Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Today's Visit

Hi! I'm Cara, and I'm ten months old. Mommy took me to the doctor today, and I got a clean bill of health. The doctor lady said I was "perfect" (well, duh??!!) and that Mommy and Daddy are doing a great job taking care of me. That makes my mommy smile.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, April 27, 2009

Outside my window...busy highway under muggy skies
I am thinking...about all that needs to get done for recognition service on Sunday. I should not, should not, be blogging right now.
I am thankful for...the opportunity to buy this place. We got the selling price this past week and it is much less than we even dared to hope. We will definitely be drawing up a contract as quickly as possible (we're afraid they'll change their minds!). An additional blessing is that they will finance it for three years and no down payment. God has provided.
From the kitchen...Much noise as the children "clean" up dinner. Housework never sounded so fun. I tried a new recipe, having become excessively bored with my usual fare. It was tasty: Polo y Arroz.
I am wearing...exercise pants, Children in Action Shirt, and tennis shoes.
I am creating... (from last daybook) Finishing up kids ministry vests...still finishing. I need to put more finish in my finishing.
I am the big city for Cara's appointment Wednesday, Saturday UIL and possibly squeeze in a trip to the rose gardens. Our earlier trip was postponed due to rain.
I am reading...Miracle on Maple Hill (kid's bedtime book), Betty Crocker's Mexican Cookbook (available at a W*llm*rt checkout stand near you), and Twelve Extaordinary Women
I am hoping...that no one on Cara's "team" will fuss at me during this appointment. Last time, they gently accused me of practicing medicine without a license. Ouch! Apparently, raising six children does not qualify.
I am hearing...The puppy chewing up a magic marker under my chair. Randy playing with an annoying, talking giraffe from a H*ppy Me*l, Abby singing a new sonnet to Cara (borrowing heavily from melody and lyrics of Amazing Grace):

"I once was A_____ C______, (birth certificate name)
But now I'm Cara S________,
God found the right mommy for me...."

Interesting, in that we don't use the terminology "right" and "wrong." We say "birthmother," and phrases like, "It was God's plan for you to be in our family." Further proof that children in her stage of development are characterized by black and white thinking. Oh, now Marina is adapting it,
"I once was Olga Trofimova,
But now I'm Marina S________"
O.K. I think I am going to cry now.
One of my favorite things...looking into Randy's beautiful brown eyes.
Around the house...bathroom is nasty--about to go clean it. Little boys' furniture piled in the center of the room awaiting paint.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...preparations for Sunday's special service, Ian's Kindergarten graduation, and the aforementioned activities.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

*taken this weekend on our camping trip. Those little bitty figures surrounding the boat on the shoreline are my kids. They are the "work of His hands," too.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Evening Post

It's been a busy weekend and it is not even finished yet. But tomorrow is the Sabbath. I've done my cooking tonight, just to ensure that it truly is a day of rest. We will be feasting on shrimp and garlic potatoes, french bread, deviled eggs, and chocolate silk pie. YUM! Now, I like to cook my most elaborate meals for Sunday lunch, but this is more than usual, and my miserliness rarely allows me to spring for shrimp, but we have cause to celebrate. In addition to our risen Lord, we will be commemorating TWO MORE PIECES UP ON OUR DEBT SNOWBALL!!!! The kids are really getting excited, because the poster is over half-way back together. Cinderella is no longer dissected and Mulan and most of Belle are smiling from the wall. Unfortunately, I did not cut the pieces "to scale." They are all roughly the same size regardless of the amount owed. We are now to the BIG DADDY debts. I can't think too much on it, or I will depress myself--for now it is enough to know we are two steps closer to our elusive goal.
Tonight we kicked 'ole Sallie Mae to the curb. It irked me to no end paying on a student loan for ONE STINKING SEMESTER...NINE YEARS AFTER GRADUATION....FOR A DEGREE I DON'T EVEN USE. And doesn't look like I will be using any time soon. I went to yet ANOTHER job fair today. No good vibes. At most of the tables I asked what positions they would be filling for the next school year and the answers were something to this effect: "None that we know of...." "We have one position in third grade..." "You can leave a resume if something comes open that meets your qualifications..." BAH! I have no idea why districts put on these elaborate, expensive job fairs, if they aren't planning on hiring a considerable number of personnel. So much for my "fall back" degree.
We camped on Friday. The kids had a good time. Cara did not. I had to bail on the tent camping experience once again to bring a fussing baby home to their own crib. You'd think I'd learn by now. Luckily, we were close to home and my midnight drive only lasted an hour. Pictures--of the fun, not the fussing--coming soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

From Round Up to Rodeo

A fitting postlude to my last post, we took the kids to the rodeo this weekend. You know, those pitiful waifs that never get to do anything fun? See my "sad" and "grumpy" kids? Convinced?
I took several pictures of the arena events, but they were all too dark. These were taken before the rodeo got underway, right as the sun was setting.
K manages to have a goofy face in all of the pictures. The young lady in the middle is a neighbor of ours. Not exactly a troubled teen, but one we would like to help keep from becoming a troubled teen. She had a rough start in life, and we like to include her in as many family outings as possible. She's alot of fun.

Daddy and Cara were sitting behind me. She's in a grabby-grabby stage. Cara spent rodeo night trying to make her mommy bald. Ouch!

Now, I put it to you, does that look like a "body full of sadness"?

See the hosies, Mommy?

Tami, I think my Marina and your Maddie could be sisters, don't you?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Round Up

Tami decided to do a round-up, and you know this Texan can't let a challenge like that pass me by. So, I'll just do a little cattle rustlin' (that's cowboy talk for 'stealing her post idea'--but it doesn't really count because she invited me). Hopefully, I'll make it through before the bottom drops out and I lose access. We are in for some nasty weather. No kidding, it is time to circle the wagons and batten down the hatches.

1. The master attended our local tea party on Tuesday. He was surprised at the crowd of a thousand. It was a larger group than had ever assembled at our county courthouse. I'm totally disgusted at the way the liberal media is trying to downplay and distort what happened this week--the silent majority at last making their voices heard. I only pray it is not too late. I was stunned to learn that I am labeled by my own countrymen as a "right wing extremist" (because I am pro-life and own a gun) and as such, pose a "terrorist threat." I'm thinking of having some T-shirts printed up: HOME-GROWN TERRORIST.
I wish I could have been at the tea party, but it was right during nap time. Ah well, "The hand that rocks the cradle moves the world." Perhaps we should form a Pacifiers and Pampers protest-to take place in the 9:00-10:00 hour?

2. K did great at the Young Poet's Awards. He placed third in his age division. He writes in praise of books--I just love this kid:

If Books Could Talk
If books could talk, what would they say?
Would they shout, "Read me!", or "Do you want to play?"
Would they talk about adventures galore?
I have these questions and much, much more.
Books can't talk, yes that is true, but books can shout "Read me!" to you.
If you see a book that you want to read, grab it, and you'll see what I mean.
As long as you have a book in your hand, you'll never be bored, now isn't that grand?
When you give someone something, a book is good to send, but not if they don't like

3. I did not get any knowledgeable feedback regarding smilebox. Please if you are out there lurking and have smilebox information--leave it. Not to sound like I'm begging or anything ;0)

4. Cara sat up on her own this week. She has been able to maintain a sitting position for several weeks, but we've found her sitting up in her crib twice over the last few days. Her physical therapist will be so pleased.

Well, there you go Tami. That was fun and thanks for the invite, pardner.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, The Drama

Have I mentioned I have my own personal drama queen? Her name is Abby. And before I relate her most recent performance, let me set the stage.
First off, you should know that her Daddy and her have a little game they play at bedtime. When she is sent to bed, she runs to her room, takes out a little notepad and writes down the script for that night's tucking in, lays it out on the bunk bed ladder, then waits under the covers for her cue. Daddy comes in, reads his part and plays along. Some nights she is a princess locked away in a dungeon (bunk bed) by a wicked witch and he must rescue her. Another night, she may be a scared bear cub stuck in tree (top bunk) and he is the daddy grizzly who must carry her safely back to the cave. It's a very special ritual for just the two of them.
Last night, the kids were wanting to watch our latest Netflix arrival. I told them they could if they got the kitchen cleaned and their clothes laid out by 7:00. Well, they dawdled so over the dishes that they didn't make the deadline--not even close. So, they were sent to bed as soon as their chores were finished. This is the note the master found on the ladder:

Dear Daddy,

Nothing is under my covers tonight. Just a body full of sadness. We never get a chance to do anything and we all feel sad and grumpy because of it.
From your sad little girl,
Abby *inside the b's she drew two frowning faces*

I'm afraid her mournful epistle did not evoke quite the response she was hoping for. Her daddy and I are still chuckling over it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

SImple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, April 13, 2009
Outside My Window...I have no windows. I am going to have to change this prompt.
I am thinking...I keep going back and forth in my mind about what to do job-wise next year. I run all the scenarios and mentally list pro's and con's. It's starting to drive me crazy. I need a great revelation: JESSICA, THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.
I am thankful for...obedient children. There was a kid at the ball park tonight...well, I won't go into it...but if that mother had asked that child to get off the fence ONE MORE TIME, I'd have bitten my tongue in two.
From the kitchen...Empty dishwasher, Tuna Helper leavings and homemade hot chocolate.
I am wearing...sweatshirt and blue jeans and tennis shoes
I am creating...Finishing up kids ministry vests.
I am hear K recite his original, award winning poem at the _________ County Annual Young Poets Contest Awards Ceremony.
I am reading...Miracle on Maple Hill (kid's bedtime book), The Maker's Diet and Twelve Exceptional Women
I am hoping...*From last daybook* for Cara to cut her first tooth sometime this week. I can see it, RIGHT THERE, below the gums, but it will not break through.* It did break through! Now, I am hoping that she will start crawling.
I am hearing...Abby read to her younger brothers and sister, soft slurping as they try to suck up the partially melted marshmallows clinging to the bottom of their mugs of hot cocoa, and the gentle creak, creak of Cara's swing.
One of my favorite chocolate. I know I've put that down before, but I really love hot chocolate, and because of the see-saw weather we've been having, I've been able to enjoy it much longer than usual.
Around the wing cleaned today, bedroom/bathroom wing tomorrow. Oh, and the master got two coats of primer in K's bedroom done.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...I think Cara has an appointment, Awards Ceremony, and this weekend we're off to the rose gardens.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...See "I am hearing"

Playing With My New Toy

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Summer Cuts
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Trying to figure out smilebox and if I want to use it for my new, all-digital plan for scrapbooking our family memories. Has anyone reading this post actually printed their smileboxes? If so, please comment. I'd like to know what kind of quality to expect, type of printer used and how much ink you go through before paying for the "premium" membership. I'm wondering, when all is said and done, if it would be any cheaper than Creative Memories Storybooks--which I have also used.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Weekend

And what a weekend it was! I think we packed as much into three days as humanly possible--and more. Seriously, I had nightmares last night and the over riding theme was my frantic quest to get to some unknown destination as quickly as possible. But we had a happy, blessed Easter all the same.

We kicked things off Friday at the lake house with my family. Dying eggs, fishing, waiting for one of the kids to fall of the pier and drown themselves....the usual.
As is our tradition, Daddy always hides several of the eggs on his person. This year, he made use of a leftover party hat that was lying around the lake house. Interestingly enough, none of the 10 children hunting eggs noticed anything amiss with his bizarre head gear and finally had to be instructed to look under Papa's hat. Now does that say something about the intelligence of the children, or the general quirkiness of their grandfather? And in case your wondering, yes, my father does where hunting attire year round. In fact, Randy does not refer to camo as such, but instead terms all camouflage, "Papa clothes."

Oh, my goodness, didn't this shot of Cara turn out ADORABLE??!! I just want to eat her up. This was taken at her uncle's house on Saturday. That was our day for celebrating with the master's family. More egg hunts, food, and photos. She sailed through her first Easter happy as a lark, despite being WAY off schedule. That's my girl!
And here they are this morning after sunrise service--my Easter Blessings.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Jesus on the Cross

By Ian-six years old.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I was just reading over the comments from my last few posts and thought I should clear something up on my "Two Pieces" post. When I said paying off our adoption loan meant a child would be coming home, I was not speaking of THIS home. We had a loan with A Child Waits Foundation. They are a non-profit organization that works solely in funding low-interest loans for international adoptions. When we pay off our loan, the principle and interest goes right back into helping another family.
No, we do not see a third adoption on the horizon. As always, we have plenty of irons in the fire, but changing this blog to "Nine Hearts" is not one of them. Due to the nature and circumstances of Cara's adoption we can never rule out a call from our agency--should they get a client or infant in a similar situation--but since they have only had two cases in 25+ years and hundreds of adoptions, it is not likely. If they did, it would definitely be a God thing. Would I jump up and run should we ever get that call? You all know me better than to doubt it.
I have many things that I want to see happen in our family. I'm hoping to settle in one place. I'm desperate to get out of debt. I'm looking for us all to grow in grace and knowledge. But I'm not longing for a baby. Actually, I'm starting to think I may be cured of baby-fever forever. I'm savoring and enjoying every moment of Cara's infancy, but it is completely lacking the sorrow and nostalgia I felt with Randy. I was quite sure he would be my last baby, and I wasn't 100% o.k. with that. With Cara at nine months old, I'm still feeling like six is a good--maybe perfect--number.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Barbie Birthday

Marina turned five years old on Thursday. I can't believe it. FIVE YEARS OLD! How is that possible? We had her party today. Here she is with her Barbie cake. It only took me three tries before I got one that I could work with. I couldn't tell if she was pleased with or not. Marina is all about the presents at a party. The cake? She can take it or leave it. We also had a sheet cake to feed the crowd. Even in a hoop skirt, Barbie doesn't go very far.
This was our first BIG gathering in the new house. It was nice to have space for everyone.
We marched around her with the cake, just like they do in Russia. We sang in English (I have no idea what or if they sing in Russia), but I'm glad I remembered to acknowledge her birth country in some way. Every other year I've forgotten. Grandma even found a bi-lingual Russian/English story-book of traditional Russian folk tales. A touch of the motherland among a pile of lip gloss, Pretty ponies, Barbies, OP clothes, and Littlest Pet Shop bubble bath. Only in America.