think I can officially say Kambry is potty trained - yippee!!!

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