Sunday, December 31, 2006

December 31, 2006

Today, our Bible study lesson was about trusting God. We studied several people in the Bible who trusted God to help them through some big things.

I must admit I went to church today with a very bad attitude. I was awakened much earlier than I wanted to wake, on this Sunday morning, and it got me off to a bad start. Even with a bad attitude, I realized God was trying to tell me that I am getting anxious and worried about things with this trip for which I should trust Him to handle. I need to pray more and worry less.

Friday, my husband and I had our blood drawn for the various blood tests that have to be submitted, during the eight doc appts on the day after we arrive in Moscow. Normally I really dread having my blood drawn because they have a really hard time getting it and have to stick me multiple times. The lady who did it on Friday was a real pro. She has taken my blood once before and both times she has gotten it on one stick with little to no pain at all. She uses a blood pressure cuff, instead of the rubber band thing, on the upper arm. It is so much more comfortable and it seems to work very well. So that went well and then I had my chest XRay. Unfortunately our clinic can no longer print XRay's to film (they are all digital now) so we have to go have it redone at another clinic. Also, they were suppose to do a TB test on me and they didn't and I forgot so I will have to have that done on Wednesday.

After the fun at the clinic, I went on a little shopping spree. I bought a ton of stuff, most of which was on our registry. I updated the registry at the end of the day and deleted all of the stuff I had bought, which included the following:

baby monitor
diaper genie II
3 refills for diaper genie II
2 fitted crib sheets
1 large cup for rinsing hair in the tub (I had never seen this before; one side is rubber so it can fit perfectly to the child's head)
2 baby blankets for the trip (really soft, fluffy ones, baby blue with a cute giraffe on them)
1 baby's brush and comb set
2 baby toothbrushes
1 tube of baby toothpaste
1 bottle of baby lotion
1 bottle of baby body soap
1 tube of Desitin
2 large containers of wet wipes
1 package of Pampers Cruisers for the trip (reported to be very leak proof)
1 package of Sam's brand of diapers for when we return (hopefully we will like these - they are much less expensive than the other brands, although even the Pampers Crusiers are less expensive at Sam's than they are at Wal-Mart)
2 sippy cups (already had 2)
2 bottles (the kind that take disposable plastic refills - suppose to be very convenient for travelling)
4 fast-flowing nipples for bottles
100 plastic refills for bottles
1 can of powered Similac
4 pacifiers (just in case these might soothe them during travel; also may help to switch them from sucking thumbs and may be easier to break habit later than thumb sucking)
1 box of Oatmeal cereal for babies
2 bibs - the plasticy/rubbery kind with the pocket at the bottom to catch falling food
2 pairs of blue-jean overall's
2 pair of jeans
4 sweatshirt-like shirts, but without the fuzzy stuff on the inside (they look like they are for spring and will require at least one layer underneath during winter days)
2 packages of 12-18 month old socks

Still need to buy:
plastic pants
travel snacks for us and the boys
2 more pairs of blue jeans
baby undershirts or flannel underwear
cans of Similac, for when we are traveling and water is not convenient
lamp base for the cute little lamp shade I got on sale at Tuesday Morning for the boy's room (right now we only have the bright ceiling light in their room)
2 sets of rubber matts that protect our car's leather seats from the baby car seats

I already have P.J.'s, shoes and other winter clothes. My Boston friend sent us a really cute snowsuit, a fleece bunting and 2 adorable pair of snow boots. The box arrived yesterday and they are perfect; thanks CEP!! We have a second snow suit on order, which should arrive anytime now. We will be taking the small toys we took on the first trip, in addition to a few other small toys and a book I added to the pile. We decided not to take any movies because we don't want to lug our laptop around.

As it turns out, our digital cadcam recorder camera thing (WHAT do you call these??) is not working and will have to be sent off for repairs, so we also won't be taking that with us. Actually, we had already decided not to take it because we are trying to reduce the number of bags we have to carry/pull, with two little children in tow. We will take lots of pics with our regular digital camera though, although I'm not sure if we will be able to post any until we get home. We will if we can though. If not, we will do it just after we arrive home.

What am I forgetting?? I keep thinking of things we need and I don't write them down and then I can't remember what it was later, but I do remember it was important. It drives me nuts.

I still have to shop for more gifts for the workers at the baby home. I have already checked with the bank and they will have our new money ready when we need it. My husband ordered our visas and our travel insurance and I mailed off our passports and visa pictures. I think our visas arrive on the Monday before we leave. We leave on Wednesday so that only gives us one day for mix ups. I will have to track it better this time because we had issues with it being delivered to the wrong address last time. We still have to register our trip on the U.S. Embassy web site.

I already have our suitcases out, trying to figure out how many we can take and still manage to hold one child each. I think we will be able to each take one large suitcase and then we will take one regular size suitcase for the baby things, although I suspect that some of their things may have to fit into my suitcase. We will also each take a carry on bag with us and we will carry on the regular size suitcase also. This means we are taking one additional large bag than we took the last time we went. That's not too bad, considering we are staying a week and a half longer and we are also packing for two little boys.

One of the large suitcases will pull the regular size suitcase, with a carry on attached to the regular size suitcase. My husband will pull these bags around the various airports with one hand, while holding one child on the other hip, with the assistance of a Hip Hammock, of course. I will be pulling the other large suitcase with the other carry on attached to it, while holding our other child on my other hip with the assistance of a Hip Hammock. Does that sound efficient? Hopefully it will work out alright and we can fit all of our stuff in those bags.

The nice thing about doing it like this is that it allows us to always have one regular size suitcase and 2 small bags for carry ons. So, on the way over, if our large bags are lost for a period of time, we will have the necessaties to get by for a couple of days in these three smaller bags. And, on the way back, we will fill all three bags with things we might need for the boys, during such a long flight home. I pray our little guys will be good travelers.

OK, what am I forgetting. I know I must be forgetting something. What is it??

Thursday, December 28, 2006

December 28, 2006

We now have flights! That's one step. We have been told to leave here on January 10th. That's a bit sooner than we expected, but we're OK with it. They want to make sure we have plenty of slack time, in case we are delayed somewhere due to bad weather. Our current plan is that we will fly back to the U.S. on Feb. 3rd.

We are also planning to purchase one return child fare and one lap-baby child fare for the return flight. I believe the flights on Delta have three seats in the middle and two on each side, so we are thinking that if we get the 3 middle seats, preferably at the bulkhead, we should be in good shape. We are thinking that one extra seat should be enough, since they are both so small and we'll probably be holding them much of the time (the extra seat will probably be used more for holding stuff than for holding boys), but we are not sure on this one.  Our two sons will be around 14.5 and 16 months old when we return with them.

We have our visa pictures and will probably be working on filling out our visa apps online and booking hotels this evening.

I have done quite a bit of shopping today and still have some to go. I now have about 7 outfits for each child, which sure does not seem like very many. The bad news is that winter outfits are now much harder to find. They are already putting out all of the spring and summer stuff!! I couldn't believe it; IT'S STILL DECEMBER!! What are they thinking??

The winter clothes were very picked over and there was not much from which to choose. So that got me to thinking about what a short amount of time our sons will probably have to wear winter clothes this season anyway. Winter in Oklahoma is usually fairly mild. By the time we get back, we will most likely not have too many winter days left. It's a dilemma - how many winter clothes to buy.

I found a perfect snow suit at Lands End and my friend from Boston is sending us another one, along with some snow boots for little guys, which is very nice of her (thanks again CEP). I also bought a couple of warm tops for me and one pair of shell pants to keep out wind. I have some fairly warm pants but the wind just cuts right through them, so this should fix that. I also bought one more car seat to put in my husband's car. We have two for my car but it will be easier to divide and conquer if we have one in his car also and we found good deals on them at the albee-baby web site.

I printed our registry today and I need to go through it and determine which things we absolutely must buy before we go. I know we will need to buy the baby monitor, all of the sundry items, diapers, formula, some baby food and snacks and probably some additional fitted sheets for the cribs. I feel like I am forgetting some things so I need to go back to my lists.

Back to planning...and buying.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 27, 2006

We have a court date!! It is scheduled for Jan. 17th and they said they want us there by the 13th or 14th. We're not sure about a lot of the details, such as do they want us in Moscow on those dates or in Volgograd. The 10 days is never waived in this region, unless there is a serious medical problem, so we are expecting a long stay, although we will get to see the children every day. It sounds like we will probably be returning home around Feb. 1st.

I'm shaking. I think I'm in shock.

A shower was being planned for us on Jan 13th, so I guess that will have to wait. My family is still planning to have a small, family shower on Jan. 6th, which will be nice.

We have about 2.5 weeks before we leave. I feel so unprepared and I don't know where to begin. I have been collecting books and magazines that I want to read but have not had time yet, so I am good shape for that.

I better start taking down the tree. I don't think I am thinking rationally right now.

I'm still shaking. I'm definitely in shock.....and loving it:).

Monday, December 25, 2006

December 25, 2006

Things have been very busy around our house for the past couple of days. On Saturday, all of my siblings, their spouses and children gathered at my father's house for our annual Christmas celebration with him, his wife and my grandmother. We enjoyed good food, gifts and, the most wonderful part of all, all of us together in one place again to enjoy each other's company.

After this get together, my sister, mom and nephew came back with us to our house and they stayed the night with us that night. My nephew helped us to break-in the new ping pong table, which was a lot of fun. We rented a couple of movies, fixed some pizza and just enjoyed visiting.

The next day was Christmas Eve, which is traditionally celebrated at my mom's house but was being held at our house this year. My sister has been making our Christmas Eve lasagna for I can't remember how many years now. She is an excellent cook and makes the best lasagna I have ever tasted (and the best apple pie!). This year she made it here at my house so I was able to help and see how she works her magic on this special dish. It does take quite a while to make and, as usual, it was absolutely delicious.

Everyone arrived between 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon. We had wonderful food and lots of fattening desserts, we opened tons of gifts and had a great time.

Today, the house is once again quiet, with just my husband and I here. We slept in this morning, which means waking up around 7:00 or 7:30 for us. I am planning a day of relaxing and reading. My husband has already started his day of being productive. He has already removed all of the door stops and put in the kind that go on the top hinge of the door, which is one of the things on our child proofing list. Now he is cleaning up his office a bit. He wanted to continue work on the swing set but it is pretty cold here this morning and the wind is really blowing hard. It is a beautiful, clear, sunny day though so, if the wind lets up this afternoon, he will probably venture outside.

My favorite gifts this year are the fleece clothes from my husband, the plaque from my sister that says "Mothers of little boys work from son up til son down!", a book from my niece and nephew called "A Treasury of Adoption Miracles" by Karen Kingsbury, which I plan to read today, and a wooden clown stacker toy from my mom. It is similar to the colorful plastic stacker toys that we have all seen or played with in the past, except it is made of wood and has a cute clown's head on top.

On the Adoption front, we are still hoping to receive some sort of information from our adoption country tomorrow or Wednesday. We were told that our facilitator will meet with the judge on our behalf tomorrow and someone will send us an email with the results. If we don't get an email, I will assume they did not get to our case after all. Another possibility is that they may discuss our case but, for some reason or another, we may not get a court date until a later date. We have seen this play out for other couples, over and over, and you just never know what will happen or how it will go. We are praying for a court date though and we know we will get one eventually. It would be the best Christmas present of all though;).

Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 21, 2006

I just received an email from our case worker, forwarding an email from our adoption country facilitator, saying that she is planning to meet with the judge about our case on Dec. 26th and is hoping for an end of January court date. Yay!

I am so relieved to finally hear something. I just found out today that our agency is closed from Christmas Monday through New Year's Monday and I know our adoption country is pretty much closed down from Jan 1 through Jan 12, so I was really bumming out that we had not heard anything yet. I sent another email to our case worker, explaining my frustration and asking her more about what to expect and she just sent back the email that I mentioned above. So that is a huge relief and gives us something to look forward to after the New Year. Hopefully we will find out the exact date for court during the first week of January and we will travel in mid to late January. That is my Christmas wish:).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December 16, 2006

January 13th is the planned date for the shower that my friends are throwing for us. Also, my friend from K.C., who was in our adoption country/city at the same time we were recently, is planning to come here with her two little girls for that weekend and they will be attending the shower. I am so excited about their visit. It will be so nice to see them again. I am also very excited about the shower.
Today I finished wrapping Christmas presents, yea! I really thought that, once I got married, I would start sending out Christmas cards every year, yet I still have not done this. I feel a little guilty about it because I so enjoy getting them from everyone else. I will definitely have to do this next year though because I will want to send a picture of our family, with our two little sons. I so enjoy getting the updated pictures of my friends' families; I really look forward to that every year. I am still missing a couple this year...hint hint, you know who you are.

I think I pretty much have all of my Christmas shopping done this year, except for my husband. He is very hard to buy for. I have gotten one present for him so far. We are going to go shopping on Monday or Tuesday night and get him a few more things. Christmas will be more fun when we have our children.

I sent an email to our case worker today, asking her a couple of questions. I am hoping to receive some information back early next week, although it is more general in other words, I am not expecting to receive a court date back but hopefully something a little more informative than what we have heard so far, which is nothing. Actually, when we were in our adoption country, we were told our court date would likely be in January, but you know you can't count on anything until it is set in stone, as our friend Jen says. We are thinking that our best case scenario is that our court date would be in the middle of January, maybe somewhere between the 15th and 20th. Of course, after that we would have our 10 day waiting period and then we would have some paperwork to do and then we would have to go to the capital city in our adoption country and do more paperwork. So we are thinking our best case scenario is that we would have our boys home around the first or second week of Feb. February is a big month in our house, since that is the month of Valentine's Day, our anniversary and my birthday. February might just get bigger for us in 2007. Hoping and praying....

Friday, December 15, 2006

December 15, 2006

I stayed all night with my grandmother last night, had a wonderful visit yesterday afternoon and evening and this morning, and returned home this afternoon. My mom, dad, 2 sister-in-laws, 2 nieces and one great niece stopped by for a visit yesterday evening. Today my sister stopped by to visit also, so I really got to see a lot of my family while I was there, which is nice. Grandmother is doing pretty well, although she still has times when she does not feel very well or when her back hurts. For the most part, she is getting around pretty well and stays by herself most of the time; not bad for a 95 year old.

On the drive back, I was thinking about this waiting time. I have finally gotten over my petulant child behavior and am praying and reading the Bible again, which feels great. So, on the drive back today, I was thinking about this waiting time and a book came to mind. When my husband and I were dating and contemplating marriage, we read this book called "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" by John M. Gottman. This is an excellent book and I cannot recommend it enough; it is really really good. In his book, Gottman explains how he did his research, because everything in his book is based on actual, real-time research (not opinions), using couples who came to him with marriage issues. He set up a "love lab" in an apartment in Chicago, where couples would come for a weekend. During the day, the couples wore heart and pulse monitors and other biometrics stuff and there were cameras and microphones around the apartment, so that Gottman could observe how they related to each other and how they handled disagreements. This is so interesting and, I'm telling you, if you have not read this book, you really should.

After years of research, Gottman can predict with an accuracy of 91 percent, whether a couple will end up in divorce or not, after listening to them argue in this love lab for five minutes. He can tell 96 percent of the time whether a marital discussion will resolve a conflict, after listening to the first three mintues of the discussion.

In the beginning of his book, Gottman covers "the four horsemen of the apocalypse", which are the four negative behaviors that are lethal to a marriage. He then spends the majority of the book telling about the indicators of very happy marriages and how to improve a marriage.

At the end of the section about the four horsemen, he said something that really stuck with me. He talks about how we either assume the positive or assume the negative about a person's behavior. In marriages that are in trouble, the negative thinking has overruled the positive thinking. For example, if your husband leaves his clothes on the floor, after you have asked him many times to throw them in the dirty clothes basket and you assume he did this just to spite you or to get back at you for something, you are assuming the negative. If you assume that he did it because he just has a lot on his mind and he forgets, you are assuming the positive. If you find yourself frequently assuming the negative about your spouse, it is likely that the negative has overpowered the positive in your marriage and this is a sign that you marriage is in serious trouble.

So, back to the drive home...I was driving home today and this book came to mind, about assuming the negative or positive about a person's behavior. I do assume the positive about God's behavior and His decisions in my life. I know He has my best interest's at heart and I know that does not mean He is always going to do everything my way or give me everything I ask for because I don't always ask for things that are the best for me. Sometimes I can't see that but He always can. The interesting thing is that I know, without a doubt, that God always knows what is best and His timing is perfect. I know this and yet there are times (many of them!) when I want things to be done my way; I want Him to answer my prayers in my timing, rather than His timing.

Christians should always assume the best about God and His decisions in our lives. If we don't get what we are asking for, or if God's answer is to wait, we should assume that God has a good reason for having us wait or for saying no. There have been a couple of crucial times in my life when God has made me wait for something big I really wanted (one example is marriage). In all of these cases, I can look back and see that He was preparing me for what I had asked for; it is easy for me to see now, looking back, that when I made the request, I really was not ready. God, in His wisdom, knew this and He wanted to spend the time preparing me...when I was ready to let him begin this work.

How much time have I wasted in my life by becoming a petulant child, pouting, not praying, not reading my Bible and basically on hold....until I finally get over it and move into the proper waiting position....on my knees, asking God to teach me what I need to learn to prepare me as QUICKLY as possible! Yes, I have prayed this prayer many times and God has faithfully answered it many times. He is so faithful. When I trust Him, wait patiently for Him, and ask for His wisdom and His peace, He always provides it. And, when the time comes for Him to answer my prayer, I can always look back and see how He prepared me during that waiting time. It seems that the more willing I am, the faster I am prepared, although I guess that is really hard to say for sure...but it feels that way sometimes.

I know there could also be other reasons for waiting; maybe God was also preparing my spouse for marriage; maybe God was also clearing the way for our children to be adopted (while we were waiting for our referral). The only thing I can think of right now is that God wants to prepare us for our children, if we will let Him. He could also be using this time to build our faith in Him. The Bible tells us to rejoice in our tribulations. I read this the other day and I kept reading it over and over trying to understand it. The Bible also says that we should appreciate the times we are enduring tribulation because it is a time when we will grow closer to God and He will grow our faith...or something like that. That was definitely loosely translated from memory but I think it was close. We are to consider our tribulations a positive thing.

So I guess my lesson is that assuming the best of God is not enough. I need to assume the best of God but I also need to humble myself and realize that I am not always ready for the things I ask for, the good things that God wants to give me, and I need to be patient and trust Him to provide what I need, when I need it....because I know He is always faithful and He wants the best for me.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 12, 2006

We have been to two Christmas parties in three days. The first one was on Saturday evening and it was a formal Christmas party. My husband looked dashing in his tux and I wore a simple, black dress with a really neat black wrap. It was freezing cold and very windy that night though and I just about froze to death.

Yesterday we hit 70 degrees here, which is just amazing. There is still snow on the ground, in places like parking lots, where it was plowed in huge piles and has not had a chance to melt yet. On Sunday, half of our yard was still covered in snow but, in Monday's 70 degree weather, it disappeared very quickly. What strange weather.

Last night's Christmas party was just lovely. It was a family event, so there were lots of children there. It took place in this old mansion and it was decorated beautifully. As people were arriving, seven of us (including my husband and I) were standing on the grand staircase, singing carols. We had such a fun time singing and everyone really enjoyed it. It really added some 'fest' to our festive evening. A catered buffet was provided with wonderful food. There was a huge Christmas tree and, towards the end of the evening, Santa made an appearance. The children went wild and were hugging him and so excited to see him. He sat in a huge chair and they each took a turn at sitting on his lap, as parents were quickly trying to take photos. He had a bag of toys that he handed out; it was really sweet. There were tons of desserts, including the 50 cupcakes that I made:). They were really pretty too; they were chocolate with white, cream cheese icing. Some had red sugar crystals on top, others had green and a few had both. I was very proud of them because I had never made cupcakes before and they came out great. So, a fun time was had by all and we are now into the Christmas spirit.

We have no new news about our adoption, although we did enjoy showing our pictures of the boys to our friends at the Christmas party. The more we look at the pictures, the harder the wait is though. We are still hoping to hear something soon. We will have to hear something by the end of December, if we are going for a mid-Jan court date. Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, December 11, 2006

December 11, 2006

The subject in our Bible study class yesterday was "frustrating times". What things have you been through or are you going through that are frustrating. Of course, I spoke about the process of adoption and how frustrating it can be at times.

Compared to many others, we have not been waiting long at all. But to us, it seems like forever. I thought the wait for a referral would never end and was really hard sometimes, but the wait for a court date and trip #2 is really much harder. And you have this fear that something will happen to delay it much, much longer than the normal 2 to 4 months for our region. Every week, every day, you think about it and wonder if it will be this week or this day. Every time the phone rings, during working hours, you wonder if that's the call. It is hard, it is very stressful at times and it can really get you down some days.

When we were waiting for our referral, I think most of the time I really handled it pretty well. I had a lot of faith that God's timing is perfect and He would make it happen precisely when it should happen in our lives. I could see how He was preparing us.

I have had a harder time with waiting for our court date. Part of it is probably just that I don't have as much to keep me busy. But I have not been as trustful in God's timing either. It is harder to understand and be patient when you have already met your children and you know they are growing a day older and we are missing it, each day we wait. I have not been studying my Bible as much and I have not been praying as much. I know I would feel much better if I turned to God but I have struggled against it. That is hard to explain, although it is often much like a petulant child, responding to a parent who will not give the child what they want, when they want it.

It is funny, the different ways that God speaks to us. Those of you who know God know this is true. He speaks to us through other people. He speaks to us through His word, when we read the Bible. He speaks to us through songs. And sometimes He speaks to us directly. You just hear Him in your head, as if it were your own thought, but you know it was Him because He is telling you to do something or think something that is not what you want, but you know He is right and it is best. The great thing is that He even speaks to us when we are not speaking to Him!

Yesterday He spoke to me through our Bible study lesson in class. Yes, it is frustrating but He is in control, His timing is perfect and He will give me the strength to get through this gracefully, if I will turn to Him during my time of need.

And then, after class, we were in the main worship service and we were singing a song. I heard Him say to me, in a very clear, small voice "I love them more than you do." My eyes immediately filled with tears because I knew it was true. He created them and He loves them more than we ever could.

God is love. There would be no love in this world without God. He loves everyone equally, no matter what we do. His love is perfect and it never changes, no matter what we do. We are not capable of that kind of perfect love and we cannot even really comprehend it.

I know He is taking care of His children, our sons. He loves them and He brought us together and He will bring them home when it is the perfect time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

December 8, 2006

Well, the temptation was too strong so I called our case worker at CWA and left her a message, asking if she had heard anything about our adoption, court dates, etc. She left me a message later, saying that she had not heard anything yet. This is about what I expected, but still, I was hoping for a little more news than least something. Oh well, that's life in the world of adoption.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 5, 2006

We have our Christmas tree up. It looks pretty with the snow in the background, through the windows. It also smells really good.

We had to take the tinsel off the bottom 6 inches or so of the tree and move it higher because Dancer would not leave it alone. He kept trying to play with it and, once he had it in his mouth, he had a really hard time getting it out of his mouth. These cats really have been good practice for the kids, in many ways.

Another funny thing that came up was that we were trying to remember how many stockings we had. I was thinking we had purchased 4 stockings, 2 for us and two for the cats but I could not remember if the 2 for the cats had their names on them. I told Paul, if they did not have the cat's names on them, we could use them for the kids. He thought we could still use them for the kids, even if they did have the cat's names on them. He said we could just turn them around and put the kid's names on the other side. So, our kids stockings would have their names on one side and the cat's name on the other side. I thought it was pretty funny that he thought this was acceptable. Once we got the boxes out of the attic and unpacked them, we realized we had only purchased 2 stockings anyway. So it isn't an issue and our children will get stockings that were not handed down from our cats.

But we do still have another issue with the stocking hangers. We only have three of them...they spell JOY. Very nice, except we need one more letter. We agreed it would be nice to find a stocking hanger that is an exclamation mark, but I am doubting that we will find that. I saw some other ones at Walmart the other day that would probably work though. I am going to have to do some shopping for some of these things, as soon as they go on sell.

This is our first Christmas here, both in this house and in this city. We are really liking this city a lot and I think we are going to like this house a lot too. It is really starting to feel like our house these days, very comfortable and homey. I think it will be a nice place to raise our two sons.

We have not heard anything about our court date yet. I am so tempted to call our case worker and start asking questions but I don't really think she will have any answers....and it has really only been two full days, yesterday and today, that were really days that we could have had a call. So, I think that would be the ultimate in impatience. I must wait a little longer....maybe:).

Tomorrow I will register at Babies R Us and Target. I need to get this done and it will be a fun thing to do. I also have to return the stroller we bought and exchange it for another one. This one seems to have a problem, as the middle wheels do not touch the ground...even with the cats in it.

A funny story about the stroller: I came home one evening from an event I attended and my husband was pushing both cats around in the stroller. It is a side-by-side twin stroller and both cats were sitting on their own side and it was obvious they were enjoying the ride. It was really funny. I should have gotten a picture but I missed it. I'm afraid our cats are not going to know what to think when our children arrive.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December 3, 2006

So tomorrow, our real wait officially begins. We knew we would not receive the call with our court date in November. We are hoping we get that call in December and we are really hoping we get it in the first two weeks of December. The facilitator in Russia seemed to indicate that we might receive our court date in the first half of December. My husband heard her say this but I missed it, so I don't know the exact words she used. But, still, we are hoping....

Our message today at church was very relevant to what we are dealing with (isn't it always, if we are receptive?). In our Bible study class, we were talking about trusting God, trusting His timing and His capabilities. We discussed how God wanted Moses to go speak to His people and bring them out of Egypt. Moses did not think he could do that; he did not think he was a good speaker and he did not like speaking in front of large groups of people. But God was the maker of Moses and He also made Moses' mouth:). The overall point was that God does not necessarily always call those who are equipped. But God does always equip those whom He calls.

The discussion question asked was "how do we face opportunities"? The answers indicated that it depends on how confident we feel in accomplishing the challenges presented with the opportunities. If we have a lot of self-confidence in our abilities to accomplish the challenge, then we will likely accept the opportunity and challenge. If we don't feel confident in our ability to accomplish the tasks required, without embarassing ourselves or failing in some way, we are likely to avoid the opportunity or challenge. What we should do is to rely on the confidence we have in God, who is always faithful and will supply all our needs.

He loves us and He is always faithful. He has started a good work with us and He has promised that He will finish it.  His timing is always impeccable.

Lord, please bring us peace and help us be patient while we wait for Your perfect timing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1, 2006 Part 2

I took some pictures around our house, of all of the snow we received yesterday. I think we got about 10 inches of snow, on top of the huge amount of ice that had already come down. This is quite an event for Oklahoma. It is not unusual to get snow but it is unusual to get this much this early in the year. It set a record for the day; the prior record for that day was 4.6 inches, I think.

Here is the first picture I took. Believe it or not, I took this AFTER we had already been outside, shoveling snow for an hour and a half!

Isn't this pretty? I took this from inside of our bedroom. I thought it came out pretty good, considering it was taken through glass, although Zoe's head was in the way. It was a beautiful sunrise and we are having an absolutely beautiful day today...completely clear blue skies and bright, beautiful, white snow EVERYWHERE! Yea!!

And, this is why we were up at 4:00am this morning. My husband had to go to work today so we had to get the driveway cleared out.

This is our house. There is a small circle drive in front of the house and there is a sidewalk from there up to the front door, but you can't really tell there here.

And this is the road in front of our house. That is our mailbox on the left. You can get a feel for how much snow we got. They have now plowed the road.

That's it for now:). Hope you enjoyed it.

December 1, 2006

You are all going to be sorry that I now know how to upload pictures on the blog:). Today, I am making up for the past, for all of the times that I told you about stuff I was doing around the house but never produced the requested pictures. Now, here they are!!

OK, you didn't ask for this one but I thought I would include it anyway. Here is a close up picture of us:). As you can see, this is from our wedding day. We were married on Feb. 19, 2005, so we are coming up on our 2nd anniversary.

We had a lovely wedding. We were married in Tucson, AZ at a resort. We were living in Texas at the time but my mother-in-law was not well enough to make the trip to Texas so we decided to have the wedding in Tucson.

For our honeymoon, we went to Australia and New Zealand. Since we were planning to have children asap, we knew we would probably not be able to take a trip like that again any time soon. We had a wonderful time and have some beautiful pictures to remember it by.

Here are pictures of the baby room. The pictures on the wall were my craft project. I found a calendar that had all of the old pictures from the old Dick and Jane readers. These were books that were used for many, many years, in first grade, to teach children to read. I learned to read using these books (See Dick run. Run Dick run. etc.) so I was excited when I found this calendar at a book store. I bought 12 unfinished frames and I finished them myself using a technique to make them look old. Hard to see in the picture but they really came out pretty good. I'm not much of a crafty person so I was pretty happy with the results.

The little rocking chair was mine and my brother and sister's when we were little. They are twins and are only 15 months older than I am. We also have two older brothers. So, when I was born, my mother had twins who were 15 months old, in addition to a 3 and 5 year old. Can you believe that?? And we think we have it hard!

When I lived out east (Boston), I bought the rocking horse for my niece, about 15 years ago, and my sister kept it all this time so we are borrowing it for the boys.

My friend from Texas got us the huge teddy bear, just before we moved to Oklahoma. Isn't he cute?

My mom gave us the antique rocking chair she bought the antique dresser for me a very long time ago, as a graduation gift when I graduated from junior college.

I found the changing table and one of the cribs at a consignment store and we bought the other crib from BRU with a gift certificate from the wonderful people I worked with in Texas.

So, that's the baby's room. I would like to find some more fun things to put on the walls, more colorful. Hopefully I will find something fun soon.

The boys will share a room, if it works out OK. I was thinking it might make them feel better, since they are used to having other children in the room when they sleep. There is another room right next door, painted the same blue color, and they share a Jack and Jill bath. So, eventually they can have their own rooms and share the bath.

Next. These are pictures of the library/playroom. This used to be the formal dining room in our house but we are not formal people. We do, however, have a lot of books and we love to read, so we changed this into a library/playroom. We had the shelves built and they go all the way around the room, except for the area in front of the windows.

I found the little table and four chairs on the internet a while back, along with the play table with the toy boxes underneath.

Next, we have our cats, who are our current/first babies. They are Bengal cats and they both have great personalities. The cat on the left is Dancer, who is male and is bigger than Zoe, the cat on the right, who is female.

I thought this was pretty funny and now you can see our two high chairs. My sister gave us the smaller one; she used it for her two children. My mom found the larger one at a thrift shop.

I know we will have bigger messes with these small trays but I really like the older, wooden higher chairs a lot. I guess because that's what my sister always used and they kind of match the cribs...not that you would necessarily know that, since they are upstairs in the baby room.

Anyway, isn't this funny? Zoe is on left and Dancer on the right.

That's it for now, since this is getting pretty long. I will post again though because I took some great pictures of the snow around our house.