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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Antibiotics for all...

Ethan has had a snotty nose off and on for a month.  It would get bad, then get better, off and on. It has finally moved to his chest, but still not bad. No fever, he acts fine, etc, but when he coughs, it sounds awful.
Seth started coughing about 3 days ago and he sounds awful.  His nose started the running yesterday and he too has no fever,  still acts pretty well, just less energy, but he coughs all night long.  By the way, Madelyn has bronchitis and Hannah has a sinus infection. (took them to the walk in clinic on Friday) 
I had an appt at 10:15.  No one to watch the other kids, so all 6 of us went.  Didn't see the nurse practitioner until 11:15.  1 hour waiting with 5 kids in a tiny room, praying to not get a germ while we were there.  Anyway, she finally came in and was real nice and declared that Seth had bronchitis and a sinus infection and Ethan has a sinus infection and double ear infections.
They send their prescriptions by email to the pharmacy, so I was hoping that when I got the pharmacy in an hour, they would be ready to be picked up. Not so, the pharmacy said they had just gotten the prescriptions and the syrup the doctor prescribed they were out of.  So she could call a Walgreens 20 min. away and see if they had it. Well, I had just come from there and really didn't want to drive all the way back.
Thankfully, Mom works close by and was able to swing by that pharmacy and pick up the syrup.  Then she swung by the Walgreens close to our house to pick up the antibiotics.  I guess they didn't have our insurance card, because normally I spend about $.50 on that antibiotic and the total for both boys was around $35.00.  So, that will have to be fixed.
Anyway, I pulled the medication out of the bag and what did they give Seth?  My 2 year old?  Huge amoxicillin capsules.  Really?  He's 2.   And while I admit,  he is the best medicine taker ever, I don't think he can handle these huge pills.
So I call the pharmacy.  They say that is how the nurse practitioner wrote it.  So I call the doctors office. Tell the receptionist what happened. She said she would send the message to the doctor about changing it. Then she asked if it was capsules. I said yes, and she said "she may just want you open up the pill and give it to him?" 
I wanted to say "do you want to come over and do that? , Have you ever tasted and antibiotic pill?  Have you ever given a 2 year old medication?"
So, that was a few hours ago and I haven't heard back.  I think I will call again to see if they ever sent a new liquid prescription over there.  What a mess.
I have not been impressed. So far, the boys are the only ones that have been. The first appt. was for around 8am. It took over an hour and 1/2 for the doctor to come in. That is just not acceptable to me.  Today, it was an hour.  I don't know what we will do. I liked our last ones and I guess they are about the same distance away, so I may just go back to them.  They just use different hospitals. 

Also, 2/3 of our toilets are not working. One won't flush at all. The other one is leaking into our garage. Yuck!  I have been waiting for about 5 hours for the rooter guys to call and say they are coming. I hope they make it soon.  Aaron got called to a fire, so he is on his way home, but he should have been home 30 min. ago.
I am a little stressed.  UGH!

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's been a while...

Wow, I have not blogged in a long time.
I always use the excuse that life is busy, but when is life ever not busy? 
School - home school coop started this past Friday.  The girls of course love it and were very excited to see their friends again.  I worked 3  12 hour days last week, and one of those days was Friday, so Aaron took the girls and Mom watched the boys, but I will be going this Friday and thankfully Mom is off work, so she can watch the boys for me.  There is nothing like sitting in a room for 3+ hours trying to occupy the boys.
Today was day  30 of our school year.....DAY 30!!!! I am so excited.  That gives us a little slack for me working some or vacations or PLEASE NO, the dreaded stomach virus.
I LOVE the curriculum we are using this year.  We are using Learning Adventures.  We used them 2 years ago and I really loved them then.  You get every subject in one curriculum except Math.  Instead of buying all your books, you buy their guide and then go to the library a lot. Being from small towns, there have been a few times I have had to order a book, normally for less than $10 because our library did not have it.  We actually didn't finish all of the Unit Studies last time, so we started with the last unit study from 2 years ago, and now last week we are starting the new one for this year. 
Hard to believe, but Madelyn will be 12 next week. She is in the youth group at church now and is starting to do stuff with them. I am so excited for her.  I loved my youth group growing up!  Hannah will be 8 on Sunday. That too is hard to believe.  Makes me feel so old.  On a good  note, a few times at work people have asked how old I was and when I told them I was 37, they said I didn't look a day older than 31.. AND I had a young man tell me he thought I was his age.  He was 22!!!! 
The little things in life.....
Seth is pretty funny. He talks sooo well for a 2 1/2 year old that up until 15 months ago had barely heard English in his life. 
For a while, if I would set him at the table to eat he would say "get me some juice" to which I would calmly reply  "I'm ain't getting you nothin 'til you ask nicely" (notice the proper English)  Then he would say "please get me some juice" then I would get him some. After going through that for a while, now he will say "Please get me some juice I asked nicely" all in one fast sentence.
And even being more polite, this morning he came downstairs and not wanting to tell Madelyn what to do he said "Madelyn, maybe we can watch pretty pink tractor"  That is his new thing, instead of demanding he starts off with MAYBE and it really is pretty cute.
The other day I saw him pulling the back of Ethan's pants away from Ethan's back and peering in to see if Ethan had pooped. 
Ethan is a whole other personality.  He is so huge.  Weighing more than Seth and we had them stand back to back the other day and he is only about an inch shorter than Seth.  So I think he will probably pass Seth in size this next year.  So even though he looks older he acts so young when you start to talk to him.  His speech is terrible.  He is about as behind as Seth is ahead. 
We even had his hearing tested. And it was normal.  I really am not worried. By number 5, you're like, whatever, so what if I alone am the only person who understands him, and that is only part of the time. He is so sweet!  Kisses all the time.
His signature face when things don't go his way is a pout, which I have almost broke him of.  I mean as soon as he hears "no" he is puffing through his nose and that bottom lip is all the way out.  Now, I make him smile instead of pout.  It is pretty funny and hard not to laugh when I am trying to be serious.
It is so much work for him to pull that lip in and put a huge smile on, but normally by the time his teeth are showing, he starts laughing too.
Today, he was in the high chair and I can't remember why he was mad at me, but I was in the kitchen watching him through the door.  I knew he was pouting and he knew he wasn't supposed to, so when I would look at him, he would put this huge smile on, but as soon as I started to turn my head...big pout, then I would look real quick and big smile again.  This went on about 5-6 times, all the while I was trying to act serious.  So, even though he can't enunciate hardly anything, he is smart smart smart. And I love him just the way he is.  
We are all into soccer again. Thankfully, Madelyn and Natalie are on the same team this year.  Bad thing is, they travel.  Which means last Saturday, Aaron took them an hour away for their game, while I took Hannah to her game.  We'll see how it goes.  I hate being so busy, however, it is a wonderful way for the girls to get lots of exercise.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Work for Him!

It has been a while since I have posted anything.  Lots of thing going through my head...
I'll get to that in a minute.  We have "officially" started school.  We did  a week in July,  Then there was camp and grandparents houses and now we are back into it.  We actually started back last Thursday.   I was supposed to work Saturday, but they canceled me, so we did  school instead.  Last night the girls all spent the night at Mom's because our AC upstairs died.  Aaron and I slept in the extra bedroom downstairs and brought the boys down with us.  So Mom is fixing to bring the girls over here and take the boys with her.  So much smoother to do school without the boys.  AC man to be here between 10-2. Thankfully, we bought a warrenty, and that should cover it!
Here is my delimma that keeps me up thinking.

I see these kids in Ethiopia that need homes.  There is one little boy on the waiting list that I would love to adopt.  Or even to put our name on a list for a girl.
On one hand, I think that I need to work as much as possible on paying off the rest of our adoption debt. (which is now down to 2 interest free loans)  Then if we were out of debt, we could adopt again.  I guess we could adopt again now, but then we would have such a large amount of loans that it would put me where I would HAVE to work a ton just to pay bills and that would not leave me time to homeschool or spend time with a new child.... and all of my other children.  And we would need a bigger vehicle since ours is completely full.  Plus it would be hard to add another child.  But isn't that like saying "sorry kid, no home for  you, I want some time alone"  I keep telling myself I can relax in Heaven. 

Ok, then I think it would be great to go on the mission trips like Aaron did.  Taking Madelyn this year, since she will be 12, the minimum age.  That would have a lasting impact too and it is cheaper than adopting and if we can get others from church to go with us, that would have an impact on them, hopefully prompting them to adopt and then more children would be helped.

Thirdly, there are some things we need to take care of here.  There are some things we want here. Little things... But should we spend money on them?

I know that most people reading this will think...
Hey, you have done enough.  You did adopt 2 children.  You have done your part, the rest is up to the rest of the Christians.
I know that I am saved by grace and I know that I am not working my way to get salvation. 
However, when can we stop?  At what point can we "retire" from doing good and live for ourselves instead of others?  I believe that we can't retire from that.   God never tells us to take it easy. Actually, seems like the Bible tells us over and over again how hard it will be.
I LOVE this country, but going to another country is such an eye opener.  Living in this country enables us to help others.  However, it is really hard to ignore the dream of more stuff and what I want when I want it. 
The Ethiopian man that translated for Aaron's trip to ET is in the states for the first time right now.  He put on his facebook status
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48b
I tried to imagine America from the eyes of someone who grew up in a trash dump.  And I bet he wonders why more people aren't helping.
James 2:
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that —and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Wake Up Christians!!!! There is a whole world out there that needs to see Christ in us.  That needs their basic needs taken care of.  That need a family! 
Matthew 20:1-16  This compares God and us to a vineyard owner hiring workers. I think this shows that God expects us to work until he returns.  Whether he returns 1 year, 1 day or 1 hour after we become a Christian.  He expects us to WORK for Him.  Not work for ourselves.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


The above pictures are proof that the girls are enjoying camp.  Sunday, all of us drove up to Short Mountain Bible Camp to drop off Madelyn and Natalie.  This is the camp that I grew up going to. I worked there from the time I was 13 until I was 19.  Every summer I was there 9-10 weeks.  It was about an hour from home, so I would come home every weekend.  I made lifelong friends there and this camp really shaped my life and my relationship with God.  Needless to say, it was exciting to drop off the girls there.  I have always planned on sending my kids to MY camp!
Normally, Madelyn is homesick and calls every night sounding like she is on the verge of tears. However, this week she has called every night to say goodnight and has sounded chipper and happy. I am so glad.  I know it is debatable to whether you should let a homesick child call home.  However, I wouldn't have beleived it, but I think it helps Madelyn to be able to say hi each night.   Natalie is never homesick and usually says a quick hi, bye and possibly a story when and if we talk to her.
 The last 3 years I worked there, my best friend and I were in charge of the horses.  Talked to Natalie last night and one of the horses she rode was Blaze, who was there when I worked there. 
When we dropped them off, I also got to see some of the "kids" that I grew up with going to camp every summer. Many of them I haven't seen in about 17 years, but recognized them.  So much better than a high school reunion.
Hannah is up at Aaron's parents this week, so it is just Aaron, me and the boys. 
This has been a dragging week. I worked Monday 12 hours. I wanted to work Tuesday, but they didn't need me.  Turns out it was better I didn't work because I have not felt well all week.  I am feeling a whole lot better daily though.
We have some friends coming over from church tonight. I am so excited.  When we lived on the "farm" once our water starting running low, we never had anyone over. I always loved having people over and it was the best way to get close to people, but we were unable to do that.  So happy to have running water. 
I know it is crazy to miss it, but I still do.  I know that we needed to move, but I guess I am indoors more here and it makes me a little claustrophobic.  At the farm, even in the summer we would get out and tend to the garden or walk up and down the driveway at night.  But we don't really get out much here.  Maybe this fall when it cools off. Also, feeling a little more closed in this week because it has rained almost every day, the sun has not been out much, it is incredibly humid and I haven't felt like going anywhere this week.
Tomorrow, I have a long drive to pick up the girls.  Thankfully, my dad offered to pick the girls up at camp and meet me at my brother's house. That will save me almost 2 hours of driving to and from camp once we pass where my brother lives.  I wouldn't mind going all the way, but I will have the boys with me because Mom and Aaron are both working tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back from Africa!

Friday was a very busy day. 
The boys and I left the house at 9:30 to head up to TN.  We stopped on the way at Hancock fabrics to pick up some more fabric. I had bought some to make curtains and realized that I had only half of the fabric I needed. Thankfully, they barely had enough left of that particular pattern. 
On a side note, I finished them last night. Aaron hung them up tonight and pointed out that they kind of made a trapazoid pattern.  I told him that was exactly what I was shooting for. Who wants perfectly rectangular curtains when you can spice it up a little.
We finally left Decatur around 10:30 and headed up to Smyrna to pick up the girls.  We stopped once and got gas. I was supposed to be at the church building to meet the bus at 1:30. I knew I was going to get there around 1:15, so i stopped at McDonalds and picked the boys some food up.  I was planning on finding a shady spot in the parking lot and letting the boys eat, but I was behind the bus pulling into the parking lot.
I loaded the girls suitcases while they watched  the boys and said goodbye to their cousins and fed their brothers.   We were out of there by 2:15 and headed back down to AL.
I instructed the girls to NOT talk to the boys so they would have some kind of nap.  Finally, I had to practically threaten Seth and tell him to close his eyes, he was so whiny, but he fell asleep almost immediately.  We then made it all the way to Athens and went to a furniture store that I am buying a mattress and bedroom suit from.
I have debated whether to buy it or not. I KNOW we have to get a mattress. Aaron and I both end up with neckaches and backaches every morning.   But we want a queen and we have a full, so we need a new bed.  Long story short, we decided to splurge and for the first time in our almost 15 years of marriage, buy our own bedroom suit instead of using hand me downs.  Plus the price was really really cheap.  If it wasn't I wouldn't even consider it. I am such a miser. I hate to spend money on stuff like this.
Finally, we headed to the Huntsville airport to pick up Aaron. By this time I was starting on one of my mini migraines. Being in a car for hours with kids was not helping.  We got to the airport about 30 min. before Aaron landed.
Aaron made lots of little friends.

 It is beautiful in the country.

 Check out the pizza choices.   Notice "tuna" at the bottom for a pizza topping.
 These ladies carry these bundles of sticks down to town each day to sell as firewood.  Each bundle is estimated to weigh around 200lb and it took 4 of the Ordinary Hero group to put it on top of the van and give the ladies a ride down the mountain.

It was so good to see him. Poor guy is exhausted. Jet lag is awful. When I brought the boys home last year, it took me a week of sleeping all night AND taking long naps to recover.  So he was able to stay up until about 9pm.  Then he fell asleep while I was talking to him.    He slept 13 hours that first night.  Then fell asleep last night around 6pm on the recliner. I debated on waking him up since he really needed to get on a good schedule. But I didn't. He finally got up and went straight to bed around 9.  But then woke up at 2:30am wide awake. He was able to stay up all day today and went back to bed at 8. I hope he is able to sleep all night. He has to work tomorrow.
I decided to start on the laundry Friday night. After going through all the girls' suitcases I noticed that Hannah did not have a dirty clothes bag. I just assumed she had stuffed it in her suitcase and didn't even look at the pile of leftover stuff at the church. Thankfully, my brother goes there and was able to find her clothes Saturday and Mom happened to be driving through on her way home and was able to bring all the dirty laundry with her.  So glad to have everyone home.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Timing is EVERYTHING in Adoption
Here is a link to a post I wrote the week before we got the boys' referrals. 
It is relevant here.
Small recap on Seth's referral.  He was 12 months old when we got his referral. What we heard at the time of the referral was that earlier he had been referred to another couple along with baby girl.  Before the couple made it to court, his birth mom came and got him and decided to raise him.  The couple received the referral of a different baby boy.  After they went to court for the baby girl and new baby boy, Seth's birth mom realized she wasn't able to take care of him properlly and brought him back to the orphanage. A few days after this couple returned to the states. Sue then was going to let the couple have his referral back, making it 3 babies they would be adopting. We were told that after much thought, they decided that if they adopted again, it would be an older child, knowing it would be easier for Sue to place a baby. I have often thought about this couple, thinking how I would want them to know that I was thankful for their decision. Let them know that Seth was loved.   Now I know how "close" we came to not getting Seth. Of course God was in control all along.  This other couple was in Ethiopia on their embassy trip to pick up the other two children AND were planning to go to court for Seth while they were there.  And while there, God used circumstances to convince them to make the heartwrenching decision to say no to Seth and yes to an older child in the future.
God has given me a wonderful blessing this week!  Our agency director Sue is friends with me on facebook. I happened to comment on one of her posts and then I got a friend request by one of the other women who had commented.  Lo and behold, she emailed me and it was this same woman who had once had Seth's referral.  We have emailed back and forth this week and it has been a wonderful blessing for both of us to look back and see how God manipulated this whole timing situation so that we both got the children in our home that God wanted there.  It is awesome how we are all connected.  I am hoping that soon there will be another connection..  They have been to court to adopt a 9 year old boy in Ethiopia and are now waiting for their embassy date to pick him up.
She is planning to mail  a little package to us for Aaron to take to Ethiopia with him next week so that if he is lucky enough to visit where this boy is staying, Aaron can hand deliver a package from his new Mama!  At least maybe Aaron can get some pictures with him.  Can you see how we are connected????  8000 miles away!  This world seems so huge, but GOD knows each of us!
I am so thankful to know  a little more of Seth's past!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Splash Pad

Here are a few pictures of our morning.  This is the first time we have gone to the one in our new town and it was a hit.  Natalie is in TN visiting grandparents, so I only have pictures of Madelyn, Hannah, Seth and Ethan.  Hoping the boys take a great nap today!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

12 Days Until Aaron Goes Back To Ethiopia

I am so excited for Aaron.  The countdown has begun.  Check out the organization he is going with at   The first mission team is on their way.  Check out the blog daily and hopefully there will be some posts that will give you an idea of what Aaron is going to be up to in a few weeks! 
I already told Aaron to go against his "stay in the background" personality and hop into some pictures while in Ethiopia and hopefully he will make it into some of the posts and I can see what he is up to while there.  I probably will have minimal email connection with him and I am thinking that's the only way I will hear from him. And probably won't get that every day.
One of the ladies that came over to fill blessing bags asked Aaron if he felt guilty for leaving me alone with 5 kids for 11 days.  He said "no, it is not near as long as my 16 day fire detail".  It never occured to him to feel guilty. And he shouldn't!  Kids are blessings!  Now I am not saying that by the time Aaron gets home  I might be ready to get out alone, but I am so excited for him!  He is my other half.  When he goes to Ethiopia, in a way, I do too.  I am the one who encouraged him to go for it when he couldn't decide.  I am so happy that he gets this opportunity! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blessing Bags

Aaron is going to Ethiopia at the end of this month. One thing he will be doing is handing out "blessing bags".  In each bag is a pair of pants, a long sleeve shirt, socks, and underware for one child.  Many have a small toy thrown in also.   On the outside of the bag, we have written if it is for a boy or girl and the size.  Aaron will be handing them out to street children when he goes.
Our Sunday morning class brought in lots of donations for him to take.  Last night, 5 ladies and I met at Panera for supper.  I have never eaten there before.  Good sandwich,  way to expensive for a sandwich for a miser like me. 
Then we all came back to my house and we packed Blessing Bags.  I am so grateful they came and helped. It was quite overwhelming to me.  All of the many many piles of clothes I had.  I meant to take pictures and forgot.   I loved having everyone over!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Picture Review of Last Few Weeks

My Aunt Sue came down for over a week and brought us this from Indiana.
We watched it turn into this.
And 10 days later, into this...

Our septic tank was fixed...
Seth was mesmerized by the tractor. 
Madelyn got to babysit.  Just kidding...
Seth's would be transported like this if he still lived in Ethiopia.

Things are settling down a little from all of the house mishaps. 
I am trying to work 3 12 hour shifts a week.  I really like my new hospital.  I was able to get off of orientation early, so as of 3pm yesterday afternoon, I had my own patients and didn't have to work under someone.  There is are still a few computer things I have to ask about, like where to chart something or where to find something, but I think I will be fine.

I dropped Hannah off at a friend's house this morning and picked up her friend's sister plus another friend of the girls. So I have Natalie, Madelyn, two friends and the boys today. They will be going home in about an hour. The good thing about having kids this age is that it is easier to have their friends over because they disappear to the other room and don't need you except when they get hungry.  They have had a great time and I hope to have more play days this summer. 

Can you believe that a year ago today, June 5, 2011, the boys and I landed in Huntsville after a miserabl 36 hours of travel. Well worth it. Of course

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Murphy" moved into our extra bedroom.

Let's begin with closing...
April 30th, closed on our new house  Happy times!
May 3rd and 4th... Aaron's parents came down to see the new house and help us move in.

May 5th. Saturday. Aaron leaves at 6am for FL for another fire detail. Will be gone 16 days.
Around 3pm realized that even after turning our fridge on high, it was just not getting our  food as cold as usual.  The freezer part of our fridge had died a month or so before. 
Go to Lowes with 5 kids in tow to look at fridges and realize once I get there, that dummy me forgot to measure to see what size fridge we could handle.
Almost cry at Lowes, decide to just go get pizza for supper and go home. 
After supper, Hannah comes downstairs and says "Mom, the ceiling in the boys' room is on the floor!"
So I run upstairs, and sure enough, a 4ftx4ft hole in the ceiling, water dripping from a pipe in the ceiling, soaking wet insulation everywhere.  I got our elderly neighbor, who happens to be a retired plumber/electrician, etc to come over and see what happened. He figured out that the AC duct that was held up by tape, finally fell and broke the pvc pipe that was to collect the condensation from the AC and channel it outside had broken.  So I turned the AC off upstairs and cleaned up most of the mess. Tried to soak the water out of the new carpets and turned a fan on it.

Thankfully, our wonderful neighbor said he could get it fixed before Aaron gets home.  Here are some after pictures. He put in two access holes that weren't there before so we can look at that area without having to crawl from the other end of the attic. He also put the texture back on the ceiling.
May 8th Tuesday  Came home from work.  Was standing in the kitchen and realized that I was standing in water.  Water from our kitchen sink, which was draining incredibly slowly, had somehow gotten into our dishwasher, which we have never used, and leaked out on the floor. 
Cleaned up the mess and tell Mom not to wash dishes tomorrow and  not use the kitchen sink.
Started a new job on and had to go to orientation Monday through Friday of this week.
May 15 Tuesday...
Gave the boys a bath in the morning.  Realized 20 min. after taking out the bathtub drain that the tub had more water in it, not less.  And the toilet was bubbling.  Called Mr. Rooter.  The diagnosis of this problem took 48 hours and 3 trips to our house.  Finally on Thursday afternoon, after our wonderful neighbor rented a huge saw and cut chunks of cement our of our sidewalk to find the pipe leaving the house...we realized that #1 the pipe runs diagnally under our sidewalk #2 it is full of roots and has to be replaced asap #3 our septic tank is also full and has to be drained. here are some pictures of that miserable 48 hours.

Our neighbor wants to check on our AC downstairs on Friday.  May 18.  So he goes down and notices that there is about 1 inch of water pooled in a section of our basement. He thinks that it is the hot water heater, but I figure out that it is this thing connected to the AC that collects condensation and then shoots it outside through a tube.  I only figured it out because it was barely leaking before Aaron left town and he had a replacement that we were going to pay a friend to replace for us.  So yesterday I was downstairs with a snow shovel and wheelbarrow scooping up water.  Thankfully, our great neighbor got it fixed also.
Didn't think to get pictures of that.
Also, the sink in the girls bathroom wont turn on and the toilet won't stop running, but that can wait. 
So, Monday our front yard will be churned up and a wreck from the backhoe.
And this house that we thought was movein ready two weeks ago has already cost us an extra $3300.
Did I mention that my husband has been out of town this whole time and as I am typing this, still does not know about the hole in the ceiling... i wanted to spare him the worry while he was gone. Add to that the new job last week. 
Still have a lot of stuff to move in our rental house...
At least someone at our house doesn't have a care in the world,
Then I woke up this morning and looked outside.  And there was some type of creature lying on our sidewalk.  I went out to inspect and it was a dead chicken.  I didn't realize that there were even chickens around here.  And I really have trouble believing that our dog killed it since she is the biggest wimp ever.  She is scared of puppies and kittens.
Kids are enjoying the sidewalk. Unfortunately it will be a pile of rubble on Monday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


We have had such a busy day.  First of all, I really miss the boys because they have been at Mom's the last two nights and probably will stay until Friday night.  We have been packing and running errands the last two days with half the seats out of the van.  It is so much easier to do this without a 18month old and 2 1/2 year old under foot. Plus, it is just plain dangerous, with all the backing up of vehicles, carrying out of heavy boxes door opening and closing etc.
So, this morning we got up around 7am.  After packing the backs of both the van and the Montero, Aaron, the girls, and I headed to Decatur. First we drove straight to a brake place because I just noticed yesterday, while driving through a drive thru with the window open, that the van's brakes were squeaking AWFUL.  
We dropped off the van, then drove to Target where we looked for curtain rods for our large windows downstairs.  Right now I am planning on just hanging some old curtains up or even some sheets since I don't want people to be able to see in.  Eventually, I will, gulp, attempt to decorate.   Maybe me and Natalie (taking a sewing class) and Mom can whip out some curtains.  Just the necessities right now.  Even the necessities are expensive.
Then, since we were down to one car, the girls and I dropped Aaron off at the doctor office to get his shots for his Ethiopia trip next month. 
We stopped by our realtor's office to sign some things forgotten at closing.
Then we headed to the JCPenny outlet to see if they had curtain rods we wanted. Well, they didn't even have curtain rods. 
By this point we were starving, so we ordered Papa John's pizza (Hannah had some in TN and fell in love with the garlic sauce).  By the time we drove back to get the pizza it was done cooking. Aaron hadn't called yet to say he was done, so I sent the girls to the car to get the drinks I brought so we could just eat in the restaurant.  But as we were fixing to go sit down, Aaron called and said he was done.
Back out to the car without eating, picked up Aaron, then drove to a picnic spot and ate lunch.  Papa Johns has not changed since I was in college. My roommate and I would order it all the time and split the pizza, because it was cheap. 
After eating, we went to Home Depot and finally got the curtain rods we wanted. 
We then drove back to the Brake place to see if the van was done.  It was, so Aaron and Hannah headed to the new house to unload the Montero.  Madelyn, Natalie, and I went and had the water turned on in our name at the new house. 
By then it was Happy Hour at Sonic, so we all got drinks.  Went to the new house, unloaded the van, came home and were exhausted.
After resting about 30 min. Madelyn and I went to the store, got some food for Mom to make for the boys, then dropped it off and came home.
We have spent the rest of the evening packing and still not done.  Aaron is picking up the moving truck tomorrow evening after his work. 
I will be so glad when we are done and hope to not move again for many years.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We Closed On Our House!

So, we have had our closing scheduled for the 30th for a few weeks. We waited until then because Aaron was getting his big paycheck from the fire he went on a few weeks ago and we knew we would have enough for the down payment and all other fees at that point.
Friday afternoon around 3, the lawyer calls and says that he wanted to make sure we knew about this indemity bond? I think that is what he called it.
Anyway, this is how I understood it. We bought a foreclosure.  We are borrowing about $10,000 more than what the previous owner owed on the property. Because of that we needed this bond.  Too confusing to explain more.  The main point is that this bond was going to cost us an additional $1600 at closing!  What!!!??
So our realtor spent all weekend working with the selling bank and we finally came up with a deal. But what a wrench in the plans. And we still had to pay half.
I took all 5 kids to the bank last week to get our bank statement printed out and stamped for our loan.  Well after 15 min. of sitting there with a loan officer that didn't understand her printer and probably printed out about 10 copies of various things, we finally left.
I took it home, scanned it to the mortgage company, and it wasn't good enough.  Plus we needed to wait until Monday so Aaron's last paycheck would show up.
So I took all the kids again yesterday, worked with a different lady and she printed up our bank statement many different ways, but for some reason, because Aaron's paycheck hadn't been in there long, and it was still pending, her computer would not print the one part we needed...Aaron's last check.  UGH!  She did print me a page showing our total balance which was enough to cover closing. I emailed it to the mortgage company....Still not enough.
By this time it was around noon and we were closing in 3 hours.. I had been to the bank twice and I really doubted that this bank would give me anything different the 3rd time.
On a side note, while waiting in line for my cashiers' check the teller at the drive thru asked the customer in the car if she had a nickel because she didn't have change! the bank doesn't have a nickel change? I thought that was funny.
Finally, I printed off my account page from my computer (why cant the bank pull up the same thing I can, I don't know) and was going to drive it to the bank and get them to sign it.  We also printed off Aaron's pay stub.  Emailed both of these things to the mortgage company and they finally said that would due.
Mom watched all the kids, so Aaron and I put the seats down in the Montero and filled it with boxes since we were planning on going straight to the house.  Unloaded that, came home, took the boys to Mom's to spend the night and filled up the jeep, borrowed trailer, and the van with boxes and took another load. 
This morning I have to do some more HR stuff at the new hospital I am working at, then back home again and probably packing more.  We will probably rent a UHaul Friday and finish it all off then. 
And this house has 3 bathrooms.  33333333
Not 1 like we have been using for the last 6 months!  No more doing the potty dance in the hallway waiting for someone to get done.
We still have about 2 weeks worth of school left, so we are skipping this week. I guess this will be our Spring break because I think if I tried to do school this week, I would go crazy!  So we will start back next week.  Then be done for a while!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Aaron's Home!!!!

I never did post that he was gone because I don't like to publish when my husband is out of town. He left 16 days ago to go to a wildfire in Florida.  So blessed to have him home.  We miss him so much.
Spent a while packing the kitchen today, since we could be moving in less than a week. I really want to move our stuff asap, but I am not sure when we will get the help to move.
When we moved into this rental house, Aaron and I did the ENTIRE thing alone.  UGH!!!! Our couch is sooo heavy.  When we got it from a distant relative, it was so hard to get into our last house that I told Aaron that I refuse to move that beast again.  Well, never say never, he didn't want to ask anyone for help moving and I couldn't just stand there and let him move it all by himself.    I think if I gave him the go ahead, he would get me to help him again. 
When we moved into this house in December, the girls were in TN at Aaron's parents.  Aaron and I got the UHaul at 7am, I helped him load it until 9am, then went and picked up the boys from Mom's because she had to be at work at 1030, Aaron met me with the completely full UHaul at the new house. We put the boys in their high chairs, gave them snacks and proceded to unload the entire UHaul alone. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Anyway, I am getting excited about the move.  A little overwhelmed with other stuff going on, like trying to finish school for the year, me starting a new job in May at a new hospital, moving, Aaron being out of town the last 16 days.  Whew!!!
Tomorrow the plan is to go to the zoo!!!!
We haven't been in forever.  Aaron gets two days off to rest from working 16 days straight.  So, off to the zoo tomorrow then packing and preparing to move on Thursday.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Who's a dork?

The ladies in our class at church do a different activity each month. This is the first time I have done something with them. About a month ago, they announced they were going to see Hunger Games together. I had only seen a piece of the commercial and didn't even realize there was a book out there. I wasn't going to sign up, but Aaron gave me the stink eye in class when I passed the signup sheet on by and whispered in my ear "you can't expect to make friends if you don't do anything with them" So after class I went ahead and signed up AND paid up front" I am so glad I did.
I did have to ride in the middle seat of the carpool, not the front, but I did pretty well and just had a tiny hint of motion sickness starting by the time we got there. But then the movie started. UGH!!!! A whole lot of camera panning around and also bouncing cameras and I knew I was in for it. I made it almost 2 hours into the movie before I had to go out and take a dramamine. I am such a dork. I felt awful. But it kicked in and I felt quite a bit better. We walked around at the outside mall for about an hour afterward and that really helped. Fresh air, no motion. But even now, my head is swimmy and I am a little nauseous. Normally, I have to sleep before the motion sickness goes away. I guess my brain has to reset.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Where are you, tax refund?

We paper filed our taxes this year on Feb. 29. Had to do paper because of the adoption credits. Anyway, according to their website, we were supposed to get our return back on April 17.
I eagerly awaited this date, excitedly, wondering which adoption loan to pay off first.
Then April 17 came and went and nothing in our bank account. And our status on the IRS webpage now stated that our taxes were being processed and they had taken the date off.
Then we get letters today, stating that they are going to spend up to 45 days reviewing our taxes and we should hear from them within 45 days. Well, that is just more interest we pay on our adoption loans.
I am slightly irritated. We did everything correct and Aaron did a very detailed outline of each adoption receipt we had. I guess ours just came up for review. I know this is very common from reading all of our adoption yahoo group emails last year. But I was hoping that we would have gotten OUR money back speedily and without a big mess. So much for hoping...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why didn't I try this before?

Ok, Ethan is now 17 months old. I would guess for the last 10 months he has been home, he has screamed each and every time we leave him in Bible class. Seriously Ethan, you really don't have to scream. I know you love me and crave my company and want me to feel wanted, so you decide to scream like I am pulling off your toenails one by one. But you don't really have to do it. Give it up..Please! Normally, he is just fine until we make it in the classroom, and we put him down or hand him over.
His teachers always tell us that he is fine almost immediately after we are out of sight and he even gets down, plays and enjoys himself.
I know my children are exceptionally intelligent ;). So tonight, when we got to church and I was unbuckling Ethan, I said 'Ethan, do NOT throw a fit when you go to class. Do NOT scream when I leave you in class. " And he was smiling, pointing at me going "no, no, no" like he does when I tell him not to do something.
We get to the outside of class and I again told him the same speech "DO NOT throw a fit when I drop you off"
We walk in and there are no teachers so I got his bag hung up before one of the teachers walked in.
I again told him not to throw a fit while I handed him over to the teacher. Of course he is master of the pouty lip and started to breath heavy like he does when he really wants to throw a fit. I kept telling him 'do not scream" don't throw a fit" I will be back"
And guess what....
Not a peep, I left, he didn't scream and it left me wondering that perhaps he just needed permission not to go insane when we left.

Friday, April 13, 2012

They Accepted Our Offer!!!!!!

Picture of the front of the house.
Below is a picture from the front porch.

Above is the picture from the back porch.

I am so excited! There is soooo much space in this house. So much room to fill with more children! And because it was a foreclosure, we got it for a great price. We will hopefully close at the end of this month or the first of May. And it is in another county, because we really really wanted to get out of our current county.
It will only be about 30 min. from Aaron's work and about 15 minutes from church. More pictures later when I get back over there. I haven't seen the house in 2 weeks and I hope to go over there for a while when we get our home inspection done.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Have we bought a house yet? Who knows...

Well, we made an offer on this particular house 2 weeks ago yesterday. And we still don't know. We have offered, they have counteroffered, over and over. Saturday morning, the bank told us what they HAD to have, and with some minor adjustments, we were able to get to that point and make our final offer. But we had to wait for the termite man to go visit the house. Our final offer was turned in on Tuesday afternoon. I was hoping that since with this offer the bank gets what it HAS to have from us in order to sell the house, that we would hear back in a timely manner. Yet here it is, almost 48 hours later and still no word from them. UGH!!! Seriously, people, do you not understand that I dont do well waiting!
When we first started working on this foreclosure, our realtor was telling us about a client of hers that had been in negotiations over a foreclosure for over a month. I thought that seemed crazy at the time. But now that I realize the bank spends 3 days at least to make a decision, that is believable.
In other news, the boys spent the day and last night with Mom. We had some stuff to do with our homeschool coop, plus I am trying to do extra school every day in order to get done with our curriculum and be done by the 2nd week in May.
The girls are going to TN with Aaron's parents on Saturday. I really want to work 3 days next week. Still no tax return and with us possibly buying a house at the end of the month, I really need to work some.
I am hoping to work full time this summer once we are done with school. That is just 3 days a week, but I would like to kind of build a buffer for wintertime.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I had a terrible dream...Are you having it to and don't realize it?

I just woke up a few minutes ago, so this blog post might be a little crazy and it may still be the sleep talking.
Here is my dream...
Part of this dream I was walking around in a hospital gown, which I guess should have clued me in. I was looking all around the rooms for my bag of clothes I had brought, so I could take a shower. It had been a week or two since I had been there/worked and the clothes had been moved.
While standing there talking to some of the ladies I worked with, all of a sudden I had a flashback to a few weeks prior.
In my mind I went through an entire birth scene where I had given birth to a baby girl, then they had whisked her away. And I thought " I just gave birth a week or two ago...I have a baby!" For some reason I had forgotten.
And in this dream, I broke down in front of the other nurses, screaming that I had a baby and I didn't even know when exactly she was born, that I didn't know if she was ok, that I had only held her once and she didn't even have a name!
In my mind, I went through all the excuses as to how in the world I could have forgotten that I had a baby out there. I kept thinking "maybe I was too busy, maybe I was thinking about work,...Etc"
It was an awful feeling. One of those dreams that feel so real that you wake up feeling mentally horrible.
So in my dream, I finally found my purse through my tears and went to find the Montero. I went through 3 different parking lots, because I couldn't remember where I had parked it. The whole time I was running through the parking lot, sobbing and trying to punch numbers into my cell phone to call Aaron to remind him of our baby. Then I was trying to think of the number to the hospital where they would have taken her to tell them that her mom was on her way, but I couldn't ever remember the number.
Finally I found the Montero and there were about 6 mechanics working on it, it was all taken apart. And there sat Aaron in the parking lot with the other kids, watching the car being fixed while in the van. I jumped in the van and spilled out the story of our baby girl. By this point I was hysterical.. "she's probably in foster care by now, they think I have abandoned her, she doesn't even have a name, what in the world is going on with the Montero?"
Aaron showed me how he had everything fixed on the Montero at once and it was a bill of $12,000. AAAHHHHH!!!! He was so proud that he had thought to fix it all. I was thinking how he could be thinking of staying here watching the Montero be fixed and spending that much money on that when our baby was not with us.
Then I woke up...
Ok, here is the interpretation that came to me right after I replayed the dream in my mind.

Isn't this happening to millions of Christians every day?
I have seen estimated anywhere from 147,000,000-163,000,000 orphans in this world today.
Does God not have a plan for each and every one of them.?
In my mind, there are 147,000,000 Christians that get up every day and go on with their lives and don't even realize that their child was born 2 weeks ago, 2 months ago, 2 years ago, etc.
How can they not realize that their child was born???? Is it because they are "too busy" to read study the Bible and realize that God commands all of them to take care of orphans?
Can they not go and get the child because they spend too much on material things, like Aaron fixing the Montero when it was running already?
Even worse, are they happy with their lives the way they are and even though there is a child that God ordained for their family, they would rather pretend it doesn't exist and let foster care, an orphanage, or the street take care of their child?
Are they figurativly sticking their fingers in their ears screaming "I can't hear you, I can't hear you" when they read what God says in the Bible about taking care of orphans.

Then I thought.."Karen is this dream for you too?"
Did I just have a little girl born not too long ago? Is there a baby that needs me to claim it and name it? Is that why I didn't have any pregnancy symptoms in my dream?
Yes, we plan to adopt again. When, I do not know.
The girls are ready. surprisingly, after being SO NOT READY just a few months ago, I think I could start the process again tomorrow. I told Sue at our adotion agency a few months ago, while she was doing her weekly CHAT she does with Ethiopian adopters, when she was joking with me that it was time for us to adopt again, that we were for sure wanting to adopt again. I told her Aaron says a few years, but I thought that it would be sooner, but I was going to let God let Aaron know.
The girls and I were looking at the waiting child list at our adoption agency the other day. There was the cutest little 4 year old boy that we all fell in love with. The girls were like "can we get him?"
I told them, there are a few things that must happen before it would even be possible to even start again.
#1 we need a bigger house. Not just because we "want" more room. No, there is no way we would get a homestudy approved living where we are now, with 4 kids sharing one room and Ethan sleeping in the living room. Hopefully we will buy a house soon...I am hoping today.
#2 we have to get our tax return back and pay off the last adoption. Even with the HUGE tax return we will be getting this year, it won't pay everything off. But we should have it paid off soon after, I hope. We are supposed to have our return by April 17. We filed in February, but since we had adoption in our taxes, we had to paper file and because it is such a large amount we are getting back, I think the IRS is going to take it's time.

But God knows what we need and all in His perfect time! And God knows who He plans for this family and who knows, maybe she was born just a few weeks ago. Be neat to find out in the next year or two.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Still don't know about the house?

Well, we still do not know if we are going to get the house that we have been making offers on since last Wednesday.
We had made our new offer on Friday night. Finally, Tuesday night around 7:30 the realtor said she just got off the phone with our bank and they wouldn't budge on their price they had counteroffered us.
See, when we looked at the house we noticed that one of the air conditioner units had been stolen. So one of the conditions we asked for was working air conditioners.
Well, the bank which owns the house apparently called the most expensive AC person around and said that they needed to go ahead and replace both ACs and that would cost the bank $12000 and therefore they could not go down on their price.
However, the realtor called the man that just happened to put her an AC in not to long ago for less than $4000. She and this man went to the house today and he checked them out and said he could replace the missing part on the bad one and update the other one for a total of $2000.
So with that information, we made one last offer and hopefully will get the house. That was a little after lunch today.
Praying we at least will have a decision by Friday. This not knowing is driving me nuts!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy # 10 to Natalie!

We had a great party at the house yesterday! Natalie invited 6 girls from 3 different homeschool families from our coop. Then Aaron and I invited some old friends from our previous church who we haven't seen since July! We didn't tell the girls and they were so excited to see them get out of the car. It was a lot of fun! Happy Birthday Natalie! I love you!