Sunday, February 28, 2010

19 days-and what do you get?

Another day older, but I'm not deeper in debt, praise god. This is one of those days, that as a military wife, you just feel tired. Poor kids, they were good today, but they just couldn't do or say anything without irritating me. I'd say get in the car...they'd ask "why" or "where are we going" Or "can I take...". We did get out of the house and to church on time, which was a big positive. But, I just wanted them to stop questioning everything that came out of my mouth. And really, there's no good reason for the way I feel, other than I miss my husband and well, that's it. Geez, I haven't even made it to 3 weeks yet! Aren't I a sorry excuse for an army wife, my hubby isn't even in a particularly dangerous place. At least with this one, I don't drive by the house looking for strange cars before I park. No need to flood me with comments of encouragement (or do). I just want to keep this real, and expose you to a bit of my pity party/deal with it interior dialogue. I am taking care of myself, I call friends for help, I know I don't have to do it on my own, etc. I'm just whining.

Speaking of calling friends for help. My dear friend M is sick :( and we couldn't get together today. So I needed to find someone else to help me with my car exchanging stuff and in true "Military" wife style (she's Navy) I ran into a friend at the commisary and she agreed to help me out when we were done shopping. Funny how things work out. And in the end, I'm so thankful for all the ladies who have been willing to cart me around town. Hopefully I'll only need it 1 more time! (to go pick my car up!) Oh, and can I give a big "yeah" to USAA and their insured car rental deals! If you're military/military associated I highly suggest you use them!

Oh, funny bit today. S asked me how much it cost to get a brother and sister. I explained it could be next to nothing up to 20,000 per child. He looked at me with shock and exclaimed, "well then I need to make a million. So I can get a DS and twins!" Thought it was funny that the DS took first place, but that he would also budget for siblings. I don't know how he plans to do it though.

So, now I need to do a little work for PWOC.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

day 18--t.i.r.e.d.

It doesn't help that I go to bed at the wee hours. So, I'm writing early and off to bed. This wasn't a particularly exhausting day, it's just that I don't like going to sleep in an empty bed.

The boy's both had their basketball games this morning. S legitimately won this time, I think. Well it seemed like we scored more points. They don't keep score at that age. It's just very fun to watch as they are becoming a team and playing more as a team than they did at the beginning of the year.

J's team lost, but it was a really well played game. J had several rebounds again and 2 points. Given his slate of success last year on teams, it really doesn't bother me too much that his basketball team isn't doing so well, win wise. Some important lessons are learned by losing. And J is definitely a gracious sportsman. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't like losing. It's just that he doesn't get mad, blame, or throw tantrums like I've seen other kids (and some parents) do. Nor does he gloat or talk smack when his team is winning either. When he does something well he just glances over to wherever we are sitting in the stands to see if we noticed and gets back to the business at hand.

One thing I like about kids and kids sports, is that it's a great equalizer. You meet people not as "general" or "sergeant" or "private" but as "so-and-so's Mom/Dad". I say that, because I quite often forget that J's asst. coach is also the commanding General for our post. So, after the game he asked about Mike, and I mentioned there probable early return date and how they are working with the Orphanage so we'd kind of like him to stay as long as possible. Then I'm like D'oh, he knows this stuff. His wife is awesome too, totally doesn't wear his rank. (Did I mention they're homeschoolers? That probably explains their coolness-oh wait that can't be right, everyone knows how unsocialized homeschoolers are!) So, that's my bit of "fame" by association. Yup, I know the general. :).

I have to admit I was thankful none of the ladies showed for our "craft day" i had all my stuff and was ready to get stamping. But, I didn't mind the break either. So, before I took the kids to games practice we went to Target. I find I do best when I have a time limit there :). Then while K & J were at games practice I tortured S & A with a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I'm trying to find new curtains for the living room. And I'm just too particular for my own good. No luck, but I did find a Monogram welcome mat. So, not a completely wasted trip.

Then home for the evening. Dinner and Bed. I just know there are things I have forgotten/need to do, but I'm too tired to remember. So, maybe a good night's sleep will help me focus tomorrow when M comes over to work on program stuff with me.


Friday, February 26, 2010

day 17-sigh

I called Chris, that's the name of the guy down at the service dept., first I apologized to him for being rude when he gave me the news about the car. Then I told him my concerns/needs. I explained that the tags are expiring, so I don't want to drive the car until I get new tags. I'm going to drop the car off Sunday afternoon and then my friend M will take me to the airport to pick up a rental. But, I explained, my need is getting my inspection sticker. I had paid for one somewhere else, which I failed because of the SRS light. He then offered to do the inspection, at no cost to me, since I'm a new customer and they had already given the car a good going over this past week. Which is what I was hoping he'd say :).

So, I went online looking for a car to rent. Fortunately there is an airport about 15 minutes away, which helps with selection. Then I remembered that I'm a member of USAA which can get you some pretty good deals and indeed their website provided a link which got about a 25% discount. But, then I discovered the quirkiness of car rentals. First i entered in from Sunday-Tuesday and got a quote on a RAV 4 for $90. Then I thought that might not be enough time, so I entered until Wednesday and the quote went up to $350! What after fighting the website a bit, I hit the "talk to a rep button" and got a phone call. After talking to the rep I discovered that if I pick up the car by 4:30 on Sunday and return it by 4:30 on Tuesday I get the Weekend rate and it will actually cost me $70. $90 was because I had an extra hour. And indeed if I added a day, the whole rate converted to something else, and I almost tripled the daily rate. So, I told her, that if 2 days weren't enough I'd return the car on Tuesday and rent another one! The extra half hour trip would save me several hundred! CRAZY, that 1/2 an hour could have such an effect on prices. So, I get to pay a little stupid tax, for not taking care of something I should have probably done a year ago. But, at least I'll still be legal. I was stressing more about driving on the expired tag than anything else.

Talked to Mike, and if definitely looks like he'll be coming home sooner than later. Which is good and bad news at the same time. Good obviously, because we want him home with us, bad because we are really thankful for the opportunity he's getting to work with the orphans. Don't worry, that work isn't diminishing their ministry to the soldiers. In fact, I think it's probably enhanced it, as he's been able to take other soldiers out on their "off" time to do some manual labor cleaning up and playing with the kids.

I had to go to the annual "how to recognize and report child abuse" class tonight. I just about feel like I could teach that class. One positive, a lady present, turned out to also be a social worker who works with adoptive placements. I did make contact with her and she gave me the name of the lady to talk to regarding get our homestudy into the state system so that we could increase our options as far as finding our kids. Most foster kids are adopted by their foster parents, especially the younger ones. So, it'll be good for us to have that contact. Now, if I'd just get the paperwork done!

Well, I'm blogging early tonight because the kids are watching a movie, then I plan to go upstairs and watch "Walk the Line" as I fold clothes in honor of Johnny Cash's b-day. So have a good night to you all!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 16-grrrrrrrr

All this moving for the military is really inconvenient sometimes, ya know. Cause every state seems to think you need to have THEIR plates on YOUR car and the state you did live in doesn't want your money if you don't live there anymore. GRRRRR, so even though KY mailed the renewal to my address in VA. they wouldn't let me renew. So, i'm trying to get the darn car registered in VA by Sunday. One big praise, the car is only in Mike's name. Why is that a praise? Because Va. won't charge us the property taxes. BUT, if a non-enlisted spouse happens to be on the title, well they'll hit you for the full amount. So, Va requires all these stupid hoops, like annual safety inspections. Which wouldn't be a problem, except my car failed! What the heck?! So what if the SRS light is on. So off to the dealership Tueday (which ya'll heard about) where they fixed everything BUT the light. Cause they had to wait on the part. Well, we go in today and they didn't work, So, 4 hours more of waiting I learn that the problem is that the computer is bad and of course THAT part of the SRS isn't under warranty and we should have it by MONDAY. Never mind that the month ENDS on Sunday and I have plans to be in Williamsburg all day Monday. So, yeah, I was a little frustrated. We left and the Rear DVD player wouldn't come on I kept pushing and turning the Rear Ctrl button. But nothing happed.

Well, I'm not going a whole weekend without my DVD player that worked when I came in. So around I turned. Pulled in, and told them I couldn't get it to come on. While I'm waiting I notice this White button, that I know wasn't there when I pulled in. It's a white button that says Rear PWR. hmmmm, I push it. The Darn thing come on. Ummm, never mind. The kids start saying things in the car and I had to tell them to be quiet, Mom is trying really hard to keep her cool and NOT get upset over stuff that I can't control and probably should have been taken care of way before this week and I KNOW this would've been easier if my husband wasn't on another hemisphere. GRRRR. But, I did promise another blessing from the day, OTHER than at least I have the money to pay for this (and still by groceries, gas, etc.) During ALL this waiting. My kids were AWESOME. I told them we'd be schooling at the dealership and they actually did their work. There was no bickering, fighting, running, roughhousing, or any of the other things customer service people dread when they see a horde of children coming into their business. Hey, the kids even got their own bags of animal crackers out of it and a compliment from the office ladies. Although, I do believe one of my boys may have been responsible for overflowing the urinal in the men's bathroom. Oops.

So, here's praying that the part comes in tomorrow and I can spend our 1 stay-home day for the next 2 weeks finalizing the car registration and if not, I'll just use the back gate until it happens :) and pray I don't get pulled over.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 15-and a short one

It was short, cause I actually got to sleep. I'm a night owl anyway, but I find it even more difficult to go to bed when I know it's empty. Which has resulted in some Sleep dep lately. I'm good for a while now. Even with the late start, the kids still got their schoolwork done. Really it was an uneventful day.

We went to AWANA, and I got to listen to some preteen drama. Oh yeah. Best of all, I got my girlscout cookies! I've been reading about other friends having theirs and was getting a bit anxious for my order. No more worries, they are here! Woohoo. I temporarily be replacing the oreo portion of my coke and oreo diet with thin mint and tagalongs :).

Got to talk to Mike today and was pleased to learn he's gotten an actual fully cooked meal today. I know he's enjoying his work there, but boy does like his food :). He also "showed" me on google maps where he is staying in Haiti, the photos aren't recent enough that I could see current structures. But, I at least know exactly how to find him, and that is VERY cool.

J is really missing his dad. Today after he finished talking to Mike he asked me if I missed him. "Yes", I answered.
"Do you ever feel like you need someone? I mean like you really NEED them to be here?" he asked.
"Yes, did you feel like that recently?"
"Yes, a few days ago."
"What did you do?"
"Well, I thought about it and figured I could stay where I was or come in with family. So, I came into the kitchen to be with you guys."
"That's great that you chose not to be alone." brief pause,"Can I share this?"
"On the computer?"
"Yes, on my blog."
Dang, I love that kid. He never ceases to amaze me. It's especially exciting when they make wise decisions on their own.

OK, back to bed. Very busy day tomorrow with lots of running. We'll be "carschooling" :).


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 14-and I'm wearing hubby's shirt

Yup, I'm missing him. I pulled out one of his shirts to wear. J noticed, but thought it might be rude so he didn't say anything. They are so funny.

The day started earlier than I like, but thanks SOOO much to my friend Y for the ride out to the auto dealer. I've known we needed to replace the timing belt, I just didn't want to. Then during the inspection the lady mentioned that the drive belts need replacing. Well, that's what tax returns are for, right? So, I called a dealership to fix the SRS light and get the belts (and waterpump) done. I get a call asking if I've ever notice a clunk when I start from a stop. Um, no noises. Well, the things that hold the engine in place are broken. Hmmm, that seems like it could be important. And did you know that the splash guards are gone. Yes, I know that, we pulled them off. Oh, and a brake light and wiper and yes we can replace the broken heater knob and fix the accessory outlet. I figure if you're going to do it, do it all. So, I'm 1700 poorer, but I feel much better about driving the car all over the country (at least for another 7 years or 100,000 miles). I'm just extremely thankful that I had the money to pay it. Except they didn't have the part to fix the belt, which is under warranty. So, I've got to go back tomorrow for that. So, while my car is more street worthy than it was yesterday. i still can't get the "pass" sticker. Oh, well. Did you know Honda makes a car with a "pet package" Seriously, the floor boards were covered with rubber mats that had bones imprinted on them and the back seats were covered with a doggy pattern fabric that was very easy clean. Even had a built in soft side doggy cage in the back. K & A, you may have bought the wrong car!

A started Tae Kwon Do tonight. I don't think I've ever seen anything so cute in my entire life! He was very serious and tried to follow everything the kids did. He loved the running and kicking and sparring. Then he got called to the front of the class to break a board. Oh, he yells "Hi-yah" very well and he BROKE it. His face was so surprised and he was so proud! The other kids were definitely a bit jealous and now I have 4 who want to take TKD, even though they checked it out at Fort Knox and weren't interested there. We'll see, I'll let K start at the end of cheering, but the other boys have sports year-round. I've got to get a camera. Really, A was so cute at practice I completely forgot what a crank he'd been all day and the hard time he gave his speech teacher. This could be a very good thing for us both!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 13 and losing count

I had to look back at my posts to figure out how many days it's been. I am pleased to report that I have been given a normal life expectancy :). That is one of the questions on the medical form for our homestudy. And all my lab results came back clear, including the STD screening. LOL, yes I had to get an STD screen for the homestudy. I also lost 5 pounds since my first visit. I guess the coke/oreo diet is working! :).

I am sad to report that my car, however, failed it's health test. I forgot that the SRS light was on, as it has been for probably a year. Which resulted in an immediate fail. So, tomorrow bright and early I will be heading to the dealership to leave Rhonda in their capable hands where they will turn off the SRS light (hopefully by fixing the problem) and give Rhonda all new belts and water pump. Apparently those are all items that need to be changed out so that Rhonda the Honda will take us well to 200,000 miles :). I will happily do such necessary, albeit expensive, maintenance since she will soon be ours (well, Mike's really, the title's in his name) free and clear. I'm so looking forward to being car payment free. Only 1 thing left after that and we'll be debt free! I probably should apply some debt snowball type effort to it, but I just don't feel like a gazelle these days.

K & S had their piano lessons. K obviously practiced and the teacher commented that she also has noticed S's artistic temperament. He would rather play by ear, than do the disciplined part of learning notes and reading music. At least he was honest about how much he's practiced. As if she couldn't already tell.

I'm very excited that our AWANA club has decided to use the orphans as their missionary outreach. Mike is taking a team of volunteers out to one tomorrow to do some cleanup work. I am so thankful for the opportunity that he's been given. I pray that UNICEF won't have it's way with the orphans there in Haiti.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 12-and a peculiar desire to curtsey.

K and I just finished watching Sense and Sensability this coupled with our current obsession over Pride and Prejudice has us quite at our wits end with a desire to curtsey, attend balls, and speak in clever phrases. Notice I said desire for we seem to have neither the ability or cleverness to achieve these ends. So, we shall settle ourselves with the ability to dream of them and watch whenever we desire.

Best of all was when I asked K about half way into the movie, before Willoughby was revealed to be a cad, who would make the better husband. She answered, "the Colonel". She recognized the attraction of Willoughby but knew that didn't amount to husband material.

But, I will say, the activity of the house kept interrupting our viewing and turned a 2 hour movie into a 4 hour one. I had to investigate a lot of yelling coming from the back of the house. Then based on that investigation I determined to file an MP report as it seemed that there were three boys running around playing with BB/Pellet guns. So, I called the MP's and they were sending someone right over. A few minutes later I got a call. The MP couldn't find my house, now I know we're in a new neighborhood, but geez the MP's should know where we are. I've gave him directions and hung up. A few minutes later the phone range again..."Ma'am, are you on Ft. Knox?" D'OH! I forgot to change the number in my cell phone when we moved. I apologized and called the Ft. Eustis MP's who immediately assured me they had already been investigating and the boy's had soft, foam guns not BB guns. Now, if we could only irradicate the use of the N- word, which is what brought me outside and got me involved to begin with.

Oh, and I forgot to tell Mike that K asked me today is the "F-word f@#$." Calmly I replied, yes and that was the last time I ever wanted to hear that from her mouth. She agree but just need clarity as apparently she and J had been having a discussion regarding what it was and that he had heard it somewhere and thought that was it. I also had to explain what it meant. Ugh, the dark side of growing up. But, I am eternally grateful that K feels she can come and ask me such questions without fear.

Blessings, and remember to ALWAYS change the numbers for local services in your phone!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 11- and minimal shopping damage

First lesson learned today, ALWAYS check the calendar the night before and don't rely on memory. I was sure that our games were 10, 11, & 12 today. So it felt great waking up at 8:30 getting the kids up...sitting down to facebook. Then at 8:50 I could hear my neighbor fussing at her kids (we share a wall and it was quiet in my house still). I couldn't figure out though what they had done so early to get fussed at, until I heard the door open and realized they were leaving. Her youngest is on Shep's team...quick check calendar...CRAP.... "SHEPHERD YOUR GAME IS IN 10 MINUTES!" We made it there as the game started and I dropped Shep at the door. As I walked in with my neighbor Shep yelled across the Gym floor, which was unusually quiet at that moment, "Thanks for yelling at your kids this morning!" I hushed him from across the gym and the fellow team parents all looked at us and started laughing as we explained what happened. Geez, kids. Good thing the other coach made it back!

Justus had a good game as well and I had so much fun with the other player's moms as we cheered for our kids We played an airforce team today and I got the biggest kick out of how quiet all their parents were and how loud we were. It just seemed to fit some kind of stereotype.

Shep left during the game for AWANA games practice with another friend. Oops, didn't understand that they had tryouts or something and our kids couldn't play. So she brought Shep back, but it solves one of the conflicts I had for game day! I did get the other 2 to their practice, tried to drop them off at the door, but they chased me down to sign some type of release. Geez, who knew kids came with so much freaking paperwork! I had to sign 2 gazillion forms just to play baseball and now more. Egads!

I was determined to shop, but I had no idea what for. I hate that. We went to a fabric store which is close by the church and I picked up fabric for the baby blankets I like to make. So, I can get caught up on that seeing as how I've got 2 already born and 2 on their way! Then we went to get K & J. I still was in a shopping mode so we went to Tuesday Morning..nothing inspiring and then Movie Stop. I found 5 movies, and I let the kids get 1. Gotta love a used movie store (well I got 2 new) that has a buy 3 get 1 free plus a 10% discount for military. 6 movies for like 30 bucks. I got the 80's cold war classic White Nights, St. Elmo's Fire (cause they didn't have sixteen candles or Breakfast club), Walk the Line, The Paper, and Sense and Sensibility. The kids got Eragon, some dragon movie. I've decided that it's time to build Mom's stash of movies. What I really want is a collection of my favorite 80's movies. Like the brat pack flix.
After that I was bored with shopping so home we came. Now, I'm writing early and putting the kids to bed so that I can lay in bed and watch one of my new movies. Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

OH, and can I tell you how cool it is that I found my favorite highschool teacher on Facebook! When people ask you about your "most influential teacher" she's always the one I think of. She probably didn't know that. She taught my Senior AP english class, that my freshman year teacher had told me I didn't belong in, but she couldn't take me out. She also gave me my start in Stage Management. So JRH you can thank Mrs. B for us every having met :).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 10-SAHM is such a misnomer

Stay at Home Mom: who ever came up with that term obviously wasn't a mom! We didn't have one day this week that was a "stay home" day! We don't even get a "stay-home" this weekend. We have games all morning and then the kids have AWANA Games practice all afternoon. Sunday is church and the kids are asking about going into Williamsburg to make candles to replace the one's that got destroyed. I think I'm going to have to tell them no. I know I'll need a nap.

We did have a productive day though, and got it done in less time than I thought we needed. Although, I didn't get the car registered as I had hoped. We did get the older boys registered for baseball and thanks to the deployment A gets 8 months of free TKD! 8 months! The boy's get to play baseball free too! S wasn't going to play, but after hearing the disappointment in Mike's voice last night I asked S again, and mentioned that he would be in the machine pitch league. Well, that changed his mind. So, now we'll be busy through June I guess.

Then we went box shopping. No, I don't mean we went looking for boxes, we went looking for stuff to put IN boxes. We went to Dollar Tree and got some good stuff then we went to Big Lot's, where I learned Tuesday (of course not the day I'm shopping) is 10% military discount day. I'm sure I'll be hitting there again, I bought them out of $.75/4 juice boxes. I figured if I can't mail them, they'll still get drunk. We got to the Post Office with 30 minutes to spare. We packed a box in the parking lot and took it in. We carried in the 4 pack of juice to ask if we could ship it and learned that we could ship any beverage. The only things we couldn't ship were the hazardous one's pictured on the wall, like Bleach, gas, paint, etc. WOOHOO I'll be shipping bottled watter now! Although I still am hoping to find a water purification system we can get down there instead. I warned Mike that I may end up spending all his extra pay on boxes, he was fine with that.

We did manage to get the Mac to the repair shop. The lady made a face when I told her the error message that I couldn't read. So, I hope it's a reaonable fix. It'll probably keep me from buying a new one. AND I've got a friend here who may be able to help me recover the pictures from the huge digital photo album (also known as a broken desktop) that I've been lugging around for the last 5 years because it has A's baby pictures on it! Yes, I now fully understand that pictures are to be transferred to other media. But, even that doesn't match the excitement I felt over learning I can mail liquids. I told Mike I could hardly fall asleep thinking about thirst de-hydrating kids. Then I dreamt about knitting giant tortoise shells. I soooo have to stop listening to Jonathan Park goes to the Galapagos! Seriously, I kept trying to figure out to change the colors and add the honeycomb texture that keeps the shells light enough for the tortoise to carry and yet strong enough to protect him.

Oh, did I mention, that on my ONE day to sleep in this week. My ONE day, I woke up at 6:50. Of course I went back to sleep. Seriously, I was like please God NOT this morning. So, always the jokester, God sent in A at 7:30. And A refused to take go back to bed. I finally said "go play playstation!" He came back 5 minutes later, "Batman's not in and I can't change it, my hand's are too dirty" I had to laugh and get up, because he was following the rule. We won't let him touch the DVD's because we can't keep that child's hands clean. (Now mind you, on Wednesday, I couldn't wake him up until about 9!) Children ARE a blessing from the Lord! Thanks M for the reminder!

Now, I'm going to finally go put in the last half of Pride and Prejudice-Colin Firth edition,and stay up way too late. But, at least basketball doesn't start until 10 tomorrow AND it's on post-less than 3 minutes from my house. I'll probably try to watch it again Sunday. Oh, who am I kidding, we'll probably be out shopping for boxes!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 9...and nothing witty :)

Whew, when I said we'd be more social...I didn't realize how social I'd be! I'm loving it, I was reminded today of what it was like back when J, K, and E were daily fixtures in my life. Before the army decided to move us all around. When it seemed a day didn't go by without seeing or talking or both. J, K, & E you know I miss you dearly and love you forever. It's nice though to have some "jesus with skin on" in my life too. You know, those folks you can sit at practice and chat with, that you can exchange kids for appointments, etc. That share the current experience of being in the army. I started the day with 2 of my kids favoritist kids while their mom did such an appointment (I get my turn on Monday). Then it was off to the post office for boxes then homeschool group. I got to teach our class today on Earthquakes. After discussing tectonic plates, epicenters, and magnitude and a comparison of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the recent Haiti earthquake. The kids built houses out of different materials...duplo blocks, 2 sets of jenga blocks, and little foam blocks. (I should have grabbed the lincoln logs too...doh.) Each house was built on a different cookie sheet. We put the four cookie sheets next to each other and then the kids all pushed on their sheet against the other, until something gave. Then we discussed the subsequent damage and whether earthquakes could be predicted. It was generally decided that building codes were a good thing and our kids enjoyed living in western built structures. Everyone was surprised to learn that Alaska had the 8 strongest earthquakes recorded in the United States. Did you know that?

After homeschool group it was drivethrough BK because our friends came back over so we could prep for a Programs planning meeting. That meeting went well, even though between the 3 of us 9 kids were here, that sometimes seemed liked 19! K and J were awesome as usual in trying to maintain and entertain the additions (helped that I offered payment). I told them the max payment would be $10 based on how co-operative the little one's were ...sometimes they are just easier than others. Well, J came in at one point and said, "Mom, you owe me way more than $10!" We had just enough time after the meeting to get changed and head to sports practice. Asher was disappointed that I wasn't able to get out and sign him up for TKD today, so that will have to start next week. But, that passed well as I got to talk to Mike during the first hour and visit with a friend during the second. Then it was home for a late dinner and bed.

I was so excited to learn from Mike that they were able to get needed surgery for one of the orphans and deliver some supplies. It's so heartbreaking to hear that all they are asking for is WATER. Water...and I don't think I can ship that via the USPS. I think I'm going to check about water purification possibilities. Hey Morton friends, what's the name of the water purification system that you send to Africa? Yes, that's what I'm going to do. Surely there is a better way, than just sending bottled water over and over.

Tomorrow I am not setting the alarm at all! Then we are going shopping for Daddy's boxes and a Scentsy party tomorrow night. Thank goodness, my friends include children so that I can still get grown up time. I know one day I will do things without kids, but for now it's great to have friends who don't expect me too! And better yet, expect that kids will be included because they have their own. Even BETTER is when all the said kids get along as well as the mommy's! See, I'm telling you God is GOOD. Way better than I deserve, but thankfully...he doesn't work on the merit system!

Goodnight and Blessings!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 8 and overwhelmed?

Today was a busy day, as I mentioned last night to some friends, I told my children that we would be much more social when Daddy left, because it's how mommy copes :). And social we have been. Today I was up earlier than normal to get my neighbors sons off to school. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that a 12 year old has to get on the school bus at 6:30 in the morning! Seriously, the child would need to go bed at 7:30 to get the recommended amount of sleep for his age group. We know that's not happening. Add that as reason number 430 that I homeschool. His younger brother gets up at a much more reasonable 7:00 (actually I woke him up at 7:20) to leave for school at 8:00.

I then got my kids up and by 9:00 they were at their schoolwork in a highly motivated fashion. Why were they motivated? Because friends were coming at 1:00! I told you we'd be social. So 2 young men from our PWOC/homeschool group came over and I got to visit with one of their mom. I'm so thankful for that time. She's in the same boat I am, and it's just good to have women we can hang with. Then, the other young man's mom joined us with her little girls. It's so fun to watch my kids dote on her babies. They so desperately want younger siblings. I was so scared of raising boys, and I am so thankful for the young man Justus is becoming. Yes, he's only 9 but he's half way to "adulthood" and occasionally I get glimpses of the man he can be and it just knocks my socks off.

The kids played and we mom's visited right up to time for AWANA. It was a rush out the door and AWANA was just what we needed as well. I'm so thankful for the AWANA ministry and that I've been allowed to participate in this one. My T& T director shared news of support from folks who want to partner with us in a ministry opportunity. Then I got to talk with Mike more indepth today about Haiti and what he is experiencing there. Unfortunately, I can't share it all in such a public forum as this. But, I can say the smell isn't what he was told to expect (the kids and I have been wondering), but the human misery is more than we here in America can ever understand. Hence the overwhelmed portion of my title. I am overwhelmed by the need of the orphan there and a burden to cry out to God for the people of Haiti. I've been reminded today of God's direction in Matthew 10:16 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves." That's a difficult thing to do. I think I may have to spend some time in study on this more. It takes a lot of prayer and self-evaluation to carry out such a weighty command. It's in this spirit that if you're the praying type. I would ask that you pray with and for Mike and I to be wise and innocent and that God will direct our steps for His glory.

Thanks and Blessings.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 7-woohoo one week down!

Oh my, I've done this for a whole week! Tuesday is one of or most favorite days of the week. Why you may ask, because Tuesday is when we go to PWOC. PWOC stands for Protestant Women of the Chapel, it's a non-denomenational women's group. It's held at just about every army post world wide and many of the airforce and navy bases. PWOC is phenomenal-it's an amazing opportunity for women to grow in the nurture and understanding of the Lord as well as to develop the spiritual gifts God has given them. It provids much needed adult time each week and my children get an opportunity to meet friends similar to them (I mean really, how many christian, homeschooled army brats are there in the world? I'd say it's a pretty small demographic) They look forward to it as much as I do.

God has grown me in ways I never expected through this group. Thanks to a beautiful lady last year who encouraged me, I'm now facilitating my 3rd study. I've grown in leadership skills and I've met some of the most amazing, godly women and developed friendships that I'll carry through life. One thing about this transient life, is that Heaven becomes that much sweeter. Because, I know that for some of the amazing ladies I've met along the path, Heaven will be the next time we see each other. Oh, what a joyful day that will be. If you're not excited about Heaven, I really recommend the book "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. He's one of my favorite authors and he has done an indepth scriptural look at heaven, and it is SO NOT the boring white cloudy place as depicted in popular culture.

Interesting, that's not where I planned on going with this post...but I guess God did.

I had another "Thank God" moment today. It was at the doc's office and I had to say "Thank God" I had such a classy mom that taught me to always be polite to service people even when on the inside I'm having a rapid fire internal dialogue talking myself down from the edge. I went today to pick up the kid's medical forms. When I arrived the lady behind the counter barely had time to talk to me and gave me one form back. When I said there are more, she shrugged her shoulders and said they aren't here. Then went back to her phone. Then she finally handed me a piece of paper and said in a clipped voice, "Write down the names and sponsor's social and I'll take it to the nurse."

The nurse saw me still standing and got me before she'd even seen the note and asked if I got the papers. She'd been very friendly when I dropped the papers off Wednesday and was very concerned the papers weren't there. Her own parents fostered, and she was so encouraging about our own goal. She took the time to go through every slot in the file thingy and then in every other cubby in her office. She looked up my information again and pulled the form. She was so apologetic and promised to call after she contacte another employee that was off to see if she might have it. And she did call, but didn't have the papers. She then gave me her email to send her the form so that I wouldn't have to come back to the hospital and promised to complete the papers again. She was so sweet that I felt bad for having such a nasty attitude earlier toward the other lady. (Mind you part of my internal dialogue earlier was people are more helpful when your nice). So, that was frustrating but, I guess that's just part of the testing that comes when you try to do anything big. I'm not sure how well I passed given all my nasty thoughts towards the lady behind the counter, but maybe next time I'll do a little better. Funny thing was our lesson today was on guilt and how we tend to repeat the same things over and over. I'd told the ladies we all felt so good, and I'd probably walk out and do something to be guilty over within 5 minutes. I thought it would be the kids, they thought it would be the dog, I guess Satan always hits us where we're not looking! I hope I'll do better with the next test.

The rest of the day was busy and I'm quite certain that one of the children did something funny that I thought "I've got to share this tonight" but for the life of me I can't think of it. So, thanks for reading again, and please consider sending stuff to Mike for the orphans. I love the verse in James: (my paraphrase): If you really love God care for the widows and orphans. (teehee, did that work for a guilt trip?) Blessings!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 6 and exhausted

I think it's the emotional kind of exhaustion though. You know the kind... where we get ourselves worked up over stuff we don't have control over anyway while telling ourselves we're not getting worked up. The visit today went swell and EVERY room in our house was presentable. Even mine (I wouldn't let my in-laws in there when they came to visit cause I didn't get it clean, even though I know Julie peeked ). Mainly she wanted to talk to the kids. How do you feel about adopting? What grade are you in? What do you get in trouble for? What happens when you get in trouble? Can I see your rooms? They were funny, Keilah so rarely gets in trouble she couldn't think of what they get in trouble for, so Justus answered. Disobedience, beating each other up (rough housing -I clarified), and arguing. K & J both said they wanted a little sister. Shep said he was "overwhelmed" at the idea of adopting. I again asked for clarity saying that can be taken as a good or bad and he then said "overwhelmed with joy".

Of course I had to interpret for Asher, he was talking like crazy and I looked at her and she just had this very confused look on her face. I then explained he said yes, he wants to be a big brother and he got grounded from playstation for a week when he got on after dad had said not too. They were so energetic and thrilled to show off their spaces. I explained that the boys choose to have all 3 in a room and they reluctantly agreed that they'd give let their siblings have the playroom, if they still got to keep their toys. I also explained that with 2 more children we'd qualify for a 5 bedroom (where they are available). She seemed "overwhelmed" at their enthusiasm. When we went back downstairs sans children she said "you want more?" I laughed and said yes, I did wonder sometimes, but definitely we want more.

It was different than our last homevisit. That one was more focused on the actual safety of the home. Meds locked up, cleaning supplies and alcohol out of reach, etc. The only home safety questions she asked me were: number of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and fire arms. I'm not sure she even looked at the kitchen. Then it was "call if you have questions" and "I'll send the rest of our paperwork after my doctors appointment next week" and she left.

Whew, after she left Justus was still bouncing around and I asked him whaat was up. He said "I'm just so excited. We're one step closer to adopting!" Man, where did these kids come from? I guess I should expect it, we've been prepping them since they were born practically with the idea of adoption and they have seen as friends have gone through the process so it seems perfectly natural to build our family in this manner. I wish everyone felt this comfortable with adoption.

Since we're talking adopting...let's talk orphans! Mike has visited with orphanages in Haiti and as you can suspect the need is GREAT. He's asking that people mail needed supplies to him in Haiti to deliever to the orphanages. The catch is that the supplies MUST fit in a 12x12x5 box and weigh NO more than 25 lbs. to be delivered through army mail. So, for larger items he needs cash. He has no way to get cash, but can buy large items there. So, I suggest take the risk (it's US Postal the whole way) and stick a bit of cash in the bottom of a care package. You won't get a tax-deduction, but you'll feel good and know that every penny went to the orphans :). it's a LONG list of needs so I can email it to you and I'll post it on my Facebook page.

OH, how could I forget! Reader's Digest called me today to let me know that I'd won 2.5 million dollars, to be delivered tomorrow! The guy asked me how i felt and I answered "disbelief". "Why disbelief he asked?" "Because I seriously doubt this is how I would be notified of winning such a large amount." and hungup. I wonder if they got my number from the disabled american people who scammed Mike? They call and say "we'll send you some overpriced gadget and you send some amount of money. Well, they never sent the gadget, but now they continue to hassle us for the money, constantly expressing surprise that we haven't received a gadget. At least he didn't pay by phone like they wanted. One of these day's I'll remember to contact the Better Business Bureau.

Blessings and Peace!
Blessings and Peace to you!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 5 and I'm cranky

I almost skipped blogging, 'cause I'm cranky and just through a grown up temper tantrum. But, I figured that wouldn't really be honest. So here I am. Really, I don't have a good reason to be cranky. Maybe it was the stupid celtic music that came on the radio when I was out of the room and I came back expecting the good bluegrass program. Maybe it's because with 6 people living in a house, well 5 now, it doesn't seem like anything EVER gets or stays clean. Maybe it's cause it's Valentine's day, and while we don't ever really celebrate Valentine's day I still wish mine was here. OK, enough of that. Now, it's time to focus on the reasons I shouldn't be cranky.

I have a great husband, who made sure to call me even though he was hot and tired from working all day and was waiting in line at 9:30 at night for a shower. And he got to visit 2 orphanages today one for special needs children and one filled with little ones. And while he fears they may not be able to meet the basic needs (when he asked one orphanage what they needed they said: a building, food, water) he is going to do everything he can. He visited a town today that was rubble. The orphanage children, as in toddlers and babies, sleep outside in tents: while I am in a structurally sound house with cabinets full of food and can turn on a faucet for clean water and get a hot shower anytime I want. Yeah, I really don't have any good reasons for being cranky-do I.

I am blessed with 4 amazing, healthy kids who get along more than they don't and really desire to do what is right, even when mom is cranky. They even pray that God will bring them 2 more siblings.

OK, I need to go clean up my room (yeah, after fussing at the kids all day to clean their stuff). The lady from JFS is coming tomorrow for our first home visit (hence the panic over having a clean house). You know how people will talk about how folks should get a license to become a parent. Well, that's what we're having to do. We have to open up our entire lives to be inspected by complete strangers to determine whether or not we are suitable to parent children. I understand the purpose, but it's still intrusive and intimidating. And even though we've been through it all once before, it doesn't get any easier. There is always the nagging thought in the back of your head of "what if I'm not good enough?" What if .... So, next time you think "people should have a license to parent" maybe we should remember that the majority of folks are good parents. They may do it diffently than you would do it, but they've got a different kid than you do. I know I became a lot more forgiving of my own parents when I became one. And a lot less judgemental of other parents, well most of the time(hey, I'm human). Especially when I remember that I have times too, that if Dr. Phil's camera were on my wall...well, I'm thankful it's not. But, then again, the One whose opinion really matters sees it all and fortunately He is the perfect parent and a very forgiving, loving one at that.

Well, I feel a lot less cranky now. Thanks. Good night and Happy Valentine's day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 4 and going strong (177?)

Woohoo, so I know at least 3 folks are reading this. If you want to be really fancy you can follow me or subscribe in google reader (it's an easy way to track several blogs in one place).

We successfully got everyone to there correct sporting event at the correct time. Shep was at Ft. Monroe. I can't say enough how I LOVE that place. Just driving through makes me smile. According to Shep, he won the game and I didn't argue (fortunately they don't keep score). I was just super thankful not to be coaching :)! The kids have really improved and are doing a much better job as playing as a team. They don't play bunch ball and they don't steal from teammates anymore! So, for that, they are winners in my book too. Justus' team didn't fare so well with a 5-22 loss. I made it for the fourth quarter and got to see him get a rebound. His coach praised him after the game for his rebounding throughout and said hopefully some teammates will start learning to pass. I'm so thankful for my friend Julie who let me drop the kids to her at 9:00 and got them to their game and then even stayed to watch, while her own kids were home with dad.

We considered going to a movie, but after reading the review online Keilah decided that it wouldn't be a good one to see. Justus wasn't so convinced. But, when I reminded him of his reaction to seeing Transformer 2 (he was VERY offended by the language and sexual content and insisted none of his siblings see it) he understood better what the review had said and somewhat reluctantly agreed. By the time we figured this all out it was too late to catch another movie. So we decided instead that mom would take a nap, the kids would clean their rooms and then we'd go do our valentine shopping-K & J both picked new video games and S & A picked...wait, I know you can't guess....Lego's! Then we went to IHOP for dinner. Where Keilah got an adult meal so we could get two kid's meals free. Funny spending $2 on her actually saved $2.

Mike called at the end of the meal and the boy's got to tell him about their games and he shared about his delicious dinner of spicey fish tacos and warm blackberry cobbler washed down with cold glacier water. (that's his way of livening up a tuna MRE-he added the seasoning packet to the tuna and ate it on tortilla. ) He also gave us his mailing address, no boxes bigger than a shoebox at this time. If you'd like it, you're going to have to let me know. Either leave a comment or email me. He didn't get to visit the orphanages today. He'll do a recon tomorrow and take more folks out on Monday. By then he should have good information and we can begin collecting supplies to send to him. Please let me know if you'd like to participate in this effort as well.

I sat at dinner just thinking once again, how blessed I am. Now, I better get off here and go clean MY room! Good night and God bless you all!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 3 or 178 or any other number in between

Well, today was definitely not as pleasant even with the promised reward. The kids bickered and fussed over having to clean. But, we've got to put the house in order for our home visit on Monday! Even with the promise of a new play station (our old one is finally giving out) they couldn't pull together to get the playroom clean before my friends came over for the evening. But, for the kids sake, I will say they went beyond just picking up. They wanted space on the shelf for displaying their lego creations. So, I said they had to get rid of something. And rid they did. Keilah decided that we should send some toys to Haiti since we learned that Daddy will be making contact and working with some local orphanages (more of that when we get the info). So, they went through everything. Throwing away broken toys and bagging up the good ones. They all had to agree on the toys to send away and I was really impressed with how much they all agreed on. Of course, they have an ulterior motive as well. I told them no new legos will come into the house if something doesn't go out. I think they are expecting new legos now. Of course all this cleaning didn't go smoothly...there was plenty of bickering to go around and several threats from mom that if it didn't stop there wouldn't be any toys to bicker about. Towards the end I got in there too and weeded out some of the books. Amazing, they all fit on the bookcase now! And straightened my end of the room (the craft shelves). I hope to have everything moved from those shelves to the downstairs closet in a few weeks. Since they actually did get the room clean before our friends arrived and they did such an excellent job I decided I'd take all 6 out after dinner to get the playstation. Only to discover that the PX here closes at 8 not 9 like at Ft. Knox. Oops. They handled it OK and we came home to play Life instead. That's a fun game to learn about your kids. Justus hates debt so he refuses to go to college and start life with a loan and always chooses the "safe" route.

While the kids were cleaning upstairs, I was sorting through cabinets in the kitchen plotting my tupperware makeover. If I get a camera in time. I'll have to do a before/after shot. I'm actually quite excited about it. I hate shoving things into the cabinets or worse, fearing something falling out when I open a cabinet door!

Mom will be glad to know I no longer have any packed boxes sitting in my kitchen or living room. They haven't all been unpacked, but they've all found a tidy home either in a closet or attic. And yes, I can still open closet doors without fear! Yeah! I have a goal of having all the boxes emptied by and put away or sent away by the time Mike returns.

Oh, we did have a minor crisis at lunch time. While Tom and Julie were here visiting Keilah did a dip your own candle at Yankee Candle. She made one for herself and one for the boys. About a week ago she made candle holders for each of the candles. Finally today I turned on the oven to bake them. Justus noticed that the oven was on and asked why. I said "for the candleholders will you stick them in for me?" Sure mom. Again I promptly forgot. But, before Justus turned up the heat to make pizza's for lunch I asked him to take them out. Keilah happened to walk in and saw that some of the clay had liquified. Doh! We'd forgotten that some type of non-bakable clay had gotten mixed in with our sculpey. Oh well, we'll just remake them. Then Justus says..."what happened to the candles?" Double Doh! I fogot that the candles had been sitting in the unbaked holders when I told him to put them in the oven! My poor Keilah she was instantly upset that her work was GONE and Justus was heartbroken that he'd had a role in the destruction. I quickly promised Keilah to take her to make new one's and explained to Justus that it really was my fault, since he just followed instructions. Keilah was equally quick to forgive us all, even though it always seems to be her creations that end up broken or destroyed around here (she has the worst luck with paint-your-own pottery creations) and after a group hug we were all good again. Then they all remembered how mom got upset when a here unnamed child used her expensive stampin-up paper for drawing and how she had to ask forgiveness because a child is way more important than replaceable paper. yeah, I'll be living that one down for a long time it seems (it happened a few years ago). Goes to show that God gives us kids to raise us as we raise them.

OK, well, I had to post something to keep things going...(if only I'd do this well on the eliptical!) It's supposed to snow tonight so I guess I'll know in a few hours if I'll still have to run all over town for basketball. Of course, even if it's cancelled I'll still go out. I've got a playstation to buy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 2 or Day 179?

It just depends on which way you want to count it down :). Today was another good day. We had homeschool group which always makes for a pretty good day. We are so blessed to have found this group when we arrived here. An awesome mix of homeschoolers, the kids and I both are making friends :). Then we came home to clean and the kids got a surprising amount done. Again, motivated by a potential visit with a friend. They didn't finish, but amazing progress was completed. Especially considering the chaos I created by emptying "the closet" in order to find some tax forms. "The closet" is looking good now and awaiting some shelving so that it can become "the craft closet". Maybe I'll actually take up my stamping and scrapbooking again? I usually find a lot more time for that kind of stuff during deployment. Go figure.

Then ANOTHER blessing. Shep's new coach is great. I told him I'd stay and assist. But, he really had things running. I was more window dressing than anything. And during Justus practice I got to sit and visit with some of my homeschooler mom friends. They reminded me that during deployments the kids can participate in activities FREE. So, Justus will be playing baseball on post and Asher is going to start TaeKwon Do (did i spell that right?). He really needs an activity of his own and it coincides with basketball practice! Awesome.

OH, and we've got a group of us that are going to take advantage of "homeschooler days" at williamsburg. Several of us are going to get the 5 day passes and hang out in williamsburg for a week. A whole WEEK of fieldtrips for $44! Maybe I'll even rent them the costumes one day.

And on top of all that. I talked to Mike twice on the phone today! His command is wanting to find orphanges to work with and we know just the ones! So I hooked him up with that information. He's excited about that project. He did say his "Maxi Deet" is more like "Maxi-desert". And he's already sunburned. What a goof.

So, wow I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings. It's gotta be good..right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New chapters intersect.

Well, we've begun a new chapter in military life titled : Deployment. This chapter intersects with a chapter called "Homestudy". So once again I am reminded of how much I depend on God to sustain me through life and how much he answers. My faith is such, that I know God cares about me and my simple ordinary life. No, it's not that I think I am something extra special, it's just that I know that God thinks I am. He thought I was special enough to die for and more importantly live again for-that I may live. And these last few weeks it hasn't been the quiet whisper in the stillness faith, it's been as if He's been writing "YOUR WELCOME" across the sky each evening.

If you're reading this, then chances are you know our family and know that soon after the earthquake in Haiti, Mike was placed on orders. If you're reading this you also know that it's been our desire to adopt for YEARS. Well we had decided to begin the process of a new homestudy this February. With word of "orders" I immediately called the one agency I had information on and explained the situation and would I be able to pursue a study with my husband deployed. She answered that for the most part, yes. But, there were some things that Mike would have to do. For the next two weeks she daily set tentative appointments or told me her available times so if by chance Mike could leave post to make the 40 minute drive to Virginia Beach she would be available. Along with this there were things like "who will coach Shep's basketball team" (me?) and "we need to get the younger two boy's their "deployment bears" (Keilah and Justus got animals from Build-a-bear during the last deployment that had voiceboxes with a message from Mike. I wanted Shepherd and Asher to have one also-but it also required a drive to Va. Beach).

The social worker at Jewish Family Services was VERY gracious. Last Friday we finally set an 11 AM appointment. Mike was assured the night before that they would have the day off before a Sunday departure. Only friday AM, he was told he had an 11 am meeting. Mike lovingly stood for his family and told them he wouldn't be there due to this meeting, which had already been rescheduled. We arrived at the meeting and the worker was wonderful. We learned that we would only need to do an update on our prior study (it feels like a full study but costs 1/3 less). And that once Mike signed the papers, got a fresh copy of fingerprints for another FBI background check, and a medical report that I could handle the rest. Fingerprints were done that afternoon and off to Build a bear where we got the boys their much loved bears. Mike texting in the passenger seat the whole way. We got to spend a wonderful day together. Thank You God! Then at 7:30 we got a call that Mike was to report in 2 hours. WHAT?!!

OK, we're military we can handle this. So, quick pack his bag, grab something to eat. Give a hug and "bye dad" as we dropped him off. During this time Keilah began complaining of an upset stomache. I wrote it off to nerves, forgetting that Justus, Mike and I had all been home this past week with a stomache bug ourselves. We got home and I realized that it wasn't nerves, Keilah had the same bug. My mind began racing. Man, did Murphy sure move in quick. OK, how am I going to coach my first basketball game across town, get Justus to his game-also across town. AND keep Keilah home for the day? How, because God provides, not only for me, but for Mike. Because Mike was very disappointed that he didn't get to do one more game with the boy's since their prior weekends games had been cancelled by snow. At 11:30 I was picking up Mike, there weren't enough seats on the flight. Mike and the boys got their time, and I got to keep K home for the day. THANK YOU GOD. This also bought Mike time to have the medical report completed here. Well, my military friends know how hard it is to work with Military hospitals sometimes, especially if your the soldier it seems. Mike could get an appointment a week out . Me, I could be seen on Wednesday, and the kids didn't need appointments, the docs would complete the paperwork based off their last physical (THANK YOU GOD). later that day Mike learns he's probably leaving Wednesday. So on Tuesday AM he manages (again THANK YOU GOD) to get into a clinic for a physical and lab work AND the doc says I can bring in the paperwork once the lab results are in. The ONLY explanation I have is that God opened these doors to provide for this need.

Then today I have my appointment. I drop off the paperwork and am told it should be done within 72 hours. (By the time I get home I have a message that 2 of the papers are ready). I go to my appointment and the doc is very nice. When I tell her I'm probably due for a Pap. She looks at the calendar and says...I can squeeze that in now. While I'm waiting for the nurse to come set up the room and get me my lovely gown. I see that the doc sitting across the hall is none other than Mike's. So, I take a deep breath, totally break protocall and knock on his door. Explain who I am and he immediately says "Oh yes, I've got those lab results it's all normal. Bring me the papers and I'll complete them now." THANK YOU GOD THANK YOU GOD. All this is done just about before the nurse even comes for me. Now, I go back in 2 weeks for my results (Mike had most of the tests that take time already in his file for military readiness) and our social worker comes Monday for the home visit.

I needed these "Yes's" because after 18 months of NO in KY, I was beginning to question whether this desire of our heart is really in God's plan for us. I am thankful for our 2 foster daughters from KY and learned some valuable lessons. Which was probably part of God's plan to teach me perseverence and appreciation. Completing our homestudy is just part of the hurtle to adoption. But, after going through this process once before-it can seem like a HUGE hurtle and the manner in which it has been coming together for us this time has the fingerprints of God all over it. I'm certain there will be frustration in the process (like having a study and not being able to find our kids) But, I also trust with ALL my heart that God knows who and where my children are and He is caring for them until they come to us. How do I know there are children out there? Because daily it feels as if two people are missing from our family and I can't stop until either they are here or God takes this feeling away.

Oh, and another little way God ordered my steps. Mike left last night. God knew he would leave last night. So he planned for my appointment to be today-so that I would Have to go out, that I would have to find someone to watch the kids, and that friend would invite me to hang out with her for awhile after. He provided too much JOY for me to sit at home and wallow in self-pity and focus on what things had gone wrong (according to me). Instead I can clearly see (for the minute) how those things that it would make sense to call "bad" have actually been blessings. The snowstorm and illnesses provided for several days of quiet family time. Days that would otherwise have been filled with running around and errands we were home enjoying precious time with Dad before a 6 month separation.

So once again I find myself facing a time in life, which by all "reasonable" expectations should be called by any number of negative names and instead find myself excited by the prospect of how God will show himself faithful once again. Knowing that his creativity and love are endless. And, I'll try to remember to share the journey, if for no one That I might have a light during those times when the darkness threatens to close in.