Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Lots of Astronauts?
Legs of Ants?
Little Old Apricots?
Lasting Outer Armor?
Lilliputians on Amoxicillin?

No, no - it's Letter of Seeking Confirmation of Adopter!

Wait, what?  That can't be right...  That'd be LOSCOA!

Whatever it is, I have it in my hot little hands, and it means we're that much closer to getting Zinnia home.  We've signed it and we're sending it to our agency and mailing our I-800 tomorrow, and then we'll wait not-so-patiently for our TA - Taco Aerospace Travel Approval.  Cool, huh?

If you think that's nifty, how about this?  We have some dear friends who moved away from our town several years ago, and it just so happens that through some crazy twists and turns, they are also adopting from China, also a child with Down syndrome, also with the same agency, and also at the same time.  They received their LOA too, and our agency has told us we'll probably travel together!  We're all pretty danged excited.

So remember that nice weather we had for Halloween?  Yeah, it's gone.  Our dogs are enjoying snow for the first time, as is one of the speech pathologists I'm currently supervising (she's from the Philippines so it's all new to her).  I don't have a picture of her frolicking in the snow, though I'm sure she did - she strikes me as a frolicker, but here's one of the dogs.  I can't get enough of their cuteness!

On Saturday, our kids had their voice and piano recital.  Our teacher is great, and all the kids did a nice job.  Unfortunately the camera wasn't rolling when Beck played, so we made him play his piece again at the end of the recital.  He happily obliged, but now that the recital is over, I hope I never hear that particular rendition of Jingle Bells again.  Like as long as I live.  Bless his heart, he practiced, but oy - I just can't.

 Yesterday, I had an MRI on my shoulder so my doctor can determine whether I need surgery.  I TOLD my doctor I am EXCEEDINGLY claustrophobic.  My first MRI almost landed me in the funny farm.  I insisted on sedation for the second.  I managed.  So based on experience (no sedation=bad, sedation=good), I asked for the good stuff again.  I was prescribed diazepam, and dutifully took it 30 minutes before my appointment.  As the time approached, I started to get worried that I wasn't feeling any differently.  The rad tech told me I should have had 10 mg, 1 hour prior, so she tried to slow things down to allow the medication to kick in.  It didn't.  I'll jump ahead a bit here to tell you that when I got home, I looked at the bottle and saw that I was given was one milligram.  One.

Anyway, we tried to get me into the tube, and I lasted about 10 seconds before sheer panic set in.  I was extricated quickly, and commenced sobbing/apologizing for my irrational behavior.  The tech suggested I come back later for full anesthesia, but I couldn't bear the thought of this already expensive procedure (remember that $15,000 deductible of ours?) becoming even more so.

So, I asked the tech to call my husband over from his office.  He came right away, and I asked him to give me a blessing.  He did, and as he spoke, I felt peace and calm wash over me.  We went back in, and even though I had some serious reservations, I was able to do it.  30 minutes I spent in that mouse hole.  I feel panic just thinking about it.  But I did it because God blessed me to be able to stand it.  Cool, huh?

So today we had something fun happen.  Two missionaries showed up at our house to make dinner.  For real!  They made fry bread that Elder M (right) learned to make while serving on a reservation.  We topped them (the bread, not the missionaries, although that would have been funny) with chili, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.  I wish this would happen more often.  ;)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The shame...

There's almost nothing I hate worse than finding a blog I like (usually cooking related) and having the author seemingly fall off the face of the earth.

 I'm ashamed that I'm that person.

 I have such good intentions, but life - my crazy big life - just does its thing and pretty soon a month has gone by and I find my poor little neglected blog, sulking in the corner. I don't know how many times it can keep on forgiving me.

 Anyway... October was a good month. Having Joshua home is so cool. I love hearing him sing and play guitar, and it's been fun to see him interacting with his siblings again and watching him adjust to "civilian" life. He's been accepted to BYU in January, so he's been busy making plans for yet another big transition.  It's not that I want an adult son living in my house forever, but I will be sad when he leaves.

 October also brought us our new dog, Clover - the sweetest little sheltie you ever did see. She and Rocket spent two days trying to kill each other, but once they got all that out of their systems, they're now the best of friends. Clover seems to be a tad perplexed about this crazy notion that peeing should take place OUTDOORS, so I've been more grateful than usual for wood and tile floors. I can't be mad about her mistakes. She's simply too freaking adorable.

I've been working quite a bit, and I'm mostly enjoying it.  Even though it's hard to be away from my responsibilities at home, I just keep thinking about the fact that my paycheck will help get Zinnia home from China.  I'm grateful that I can work during the school hours so that I'm home when all the kids are here.

And then there was Halloween - my most loathed holiday.  We did the obligatory trick-or-treating with the littles, then stuck a big bowl of candy on the porch with strict instructions to visiting goblins not to be too greedy, and then we headed out to a basketball game at the college.  Much more fun than sitting at home answering the doorbell 5000 times.  We came home to a single Snickers bar in the bowl.  Either we planned well, or some stinkpot teenagers wiped out the stash in the first 5 minutes.  In which case we're lucky we didn't get egged or something.  I call it a win all around.

So.  Pictures.  Enjoy.

Making posters for the airport


Our first glimpse


Reuniting with the first companion

Grandpa Whicker



Meeting new Grandma Kathy

Meeting other new Grandma Kathy

With Grandpa Thorley

At Lagoon

Attending General Conference with our whole family - a dream come true!

Joshua ran into these girls from his mission

And then he met up with his good friend from home!

Waiting for the prophet, yo

Beck and Thalia's baptism day
Post-baptism Mexican pig-out

All the grandparents
Lily on her 15th birthday

Sweet Clover the night she arrived

Clover and Rocket get acquainted

Thalia's favorite activity (swinging, not drawing)

At a corn maze with the fam

Riding the train at the corn maze

Joshua.  On Halloween.  Otherwise this would be weird.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weather weirdness and other bizarre happenings

This was a strange week.  To start with, after consistent 80+ degree temps, we suddenly found ourselves in the 40s with snow being predicted.  The snow never came, praise be, but it was plenty cold and I did not enjoy it.  Our house is not young - bless its heart - and it takes a good 2 days for the radiators to really warm up enough to be noticeable.  This meant school time being spent wrapped up in blankets and generally feeling uncomfortable.  I think my homeschool kids were actually envious of their public school siblings who were warm and toasty in their classrooms.

On Tuesday I went to PT and had another ultrasound treatment on my shoulder.  I don't know if it really helps or not, but I *think* it does.  I've tried to be better about remember to ice it and do my exercises, but it still hurts like no other at night.  She told me to baby it for one more week and that this Tuesday, we'll start to "push" it a little.  I don't know if I like the sound of that...

Also weird was that after a nearly 12-year hiatus (save for some subbing here and there), I went back to work.  It's only for a few hours a week, so it's nothing demanding, but it's still kind of surreal to be back in the saddle.  I'm enjoying it, though.  The speech pathologists I get to supervise are great women who seem to know what they're doing, so I think we'll have fun together.

And perhaps the most bizarre happening of the week was that our church hosted a back-to-school dance, and that despite my grumblings about it, we went and actually enjoyed ourselves.  We made our teens sacrifice an hour of their precious Friday night to attend, and even though they probably won't admit it, I think they had fun, too.  A couple of them stayed the entire time in spite of swearing they'd rather DIE than go to a church dance - a church dance with GROWN-UPS and with LITTLE KIDS!

On Saturday, Curtis and a young man we've hired to help us with projects around the house worked most of the day in the basement, trying to organize it and get rid of junk.  Once upon a time, we had a fairly nice family room and school room in the basement, but once we quit homeschooling and the family room TV quit working, people quit going down there and it morphed into a giant storage area.  Unfortunately, there is still another full day of work to do down there, so they're planning to get back on it this Saturday.  We already have a truckload of stuff that will need to go to the dump first, too.  We're going to use the schoolroom area as a temporary bedroom for Joshua, who will be here for 3 months before starting school, and then maybe for Christmas we'll get a new TV so we can watch movies together down there.  It's the only room with a TV that's really big enough for our whole family.  ;)

Also over the past week, I canned my own roasted red peppers for the first time (I usually just make them for a meal we're eating right away), I gave Rocket his first bath, and I got to go to Jackson and Beck's soccer games.  Jackson scored 6 (!) goals, and Beck scored 2.  I love my soccer-playing family (although I do have soccer to blame for my dang dislocated shoulder!).

This week I'll be working a few hours on a couple of days and restarting clogging after a 3-year break.  I'm simultaneously excited and stressed about it - excited because it will be a form of exercise I can still do with my arm and I enjoy it, and stressed because it's a bad time of the week/evening for me, and I'm worried about all the things I've forgotten.  I hope I'll do OK!

Friday marks two weeks until Joshua is home!
This would have been a great shot had I not gotten my big ol' finger in the way

Not quite as impressive, but Cora looks happy!

Maizie, doing her thang...

Beck and his trampoline skills

Thalia showing off  :)

My roasted red peppers.  I canned them in blue jars, which made them look less appetizing.

Our sweet new sheltie.  We still need a name for her.  We pick her up in about 3 weeks!  

Lily doing whatever it is that volleyball managers do  ;)

I stole this picture off  Facebook when someone tagged Joshua in it.  The guy on the right is his new companion.