Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pictures!



My smiley little boy on Christmas Eve


Grandpa Hal trying to get Steven interested in his new toy :)




Getting a bottle from Nannie




Meeting Aunt Beth



It's hard work being a little baby! (and apparently a new grandfather too!!)

It's Been a LONG Week

I wrote the on Friday, but for some reason it didn't post!

It's hard to believe that two weeks ago tonight we were meeting with Steven's birthmother and praying that she would choose us to raise her son. Now we're nearing the end of our second week with him, and it's hard to remember what it was like without him!

Some highlights from this week:

1. We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day with my parents. We always go to the Christmas Eve service, which closes with a candle light time. Each year my dad lights his candle first, then my mom, sisters, Mark, and I light ours of his, and then we go around the auditorium and light everyone else's. This year I carried Steven with me, and it was so neat to have him be a part of that tradition.

After the service, we always go to my parents' house and watch a Christmas movie (Elf this year) and have pizza and shrimp (and a few other things). After that we open our stockings, which haven't actually been in stockings for a really long time. Each of us buys a stocking stuffer for everyone else, so it is fun to see what everyone comes up with. After that, we open the rest of our gifts so we can sleep in on Christmas day! (And so we look nice in the pictures instead of looking like we just woke up, according to my mom.)

The best gift this year was an ornament my dad gave to Steven. He went to five stores before finding one with a little black baby on it, and when he went to get Steven's name put on it, the girl asked him it he would rather a boy one instead of the girl one he had :) He was just so excited to find a little black one that nothing else mattered I guess!

2. Mark's parents and sister Beth came out to meet Steven on Wednesday, and they seemed to enjoy their time together. They left this morning, so it was a quick trip, but they were happy to meet their new grandson.

3. We bought Steven's stroller and car seat yesterday. I'm excited to have that done, even though I still have to finish putting together the stroller. I stopped when it called for a hammer. I will be even more excited when it is no longer in the middle of our living room!

4. We had our first heart stopping experience as parents last night. Around 5:00 this morning, Steven let out the worst scream/shriek I've ever heard. I grabbed him out of his bassinet because it was obvious something was wrong. He was bright red (which says a lot when he's a black baby) and would really calm down. We were afraid that he had choked or had his mouth/nose covered or something, so I didn't want to put him back down. Eventually, we figured out that it was gas, so we did what we could, which wasn't much, and then tried to settle him down. He finally wore himself out about TWO HOURS later. Poor little guy. Today a friend gave us some gas drops to try. I don't want to have another night like last night!

5. To top the week off, Mark came home sick from work today. I could probably count on one hand the number of times Mark has missed work because he was sick, so this is not good at all. I had him take the night time formula several hours ago even though he said that he should take the daytime one to be able to help out with Steven tonight. That was sweet, but I know that he needs to rest. That doesn't mean that I'm looking forward to doing all of the feedings tonight though!

I'll try to post pictures tomorrow. Posting now would involve my getting up and tracking down the camera, flash drive, adapter, etc. I'm way too tired for that!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Who Knew?

I would have never guessed that finding 184 diapers on your front step would be so exciting! Thanks, Kristen!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The New Swing!

On Wednesday, we got a nice surprise when we opened the front door! My Aunt Becky bought us our swing, and it has been amazing. Steven just loves it, and he takes most of his naps in it. He even tracks the bird and butterflies on the mobile, and eventually he'll notice the mirror above him.

We have just been so blessed by everything that people have done for us. My friend Rachel came over on Thursday to help me out while Mark was at work, and I definitely needed her there that day! She was great to just help me out and keep me company (and keep me sane!). She also called on Tuesday to find out what we needed and showed up a little bit later with burp cloths and receiving blankets.

Our Sunday School class has been bringing over meals, and our friends Kris and Katrina have been invaluable. They are letting us use their car seat and their son's clothes and have given us a lot of encouragement and advice (part of which was to only follow other people's advice if we wanted to, including theirs!). Katrina also helped me out with my Target registry and is coordinating our shower (Jan. 7th--the same night as OSU's national championship game!).

Other friends have prayed, offered use of various items, and given us very cute gifts. It is just so awesome to be a part of a family of Christians!


A Very Content Baby

We've found that Steven is generally a very content baby. As long as we feed him, hold him, and let him sleep, he's good to go. He fusses a little bit when he's hungry or tired, but it doesn't go to a full blown cry very often.

However, he has been having the hiccups A LOT the last two days, and he really doesn't like that. His poor little body just shakes with each one. I know that part of the problem is that he eats too fast some of the time. He uses stage 2 nipples, and he really should be using stage 1. His foster parents were feeding him with the faster nipple, so when I gave him his first bottle with the newborn nipples, he didn't like having to work so hard.

Any advice?


Just a cute little peanut!


Hanging Out with Grandpa

Dad finally got to hold Steven last night after he helped Mark put together the crib. Dad's had a cold since we brought Steven home, so it was nice for them to finally get to hang out, even if only for a few minutes!



The Close-to-Being-Finished Nursery!

Last night my parents came over, and Mark and Dad set up the crib. We are really pleased with how good it looks! Here are a few pictures of the nursery.



The finished crib.



This is the bedding my parents drove 45 minutes on a bad weather day to get so that we could start painting the room. They're awesome!

Can you believe that we have several (okay, quite a few) more shelves of books for Steven? He will be one well-read baby!



My mom is going to make a cover for the chair. . .when we find the time :)



The little man's clothes. We sure appreciate Eli's letting us borrow his newborn and 0-3 month clothes!



Trying out the new place--I think it'll work!

Such a LITTLE man!


We still have to finish the dresser. My mom is stenciling it, and I also need to get the letters for his name that we're putting above his dresser. We're also painting the fan to match the room and need to get curtains, but considering we haven't even had the little guy for a full week, I think we're doing pretty well!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thank you, Marie!!

Yesterday my friend Marie loaned us a basinette. It's the traditional kind that it about bed height, and I had been wanting one but definitely didn't want to spend the money on it. Last night I put a rolled up blanket under the top part of the mattress to raise it and then placed Steven on his side in it (propped up by another rolled up blanket), and. . .he slept!!!

He woke up at 2:00 and 4:00, and I fed him both times (2:00 was only a half bottle). He seems to be pretty congested, so he was having a bit of a hard time breathing, but he fell back asleep both times fairly easily. We just went without the pacifier so he could breathe easier. It was so nice to have him right by my side of the bed, and I had already set out bottles, formula, diapers, wipes, and purell. My bedside table has a bit of everything on it! That allowed Mark to sleep most of the night while I took care of Steven.

This morning Mark got up with Steven around 7:30, and I slept in a bit longer. I was glad that it worked out for Mark to sleep better through the night because he goes back to work tomorrow :( and he needs to get his sleep if he's going to be able to focus at work!

So, thank you Marie for letting us sleep last night!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Day of Firsts

Today's been a big day for both Steven and us. We're getting to know each other and learn how life is going to work. In the process, we've had some small adventures.

1. Mommy got to experience green buggers. It was not a good sign when she started dry heaving :(

2. Steven got to hang out in a swing that someone is loaning us, and he LOVED it. He slept in it for hours, which allowed us to actually get a few small things done. He does a really good job of focusing and tracking things, and he enjoyed watching the fish rotating on the mobile.







3. Steven also got his first bath at our house. He did really well and didn't really fuss at all! It was a bit of a challenge for us, but we all came out cleaner in the end :)



Yum! The burb cloth from Aunt Rachel must be very tasty!


Look at those curls!

4. Steven is sleeping in a borrowed bassinette tonight. I placed a rolled blanket under part of the mattress so he'd be on an incline. I also put him on his side. We're hoping that he'll sleep tonight! (And since we now know that he sleeps in the swing, we have a back up plan!)

Well, mom and dad are off to bed. Tomorrow we'll post pictures of his newly painted nursery. Grandma (and Grandpa if he starts feeling better) is coming over to set up the crib, and then we can start getting our house back in order. (Probably a lost cause, but I'm being optimistic!)

Have a good night!

Steven's Story

Dear Friends,

Yesterday we brought home our son, Steven James! He was born on Thanksgiving Day and weighed in at 6 lbs. 2 ozs. and was 21 inches long. He was a few weeks early, so he spent some time in the NICU.

His birthmom had already contacted Bethany Christian, so after he was discharged, he went to live with his interim care parents (similar to foster care parents), Mary and Allen. A week ago Friday (Dec. 7), we were contacted by Dawn at Bethany and asked if we were interested in him. We scrambled and put together our portfolio (picture scrapbook), and waited and prayed.

She looked at two portfolios on Thursday (Dec. 14), and even though the other couple already had a biracial daughter, she felt a connection to us and liked that we had been together for so long (12 years on Jan. 4!!). We met her on Friday night and really hit it off. We went to visit Steven on Saturday at Mary and Allen's and got to know him a bit. Steven's birthmother went to court yesterday and relinquished her rights, and we brought him home yesterday afternoon.

In the midst of this, we had our last homestudy visit (no, we weren't approved yet!), and rushed togther our psychological evaluation reports, financial statement, and other details. Our poor sick social worker got the report finished this weekend, and we were approved yesterday morning!

Steven was named after his birthfather, and after calling him that for the week we were praying and waiting, we just couldn't change his name. After visiting him on Saturday, we went through our list of 15+ names (we never had a boy's name picked out, so that was a scramble too!), we said that he didn't seem like a Jacob or Michael or Silas or any of the others. So his name stayed the same. His middle name is James, after my dad.

Yesterday at the courthouse, Dawn told his birthmother that we kept his name, and she was really touched by it. It is a nice gift for him to have the name his birthmother picked out for him, and we liked that he was named after his birthfather.

Steven is a pretty easy going little guy. He likes to eat and sleep and just be held. The only real problem we've had is that he's not used to sleeping on a flat surface (he slept in a bouncy seat at Mary and Allen's), so he and Mark were up most of the night. Mark was so sweet and took his pillow and Steven to the living room and let me sleep the entire night. When I got up this morning, Mark went back to sleep and Steven and I hung out.

Thank you to all who have prayed for us. The past eleven days have been an absolute whirlwind, but God's hand has been so evident in this process. I only got one class for next quarter, so I'm only teaching on Friday nights. I'm also on break and don't go back to work until Jan. 11, and we had been praying for a long time for a baby by the end of the year. What an amazing God we have!!

We can't wait for each of you to meet Steven!

Love,

Rebekah, Mark, and Steven (and Sadie and Jo too!)

An Answered Prayer!

I think this sums up our day.



For more pictures from today, see my dad's facebook page!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Big Day!

Well, tomorrow's the big day. Steven's birthmom, has a court hearing at 10:00 a.m. to official relinquish her rights. Please pray for her; I can't imagine what she's going through right now. We have no doubt that she'll go through with it, but I'm sure it'll be hard.

After that, the social worker will meet us at Bethany's office, but it's about an hour or so from the courthouse. We'll sign our paperwork (probably around noon) and then go pick up our son! He's about 30-45 minutes south of the office, so it will be sometime in the afternoon by the time we get him.

Tonight we had a friend call to see if we wanted help painting, and four of them came over and helped us get Steven's room painted! It looks really good, so we might be able to get by with just one coat. We'll have to see what it looks like tomorrow when it's dry and the sun is out. It nice to have such good friends--they truly are a blessing!

We've also been washing clothes, sterilizing bottles, and realizing the things that we still need (such as a diaper pail or at least a garbage can with a lid!). We already have been blessed with so much though. My parents bought us our crib and mattress; Katie and Lauren bought us our bedding as an early shower present; and Katie also bought us an extra pack of diapers! A friend just brought over clothes, a boppy to use until we get our own, and a car seat to use for now. Even more so, she brought advice and encouragement. We are overwhelmed on so many levels, but it is amazing how God is providing.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for us, encouraged us, and given to us. We truly appreciate all that you have done. I can't imagine trying to do this without a community of Christian friends to walk through it with us!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Introducing Steven James!!

Today we met our little guy, and we absolutely LOVE him!! We stayed for about an hour and got to feed him and everything. We took over the cutest little outfit, but it was way too big for him--the pants would have come up to his little nose! We would have gotten him one in newborn size, but they didn't have any :( But, we did get to put on his little Christmas onsie!


Notice that in almost all the pictures he is looking at us!










We're Parents!!

I'm way too tired to tell the story now, but here are some pictures of our little guy (we meet him Saturday and bring him home Monday!!!) and his birthmom. He was born on Thanksgiving day and is just over 3 weeks old. This has completely taken us for a loop, so we don't even have a name for him yet!






Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Facebook Update

so, there's no news today. thanks so much for praying--i had a peace that could only come from God today, and it was such a blessing! keep praying, and i'll let you know when i hear something!

Adoption Request

In the morning (Wednesday) we have our third, and hopefully final, homestudy visit. Please pray that everything goes smoothly as we wrap up this stage of the process. It's been a stressful week so far because of all the adoption stuff we have going on. We truly appreciate your prayers for us!

Poor Pup!

Sadie LOVES looking outside, but she is running out of places to do it. First we moved our couch in front of the living room window, then we put the toy box/bench under the dining room window, and finally, we put curtains on it. This means that there is only a tiny tiny space for her to rest her paws on to look out. (And we rarely have the door open, esp. now!)

Yesterday I was working at the dining room table, and I heard the dog making some noise. I'm still not sure if she were doing it because something was outside or if it were because the cat was sitting on that tiny tiny space she can use.

The cat definitely interpreted it as being at her, and she gave the dog quite the death stare. It was quite creepy. I finally intervened and sent both of them away. Poor pup, all she wants to do is look outside!


Please don't leave me!!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Keeping Busy!

I am trying to keep busy right now, so I decided to strip the wallpaper in the baby's room today. My friend Katie came over to help (and my mom stopped by and helped for a while too!), and we almost got it finished. There is only 1 1/2 small panels left. After that, I need to wash off the glue residue and prime the walls.

We aren't painting it until we have a baby, and if it's a boy, we'll have to wait until our bedding comes in. (The girl's bedding is sold in store and not just online.) I mentioned making it gender neutral, but Mark really wanted it to be pink if it's a girl and blue if it's a boy :) So did I, but I thought that I'd at least give him the option of getting it down now.

I can't wait to see what it looks like when it's finished!

**If you want to see two really cute nursery's, check out Maddie and Jack's blog!**

FYI

I HATE grading papers, and I've been doing it ALL day. Yuck!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Interesting Question

Tonight Mark and I went to a Red Wings hockey game. WM has a suite, and the group that was going to use it tonight went to the Lions game instead (I'm sure they're regretting that now!), so we were invited.

While we were sitting there, the person next to Mark said that he knows very little about adoption and asked it it were hard. We said that it was a lot of work and steps, and then he asked how it worked. No lie, this is what he said--"So, do you just go into a room of babies and pick the one you want?" Not quite. Obviously we explained that it was the opposite--that we make a book about ourselves and birth parents come in, look at the books, and choose a family.

I didn't realize how little some people know about adoption. He was very interested in it and not demeaning or derogatory like some many other people are. If only everyone asked questions like he did there might be more adoptions and fewer children languishing in foster care and orphanages.

Finally Finished!

As some of you may know, I've been dragging my feet on making our adoption scrapbook/portfolio. At first I was really excited to get it going and went out and bought the supplies, went to the agency to look at other people's books, and everything. But when it came time to actually do it, I froze. The knowledge that someone would look at the book and decide whether or not to give us their child is overwhelming.

But, this weekend I was motivated to work on it, and I did! I deleted a few pages that I planned on putting in it (holidays and friends), but I figure I can always put them in later if I want to. I just needed to finish it.

At the end of the book, I included this poem that I wrote several years ago. It just seemed to fit.

How Will God Send You?

Will you be our own flesh and blood,
A blending of Mark and me,
A tangible result of our love?

Will you be a sacrifice of love,
Tearfully given by the one who
Conceived you, carried you, and delivered you,
Only to give you to us,
The ones chosen to raise her child?

Will you be matched to us
By an oh-so-far-away agency,
Trying to create families,
Making the careful matches,
Holding others’ happiness in their hands?

Does it even matter how you come?
You will be ours regardless
Of how you arrive.
You will be the answer to so many prayers,
The product of years of waiting and believing,
God’s gift to us.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

To my Grace Livingston Hill Fan

I have a gift for you, but I don't have your address. I tried looking you up online, but I'm pretty sure the address listed is an old one. E-mail me your new one and then watch your mail box!!

Weekly Wrap

1. Fall Quarter is almost officially over! I had my last class on Wednesday, and grades are due by Monday. I still have a decent bit of grading to do, but it shouldn't take too too long.

2. Tomorrow night we're going to our first Red Wings hockey game! Even better, our tickets were free, and they're in a suite!

3. I met my sales goal for my Lia Sophia jewelry party. I couldn't believe it when my boss bought a necklace from me! I also have FIVE commitments for parties and at least one more pending. I need at least six by the end of January, so that's really cool!

4. Mark got our new computer reconfigured and hooked up to the internet. It's nice to have a working desktop again! (Esp. since it's the computer that has a printer!)

5. I sold six books on ebay and am going to the post office soon to mail them out. Once I figure out how much I made, I'm posting a few more things. I have boxes of books that are leftovers from garage sale donations (and we donated several boxes to Salvation Army too!). Some of the books I have are from the early 1900s, so that's pretty cool.

6. I only have one Christmas gift left to buy. I finished all my other shopping a week or two ago. It's nice to not have to worry about that! I just need to get a few things for myself (my parents give us money, we buy our own gifts, they wrap them, and if we can guess what it is before we open it, we get a dollar!). So far, I've bought a few Lia Sophia earrings, necklaces, and a bracelet with my hostess bonus perks. I can't wait for them to come in!

7. This Wednesday is our last homestudy visit. After that, our social worker writes up her 8+ page report recommending us. We also need to put together our portfolio scrapbook (doing today!) and read some adoption/parenting articles our social worker gave us. She won't approve us until she gets her binder of articles back, so that's definitely on the agenda for this week! We're also getting ready to start stripping the wallpaper in the nursery. We're going to just prime the walls and then paint it sometime after we have our baby.

Please pray for us as we continue in this process. It gets really stressful at time because there are so many uncertainties. For a planner like me, it's especially hard to not know when we'll have our baby. It's so comforting to know that God has a child picked out for us and that He is in control of our adoption. It will be hard if we are not chosen at first, but as a good friend reminded me, God has the perfect family picked out for each child, and it may not be us, and at the same time, He has the perfect child picked out for us, so would we really want a different one? It doesn't mean that it's going to be easy if that happens, but it does mean that we can rest in God's plan.

Thanks for all your prayers and support as we adopt our baby!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Job Updates

Well, I accepted the Friday night Comp. I class. I am still praying that something else opens up, but at least I have something right now. The only catch is that there are only 8 students registered for it right now. There has to be 5 to have the class, but sometimes they try to combine two sections of the class to save money. We're praying that that doesn't happen with this class. My dean didn't seem to think that it was too likely since most Friday night students are taking a weekend class because nothing else will work for them.

I also talked to my dean regarding my Writing Center hours. I had e-mailed her my request for hours right after she sent the schedule out, but she didn't get it/forgot to put me in the schedule. There is still an 11-4 time block on Thursdays, so I've requested it. I'm praying that I'll get the entire time block; that will really help us out.

This weekend I also put some books on e-bay. It's my first time selling anything there, and so far, I have bids on two of the six books. I have several more boxes of books to sell, so I am hoping that this turns out to be a good source of money!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Weekly Wrap

1. There's nothing quite like hanging out with friends to cheer you up! On Friday, Rachel and I went shopping, and as you can see, we had a good time. It was well worth the four quarters we spent!





2. On Friday night, I had my starter show as a Lia Sophia advisor, and several people were able to come. It was a small group, but we still had fun. I came up a bit short of my sales, so I am keeping my show open for an extra week to get a few more orders. (So, if you want to get some really cool jewelry, let me know!) I already have several shows scheduled for next month--I'm well on my way to getting six by the end of January. Yay!!


3. My friend Amy came up for the weekend. We had a good time just hanging out. We stayed up late, slept in, watched chick flicks, and went to Ikea. What could be better than that??


4. I only have three days of classes left. Two of those days are presentations, and the last one is a final. I stil have plenty of papers to grade, but I'm in a pretty good spot to get it done early.


5. I still haven't decided if I'm accepting the Friday night class yet. I miss teaching terribly when I take time off, but I'd still be tutoring in the Writing Center, and I love doing that. I'm really hesitant to give up my Friday nights since I'm working on getting my Lia Sophia business up and running. Friday nights are a prime time for parties. I have to let my dean know tomorrow, so I'm sure Mark and I'll be discussing it tonight.


6. I went to the doctor on Friday because I'd been coughing so badly. I've always had a chronic cough, so I don't even realize how much I cough, but it got a lot worse over Thanksgiving. I talked to my friend and she said that I probably have bad sinuses. It was an epiphany--not everyone always feels like they are choking. So I made an appointment with my doctor and asked for a referral to and ear, nose, and throat specialist.


Instead, she gave me breathing tests, and apparently, I have asthma. I can't believe it. Asthma. So now I'm on a routine of inhalers and a nasal spray. I'm having a really hard time with it, but I know that eventually it will start making a difference in how I feel. It's just hard to believe that that's been my problem. I always thought of asthma as being wheezing, not constantly coughing, but from what I've been learning, it makes sense. I still have a lot left to learn about it though. I'm going to see a specialist sometime--I'm thinking of waiting until January when our new insurance kicks in. I'm sure I'll get a lot of my questions answered then.

Conversation at Front Door

Guy at door: Is your mom home?

Me: No.

Guy: Is your dad at home?

Me: No.

Guy: Would you like to buy some candy?

Me: No.

Guy: Okay then. Have a good day.

In the background--Mark laughing.

(This used to bother me a lot more, but now I use it to my advantage! At school, though, it's a different story. Yes, I'm your professor, and you do have to listen to me!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Psychological Evaluations

Today I had my psychological evaluation for the adoption process. I didn't know what to expect, but it certainly wasn't what I did. I drew pictures, told what I thought was going on in other pictures, and discussed what I woudl do in different parenting scenarios. It was a lot harder than I anticipated, and, of course, I spent half the time trying to figure out why I was doing some of the stuff (esp. the drawings--still don't know what he's doing with them!).

Mark's out right now getting his evaluation. I know we'll both be glad to have these done. At some point, we'll go in and meet with the psychologist to find out what he thinks, but I do know that I passed :) (Yes, I asked at the end.)

After this, we only have one more homestudy visit and then we're done with the approval process!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Job Updates

So I was offered a class today. The only catch, though, is that it is a Friday night class. Yuck! I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I knew what classes were left, and I was praying that I would get any of them except this one. Oh well. I'm still praying that something else opens up. This quarter several classes opened up a few weeks before classes started.

I also had a second person offer to host a Lia Sophia party for me. Yay!! That means just four to go.

Please Pray

I'm almost to the end of the quarter at school. My comp. students turned in their final research papers and start their presentations tomorrow; my Workplace Communications students gave their product presentations tonight and got the second half of their final exam tonight; my dean sent out the Writing Center tutoring sign up sheet.

But I have no classes for next quarter. It's come down to the end of the quarter once again without my having any classes. However, unlike the past quarters, my dean flat out told me yesterday that she isn't sure I'll get any classes next quarter.

We need for me to have two classes in order to stay on top of things. We could survive on one, but it would be difficult. It's especially difficult right now since we have another adoption payment coming up soon. It's our last one before placement, but it's also the largest one so far. I don't get paid between quarters, so we already have a very lean December.

Please pray that I get classes for next quarter. God has always provided the two classes that I need, even when it didn't look like I'd get any. Please also pray that if I am to move on to somewhere else that God will make it clear. We've talked about my switching to a different school, but I like where I am, and I haven't found anything close that I'm interested in.

There's so much going through my mind as I try to figure out how we'll make it. I know that He is in control, and that His plan is perfect. I'm just trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing at this point. Should I start looking for other jobs (non-teaching at this point in the year), or should I continue to wait it out where I am?

I planned on taking some time off for when we have the baby, and this may be God's way of doing that for me, but it's so hard to know since unlike those having children the traditional way, we don't have a set due date.

In the meantime, though, I had decided to become a consultant for Lia Sophia. They sell jewelry, and I went to a party at a friend's house recently. One of my friends started selling it, and after talking to her and asking her a million questions, Mark and I had decided that it was something that I would do. I prayed about it a lot because it wasn't something that I ever saw myself doing, yet I found myself drawn to it. We made the final decision about this the day before I found out about the classes.

I am having my starter show on Friday (and you're all invited!). I had that scheduled as just a regular show for my friend, but now it's my starter show. I also need to schedule six shows of my own by the end of January. So far, I already have one--thanks Amy!!! If anyone else is interested in helping me get started, let me know. You get free/really cheap jewelry for hosting. (And you get the satisfaction of helping me out without even having to spend any money!) For all of my far-away friends, you are welcome to come out for one of my parties anytime!!

I know that God has His hand in all of this and that He has everything all planned out for us. Pray for us we try to figure out exactly what we are to be doing at this time in our life. Isn't it great to know that we have a God in charge of that?? I don't know how people survive without Him!

Some Family Pictures

I've been working on our adoption scrapbook, and I realized that we have a ton of pictures from my family and very few from his (at least recent ones!). It makes sense since we live by my family, but we definitely needed some family picutes to use for the scrapbook!


Mark and his family, minus Rachel who didn't make it out for Thanksgiving :(


Andy, Beth, and Mark

Andy, Beth, and Beth's boyfriend, Zach



Mark's parents as Hal opens his Christmas gift and finds out that all the kids and Grandpa went together and bought him a snowblower. Can you tell he likes it??
We definitely enjoyed having Mark's family here for Thanksgiving. It was fun to have both of our families over to our house for dinner. It is such a blessing to have such great families that get along so well!

Putting Up the Christmas Tree

Saturday we celebrated Christmas with Mark's family. Mark and I put up our Ikea Christmas tree. It was fun to pull out all our ornaments and put them up. It takes a lot of thought and rearranging when you have a dog that thinks that ornaments are tasty. (We learned that the hard way last year!)

We started getting a Christmas tree ornament from each place we go, so we put up our Christmas cactus ornament from Arizona and our light house from Nova Scotia. Pulling them out brought back a whole slew of memories!


The cat was somewhere under the pile of papers. Everytime someone walked past me, I had to remind them to not step on the cat!


Mark hung most of the ornaments, and then I helped rearrange them :)


I must not have agreed with something here!

Thanksgiving Day

We had everyone over to our house for Thanksgiving dinner--eleven people in all. It was interesting at times, but fun.



The "kids" table. (I'll probably get in trouble for that one!)


The old people and us table.



I swear that it went really well. Not sure what was going through my mind when Mark took this picture. Lovely!

Piston's Game

On Wednesday we went to the Piston's game with Andy and Lauren. That makes two games in two and a half weeks! Gotta love free tickets!






Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Baby's Room

Mark and I have been working on the baby's room recently. We sold some of the furniture, moved out the desk and put it into our new shared office, and brought up a dresser from the basement. We still have a lot to do, starting with stripping the wallpaper, and then once we have the baby, painting and decorating. However, it is nice to have the room at least somewhat set up!

A basic view of the baby's room.



This was in my room when I was little, and I have it in the nursery right now. I don't know if it'll stay there, but it's nice to have it in there for the meantime!


You couldn't expect our baby to go without books, and this is only a fraction of the ones we have collected for him/her. (We have more in the living room and the basement.) If you look on the middle shelf, you can see a baby signs book (behind the pink doll)--that is the only full price thing we've bought for our baby so far. EVERYTHING else was either from garage sales and mom-to-mom sales or hand me downs. That's hard to believe, esp. considering the dresser is over half full of blankets, socks, clothes, etc., and the closet has even more clothes in it!
God has been providing so much for us. It's really difficult because unlike most couples, we don't have a due date. We have no idea when we will have our baby. We alod won't have a baby shower until AFTER we have the baby. It might even be a while after we have the baby if we decide to wait until the adoption is finalized. That means that we need to buy a few more things upfront than a lot of other couples.

Last year Target carried this truck, and we bought it for Mark's cousin's son, but, of course, when I went back later this year to get one for Mark/our baby, they didn't carry them anymore. I checked on Amazon and got it for an unbelievable price. We were both really excited when it came in the mail. It makes truck noises when you dump the "garbage" into the back. Now we just need a rear loader and a roll off, and our child might be set!


We picked up these blocks at a garage sale this summer. Before we bought them, we made sure that they spelled out our favorite names!


I had seen this doll on target's website (for $10) and really liked it. When I was at a mom-to-mom sale with a friend this fall, I found it for $1.00. However, it had some disgusting crusty stuff on it, so I got it for fifty cents. It said to surface wash only, but I put it through the washing machine and it came out looking (and feeling!) brand new.



These were Mark's favorite animals when he was little. This fall his mom pulled them out of storage and gave us doggie and seal. I put them through the washing machine, and they survived, but they definitely are showing their age. I found a few pictures of Mark with them in the old family pictures, so once we get that computer hooked up to the internet, I'll have to post them.

It's exciting to see things start to come together!