Sunday, September 9, 2012

A little bit of everything

Our first full week of school is done (well, I guess it's not technically full since it included the Labor Day holiday), and it's starting to feel normal again to have the kids gone for part of the day.  Beck is pretty miserable in the afternoons without anyone to play with, but Joshua and I have been trying to keep him entertained the best we can.  I think he'll be glad when Thalia arrives and he has an afternoon playmate again.

On the subject of Thalia, we still no nothing.  I emailed our agency yet again, asking for information about our log-in date and where we are in the process and didn't even get a response.  I'm really starting to get angry, but yet I don't dare rock the boat too much when they hold all the cards with our adoption.  But I can say that never in our previous adoption experiences have we been ignored like we have with this agency.  It's so frustrating.  What I do know from other adopters is that people whose dossiers went over when ours did are starting to get their LOAs.  Hopefully that means ours will be coming soon.

Last week was FILLED with amazing miracles for our family that reminded me once again that God loves us, is aware of our needs, and is in control.  First, we got an unexpected phone call from our contractor with a proposed work schedule that will get our kitchen substantially closer to being finished by mid-October.  (Our kitchen has been in the remodeling stage for over 3 years now.)  Second, we received an unexpected check in the mail from a loved one that will make a huge dent in our adoption fund deficit.  (If you're reading this, dear loved one, we are so very, very grateful!)  Third, Teffy has made a decision about her education and living arrangements that is going to make life SO much better for her.  I won't share all the specifics here out of concern for her privacy, but we are so proud of her and can't wait to see what the next couple of years will bring her.

I always know that my Father in Heaven loves me, but this week, I felt like the floodgates were opened that things that I have been agonizing over for so long were addressed or fixed in one fell swoop.  I've been on cloud nine all week, feeling the weight of these things lessen drastically.

In other news, our kids started with their new piano teacher (who comes to our HOUSE, bless her!) and they really like her.  Anybody who would take on 10 new students from the same family deserves an award!

I started doing Weight Watchers online in order to get off these 10 pounds that I managed to put on over the last year.  So far I'm really enjoying it and I've lost 3.5 pounds.  Since I track my food in My Fitness Pal every day anyway, it feels to me like something I can do longterm and not feel restricted by.  I think once I reach the maintenance stage, I will continue to use it for logging my food.

We're three weeks away from our trip to take Joshua to the MTC.  Some days I feel practically giddy with excitement over it, but at odd moments, something will catch me off guard and I'll get all emotional over it.  Someone mentioned today that Joshua would be gone for Halloween, for example.  Halloween is NOT a big holiday to me - I hate it, in fact, but yet thinking that he won't be here for that when there are already costumes and decorations in the stores really gets to me.  I tear up at the drop of a hat every time I realize that I'm doing something with him that I won't be able to do again for a very long time.  Gulp.

Yesterday, I went with my mom to a church women's meeting in Glendive.  My mom taught a class about following the prophet, and I had to make a display about a book that I'd read.  The whole meeting focused on the good, better and best ways for us to spend our time, and there were several of us who were asked to prepare displays on hobbies and books.  I chose the book "God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man," by Cornelia Walker Bailey.  It's an autobiography of this woman who grew up on Sapelo Island, Georgia (one of the Sea Island) and is a Geechee by descent.  (If you're familiar witht he Gullah people, the Geechee are similar.)  Anyway, I found it fascinating to learn about all of the aspects of West African culture that are still alive in the Gullah-Geechee culture.  Sadly, these cultures are dying out because of modernization and tourism.  It was an amazing look into their lives.

Today after church, we ended up having the missionaries over for lunch, plus one of Zoe's friends and a forest fire fighter who is stationed here temporarily.  We had a great meal of beer-battered avocado tacos (one of the missionaries had never eaten avocados before, if you can believe that!) and then played games together.  Then the younger kids put on an impromptu talent show that had everyone laughing.  It was a fun evening.  The missionaries left to go to Billings as both are transferring out and being replaced by sister missionaries.  We're excited about that.  The fire fighter is 18, and he's downstairs hanging out with Joshua and Zoe while Curtis, Jonah, Ethan and my dad are out home teaching.  It's been a great day.

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