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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

English Toffee Fundraiser

We need a mere $5600 to have Zinnia's adoption fully funded.  I'm not being sarcastic when I use the word "mere," considering that's a tiny fraction of the total cost.  To help us close the gap, we're giving away delicious homemade English toffee to those who make donations to our Reece's Rainbow account.  Here are all the exciting details!  ;)

A little recap...

I know.  It's just shameful.  I had such great intentions of staying on top of our life (our adoption doings, in particular) as we wait for YunLi, but life just happened and here we are.  Please accept my humble apology, and delight your eyes with the Cliff's Notes version (text and photo) of our summer here.

  • School got out.  We did stuff.  Weekly activities at the library, art classes, piano, gymnastics, early Saturday morning family/friend soccer games, hikes at Makoshika, day trips to Billings, a rained-out trip to the Medora musical (musical-less, thanks to the deluge), reading, snow cone snacks, baking...  This was probably the most scheduled summer we've had in years.  And I liked it.  I think I can count on two hands the number of times the B-word was uttered by a child.  (No, not that B-word, "bored.")
  • I dislocated my shoulder at the end of July while playing soccer with a bunch of little kids.  I'm not proud.  I'm also not healed.  I start PT this week and may have surgery on the horizon.  Pray that I won't have to go there.  
  • We came up with a name for YunLi:  Zinnia Joyce YunLi.  Joyce was my great-aunt's name, and Zinnia is a name we both love.
  • Our dossier was logged in in China on August 19th, and our agency is giving us a loose prediction of December or January travel.
  • Joshua was just transferred back to one of his old areas and gets to spend the last 5 weeks of his mission NOT being an assistant.  He's very excited about that.  WE are very excited that we get to pick him up a few days early and our entire family will get to go to General Conference together.  Super awesome!  
  • We went to the county fair just before school started and Maizie and Sofie became zipper initiates.  There's no way I would have gone on the zipper at their age.  I scream like a baby (and might even utter a few choice words in my terror) even now.
  • We're homeschooling Maizie and Sofie and the rest of the kids are in public school.  The first week is done, and things went great, but this is the week that all the after-school activities start up.  Ugh.  
  • Our sweet Poppy (our corgi) passed away unexpectedly from a suspected brain tumor.  We miss her terribly, but we have a new little "Augi" (corgi/mini Aussie mix) named Rocket who is lots of fun.  We also have a yet-to-be name sheltie puppy coming in early October.  
  • I got a job.  It's not much of a job, but I'll be spending this school year supervising the two new school district speech pathologists.  It's a whopping 2.5 hours per week, but it will help with our adoption expenses.
  • I've been busy applying to college for Joshua.  He's already been accepted to BYU-Idaho, but he's holding out for BYU-Provo.  We're all crossing our fingers.  
Those are the major points, except for lots more cruddy things that happened, that I'd rather not revisit.  ;)

Ready for the dance recital

Cool photo that Joshua and the other assistant took in Milwaukee

Running through the sprinklers

Sofie's 11th birthday

At Elitch Gardens in Denver

Weird Uncle Jay...

With the fam for my niece's baptism

4th of July parade - gymnastics kids (Thalia's in the blue leo)

More parade pics  (Cora and Jack)
And still more parade pics (Maizie and Sofie)

Jonah subbed as a drummer for the Catholic school marching band.  Doesn't he look thrilled to be wearing that hat?

Dancing at the 4th of July concert

Zoe, in a rare face-showing shot.  Isn't she lovely?

Jonah drumming in his uncle's band

At the library after an activity.  Sitting on Rodys and thinking of Grandma Thorley.  ;)

A birthday surprise for me!

Jonah, master piggy-back giver

Hiking at Makoshika

Hanging out with two of my sisters (I'm on the right)


Makoshika again

Saying goodbye to our beloved Poppy - truly the best dog who ever was.  <3

And saying hello to our little Rocket (right)

Beck's 8th birthday

Beck and Jack at their British soccer camp

Ethan and Jonah's 16th birthday

Joshua (blue guy in the middle) and the other mini-golf crazed elders

Our authenticated dossier!

Celebrating Joshua's 21st birthday without him ;)

Our little sheltie puppy.  She is as of yet nameless and will be joining us in early October.

At the fair - our last hurrah of summer

All but the two on either end are ours.  ;)

Torturing new missionaries

Thalia getting her baptism lessons

First day of school for Maizie and Sofie

New picture of YunLi/Zinnia!

First day of school for Lily, Cora, Thalia, Jackson and Beck

First day of school for the rest of the teens (Lily - right - started the day before)

Bountiful Baskets haul, with a photo bomber

Rocket's getting bigger!

Joshua (2nd from right) before leaving for his last area

Another new picture of sweet Zinnia.  Isn't she so cute?!