Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Afternoon routines

So, what routines do you do everyday? We've been trying to get better about ours. I will be the first to admit things get crazy around here sometimes and our best intentioned plans get thrown right out the window, but that's life isn't it? In a perfect world, I would get off work everyday a few minutes early, come back home after picking Reece up to cook a wonderful healthy meal, everyone would pitch in to help clean a bit, we would all stroll around the neighborhood or ride bikes and then come home to bath, books and bedtime....and mom and dad would go to bed at a decent time too.

WELL....that's not always how it goes in my house. My work varies day by day...some days it's slower, some days I don't even get to eat, which means some days I get to pick Reece up at a decent time and sometimes I am picking her up and coming back home to finish my work. Perk of having your work computer right in your bedroom huh? Sometimes I am just too plain tired to cook, or don't want to, or simply have been in my house all day with only the dogs to keep my company and want to be around other human beings for a bit. So, I probably don't cook as much as I really should.

As for riding bikes or walking after dinner, it's usually a mad scramble by the time we get off work to get everything together from the day and get baths going. I'm so bad for this. I'm going to try and make a commitment starting today to get outside for a bit everyday after dinner, no matter what....a short walk with the dog, throwing rocks in the pond, riding bikes, whatever. We live in a nice neighborhood and there is no reason not to get out and enjoy it!

One thing we do not ever skip on is our bedtime reading. Our girls love to look at books and Kyleigh is a great reader. They each have piles of books on their beds that they read at night even after we leave the room.

What routines do you do daily in your family? What do you stick to no matter what? Do you have the mad scramble sometimes going on in your house too? :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Holding on to a new beginning

Today I put two very important pieces of paper into the offering at church: our membership papers. We attended a Discovery class luncheon last week as the first step to membership at our church. We learned more about our pastor, our church and where the church was going and the basis of their beliefs. This honestly got me more fired up for Jesus because I realized for the first time during a "religious" conversation that I felt exactly what they were talking about. I was there. I was experiencing the relationship...REALLY experiencing it for the first time in my life. Years past, I might have gone to church because someone else did it or to make someone else happy or because it just seemed like the right thing to do. Now I go because I WANT AND NEED to go. I look forward to Sundays. I look forward to what I am going to learn and the lesson I am going to take home and how I can apply it to my life. Now more than ever, I am at peace with my life and my place. I am married to the love of my life who I couldn't bear to spend a day away from, I have two great kids, supportive family and friends, jobs and food on my table. Today I give all thanks to God who I am happy to say is in complete control of my life and I am happily in the passengers seat!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's that thing on the fridge???

Yup. We now have a new and improved version of my previous chore charts on our fridge! This is Day 1. Here is how my program works....

Kyleigh and Reece each have their own chart with tasks that I think are age appropriate for them to accomplish. I included some chores (getting all school materials together) as well as behavioral items (no talking back), but it's mostly stuff they should be doing everyday anyway (putting things away, brushing teeth, etc.). There are 16 lines of activities or behaviors on each and they are expected to accomplish at least 12 or they don't get TV or computer time the next day. I put stars beside two behaviors that will automatically result in loss of electronics which are "Losing your temper" to include any yelling or fighting between the two and "Talking Back", which I pretty much have no tolerance for.

We were completely up front with them and they both looked over these and agreed with them and liked them (we'll see how that goes once they have a bad day!!) Other than Kyleigh looking at me like I was completely crazy for threatening to take her computer away if she didn't her 12 stickers a day, I think it went well and they both understand clearly what it expected of them. Along with their daily activities, we also added just one special "helper" chore a week. I put several slips of paper listing out activities around the house and the girls will randomly pick one a week to be there responsibility.

This week, Kyleigh is the bathroom cleaner (helps me clean the bathrooms on Fridays) and Reece is the Dishwasher helper (dries the dishes and I put them up, rinses them off for me to load the dishwasher). I sat down and explained what each of them meant in detail so they couldn't claim later they didn't know what to do :-)

What do you get for all of this hard work helping out around the house and being good you ask?

Money, but our allowance is a little different. If the girls get at least 12 stickers everyday that week, they will each earn $2 a week for themselves to do whatever they want with. They also will earn an additional $2 each "giving" money where they will get to decide if they want to donate to a cause, buy someone a gift, etc. They can only use this money for others. There is no telling what they will pick to do with it, but I think that is the fun part.

We hope we are opening the door for a lot of things with this....hoping they will learn to help out more, have good behavior, earn money, save money and also be giving to others. They were both very excited to start this morning and already very competitive! Imagine that!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I get on my girls a lot for not being patient, but you know if we are being honest here, I am no better. They probably learned their anxiousness from me. This is something I have been working on for some time, but it's still tough!

You don't realize how fast this world moves and how little patience you have to slow down and take the time to enjoy the journey and not worry so much with the end result. Life is not a race with check points you have to reach at certain times.

This adoption I'm sure will be my true test of patience. It feels like such a long wait, but in the big scheme of things, it really isn't. I want to focus not on how long our wait will be, but how God is preparing our family for it. I know that a referral will not come our way until we are ready, not just that we have our house ready for another baby, but our mind and souls are ready too. Being anxious just creates worry. It makes you so focused on the future and all of the different possibilities you might miss what is right in front of you. This time is a gift to us. I truly do not believe it was meant to be spent on worry and anxiety. Does that mean I won't still check my emails twice a day in hopes that a referral might come in? Probably not. But I am going to do my best not to worry about how long it takes or what might happen. I have to trust that everything will happen when we are truly ready to accept it.

I've also been bad about rushing through everyday things in life. Grocery shopping. I'm NOT a shopper. Never really liked shopping of any kind too much. I go do a big trip once a month. I used to be really good about seeking out sales and coupons and have gotten slack because I don't want to take the time to do it (either clipping before hand or strategically choosing my groceries according to coupons). In other words, I'm not being a good steward of our monetary blessings because it is an inconvenience to me. No more my friends. I took the time on Monday night to search and clip and took 2 hours to grocery shopping according to my list and coupons...and guess what? I saved $57.87 on our trip! Imagine what we could do with an extra almost $700 a year?

Being patient with my healing with my dad's passing is a work in progress as well. Today logging on and seeing that Patrick Swayze passed hit me hard. It takes a greater person to face cancer, even when you know they are scared, with open eyes and to be an inspiration to people. He worked all through his treatments and fought with positivity and grace. It reminds me so much of my dad's fight. Never missed a day of work and he never once complained. I know he must have been in pain, he must have been tired and weak, but he pressed on. He never let it get the best of him or affect the life that he still wanted to led. He probably dealt with things we will never know he dealt with. Today while the world remembers Patrick Swayze, I am remembering my dad and trying to be patient with myself, knowing it is OK to still miss him still cry when I hear a song that reminds me of know that my life will never be the same again, but in a good way for all of the things he opened my eyes to.

I will never be that person that doesn't know what they have until it's gone. I am incredibly blessed and I know it. Relationships sometimes come with unbelievable baggage, hurt and pain, but they are worth your patience with your own feelings and that other person. Sometimes everything works out, sometimes it doesn't, but time is a precious gift and can teach us so much along the way if we are patient to it's lessons. I don't think we all think about those grey times when we are in between one thing and another...just waiting for the next thing to happen. Those in between times are when our character is revealed and when we might learn a little bit about ourselves. Who may look back and remember these times as the most important. I'm learning **patiently** that it's not always the destination, but the journey that is important.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just walking by...

Just walking by my stairs after I had told Reece "We have company coming. Please go put your cars back upstairs.
This is what her response to that was:

"What mom? You told me to put them UP the stairs?"
It was a long morning of trying to clean up! I have to admit, I was tired of nagging her and gave up and just did it myself. I have to be better about this. I am implementing the chore charts again this week and putting my foot down!

Monday, September 7, 2009


Friends, sleep has been a big deal in my house lately. This mono has knocked me on my butt. As much as I am "playing it off" like I am OK and full of energy to do everything I normally do, I find myself completely exhausted by the middle of the day, my arms feeling like they weigh 50 pounds each :-(

I have worked around this several longer have I been cooking dinner at night (I did this one night, haven't since), but we have been eating out or, dare I say, having cereal/breakfast for dinner. The girls of course love this, but I feel bad and guilty. This has been a pretty busy weekend with travel, birthday parties, church and laundry to catch up with. I found myself on the couch again yesterday afternoon...watching it inch closer to dinner time and continuing to sit there. Ugh. I hope I am able to shake this soon! Bobby has been great and has been helping with dinner and laundry, etc. Just ready to get back to normal.

We have been going to bed early (9-9:30 most nights), which is good because our poor Haley pug itches all night...on the bed, on the floor, up against you (she has skin allergies which seem to be worse at night for some reason). If you put her outside the room she scratches the door and cries. Sigh. I was up for over 4 hours a couple of nights ago with her. I think we finally have her used to sleeping on the living room couch now and luckily we have had two nights of *almost* undisturbed sleep!

Reece has also been fighting sleep again lately (NOT a shock for those of you who know her!). Just when we think we are beyond this stage! She was so tired yesterday....and I mean soooo tired. As the afternoon went on, she just continued to melt...her attitude and patience growing oh so short. She fell asleep for a whole 5 minutes in the car and that was it, but at least she is going to bed at night and not getting up several times like she was!

As Bobby and I were sitting in bed last night, I wondered what it would be like when our 3rd child joins our family. This is in the center of my thoughts a lot now. I find myself with everything we do imagining them there, the same as I did when I was pregnant. I know the first few months are going to be rough as far as sleep goes. Maybe I'm getting used to being up for 4 hours a night for a reason!!!

Hope you all are having a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, September 4, 2009

A long wait ahead...

We found out last night we are #30 on the list, 29 families ahead of us waiting to get matched with their little ones. They are quoting a wait time for a referral as 14-16 months with another 4-5 months after that before they are able to travel over. So, it looks like we are praying to have our baby referral by Kyleigh's 8th birthday (2010) and our son coming home hopefully by the end of February (2011). Wow. That's such a long time when you write it out like that :-(
I know this adoption found it's way to our hearts for a reason and we are certainly in it for the long haul. We truly believe our family was meant to adopt and when they timing is right, our child will be able to join our family. It's going to be many many months of waiting and we appreciate your prayers not only for our family, but for the birth mother, the adoption agency, the foster family. There are so many people involved in bringing this baby to his "forever family" and we are thankful for every single one of them!
And, we are thankful for all of our family and friends who have supported us with this journey from day one. We hope that you will continue to follow us :-)
We began a new chapter in bringing our son home today!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

IT Phone times and updates

So it's been a crazy few days.

My mom was transferred to Wake Med on Tuesday for further testing and to have whatever treatments they deemed necessary. Ends up she had a 75% blockage in the bottom of her heart and they put a stint in. She is home now and seems to be a little better. We are hoping that is the reason for her extreme fatigue and maybe her blood sugar will stop spiking so much (normal is 80-120 and hers was running in the 500s. We have no idea how she did not have a stroke or go into a diabetic coma). Only time will tell at this point. They also found 3 ulcers in her stomach/esophagus and she is being treated for those as well. Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts and prayers!

I was feeling pretty rotten on Monday and by Tuesday I was feeling so bad I actually went to the doctor (which is a pretty rare occurrence for myself). Ends up I have strep throat and mono. No clue where the mono came from! They said it would take me about 2-10 weeks to get over the mono if I take my time and let my body get better. Easier said than done! They gave me a steroid for my lymph node swelling (I could barely turn my head because my neck was full of swollen nodes!) and a Z pack for the strep, which has already made my throat feel better and I have my voice back. Oh well, someones way of telling me to slow down I suppose ;-)

Little Jolee has done great with her first round of chemo and will get to go home for two weeks before starting her second round. Thanks everyone again for all of your thoughts and prayers and please keep them coming...this little girl and her family have a long road ahead of them.

On a personal note, I would like to say I am shocked I can even work this blogger site because apparently I am IT challenged. My Internet went out Wednesday morning and I just got it back up and running this morning at 10am after several calls to IT at work, Dell, Linksys and my Internet provider. I have been on the phone for probably a total of 5 hours, no joke trying to get this fixed and have been sitting here at my desk for probably 14 hours in total. Lots of holding the phone patiently waiting for someone else to refer me to another person, but at least I could get humans on the phone I guess. Cannot have the internet down when you work regionally!

In EXCITING news, WACAP (our agency) had contacted us yesterday afternoon to let us know WE ARE APPROVED AND OFFICIALLY IN THE KOREAN PROGRAM!!! Yes! We should hear from the program coordinator next week on what our next steps are and how many families are ahead of us. Waiting patiently will now become our lives. Crazy to think that somewhere on the other end of the world there is a woman carrying our baby, struggling everyday with her choices. Please keep this woman in your thoughts and prayers as well. Please pray that she understands how much we want and love this baby and we will do everything in our power to give it the life we all want for them. Hopefully my next post will have a small number for the waiting list, but most people have been waiting a year for just a referral, so we know it's going to be a while. It's like we are pregnant and we have no idea when the due date is :-)

Hope everyone is doing well this week!