The Big Apple

A few weeks ago, Jenna got to take part in something that if Steve were working she would have to miss.  So, another hidden blesssing of Steve's unemployment.

Jenna got to go to the Big Apple.  Not really.  Not NYC. But Vacation Bible School (VBS).  Our church puts on the best VBS ever and it takes hundreds (as in like 400) volunteers to pull it off, but it is so well worth it!

My good friend Zach, who is the children's minister at our regional campus (and is the absolute best) was the VBS minister.  On Friday night, the families were invited to hear the songs and lessons the kids learned. 
Jenna had a great time with her friend and so many of them she hadn't seen in a while since we attend our regional campus church.  Next year, they've committed to having VBS there instead and I can't wait!


The Missing Tooth

Back at Easter, a big chunk of one of Jenna's teeth broke off.  Being the dental freak-out that I am, I freaked out and called the dentist the next day.  As an aside, I love our dental group.  They are absolutely fabulous with the kids and they are so good with the neurotic parents.  The dentist called me right back and said this was common and it was probably because the tooth was loose.  He said if it wasn't bothering her, we could wait to bring her in until her regular check up in June.

I thought he was crazy, but sure enough, when Jenna tried it, it was loose!  Unfortunately for her, it wasn't loose enough and didn't come out before her June appointment.  They discovered 3 little cavities and the x-ray showed her permanent tooth above this one was coming in crooked.  They said to make an appointment to have it pulled and the cavities filled.  The problem was that they couldn't get us in until August.  And the only day in August was the first full day of school at 9am which would means, she'd miss a big chunk of the day.  I didn't feel that was a good decision so I rescheduled last Friday for the next available date in September (did I mention, I'm not the ONLY person who thinks they're great!?)

Well, when I came home Friday night, Jenna shows me her mouth and now her permanent tooth is growing out the side of her gum.  Remember me saying I was a dental freak-out?  Well, I did it again and they got Jenna in for the extraction on Monday afternoon.  It took them all of 2 minutes once she was numb and out it came.  And the best news?  They said that permanent tooth was likely to straighten up fairly easily.  Again, apparently, growing teeth sideways through your gums is common.  Who knew?

In the end, the tooth is gone and all is well.  Cavities to be filled in September and then we're all set until December!


Walkin' in Memphis

Several weeks ago, my little family took a weekend jaunt to Memphis.  I've of course been there before, but never did all the Memphis stuff you do as a tourist.

We went there because Steve's bowling league was in the finals so we went there for a tournament.  Unfortunately, they didn't win, but it was a great time anyway.
That is Steve's brother in law, Bob and sister Deanne in the middle  Deanne was one of the first to find out Steve and I were dating and despite our age differences encouraged us.  She is also the one going with me to China.  I have to admit, I'm really looking forward to it.  I have always enjoyed being around her and I think she will be the best traveling companion outside of Steve.  Plus, if Jenna gets to go, Deanne won't hesitate to parent her when I have my hands full.  And I definitely need someone who is not afraid to put Jenna in her place!  LOL!  Anyway I digress.

Jenna was anxious to go swimming in the pool at the hotel.  We barely had enough time but Jenna managed to get an hour or two in the pool while Steve was practicing on Friday night after we arrived.
We had Saturday morning free before the tournament on Saturday so we took that opportunity to pick up a friend of Jenna's from school who had moved over Christmas break last year.  It was so nice for them to get to see each other!

Our first stop was the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks.  I'll have to admit, I was a tiny bit disappointed in what that turned out to be.  I did like that they kept people from standing around in front of you while you were trying to watch.

Even though it was hot as the blazes, we took a short walk up the street to go somewhere I had NEVER gone before...
It's not quite the same as what I'm sure it looks like at night, but I was glad to have gotten to do it.
After the tournament (which was very close BTW), we went to the other team's bowling banquet and had dinner.  It was fun and we won lots of door prizes.  We got up pretty early on Sunday so we could be back in time for a church luncheon.  It was a good weekend and we definitely needed the time away.  Jenna got to see her friend and I got to go somewhere I'd never gone before.  The best part was, the league paid for the trip, so we were only out some gas and dinner money!


Update on my friend Darlene

Many of you read this post late last week about my dear friend Darlene.  Some of you may have seen my Facebook status on Saturday night about "getting my game face on".  That was in reference to Darlene's 40th birthday party.  There were probably 75 people there and kids galore.  And her sister took pictures of everyone there with their game faces!  Hopefully in an effort to make her smile during those rough days.

Well, those rough days start today.  Today, Darlene starts chemo.  Anyone who knows anything at all about chemo should know this is going to be a very rough road to walk.  For Darlene and for her family.  Right now, it looksl like about 20 weeks of chemo to be followed by surgery.  And while we know that is a very long time to deal with this, whatever it takes to beat it is well worth it. 

But.  If you have a moment, will you pop over to her Caring Bridge site and leave some encouragement?  I cannot imagine how terrified walking in for your first chemo treatment would be.  And if you know someone who has been through this...send them to her site too.  There's nothing better than hearing advice from someone who's "been there, done that". 


Pet Peeves

I thought I might just take a moment to share with you my top 10 pet peeves.  I'd love to hear yours.  I realized in writing these out that several of them have to do with driving.  Apparentl, I'm a pretty happy person until I get in the car and then I turn into a raving lunatic.  Which is mighty unfortunate considering I'm on the road at a minimum of 2 hours a day.

So without furtho ado:

10.  People that stare at Steve and Katie.  You would be amazed at how rude people can be (or maybe not).  I'd rather you ask a stupid question because at least then we can educate you, but to just stare like you've never seen a dog before is rude. 

9.  Drivers that act like they are in the Daytona 500 during rush hour.  Seriously.  Weaving in and out of traffic will not always get you further faster.

8.  Grocery shoppers who are oblivious that there is anyone else in the store with them.  You know the type...they are standing there, with their cart in the aisle, staring at the food, all the while, you are trying to squeeze through beside her trying not to knock the display down.  Hey, PAY ATTENTION!  You aren't the only one shopping!

7.  School drop off line.  There is one woman at our school who drops her son off about the same time I'm there dropping Jenna off.  She will pull into the drop off line about 1/2 way, put her vehicle in park, get out, walk (slowly) around the car, open the son's door, wait for him to get out (slowly), close the door behind him and then WALK HIM INTO THE SCHOOL.  I drop JG off early enough that there's not really a long line of cars, but by the time she goes through this ritual, cars are backed up onto the road.  If you are going to walk your 3rd grader into the school every day, then, oh, I don't know...park in a PARKING SPOT and get out of the drop off line!

6.  I despise it when people make a joke about you but then just keep on either at that moment or every time they see you.  I can laugh at myself with the best of them (heck, there's a lot to laugh at!) but it's funny once or twice.  After that, it's just annoying.

5.  People who drive around with their rear view mirror facing them.  That's NOT what it is for.  Are you so vain that you have to look at yourself when you drive?

4.  People who in the cafeteria at work who don't move all the way down to the end of the line while waiting on their food.  Do they SEE the line of people behind them?  Move on down PEOPLE!

3.  On the tail of number 4, I hate it when I'm standing in line at the cafeteria or anywhere else and the people who are standing behind me are standing RIGHT behind me.  You know, like you can't even shift your weight or else you are stepping on them  Get outta my personal space!

2.  Drivers during rush hour who go below the speed limit.  I sit in A LOT of traffic since I have a lengthy commute.  I have realized lately that ALL that backup is due to this bonehead in the very front who is riding along at a leisurely speed of 55mph in a 70mph zone with 2 miles of space in front of them and the next car.  Hey, guess what?  Some of us have worked all day.  Let's move it along.

1.  Women putting on their makeup while driving.  Now, hear me...I have put on lipstick while sitting at a red light. I have foofed (is that a word?) my hair while sitting at a light.  But I have never done a full on makeup job while sitting at a light (unless I wasn't driving).  My opinion is that you should get up early enough to take care of that or do it when you get where you are going.  Sorry for any of you that do this, but it's dangerous and I don't want to wait behind you while you are beautifying yourself in the mirror. 

So, what have we learned?  Clearly no one is perfect like me.  And I driving issues.  Or, perhaps just ISSUES.  Obviously.

Thank you and that's all.


July 4

I am super delinquent in posting our July 4 fun!  Typically, we go to Pegram at the crack of dawn to watch the town parade.  This year we decided to stay here in our city and actually participate in our parade.  It was our first time, but most families have been participating for several years.  It's nothing spectacular, just a bunch of kids riding their bikes or scooters or whatever.  They are supposed to be decorated and this is our morning-of decorating job.
There were plenty of friends we knew there and it really was pretty cool.  It was hot as blazes though and it was only like 9 in the morning! 

We came back home and rested for a while and then headed to Pegram for lunch and spending some time with the Taylor family.  It was so hot, we spent most of the time in the house playing with the babies, but we did get out and see some of the fun.

We left Pegram and headed to the fireworks extravaganza at our friends' house.  Take a look at the arsenal of fireworks...
I have never in my life seen such craziness!  There was a special table made where about 10 of these tube could be set and then 10 men would move forward and light one and they'll all go off at the same time.  I kid you not.  Seeing these men walking to the table with their lighters, lighting these explosives and then running like girls to get out of the way.  It was SO fun!  I tried to get a picture, but it was dark.  The best I could do was this:

The kids had a blast too.  And luckily, there were no injuries to child or man!  It was a really, REALLY great time.  But we were worn out when we got home!

All in all, the day was busy but very fun.  And of course, I got plenty of pics of my own little firecracker!  :)


Did you guess right?

On Saturday, I asked those of you who frequent my blog if you noticed any subtle differences in my blog page.

Several of you got it right!  Congratulations to Joy, Christy and Jennifer! 

Those folks noticed that over here in my sidebar ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>>> the icon for our adoption agency has changed!

After lots and LOTS of prayers and tears and begging God to open or close doors, we have left our former agency.  Please hear me when I say, there was nothing wrong with the agency we were with.  They are a well-known and reputable agency.  And because of that reputation, they are large.  With lots of families just like us waiting for children.

But the wait, we were told, was going to be a year or more.  I know that there are some adoptive parents here that waited that long and longer on a referral and who are probably rolling their eyes right now.  However, you must understand that Steve is 52 years old.  We don't have time to wait another year for a referral and then another 5-6 months to travel.  We just don't have that luxury.

When we found out the wait had increased so much, I sought the wise advice of my friends over on the Rumor Queen boards (hi friends!).  And much to my surprise, instead of telling me I was overreacting, they told me story upon story about MANY agencies that have no waiting list and can match almost immediately.  There were 3 or 4 agencies (many of whom I had never even heard of) that kept coming up over and over again.  So, I started to research.

And what I found was a Christian agency in Birmingham, AL by the name of Lifeline Adoption.  They have been absolutely wonderful so far.  They have worked hard to get us moved over and have even gone to bat with us to take care of some issues.  We are so pleased that God has led us to them. 

Currently, our dossier is still in China with Lifeline's China coordinator (who actually LIVES in China) and we are finishing up some paperwork.  Once that is done, they will take the dossier back to the adoption authorities there and we'll get a new log-in date (LID).  Once we have that magic date, we will be again eligible to be matched.  And this time the wait isn't a year.  :)  We don't know how long the wait will be, but we hope to know more soon. 

Until we get that new LID, there is the potential for something to go wrong.  So please pray that this doesn't happen.  I'll have more updates later.  Until then...



In a prior blog, I mentioned my sweet friend Darlene who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  She has had an MRI and unfortunately, the spot was bigger than they originally thought.  Tuesday she has an appointment with an oncologist to get their plan of action.

I know so many of you who read my blog don't know Darlene or her family.  But I also know that many of you have either walked this journey  yourselves or have walked it with a loved one.  And so many of you will pray for her even though you don't know her. 

So that's what this post is about.  I want to link you up to Darlene's Caring Bridge site.  I want you to add that link to your favorites and visit often.  I want you to go to her guestbook and leave a message that you are praying for her.  And I want you to tell her I sent you.  And that even though you don't know her, you are sending up prayers for her just because I asked you to. 

Because this means more to me than I can put into words here. But what I can say...is THANK YOU.

Darlene's Caring Bridge


What's Different?

Some of you frequent visitors might have noticed something a little different on my blog.  You'd have to be pretty sharp to recognize the change.  Take a look....it's like looking for Waldo, though if you are quick, you'll see clues...

If you think you know what the change is, leave a comment.  I'll recognize those of you who guess right in a future blog!


Happy Birthday!

Today is a special gir's birthday! Hannah, Rachel's daughter, turned 8 today.  So a big ole

to a very special friend to my girl!


Quick update

I promise there will be many more exciting posts to come, but just wanted to pop in quickly before the Benedryl kicks in and I'm down for the count.  For some reason, my sinuses have been crazy kicking my butt today and so I'm trying to get them under control before a sinus infection settles in.

Adoption:  There's been a lot, but not a lot going on.  We do NOT have a referral yet, but we have had some interesting developments.  At this time, I don't want to say much more, but hopefully I can share soon.  It will be a good thing, I hope!

Steve:  Still job searching.  There seems to be many more job openings that he's applying for, but we are finding the ideal true that to get a position in a company, you really have to know someone that already works there.  We've had a few friends offer to take in his resume, or try and get him an interview, but nothing yet.  If you are in the area and work at a large company which might have an entry level position or willing to train and wouldn't mind forwarding a resume, just let me know.

Summer:  Wha?  Where?  I blinked and the whole thing is almost gone.  Does anyone else feel this way?  I've been meaning to get Jenna together with some of her friends from school over the summer and it has literally NOT HAPPENED.  I didn't feel like we were super busy, but the weeks have just flown by.  It's been a good summer so far.  We still have our short vacation to Atlanta coming up soon and Jenna is really looking forward to it.

Prayers:  I have a very specific and special prayer request.  If you follow me on Twitter or we are friends on Facebook, you know how desperately I love my church and even moreso, my Lifegroup.  Our group is very close and our leaders, Darlene and Brandon are two of the most genuine people you would EVER meet.  They'd "give you the shirt off their backs", as my mother would say.  Last week, Darlene found out she has stage 2 breast cancer.  Y'all she's not even 40 yet.  DID YOU HEAR THAT?!  She's MY age.  And she's a mother to 3.  And she could easily be living my life.  And this terrifying news has shaken me to my core.  It's like Rachel said the other day, "I'm not ready for this".  I know Darlene wasn't ready for it and none of us that are close to her are either.  But, the outlook is excellent and they'll know more about what exactly that means as they receive the results of some recent tests.  Until then, may I ask you all to just whisper a prayer for this sweet family?  Cancer is no fun to battle but I am honored to support them during this journey and am anxiously awaiting the day we celebrate complete healing.

Benedryl:  Yes, it's working.  I am trying to think about what else I might have to say and all I can think about is how I am looking forward to the bed.  And yes, it's 9:00pm and I'm officially O-L-D.  Great.


Don't Leave Me!

I know I've been absent from the blog lately, but it's not because there's not been much going on!  It's been a busy, and fast summer!

I have personal updates, adoption updates and family updates...I'll try to get to a few of those this weekend.

I just wanted to ask you all (all 2 of you!) not to give me out!  I'm gonna update soon!  I promise!!!


Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to my best friend in the world!  The whole nation celebrates you today, baby!  I love you!


Anniversary Recap

Yes, it's a month late, but Steve and I celebrated 15 years of wedded bliss on June 1, so I felt it was worth doing a little mini-post.

Steve insisted on coming to have lunch with me.  Since we were going out (as opposed to eating in the cafeteria), he was supposed to call me when he got close so I could come down.  Instead, he shows up with Jenna in my door with these...
And these...
Such a sweet man.  The first words out of his mouth was, "I bought these with cash so there won't be a bill to pay!"  Ahhh, how 15 years changes things!!!


Living on a Farm

This is going to be a totally and completely random post, so just bear with me.

The area I live in is the perfect combination of city and country.  I live in a subdivion where the homes are all on quarter acre lots and we know most of our neighbors.  However, where I live, on a quite night, I can hear the cows mooing in the fields of a nearby farm.

Each season, I see the baby calves in the fields and pass the fields of hay, wheat or corn being harvested.  And that's why I love my city! 

I've always wanted to live on a farm.  Well, OK, I'm not so sure about living on a farm, but maybe just knowing someone who does so that I could go out and pet the animals, pick some corn and just enjoy nature.

It just seems that is such a simple way of life.  Someone told me recently they knew of a family who is completely self sufficient on their farm.  Wow.  That's pretty impressive.  There's definitely something to be said about that.


A Bucketful of Faith

A few weeks ago, we had to sit down with our pastor for an "interview" as part of us applying for a grant to help with adoption expenses.

During our time together, I mentioned how I could fill a book with all the ways God has taken care of us during the two years Steve has been unemployed.  About how time after time, God has always provided just what we needed but then the minute something comes up, I immediately start to worry how we are going to make ends meet etc.  I told our pastor, I felt like the father in Mark 9 who brings his ill son to Jesus for healing.  As the father speaks with Jesus, he says, "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." (v.22) Jesus then says (v.23) "'If you can'? Everything is possible for one who believes."  And the next verse describes me completely:

"Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

It's like I look back at all the times God has provided and then immediately doubt and have to exclaim, HELP ME OVERCOME MY UNBELIEF!

After this, my pastor told me something that I think is worth repeating.  He said in the Bible where it refers to having faith the size of a mustard seed, but that can move mountains (Matthew 17:20), when Jesus was speaking , he was standing in front of a man-made mountain.  One that the leadership at the time had ordered built.  Back in that day, there were no bulldozers or large earth-moving equipment to build such a mountain.  So how did they do it?

They took a shovelful of dirt from one place to another.  One shovelful at a time until the mountain was built.  His point was that sometimes all we can do is get through this day, this minute a bucketful of faith at a time.  Praying that just for today, God will ease my worries about our finances (or lack thereof!) by filling up my bucket with faith.  And then asking for another bucketful for the next worry or concern.  And then moving the mountain of worry in my life just one bucketful of faith at a time.

I have tried to keep this in mind over the past few weeks and it really does help. 

Sometimes all you need is just one bucketful of faith.