Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I just got off the phone with our social worker and our first homestudy interview (well we had phone interview) will be next Thursday!!!! She said that it is painless just basic all about you childhood, education etc!!! Yeah!! With all the paperwork that is needed, just asking me to talk is fine with me!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our New Outdated Family Photo!

So our last family photograph was missing Annie, actually I was pregnant when they were made and did not know yet! So now that we are adopting I thought we needed to take another already obsolete family pic!! Keep in mind Annie was a complete stinker!! She did the limp noodle, the uncross teh feet, hands in the wrong place etc. She is almost three and I have always said there are no terrible 2's it is the 3's that are worse!! I left Madelyns hair down...probably should have put it back...oh well!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

The beginning of our journey!

For those of you (all 2 that read my blog!!) who I have not talked to yet, we have big news!! We are expecting!!! From Ethiopia!! This is going to be a very detailed post and I will continue to use this is as our adoption timeline etc. And I have had a ton of people who want the full story so I can just send them here!!! I will try to start at the beginning....

Paul and I have always planned on adopting, we just never knew when. When we met I actually had a foster son, so we though he would be ours for many years. He returned to his mother (bad situation) and then in 2004 he was back in state custody and we tried again to get him. The day we found out that he would not go to us, we found out we were pregnant with Annastyn. From that time we knew we had our three and that we would adopt #4!! We always talked of Guatemala and we always talked of a boy. This past September we were pregnant again! We were happy, very happy and we just assumed God had other plans. Soon after, we miscarried that baby... we named him Quincy! It is hard to understand but Paul and I knew immediately that we were on the correct course again. We knew that we were supposed to adopt #4. Paul goes as far as to say how can we be so selfish...we have three beautiful children and then there are children without anyone to love them and hold them. I knew in my heart something had changed because I love being pregnant! I had already began to show and was having cravings etc...all the fun stuff! I knew several other ladies who miscarried at the same time and they all yearned to have another baby in their belly....I felt at such peace....I did not want to pregnant again. I am so thankful to God for giving me that unbelievable peace!

Our miscarriage was in October and we began to discuss adoption more seriously immediately! I began to watch Youtube video of adoptions (if you do BEWARE! turn up the volume and bring the tissues!!) and it really got me through the miscarriage day by day. We also began discussing adoption with another couple friend of ours that had also always had it in their plans for "someday"! (I am working on getting her blogging!!!) They had always discussed getting an Asian daughter, the South Korea plan even escorts children into the US via Michigan were her parents have a home!!

In February we begin a mini-adoption study with this other couple through our church. We also planned a meeting with our adoption ministry leader. She has 3 bio children and a daughter (10 years) from the Philippines and a son (6 years) from Ethiopia. I left our meeting intrigued with her story of how God led them to Ethiopia and was smitten with her son! When we got in the car I asked my children what they would think of adopting a brother from the country that Jonas was from and they loved the idea!! So I go home and talk to Paul and he says loves the idea and says he thinks we should go with Ethiopia! So then the next day April (the other couple) calls and says that she thinks they are going to Ethiopia and that they have decided to get a boy!!(they have 2 daughters, 3rd grade and K) Now timing and choices and like this are only orchestrated by GOD!! We were going to Mexico...they were going to Korea for a girl...and now 2 boys from Ethiopia!!!

So now we must choose an agency...aghghghgh!!!! Tera the adoption "lady" from church recommended Susan Killen with Adoption Specialist. Susan had worked at other agencies and wanted to do things a bit differently. The first thing that drew us to her was that she was a Christian agency. The next biggest issue was that she will only take 10 families at a time. She told me she want to find families for babies and not babies for families!! She also is dedicated to finding homes for children over 2 years old. She herself has 2 children from Ethiopia, check out her video here!

So the really neat part about going through a small agency is that our children will all come from one of 2 orphanages and then will be at a transition home in the city while they wait to be picked up. There is already a growing number of Ethiopian children forming in Louisville and many of them may even know each other! Our goal is for my husband and her husband to travel together to pick the children up. We know this may not work out but we will pray everyday that it does, so they can be there for each other for emotional support and pictures hehehe!!! I also just found out that another home school family in Louisville is using this our children will most likely know each other!! I want to create a family amongst us so as we each travel we can hug and kiss on each others children and take gifts and pictures etc!!!

The big question is how old and girl or boy??? First of all you must know that when you prepare the enormous home study and dossier (packet of papers that go to Ethiopia) that you can get approved for 1 child or more than 1 child. If you apply for 1 child than you can never change that....however if you get approved for 2 than you can still only get 1. So we had already filled out the application for 2+, although the plans were only for a 4-6 year old boy. Meanwhile, I begin to get nervous and I feel that something is not "RIGHT" , I confide in Teaque and she reassures me. I confide in another friend as well. I was afraid we had messed up...wrong country...wrong agency etc. I woke up a few nights later and had seen a vision (or a dream!!) of Paul getting off the plane with a small child in his hands and a child walking beside him hand in hand!! So of course I thought I was NUTS! Although I felt at complete PEACE! No more concerns no more worries...but 2 kids!!!!!!!!!!!! ahghghghg! Paul is out of town and there was no way I was going to run this by him over the phone, so I don't! (I was afraid he may never come home!!) So fast forward like a week. He is home and I have come over and watch Youtube videos with me...he watches like 3 and says well see if they have twins or siblings. I was speechless (no, it does not happen often!) and I got covered in goosebumps!!! I literally did not respond for about 10 minutes...and when I did he said he was waiting for me to say that he was crazy!!! Again GOD and only GOD!!! So we have put in for a boy between the ages of 4 and 6 and a younger sibling of either sex.

I think that will do for now and I will be adding more as we go along!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge

I must start this post with a disclaimer, Paul and I are kinda picky!! We were so disappointed!! I was told there were some "normal" enough meats that a steak & potato guy could find something to enjoy. Well the foods are exotic and have an African flair. There were weird salads and rices and meats that were un-identifiable to our Kentucky home cooked eyes!! So the pic below shows what we ate...the kids buffet!!! Yummy chicken tenders, fries, mac&cheese and ziti! Below kinda looks icky...these are a sampling of the dessert buffet! A few of them were okay but the girls and I ended up spitting out a couple of them!!
Here is the birthday dessert brought out at Boma, sprinkled in gummi bears!!!
Here is a pic of the is huge. The workers play African drums and do occasion dances, the kids enjoyed this although it does make for a loud dinner! The lodge is beautiful and teh restaurant is beautifully themed!!
Oh these are the zebra domes, a dessert item. I had to get pics of these to complete my ABC album of Disney!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chowing Down in Disney!

I have had several families ask me about where to (and not to eat) in Disney so I thought posting it here would actually get someone to read my blog!!!!hehe!! If you are a Disney-goer too (Shelly)than please add comments!!

Sci-Fi Restautant: This was one of our best meals in 2007. Atmosphere is great, totally themed out as if you are in a drive-in theater, hostesses on rollar skates etc. Great for tired kids because they veg out in front of the tv (no sibling bickering here!)!! And of course it is AIR-CONDITIONED!! Food was awesome (about our 2nd fav of the week!). I had ribs, cole slaw and fries, Paul had a steak & fries, the kids had pizza and a hamburger (Annie was still of mooching age!) Of course on the Disney free dining plan we all had desserts too!! (heck its FREE)..if only it was calorie free too! BTW you cannot "bank" desserts so use them or lose them...or be super nice and send a free dessert to another table!!!
Front Row baby!!!!
My gang!!
My dinner!
Kids meal, notice the large salad!!! The kids meals in Disney are so big! With 2 GOOD sides it easy to feed that extra sibling! Most restaurants offer fruit, pudding, veggies etc.
Oh and it was Annies b-day week (as it is every year at Homeschool time!!)...lucky her!!!

So the only downfall I have to mention is that it si very dark in IS a drive in hehe! Eating in the dark really earks that is probably the only reason I did not book for this year. Oh yeah and it is in MGM!

Chef Mickeys: CM is a cool place, there is a photo op available upon entering. It is buffet style. The characters walk around and greet you. At one point there is a dance with the characters, Mickey, Minnie, Chip & Dale and Goofy (if memory serves) and all the kids jump up and wave thier napkins. I had this is 2006 and could not get res. last year so we will be returning this year! I love their chicken tetrazini dish, Mickey Mouse Ravioli and well all of it!!!

I would love to add pics...but they are not on my 'puter!!

It is late so more to come soon!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wild Wednesday!!!

Our day began with a Jeep tour of the "badlands". This was an area that was between the city of Sedona and Jerome (a gold city). THe robbers waited and watched for dust trails and then robbd the peole traveling. THe tour was 2 1/2 hours long. As soon as we entered the "badlands" we spotted some antelope which is very uncommon according to teh tour guide!
Over rocky, rugged terrain it got VERY bumpy!! Here is a pic of Madelyn bouncing around like a bobble-head! Our guide pointed out that Carson never missed a chip, even as we were nearly coming out of the jeep!
Oops we almost lost mommy-in-law!! (I think Paul slid the guy some money!!)

The guide showed us all the food, products, remedies etc that the Indians used from all of the plants. Carson must have been listening, today Madelyn fel at the park and he pulled some grass and rubbed it on her boo-boo and told her that would make it better! On the tour we also saw a Roadrunner (another rare occurance!)
Okay here was the absolute coolest part of our trip!!! We found some ancient Indian ruins. Here are some of the more than 900 pictographs and pytroglyphs found along the rock cliffs. Is it not amazing that they are still this vibrant and clear!!!

Here are some Indian fingerprints, about 900 years old!!! They show how they pressed the clay around the rocks to create their pueblo!
This is a view from inside one of the rooms.
Here is view from outside. They basically made apartments on the sides of these cliffs. One room at a time, as they built up they would use ladders to get to the second level. Hmm how many of our homes will aslt 900 years???hehe
Well we fly home tomorrow! Carson wants to stay, when we asked him why he said because there is a pool right out in the backyard!!(good point) and Madelyn has been ready to come home for days...she says she misses her friends (awhhhh!!) Annie is just a stinker, every time I ask her if she likes something or is having fun it is NO!! Tonight I asked her if she was ready to go home and hse said YES, and I want to ride in you lap!! So she remembered we were flying home i guess!
Oh yeah nearly forgot!! Here is where I brag! My children are such good travelers!! We have been gone 10 days, we have put well over 1,000 miles on the rental, basically everything we did required walking or riding in a car, we have hiked miles and miles, we have skipped naps, meals, had crazy bedtimes, and they have done SUPER!!! We have made them walk for an hour to see a "rock" hehe!! I have a had a couple people say they cannot believe they are doing so well, others with teens have said they could have never done it with young ones etc. I am just so happy that we did not have to wait 15 years to see the Grand Canyon or Niagra Falls or New York City or Mexico....because our little ones have been so easy to travel with!! Okay I am done bragging!!hehe (to all three of you!!)!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What a GRAND day!!

We saw this mountain on the way to the Grand Canyon. Covered in snow, Annastyn asks if we brought our snowsuits! Here it is!!! The GRAND CANYON!!!!
Annastyn takes a rest in her sling. She LOVES to be "worn"...yes she calls it that too! SHe carried the sling aorund asking to get in! She loves it like a blankie when not in it!! This was the safest wayt o deal with her near the edges of the canyon!
Oh I had to snap this....can you believe it..of course you can!! Paul on his cell phone!!! Oh and yes you get coverage there and not on 65 South!!!!

This was very carefully taken. I went out and sat down and then Carson came right to me. UGghgh if you have never been to the canyon beware!!! 90% of it has no rails, just a simple pathway and one step off the path is 300 ft was kinda nerve-racking!!!

Slide Rock!

Sundays big adventure was to explore a State Park called Slide Rock. We began with a fun picnic with views of the beautiful mountains and then headed to "slide rock". Slide Rock was named this a long. long time ago when locals would come to the water and slide down the cascading water on the rocks. A natural waterslide!! To set the stage for the pics you have to remember the water was about 30 degrees!! Colder than I even drink my ice water!! Dipping my toes in took my breath away! The was a man who was debating the big slide..his children were begging him and you know my mom & I, we started chanting and clapping for him to go too! Soon others were gathered around waiting for him to go , well he could not back out now so he went. (pics below!) then others followed! Carson wanted to go so bad but Paul was not in swim trunks and he was afraid to go alone. So we hiked all around and explored as far as we could. Before we left Carson decided he wanted to do it. So he DID!!! I am so proud of him because I was never brave like that...he can always say he slid down slide rock!!! The pics loaded out of take note!! Here he is about 3 frames into the slide! BTW The waer emptied into VERY deep water so Paul had to catch him before that point!
My bathing beauties!! Annastyn scooted up behind sissy.....awwwhhh!!
My little ham bone!! He is dancing...but crazy part is that he is on a 4 foot high boulder in the middle of the rapids!!
The girls had to join him, so they made their way out to the boulder as well!!
Carson was way too cute, posing for me (someone has to make mommy happy!!)
Look at Miss Madelyn and those legs!!!! OMGoodness....I do not look forward to the teen years!!! Another note, the kids are on the side of a cliff in this pic...but I made them do it. Paul and mom are freaking out the entire time!!! LOL All for the pics!!
This all behind her is the "slide"!
Here is our new friend we made...made slide that is!!!!
Here he is thinking about it!!
And in he goes!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The beginning of our trip...

The children...excited and ready for the plane ride! This was Maddee and Annie's first and Carson was 1 year old last time he flew so it was like his first! The first plane to Minneapolis was VERY small!!(you can see it behind them!). They did great! Annastyn kept saying "Faster, faster" as we took off and began to climb! Madelyn was disappointed that there was no ice cream on board! I later thought that maybe they thought it was like a cruise, with tons of food choices! We landed in MN ate dinner and then had about a 3 1/2 flight to Phoenix. Annastyn was alseep before we took off and the other two followed quickly! The Phonenix airport was nuts, we had to get all of our luggage onto a bus, that took us to the rental car area, unload the luggage again go down down three floors to the car. It was all worth it though when we got the car. They gave us a brand new van with 2 miles on it, 2 DVD players, camera that sees behind you..heated searts, built in sun shades, digital radio....etc. Now we want a new car when we get home LOL! We drove from Phoenix toward Las Vegas, it was already about midnight this time (so about 3AM Louisville time) so we only drove about an hour. WE stopped in a quaint (Paul hated that word!) town that looked like it was a little western town. The hotel was all adobe and rustic looking. Again we lucked out with a suite with 2 beds and a sleeper sofa...YEAH!! We headed out early for Las Vegas. It is amazing, you are driving through mountains and desert and then you turn a corner and BAM there is the beautiful Lake Mead. Below is a pic!
Annastyn hamming it up!!!
Next on the road trip is Hoover Dam. Again you turn a corner and there it is!! You can see the white line which shows how much the water is down. They said there was more snow this year so it should be running down form Colorado and getting higher.

It is taking a while to upload pics so be on the lookout for Vegas pics!
Oh and it cannot be a Maynard event without sickness. I had teased that we should not have gone to co-op on Monday, because I was afraid of GERMS!! Well it happened! By Tuesday morning Carson was complaining of a tummy ache, he had diahhrea the entire plane ride here and it has continued on strong. I have always taught my kids to share and oh they now Madelyn has it!! I did get some probiotics at a drugstore in Vegas and have been slipping them in the kids drinks!! I also got motion sickness on the plane and it worsened or I had the beginnings of the flu....because by Thursday I was having cold chills, headache and feeling I needed to throw up. I spent $50 in CVS getting probiotics goodies. I felt better within minutes of taking the medicine, it was wild! So with Carson and I feeling better, lets pray for Madelyn now!!!