Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Making Progress Again

This week we finally heard from our social worker and were able to schedule the first of our homestudy visits. It is one morning next week, so Mark will have to go into work late that day. I am hoping that we can schedule the rest of the visits for when he is already home. (And hopefully there aren't too many visits!)

At this visit, she will talk to both of us and then talk to each of us individually. I don't know exactly what we'll be talking about, so that makes me a bit nervous. We also have to do some major cleaning this weekend. Our house is very disorganized right now since we've been moving furniture and cleaning out the baby's room. Maybe we'll even get some left over touch up painting done!

One thing that I found out talking to her is that we need to get some extra tests done, so we are looking for a qualified person to do that and praying that it doesn't cost too much money. I'm pretty sure our insurance won't cover it.

Regardless, it is nice to have things moving again. We were getting really frustrated by the lack of progress and the fact that our social worker hadn't contacted us, so this has been encouraging. As always, we'll keep you updated. Thanks for continuing to pray for us!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Weekly Wrap

1. My parents' dog, Maddie, goes crazy when she sees a squirrel. I had the front door open today, and she decided to attack a squirrel (from inside the house!) and scared me so badly. Sadie and Jo jumped awfully high too. I yelled at her. She did it again 20 minutes later.

2. My family is in PA visiting Lauren. I miss them :(

3. Today is my mother-in-law's birthday--Happy Birthday, Nancy! Wednesday was my sister-in-law's birthday, so Happy Birthday, Rachel, too!

4. I am writing a children's book. I have thought about it for a long time, and then last week my brother-in-law asked me if I had written any. He is an artist (and a really really good one!), and he has to illustrate a children's book for one of his classes. So I'm writing one. He needed a draft by today, so I was working on it late last night and e-mailed it off. The books then get entered into a contest, and the winner gets published!

5. I am half way done with fall quarter! Can you believe it?? Pray that I get classes for the winter, though. Enrollment is down this year, so classes are especially tight. I had a student who had to drop out of school last week because her husband lost his job so she has to go back to work full-time to support their family of six. It was too late to get a refund. Sadly, she isn't the only one in this type of situation.

6. Mark and I went on a really fun date night tonight. We went to a movie (man, are they expensive!!) and then to the new Borders in town. We wanted to look at baby name books, but by the time we sat down with a few, they announced that the store was closing in 15 minutes. Bummer.

7. My friend is in the hospital. I am sad about that but hope that she gets better.

8. I get to spend this weekend with Mark. I am very happy about that!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

She is so spoiled!

So this is Josie's current favorite sleeping spot. I found her lounging on top of the quilt rack earlier last week and took her off because I didn't want her chewing the ribbon on one of my blankets.

But then I felt bad for her. I went and found another blanket, put it on top of the ribbon one, and picked Josie up off the couch and put her back on top of the quilt rack. As I was running out the door for work, I realized what I had done. No wonder she thinks the world revolves around her!




I interrupted her beauty sleep.


You can stack them on her, but she's not moving! (Although she did manage to push this one off onto the floor.)

At least the dog is still down to earth. Well, except for thinking that she and Mark have a time share on his side of the bed. Oh what have we done??

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Feeling a Bit Better

I'm feeling half decent tonight. I ate both lunch and dinner, so that's good. I am a bit nervous about the night/morning though. I am almost positive that one of my meds is causing me to be sick because when I was on that med a really really long time ago, it made me sick. I take the pill at night because that reduces the chance of getting sick, but it also means that if I do get sick, it'll most likely be in the morning, like it was today.

I don't have the option of missing school tomorrow. I have a huge meeting after my class that I really can't reschedule. Plus, I realized how much money it cost me to be sick today, and that made my stomach hurt more :(

At least tomorrow is my last teaching day for the week!

Old Navy Clearance

I went back to Old Navy yesterday on the way home from school to see if the clearance section here is as good as the one in PA. I was pleasantly surprised. I got two more skirts that I can wear to work for $4 each as well as a new shirt for $4. However, if you're looking for kid's clothes, I didn't see much at the one I went to. The one in PA had a ton (at least until this one couple bought TWO overflowing carts of it!).

They have TONS of stuff on clearance, and not all of it's summer stuff. The only caution, though, is that the prices aren't marked very well. I paid $4 for my shirt, but I saw the same shirt marked $6 or not marked as clearance at all. But, if you have patience, you can find quite a few good deals!

Yuck!

It's been a long time since I was sick enough to throw up. Other than our recent road rally adventure, I honestly can't remember the last time I threw up, and that was a combination of Keith's driving and my reading clues in the car!

So I called a sub for my class tonight and cancelled my hours in the Writing Center. I haven't called in sick for class since at least winter quarter. It's amazing what you'll teach through when you have to pay your own subs (and have to make up a class if you cancel it)! Oh well. I could have forced myself to go, but I didn't have all their papers graded, and I would have needed to get those done before class. I also didn't feel up to being out until 10:30-11:00 tonight.

I'm feeling better now than I did in the middle of the night, and I even ate something a little while ago. Now I'm off for a nap before I start grading research papers for tomorrow's class!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Trip to PA

We had a great time on our trip. The weather was cold, but nice. We didn't get any of the predicted rain! We spent time with both Lauren and Mark's family, and it was extra fun to have Amy and Andy with us.

Amy and I were best friends at Cedarville, and she was the maid of honor in our wedding. We hadn't seen each other for over 4 years and had lost contact about 2 years ago. A few months ago we found each other on facebook (yea facebook!!), so it was really nice to see her. We had a ton of fun, but we didn't really get the chance to get in trouble. Oh well, there's always next time!



At the Underground Cafe at BBC, drinking our super strong iced coffee.
We didn't sleep much that night!


At the boy's varsity soccer game. We won, of course.


The boy and I. Like my new outfit?


Lauren and I in a corner at Heritage. She didn't want anyone seeing us take her picture. Maybe she just didn't want anyone to see us together. Oh, and yeah, still wearing my new outfit, this time with my $4 skirt from Old Navy. Can you tell I don't get new clothes very often??

It was nice to get to spend time with Lauren. She seems to be enjoying BBC, and she is doing really well in her classes. She was afraid that she would have no friends left after we left because I moved and sat next to one of her friends at the soccer game and offered to let him use my pink heart blanket. I don't think the kid breathed the whole time I was sitting right next to him. When Lauren came back, she wasn't so thrilled. Hence the above statement. Too bad a didn't get a picture with him!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Moving and Rearranging

Yesterday we spent the day moving Mark's desk out of what was his office but is now the nursery and into my study. I was really dreading doing this, but it turned out okay. I had my study perfect looking, but his desk doesn't look too bad, and we can still pull out the trundle bed.

We also got our "new" computer set up. Andy gave us his old computer (thanks Andy!!!), so Mark set that up on our desk. We don't have the internet hooked up on it yet though. Once we do, I have some fun pictures and video clips to post. Andy left all the family pictures on the hard drive for us, so it was fun looking at them all yesterday. I found pictures of Mark with his doggy and seal that his parents found and passed on to us last week. I can't wait to get pictures of our baby with Mark's old things (as well as wearing a few of his old outfits his mom gave us last week). That will be fun!

I'll put up pictures of our new office once we have it completely finished. The nursery will take a bit longer. We have to strip wallpaper and finish cleaning it out--the main thing left to clean out is my scrapbooking stuff. It's kind of everywhere right now. I'm putting that in our new office closet, but that requires cleaning that out first. Does it ever end??

The First Years/Learning Curve

I bought a booster seat by The First Years at a mom to mom sale this spring, but I didn't realize that I was missing the strap that goes between the legs. I didn't think that this was a big deal until I watched my friend's baby and put her in it. Yep, you need the strap to keep them from sliding out the bottom.

I e-mailed the company a few weeks ago to see if I could buy just the strap, and then sent me all new straps for free!! Actually, they sent me two sets of straps, so I am giving my friend Katrina one set since her booster seat is missing them. I love companies like this!

We have a social worker!

Mark and I were assigned a social worker this week, so that means we can now have our homestudy done. We didn't get the worker we wanted, but at least we have a worker, right?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Going to Pennsylvania!

We are leaving for PA this afternoon to go to BBC's homecoming and to see Lauren and Mark's family. Mark's brother, Andy, and my friend Amy are coming with us, so it'll be a full car!

I'm so excited to get away for a while. Mark and I really need the break. Life has been very busy for him recently, and I've had a lot of things that I 've needed to deal with as well. And, of course, it's alwys nice to see family!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Exciting News!

No, it's not about a baby, but it's still exciting. Today Mark got called into his sales manager's office (or something like that), and he was basically told that he is getting a promotion!! That is exciting, but even more is that this will include a pay raise (no, not all promotions come with pay raises). WM has strict salary caps for each position, and Mark had hit that point in his current position a while ago. They are basically creating a new position for Mark, so that means that there is no official salary cap.

That is really good news! He works so hard, and it has been really frustrating for both of us to know that he wouldn't get any more raises (other than cost of living increase). This is a huge relief as we are coming up on the next two adoption payments and as we figure out how much I'll have to work after the baby comes.

God is so good!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

Weekly Wrap

1. My classes are going extremely well this quarter. I have a really good group of students in my Comp. I class, and that is fairly rare, especially in the fall. I just need to keep on top of the grading and prepping a bit better :)

2. The weather has been really warm this week. Today it's supposed to be high 80s :( I don't like warm weather in the summer, and I definitely don't like it in the fall!

3. My friends Joe and Marie had their baby this week. Jackson Joseph was born yesterday morning. Big sister Maddie is excited but doesn't know why yet :)

4. Parisian has free giftwrapping on all infant clothes (up to 24 months)! They also have good clearance sales right now, and if you shop on "Wild Wednesdays," you get an extra 15-20% off!

5. Other birthdays this week: my dad (yesterday), my sister-in-law Beth (yesterday too), and my Aunt Becky (Tuesday), and Kristen H. today! Happy Birthday, everyone!!

6. We got our window replaced yesterday. That is one thing we can check off our "things to do before the homestudy" list.



Don't you just love all the neighbor's overgrowth outside our window?? At least it gives us some privacy--I don't have to worry about keeping the shade down anymore since there is no way you could ever see out of his window let alone into ours from his house!

7. Tomorrow is our church's HUGE mom-to-mom sale. If you work at the sale, you get to shop an hour early. The shifts are three hours long, but if you do manual labor, they are shorter. Guess who helped load the u-haul and was done in less than an hour last night?? I'm also selling stuff at the sale under my friend's number (mostly leftover books that were donated for the garage sale last weekend).

8. Tomorrow is also a WM open house/party at Meadowlands Landfill. Yeah!! Actually, the open house is at the adjoining country club/golf course, but we'll be taking a bus tour of the landfill. I know that you all wish that you worked for WM right about now!! Oh yeah, and FREE HOT DOGS!!! That is a big deal for me :)

The boy and a truck

(at the Howell Balloonfest a few years ago)



Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Update

I was finally able to get ahold of our contact last night, and she forwarded me the e-mail she received about the two babies needing placement. It sounds like there are two babies right now, one African-American and one biracial, but I don't know their due dates. Both birthmoms are teenagers and are working on adoption plans. The person working with the birthmoms was with a Christian adoption agency that closed a few years ago, but she still does birthmom counseling and sends out e-mails to her contacts when she is looking for homes.

I called this woman last night, and we talked very (VERY) briefly, and basically, she told me to call her back when our homestudy was finished. (At that point we will be legally able to adopt.) I was disappointed that we didn't talk further, but at least I've made the connection.

Our licensing paperwork was sent to Lansing last week, and fortunately the government shut down was very brief so it should go through fairly quickly. Our references and bosses also got their paperwork in the mail this week, and hopefully they fill it out and return it really soon!

After all that gets in, we have our homestudy, which is where they interview us separately and then together and then come out to look at our house. Our social worker told me to call back at the end of next week to set that up (assuming all the references have been done). I think that it is very likely that we will have our homestudy finished by the end of the month. After that, all we have to do is get picked by a birthmom/birthfamily.

Obviously, if we can find a birthfamily on our own, it really expedites the process. We have been praying that we have a baby before the end of the year. (Mark's ideal time is November!) If one of these leads pans out, that could happen.

Thank you for your continued prayer. It has been such a comfort to know that people are praying for us. I can't imagine going through this process without people praying, or worse yet, without God to guide you through it!

As always, I will keep you posted on any new developments!

**Garage sale update: It went well. We made over $230, so that was good. The last garage sale spoiled us, but this is still more than we made at our first garage sale in May. It is especially good considering that some of the items were on their 3rd or more garage sale! At one point, my friend wondered aloud how many different households were represented in our garage sale. As we looked around, it was overwhelming. I am sure that it was at the very very least 15. God is so good.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Please pray!!

We have leads on two or three babies (haven't talked directly with our contact and so have gotten two different numbers) that need placements. I left a message with a woman from our church who has the connection and am waiting to hear back from her.

We're trying to not get excited, but it's hard. Pray that if one of these babies is the one that God has chosen for us that it will all work out smoothly. If none of these is the one, pray that we will handle it well.

I will definitely post an update when I hear more!