Next stop China

Next stop China
Next Stop China!

Friday, March 30, 2012


I forgot to mention this yesterday.
We showed Seth the new kittens and he promptly called them puppycats. I thought that was cute.
We STILL have not heard from our realtor and the bank about our offer on Wednesday morning. The longer we wait the more I fear someone else will make a higher offer. Of course the bank is thinking the longer they wait the more likely someone will come with a higher offer. Especially with the weekend coming up where people can go look at houses. Sigh! I guess we will wait and see. I wonder how long a bank can sit on an offer without giving any feedback at all.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Still waiting on the bank...

Well, it is Thursday night and we are still waiting to see if the bank is going to accept the offer we made Wednesday morning. So frustrating.
Our realtor told us Wednesday that since it is a local bank, we should hear by the afternoon. That was yesterday morning. Then we got the news at 5pm last night, that one of the people that has to make the decision was out all day yesterday, so they would have us a counter offer asap this am. So I anxiously have been waiting all day to hear.
Finally at lunchtime, I texted our realtor "Are they trying to kill me with anticipation?" She texted back "I know, me too"
Then I texted her at 5 pm to ask if she had any updates. She finally texted me back a few hours later and said that we will hopefully hear tomorrow and that no one else had made an offer. That is good news.
What I worry about is if they don't accept our offer and then counter offer and we don't accept that offer and we make another offer, if we go with the history of how long it takes this bank to make a decision it will be way into next week. I just worry that someone else will come along and offer a lot more than us and poof, it's gone.
Of course, praying that if we are meant to be at this house, God will work it out and if not, that I will not be too disappointed.
I had been working on a grocery list today and was hoping to wait a few more days to go. But Aaron came home and said he was completely out of food for his lunches. So I decided to just go get it all. I called Mom to see if she wanted to ride with me to Aldi which is 20+ min. away. Aldi is so much cheaper than other stores, but it is far away. And they don't always have stuff I need... like rice milk etc. But if I have a list where Aldi should have it all, then I try to go there.
Mom came over and I told Aaron I would take one of the boys. He chose Seth to go with us. Seth was so good. I told Aaron "other than naming everything in the store, he did real well" He loves to ride in the cart. He seemed to enjoy it. He really is so sweet.
When he gets in trouble, he will come up to me, without prompting and say "sorry Mama " and hugs my leg.
Our cat Cotton has been hugely pregnant for a while now. I knew she was going to drop some babies soon. She is so lazy anyway. The other day Aaron came in and said she was sleeping standing up. And then he complained that she makes no effort to get out of your way if she is lying on the steps and you are trying to get in.
Well, yesterday and then today, she walked into the house. She has not done that at this new house. Today she walked in and started to go behind some boxes. I threw her out, thinking she might have been looking for a place for her kittens.
Then she stood at the door, meowing at us. So I went out and fixed a box. She jumped right in and had the first kitten less than 30 min. later.
Total of 4 and I can't believe that she didn't have more. I think this is the biggest I have ever seen her.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Still House Hunting

Finally, yesterday we found out that we did not get the house we made an offer on. Took them long enough. However, another foreclosure came open yesterday afternoon. We went and looked at it and loved it. We made an offer on it this morning.
Our realtor thought we would know something by this afternoon. However, at 5pm, she called and said that the bank was working on a counter offer and we would know something in the morning. So we will see.
This morning was bad. I was trying to work on paperwork for the realtor. I had asked the girls to watch the boys so I could get it done. Seth was on the little potty in the living room and Ethan was screaming and I kept hearing doors slam.
So I go look and the girls had all gone into their bedroom, closing Ethan and Seth out when they were supposed to be watching them.
I was about to come apart. I called Mom to complain. She had a doctor's appt this morning, so she called me back when she was done and offered to let me bring the kids over and have some time alone.
She also wanted to treat me to a pedicure.
So nice.
So I brought the kids over and went to the mall to go shopping. I think I have 3 short sleeve shirts that are not stained that I rotate wearing to church and these are getting old. Plus it was time for my twice annual shopping trip. I got a few things.
Then instead of a pedicure, I went to Walmart in town and got a hair cut. I like it.
More on the new house tomorrow hopefully.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Great Quote and Stress

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man
stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit
belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and
again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does
actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great
devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the
end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least
fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.President
Theodore Roosevelt
Ok, I saw this quote on someone else's blog tonight and thought it was great. Whew! What a year it has been. This is how overwhelmed I have been. A year ago today we met Ethan for the first time. A year ago yesterday, we met Seth. And it just now hit me.
What a whirlwind year.
March 2011 Took our entire family to Ethiopia. That in and of itself was a feat. Met our boys for the first time. Did not pass court because paperwork on the Ethiopian side was not there yet.
April 2011 Missing boys. Finally passed court on April 20. Officially became a mother of 5.
May 2011 I don't know the exact date, but by this time the well at our house had become so low that all we had enough to do was wash hands, drink it, and wash 1 load of dishes a day by hand.
June 2011 Went with sister in law and neice to pick up boys. Spent two nights in Dubai. Flew out to go to embassy to bring boys home. Spent 3 nights in Ethiopia then spent 36 miserable hours traveling to get home.
July 2011 Finally admitted to ourselves that we were not really welcome or embraced where we were attending church. I think we had lived in denial for a long time. No bulletin announcement that the boys were home. Nothing mentioned that we were proud parents again. So much more went on, but that is not for now. Just saying that it was a sad time and still is. Also finally made the very hard decision (for me) to put our house up for sale.
August 2011 Well finally went dry. BOOOO!!!! Now that we had 7 people living in the house, there was not one drop of water flowing through the pipes. Which means taking the kids 15 min. to Mom's for a bath whenever they need it. Filling a huge pot with rain water to heat up on stove to bathe when going to Mom's was too inconvenient. Hauling in and buying tons of gallons of water and paper products since the dishes either had to be taken to Mom's to wash or washed with boiled rain water. Filling up gallons and gallons of rain water into milk jugs to carry into the house and store in tubs for flushing toilets. Not to mention taking ALL of our laundry to Mom's every day. Never being able to just leave the house with 5 kids. Always making sure the laundry went with us. In and out with tons of clothes baskets, water jugs, etc.
September 2011 Other than 3 birthdays this month, I am not sure what all went on. It is a blurr, but I am sure the lugging of kids, water jugs and laundry kept me busy. No to mention homeschooling and soccer.
October 2011 Aaron goes out of town for 24 days. Makes extra money. We thought it would be worth it. I suppose it was. During this time, Soccer season was in full swing. Which meant me, alone driving all 5 kids to soccer fields 3 nights a week for either practice or games. Kids were on 3 separate teams this year. Yippee! Then the worst of the worst. Stomach virus, husband out of town, 5 kids, no water. Oh yes, that happened. Thankfully the boys were picked up and taken by mom until it went through us 4 girls and they never got it.
November 2011 Ethan turns 1! Thanksgiving and travelling to TN. Basketball starts.
December 2011 Seth turns 2. Christmas and all that entails. We finally move into a house that our friend is letting us rent for dirt cheap. However, even though I can now crawl out of bed and take a shower without dressing and driving to Mom's, it is costing us more money. I guess I didn't mention that on our adoption loans alone, our minimum payments add up to over $1000 a month. Basketball 3 nights a week and often on Saturdays.
January 2012 Utterly stressing out about bills. Trying to work as much as possible, while trying to get our homeschool in each day. We have now run out of savings and things are looking bleak. Miracle of miracles. We get an offer on our house. And we take it! What an awesome burden taken off our shoulders.
February 2012 Trying to potty train Seth. Why did I start this? Can't go back though and undo all that we have done. Looking around for a house
I look back at this past year and see that without God, I believe I might have imploded. I talk to Mom a lot about this. How stressed I am...
How I feel like I haven't been able to truly enjoy the boys since all this other stuff has been thrown at us.
How I feel like I haven't been able to truly enjoy much of anything when it really should have been a very joyful year.
Mom says it is a miracle I haven't completely lost it. I believe she is right because there are many days when I think I might.
But God ALWAYS reminds me of my blessings!
Thank you God for loving me so much every day!

Big Spill

We left the house today and came back to this huge mess. So depressing. I couldn't even deal with it right then. The girls have been helping clean it all afternoon off and on and there is still a huge mess to deal with.
I called the realtor today to see if she had heard anything about our offer. she said nothing. So maybe they are thinking about it. It really is a very low offer. I can only pray we get it at such a good deal. Hopefully we will hear either way tomorrow.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Looking for houses

Been fighting a cold since Tuesday. I was completely stopped up, but now I am to the really sore throat, dry cough, weak phase. Hopefully tomorrow will be the completely better phase.
We have been searching for houses.
I think we have come to the conclusion that in order for us to get a BIG house for our BIG family, at a price we can afford, we will probably have to buy a foreclosure. Which is not a bad idea. We have looked at a few this past 2 weeks.
It is hard to go from 24 acres and almost complete seclusion to looking at houses without much land or seclusion.
We did make an offer on a house on Thursday. It is a foreclosure and it is huge! I think the chances of us getting it are about 5%. Not much.
But I know that if God wants us in this house, anything is possible. I also would have thought it impossible to sell a house with no water, yet we did.
And I pray all the time, God you know we need space and you know we need cheap.
If we get the house I will divulge what a bargain we got it for, but right now, I don't have much hope we will get it.
Actually, our realtor told us Thursday that she thought we had a 100% chance of being rejected. Ha!
She has so little confidence they will accept the offer, she was going to show us more houses that afternoon.
She said it would take a day or two to hear back from the bank. So I assume we will hear something tomorrow.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I will not name names, just in case someone from this town reads this blog. Although I am pretty sure only one person reads it. Shout out to Lauren!!!
Today, I was at an office, speaking to this specific person, who when he found out that we were looking for a new church home 9 months ago, has been badgering us to go to his.
Well, we have been there before, and they throw a wonderful VBS. I will give them that.
There are many reasons why we chose the one we are going to now, and we love it! We have been going there for about 8 months now, and we placed membership about 2 months ago, so we are no longer searching.
And this man knows that, however, whenever he sees Aaron or me, he still sings his church home's praises, and says how he knows we are going ________, but his place has this, this and this, and today he even brought out some bad things he heard about where we chose.
In response to something I said, he then mentions that he himself does not want his children to marry a black person. Not because he feels there is anything wrong with it, but he says it will make their lives hard to have to put up with the stigma.
I agree that there is a stigma, however, how can we fight this stigma by playing into it????
He said that those mixed kids can't help where they came from, yet they are treated differently.
And this is how I answered him....
Do you not think it won't hurt my kids if they grow up and want to date your daughter?
You think it won't hurt them to know that a certain girl can't go out with them because her dad doesn't want her dating boys with more skin pigment?
That isn't the same thing?
I was so mad!!
And here is the stinking inconsistency!!!
In the same 5 minute conversation this man tells me on and on about how we won't have the problems of acceptance in where he goes to church as we did at the last place.
Then says right to my face he doesn't want my kids marrying his!!!!

Am I being too sensitive???
I fumed about this all day. This is the 2nd time in this town that someone has told us, to our face, in so many words, that they don't want their kids marrying ours!!!!!! Just think of what they say behind our backs.
This man also told me something someone said at our old place about us adopting from Africa.
I whined to Mom this afternoon...
"I am so tired of Christians being the most discouraging and nonsupporting of our adoption and especially from the comments we have gotten, I guess they would rather the boys be in the orphanage than in a loving home, all because of skin pigment"
And then I realized...these are not Christians discouraging me... these are people who call themselves that in name only and have no compassion except for themselves!

John 4:20
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

Don't mess with my kids!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Solution to Our Homeschool Chaos

I will admit it, I have been about to pull my hair out doing school this year. It has been soooo hard with the boys who are now 27 months and 16 months old.
They are good boys, but even while being good, they make a ton of noise. I have tried every which way to get school in.
*Try to let all 3 girls work on their work at the same time. This requires me to read instructions for pages, teach new concepts, check to make sure it was done correctly, etc. All the while two little boys are banging toys together, banging heads together, saying "mama watch" on and on and on. I am the type of person who cannot talk or think straight with chaos and noise going on around me. So this hasn't worked real well.
*Send one girl into their bedroom/outside with the boys to watch cartoons/entertain them while I work with the other two then switch around. This normally results in boy meltdowns and fights and screaming within about 2 minutes of closing them up in their bedroom. And if they happen to be getting along, then it is because they are stomping/dancing/yelling loudly etc. and back to my first problem.. I don't think well with noise.
*Wait until noon to start school when the boys go down for their 3 hour nap. Then squeeze in as much as possible in this 3 hour window while being quiet as mice so not to wake the boys up. Unfortunately, by this time of day, we just ate lunch, we all are sleepy and the girls just don't work as fast or effectively starting this late in the day.
After another pulling hair out morning on Monday, I sat on the couch to weigh my options
1. put the girls in school since the chaos is driving me bonkers. (thrown out fast, not an option)
2. put the boys in some kind of Mother's day out/ daycare for the mornings so we can get school done. However, there was the cost involved and the fact that they would most likely bring home a new illness every week.
3.continue in the chaos
Then I came up with a brilliant plan....
I don't know why it didn't come to me earlier.
Mom doesn't work fulltime and needs money. I need a peacefull 2-3 hours each morning for school. I could pay her to watch the boys, it would be cheaper than daycare, it is someone I trust, AND they wouldn't be bringing home illnesses.
So I called her and worked it out where I will pay her to watch the boys every morning for 2-3 hours. After we get up, we will eat breakfast, work a little on chores and then take the boys over to Mom's only a mile away. Then come straight back, work hard on school, get finished in 2-3 hours and go pick the boys up in time for their naps. Eat lunch, put them down for their 3 hour naps and then we can finish any school we have left.
We are on day 2 of this and it is working out wonderfully!!!!
We get done with school well within 3 hours. except maybe some history reading I do myself, so the kids can relax on the couch while I read during naptime.
It is amazing how fast you can do school when you can sit in quiet and focus on the task at hand and not be interrupted 1000 times.
Yesterday, we got done and went to the library, just me and the girls before picking the boys up.
Today, we got done with school and I wanted to walk, it was so pretty, so we packed up the stroller and a bike picked up Seth and went to the park. Left Ethan at Grandma's to take his nap. I walked 2 miles. The kids walked and played for a while and came home and put Seth to bed. So nice to spend the afternoon enjoying the kids/relaxing, etc. instead of rushing to work on school that has drug out all day long. Hope this can continue.