Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

We got a meaningful email today from my Uncle and Aunt thanking us for our sacrifice (especially Brian's but it's definitely the whole family who sacrifices at times). It was so thoughtful. I want to post a little about my thoughts on the day.

Being a military family brings certain holidays to a new level. When you know people who have lost spouses and loved ones (and you knew those spouses or loved ones) who have given their lives in service to our country, it really makes you stop and think more deeply about the day. Today we're praying for all who have lost loved ones, especially Dena and her beautiful girls ( as well as my friend M. M's husband retired from the military and soon after was diagnosed with cancer. He died this past year. So though it wasn't in service to our country, he put many long years into the military and didn't have much opportunity to enjoy his retirement with his lovely family.

We are blessed this Memorial Day that Brian is here with us. Thank you God for that blessing! Praying for all those who are overseas and for their loved ones at home.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Family Fun Friday! (Taekwondo)

Hi! I hope you're all having a great day and a wonderful start to Memorial Day Weekend.

To kick off our weekend B had Taekwondo tonight and got his first stripe on his white belt! For those of you unfamiliar (as I was until recently) white belt is the first belt. Then they earn stripes on their white belt. After 3 stripes they test to become a senior white belt. Then they get 3 stripes and test for yellow belt. At yellow it becomes 4 stripes that they need for a senior yellow belt, etc. (green, senior green, blue, senior blue, red, senior red, black of varying degrees). Anyway, B got his first stripe on his white belt and he was VERY proud (as was I). :) Just wanted to share.

Not a lot of big plans this weekend. Brian is planning to get work done for his class next weekend. We're also hoping to get the bunk beds put together this weekend. It's nice that it's a long weekend. Hopefully we can get things done and relax a bit too.

It is Memorial Day weekend so I will also spend time thinking of loved ones we've lost and sending up extra prayers for our troops overseas.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Books, Books, Books!

OK, I'm a big fan of reading. So is the rest of my family. So I think on Tuesdays I'm going to write about books I'm reading, the kids are reading or that I've read. Also - I'm asking that people give some recommendations of books (esp any good adoption ones but books of any kind) that I should read.

To start today I am going to tell you that I think the Magic Tree House books (or the Jack and Annie books, as my kids call them) are fantastic! We've read a lot of them and now in the first and second to last chapter of each book when it says "The wind started to blow, the tree house started to spin. It spun faster and faster. Then everything was still. Absolutely still." our whole household chants this together. It's so fun to listen to the kids say it with great expression! :) Then we all laugh when we're done. Yesterday Brian was nearby when I was reading to them so all 4 of us chanted it together and it filled my heart. :)

I am currently reading a wonderful parenting book called "Bringing up Geeks". It's a great book and I highly recommend it. It's something you can start in toddlerhood (is that a word?) and only becomes more and more wonderful and useful as your kids get older.

Please share any book recommendations. I'd love to hear them!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bunk Beds!

Yesterday we got an unexpected call. We had written to someone on Craigslist about a bunk bed and had heard someone had already claimed it. I got a call yesterday afternoon saying that the person never showed and since it was Sunday evening and we were all home, we were able to go right away to pick it up. Funny thing (side note) - when Brian got there he met both husband and wife - husband is also in the military, working at the same place as Bri, and in the same field. Anyway, they helped us bring the bunks here and they're in pieces all over our house. :) But we're excited to have them and we'll be very excited when they're put together (I'll try to post pictures - haven't done that on here yet). The kids keep asking when it'll be done.

Here's the question - we weren't planning to move the kids in together until this summer. Do we start that sooner? The main reason I would is because now we have to find a place to keep the crib, etc. With the extra furniture in the house it's getting a bit crowded. I guess we'll have to play it by ear. I'm still leaning toward waiting for summer. I just think it's going to take a good week or so for them to get used to sleeping in the same room and getting a good night's sleep most nights.

So today marks 2 weeks since we were fingerprinted and almost 5 weeks since USCIS received our home study. I'm hoping it's only a few more weeks but I'm guessing 6 until we get the I-171H (aka I-600a approval, aka the US gov't says we can adopt internationally). ;) My guess and expectation is set on what I've heard from other families. I guess we'll see.

Have a happy Monday and a great week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Family Fun Friday: Trip to the Pentagon

Today I was able to go visit the Pentagon. I thought that was pretty cool. G was only so impressed. B really wants to go so hopefully we'll get a chance this summer (maybe without G since she isn't yet able to appreciate it much). The real reason for the trip was to renew my ID card since it expires this month but it was fun to see the inside of the Pentagon and learn some fun facts. Today I learned that the Russians had missiles aimed right at the building in the middle of the courtyard of the Pentagon. They thought that it was in the middle of everything and people were always coming and going from there so it must be important. It is. It's called.....The Ground Zero Sandwich Shop - yes folks, it's important b/c it feeds the bellies of those who work there. ;)

Tomorrow B has Swim Lessons. He's pretty excited about that. Then it's off to my friend's 30th b-day celebration and her son's 3rd birthday celebration. It should be fun. Then G has a birthday party on Sunday so lots of birthday celebrations!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

1 river+10 kids+lots of sand = one big happy mess

Yesterday was a picnic to celebrate the end of the year for our Home Group for church. I haven't really figured out why the end of the year is mid-may when school goes until the end of June but oh well. :)

Anyway we went to a beautiful area on the river with a little beach and had a great, relaxing time. The kids could run and play. They all ended up in the water, many with their clothes on. They had a blast! It was so much fun to watch them play in the sand, splash in the water, find clams (lots actually!) and enjoy each other so much. G kept checking in with me, "Mommy, I'm wet!" or "Mommy, my pants and shirt are wet!" or "Mommy, I'm dirty, can I have a wipe". Just an FYI - there is no way a single wipe was going to do anything for the amount of sand covering my daughter!

B enjoyed and didn't check back with me unless I called him over (to eat, and to tell him we were leaving in 5 minutes - otherwise he played hard!).

G fell asleep within 2 minutes of driving down the road (did I mention she road home in just her underwear b/c her clothes were soaked and covered in sand - I'd never been to this area before and didn't know what we were in for!). B had clothes that he had left in the way back of the van (so I didn't see them) after Taekwondo this weekend, which was to his great advantage yesterday. B slept so soundly last night and didn't wake up until after 7:30 this morning (and that was because G was loud - but he had to get up for school so I didn't try to quiet her).

All in all it was a great time and we'll miss getting together with everyone this summer! Hopefully we can work out some good playdates (or Girls Nights...).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Family Fun Friday: My cousin's Commissioning

We're very excited for my cousin, A, today. He had his Commissioning into the Navy today. He is now a naval officer. Congrats A! We're proud of you.

Tonight or tomorrow (still up the air) we'll be attending a graduation party for him. We're excited to see him, my Uncle, Aunt, and A's 3 brothers all up from Florida! Hurray! I'm jealous b/c A's 3 brothers (sorry guys - easiest way to post here) are getting a tour of the Pentagon and I haven't had one yet. ;)

B was actually disappointed when I told him that we are going to a party instead of Taekwondo tonight. Usually he whines about going. Go figure. If the party is moved to tomorrow he'll be able to do both. ;)

G and I went to one of my favorite places today.....Wegman's!!! I'm a dork but I love Wegman's! It just makes me feel at home. I grew up with that as one of our main grocery stores, moved to the midwest and realized there's no such thing as a grocery store that cool any where else in the country! Then we moved to VA and Wegman's has actually moved down this way! Hurray!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

3 year old G - my little Backyardigan

G is cracking me up these days. She has an imagination that just astounds me. I'm not sure if it comes from having an older brother who has "played pretend" with her or what (B also has a great imagination though they tend to use them in different ways), but she seems to have a very vivid imagination for a 3 yo (this coming from her very unbiased Mommy, of course).

Today I was the little kid and she had to put me to bed. Then we were driving in the van and hiding from dragons and monsters (not sure where that came from) but then we realized it was a friendly baby dragon. We went on a walk, ended up at the playground and the playground was a pirate ship. Then we had to go into the woods to look for treasure. Once we found treasure we went looking for "bad guys" and found one - but it was a baby bad guy! (Who knew?) We got home and G decided she was my kitty and later she was my sister and B was the Daddy.

Sorry for the full explanation but I want to remember this so I'm writing about it. I'm truly treasuring her imagination so much. What a wonderful gift from God! :)

Monday, May 10, 2010


OK, I've been a little worried about the fingerprints b/c I have a small (mostly healed) cut on the side of my thumb. Fortunately, as the guy was doing our fingerprints he said "wow, you and your husband both have good fingerprints". This made me feel better and he didn't say a thing about my thumb. Now, we are still yet to see if they get rejected but everything looks good so I'm going to assume things will work out.

Now to wait 8 weeks (at best) for approval....blah! Oh well, there are much worse things in the world. This is just waiting. Frustrating but liveable. It's all in God's hands!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you Moms, Moms-to-be, and Moms-in-waiting. I hope that you've had a terrific day!

I was able to get a little extra sleep this morning, Brian got up with the kids and let me sleep. He had breakfast mostly ready and I was able to just relax. I have the most amazing husband in the world (sorry to all of you who think otherwise, I'm sure it's true!). :) B had made me a small clay jar in art and a painting of a flower with his hand and fingerprints. G wrote her (nick)name for the first time inside my card. It was a very special morning.

Church was great. We're starting a series on marriage using Song of Songs which our pastor said is rated PG-13. Very interesting information.

We went to a Farmer's Market after church. There were a few fresh fruits and veggies though the local market is still fairly sparse. We did get some delicious pumpkin bread!

This afternoon we all had nap time. I actually fell asleep on the couch but it was good. It allows me to watch "Blind Side" tonight (w/o falling asleep) which I've been looking forward to since hearing Collins Tuohy speak at our adoption agency's annual conference.

Well, have a great night. I need to start watching so I can get some sleep. Fingerprints in the morning. Really hoping it all works out ok!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fundraiser for Eastern

Eastern is one of the Social Welfare Societies in Korea. SWS is the one we're going through. Eastern is currently going through a difficult time getting enough Visas for the number of referrals they have internationally. Due to that the babies are in foster care longer and they don't have enough foster families for all of the babies. They are also struggling to give the foster families enough money to cover all of the expenses so it's costing the foster families money out of pocket. To try to help, a wonderful blog friend is hosting a raffle, so I thought I'd advertise for her here.

Here's the link:

She's raffling off an Ergo Baby Carrier (I used S's when they visited and it's wonderful!).

Have a great night!

Family Fun and Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday was a great day. Brian got some exciting news that I'll post later. We went out to celebrate that and Mother's Day last night. I also got to see some good friends, R and C, yesterday for lunch which was wonderful. So sad they live on the other side of the country now, but it was great to see them.

Today we are going into DC to go the the EU Embassy Open House. All of the European Embassies have something going on (food from their country, fun kid activities, etc) and there's a free shuttle that goes between them. We're really excited! We're especially excited to introduce some of the other cultures to B (especially German since he got into the program at school and he really wants to go to the Finnish one, of course - as do I if we get a chance). ;)

No other news here. We'll be happy once fingerprinting is done on Monday. Please pray that our fingerprints are accepted and that USCIS moves as quickly as possible on processing our paperwork. I met someone recently who has had hers rejected 3 or 4 times! This poor woman! Hopefully the most recent set that she just had done has been accepted.

Have a great weekend! Happy Mother's Day to all of you who are Moms or Moms-to-be (or Moms-in-waiting with pictures of your beautiful children).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A friend's blog

Through writing this blog and reading some I've come to know a couple of people and one is a terrific soon-to-be Mom (or already Mom but she hasn't met her son yet) Kala. Her son's 1st birthday is this month. She is doing a giveaway so here's the link if you want to check out her wonderful blog: