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Showing posts from April, 2008

Paying for procrastination

I am a world class procrastinator, and often I receive positive reinforcement for this somewhat negative trait. The key word here is often, because there was nothing positive about my procrastination yesterday. I had errands to do and didn't get to them as soon as I had wanted. I also had to fill the van with gas since I was down to empty. So I drive to the station that is usually less expensive and was thrilled to see the price was 'only' $3.69. It's a sad commentary on gasoline prices that I thought this was a good deal. And it would have been. I pull up to the pump and the pump isn't working, so I go inside. I am informed that they are updating the pumps and it will work momentarily. As I walk out to the van I notice the price on the sign has changed. No longer is it the good price, but it is now $3.85! Now when I say 'van', I'm not talking about a sporty little minivan, no...I drive a rather large 15-passenger van, with a correspondingly …

Bittersweet

We are so thrilled to finally get to travel to bring K home, but I can't completely ignore the news coming out of Vietnam with regard to adoptions to the US. It seems as of Sept. 1, adoptions will cease. Those families already matched with children will be allowed to continue, but otherwise that's it. There are many things I could say about ethics and adoption, but that is not what I want to talk about here. For those interested in the ethics angle, go to Voices for Vietnam Adoption Integrity. What I want to talk about are the waiting children. These are the children who are available for adoption, through ethical agencies, who have been waiting for a family to call their own, sometimes for years. Now, unless matched soon, they may lose any chance for a family. These children usualy have special medical needs (from minor and correctable to more significant) and more often than not they are boys. (The phenomena of boys, sometimes healthy, who wait is a topic for another post.) …

Shameless self promotion

I'm published! Ok, well, I'm already published, because J and I "wrote" a mid-grade geography textbook about the midwest. There are many things I could say about the experience, but I'll spare you the gory details. What I mean is that I'm published in something people actually read; one of my ideas appears on page 112 in the new May issue of Family Fun magazine. I have to admit to feeling a bit let down about it. Judging from the amount of paperwork that I had to complete, the long phone call with the editor, and the emails back and forth with the fact checker, I expected at least a half a page. But reality rears its ugly head, and I'm featured in one small paragraph...a paragraph that M completely missed the first time she flipped through the magazine looking for it. Oh well, I had fun spending the check.

The next act of self-promotion isn't so much for myself, but for my offspring. It's spring and around here that means our children's spring …

Strictly Ballroom

We are blessed with many friends. One couple in particular has taught our family (and several others) things that we would probably have never learned. For instance, twice they have brought a group of families together and taught us how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs...the ones with the bright colors and very intricate patterns. (I tell you, you haven't lived until you've had 17 children and 7 adults dying eggs in your home using a process that includes very intense dyes, open flames, and raw eggs.) But recently we have eschewed the dangers of egg dying for something tamer...ballroom dancing.

Not only do our friends create lovely eggs, but they are terrific dancers. And more importantly, are able to teach the rest of us how to dance. So, we have had several dancing nights. Five or six families all meet together to eat and dance. What's even better, is our older children have also been participating and are turning into pretty decent dancers. Last Saturday, we learned the wal…

More house pictures

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We have cabinets! This is the butler's pantry:And the kitchen:




The first floor guest bathroom:The landing on the back stairs:
The new second floor bathroom (it will be mine and J's):


There are still important pieces missing...counter tops, shower doors, appliances...but it's starting to look like a real kitchen.Oh, and I forgot one fairly important item in my last post about timing. My fingerprints were to expire on May 9. But we were able to get a fingerprint appointment last weekend and our new I171H ( a VERY important piece of paper which we will need to obtain K's US visa) arrived today. It was the last detail I was a bit anxious about.

I'm able to think a bit more clearly now,

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but I'm still walking around with a goofy smile on my face. It has been such a relief to get travel approval. I knew I had been weighed down with the waiting, but didn't fully realize quite how badly it had affected me. Even doing small, everyday things had begun to feel like a burden and I wondered how I was going to manage when K came home and I had to deal with him as well. (In full disclosure though, I'm still not really enjoying cooking dinner in the basement and cleaning up from meals in the basement. I'm afraid the only thing that will help that problem is moving the kitchen back above ground.) Now, even preparing three children for an extended stay at a friend's house and three children for overseas travel doesn't seem that big of a deal. I am just so grateful that we can finally go and bring K home.

And the timing is just about perfect. Even though I would have prefered to bring K home 9 months ago, I have to admit that how everything is working out is …

Glory Be to the Father...we're going to Vietnam!!!!

The long awaited travel call finally came. Our Giving and Receiving Ceremony is scheduled for May 5. I'll write a more coherent post later...perhaps when my hands stop shaking.

I love you, Mommy

These are sweet, sweet words to hear on any occasion, but in some cases they are downright remarkable. I have written before in this blog about the rough transition that TM had in joining our family, and if I am honest, the rough transition I had in becoming his mother. Since he came home in July of '06, we have seen steady progress in his ability to attach to us and in his general comfort level. But the past four months have been remarkable. TM shows a level of comfort and relaxation that we have never seen. He is also learning to practice self-control (not touching/breaking things, telling the truth, not talking all the time) that I wasn't sure was possible a year ago. But I realized several months ago that he had never told me he loves me. I tell him I love him all the time, and my other children (especially D) are often coming up to me and telling me they love me. I would never force or even suggest to TM that it was something he should say, but I noted its absence…

House update

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Unlike K's adoption (still no news, or any idea why it is taking so long), the house project is running on schedule...maybe even ahead. The wood floors are in and stained, the drywall is up and primed, and tile starts on Monday. Here are some pictures:



This is the kitchen, looking east and south. The sink will be under the east window (staight ahead). You can't tell that the floors are done because they've been covered-up to protect them.

This is the north wall of the kitchen, opposite the above picture. The opening on the right goes into the mud room, the opening in the middle (with the ladder) will be the refridgerator, and the opening on the left will be the walk-in pantry.

This is the view of the other end of the kitchen (looking west). The door leads out to a side deck. A desk will be under the window, and I'm not sure what we're doing along the wall. The doorway on the right leads to the butler's pantry:

And (because I forgot to post it earlier), what does it…