Not Snow, nor sleet.........

Mom came through surgery just fine after one plate and a few screws/bolts later. For falling down three steps, she sure did mess that ankle up!
On a lighter note, my husband goes to the gym 6 days a week. He's weird like that. This picture shows just how dedicated he is. Look closely. He is still wearing his dress shoes with his black dress socks. Not snow, nor sleet, nor forgetting gym shoes will keep him from the gym. I get a chuckle every time I picture him lifting the big weights in his dress shoes!



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Surgery For Mom

My mom fell down the stairs in her home before Christmas and broke her ankle. After more xrays were done, the doctor determined that she tore a ligament and would need it surgically repaired. So today, she is having surgery. Frankly, it is weird being the one who will wait instead of the one having the surgery. Please pray all goes well and that she gets a wonderful anesthetist!

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Match Dot Com

Yes, I noticed Eric's sock drawer looking rather empty. I also noticed that the "looking for a partner" sock drawer was looking rather full especially when I tried squooshing the drawer shut with my foot. It was time....insert "dun dun DUN!" here. I emptied the "missing my partner" drawer.


Honestly, this isn't even all of it.



BTW, not sure if I've mentioned how much of a Scrooge I am. I can't stand the Christmas clutter so the tree often comes down the day after Christmas. This year, we had an artificial tree which we borrowed from my mother. Go ahead and call Jeff Foxworthy now. You know you're a redneck when you borrow your Christmas tree! Anyway, I held off until yesterday. I took the decorations down and boxed them up......with one hand and two small helpers. I know what you're thinking: "She can let the socks go, but can't keep the Christmas decorations?" People, you should know by now that there is no method to the madness.
(Speaking of matches: Who knows what is going to come up on my google ad sidebar after this post! Heehee)

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Why?

Why did my son feel the need to color his ummmm.......areola area PINK on one side? Good grief, I think he is bleeding every time I see it!

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WINTER WONDERLAND

I thought I would post pics of our winter wonderland the kids have enjoyed so much.



We have huge mounds all over the place!





The kids thought the swing set was pretty cool to play on. Kind of like falling into a foam pit!
It rained so much in the last 12 hours that the snow is gone! We are back to being muddy!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!




I've discovered something. I need some lessons on how to use my fancy schmancy camera that I got for Christmas. Eric got me a Nikon P90. These are some of my practice shots.



Need to get this on a card!




MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM MY HOUSE TO YOURS

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Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!

My agency emailed and my dossier specialist stayed until she received my fedex'd LOA letter and sent out my I-800. Talk about service! Loving them right now!


MERRY CHRISTMAS, BLOGLAND! THANKS FOR READING!

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Remembering My Miracle On December 23rd

Funny thing how we get kids as Christmas presents. Ten years ago today, I found out I was expecting Allyson. I had a routine visit at my fertility specialist expecting nothing. It never occurred to me that I could be pregnant despite the fact that I was so tired I laid down on a bench at the mall while Christmas shopping. I had a routine ultrasound that day. For those of you that have been through fertility issues know what I'm talking about. The room got very quiet, my nurse had tears in her eyes, and my doctor's eyes were as big as saucers as she was picking her jaw off the floor. My first thought: "Great! Now I'm dying. We've fooled with my hormones too much." My doctor told me to look at the dot on the screen. Yes, I saw the dot. It was definitely a new dot. Now I KNEW I was dying since I had a tumor!

My doc said that I knew what that was......a baby! No fertility treatments! Nothing short of a miracle for Christmas! I took the ultrasound picture to show mom as Eric was working and I really was in quite a daze. We wrapped a small box , put the picture in it, and headed down to his office.
Eric totally wondered why I wasn't at work and what was wrong. I gave him his early Christmas present. He opened it and turned completely white, ashen! He quickly sat down! We were both so astonished as we had recently decided that we were done with the treatments. We had decided to try one more that coming January, and then we would just let it go. I really think we had just settled in our minds that it wasn't going to happen. Going through fertility treatments, you never expect the surprise pregnancy!
So you see, we love getting kiddos for Christmas! Very Special!

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FINALLY!

Here is the stork who plopped my package on my doorstep and darted away into her truck. I ran after her yelling, "Wait! Wait! I need your picture! This is very important!". I know, I know, right now you're thinking, "Caaa---rAAAZZZYY Woman!". I assure you, the stork woman was thinking the same thing.



Okay, we don't always look this uhhhh....frumpy. Waiting for the stork to arrive is tiring! Eric had just gotten home from work and was getting comfy. Yes, folks, I'm in jammies. Wish I could live in jammies!


THE INFAMOUS LOA!

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It's 4:53 and Fedex is Torturing me! UPDATED

Seriously? My LOA delivery has been delayed due to "treacherous roads". My kids went to school yesterday and today so the roads aren't that bad! The letter is "still on the truck". I know because I called the main Fedex office and gave him a desperate shout out. After I told him what I was expecting, he said, "I don't even know what to say, ma'am". Oh my! I'm no longer being patient!

UPDATE:
5:15 PM The stork came. The letta' is in da' house!
Pics to follow

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Ohhh Yeah! The Stork is Coming!

~~~~~LOA~~~~~

My agency called me first thing this morning and told me that we are parents again! Oh my, the relief! The stork (the fedex man) should be delivering my referral papers tomorrow. We have two feet of snow and huge stacks of the pillowy, white stuff due to the plows. You may find me sitting at the end of my slushy driveway! Hope the snow doesn't deter the stork! Looks like travel will be in early March!


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Priceless



Just caught Grant jumping off the deck railing and landing spread eagle in the snow. He is his father's son!

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MADE BY MADELINE

Notice anything different on my blog? I had the pleasure of having Madeline from Made by Madeline make my blog header for me. Let me tell you, she is a patient woman! Even when I changed my mind and couldn't make up my mind, she simply did whatever I asked. I shopped around and can assure you that she is very reasonably priced. She also fixed some of my HTML code from when I changed my blog from a 2 column to a 3 column. Please check out her services as she is a pleasure to work with. Thank you Madeline! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

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The Upside, the Downside, & The Funnyside

The upside: It's snowing.....a lot! Definitely will still be white (or brown) for Christmas. Kids are loving it!

The downside: A lot of lucky people got their LOAs yesterday. I wasn't one of them. People that sent in dossiers at the same time or later than me received them. Ugh! My only hope is that maybe, just maybe, my dossier specialist was out on Friday, and maybe my call will come Monday. Not all that likely, but still worth hoping for.

The funnyside: I had so much fun watching the kids' Christmas play last night. Allyson was a star and hated her costume. The pictures are kind of lousy and don't do justice to the miserable look she had on her face! Too funny

Here's my angel in the school Christmas play. Adorable, right?



The very miserable star. Although she has always been a star as far as I'm concerned!



Ah, yes....these kids love the snow.


Grant loves to sing and took his performance very seriously!

video

One more!


video

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While I'm Waiting

Boy, I wish that LOA was on it's way. I guess the phone call from my agency telling me to send in my I800 was truly just to have things prepared. Honestly, I was not even expecting it until January anyway. I feel like I've done well with the wait so far....meaning I haven't gone crazy. But, now that I know others are getting their LOA around the 60 day mark, I am anxious and those possibilities of what could go wrong are slipping into my mind.

Have to say, that with our last adoption, I had such a huge urgency to get to Kazakhstan that I was miserable, anxious, and distracted. I was only focused on the adoption and worried over things that were out of my control. I think I am in a different place this time. Yes, I'm anxious at times and mildly distracted, but not enough to miss the bigger picture. At least, not yet. I still have my guard up. I have emotionally and physically invested effort, but still, I am holding back. For example, I've learned some phrases in Chinese, but not nearly enough. I didn't pick up that pack of underwear and socks for Saner at the store the other day either. At the same time, I have started to gather the pieces of the 100 Good Wishes quilt, and bought the flat, individually wrapped hand sanitizers for travel. Ummm, yeah, I know that it makes no sense!

So I'm trying hard to remember that God's timing has always proven to be best. I'll continue to wait without being overly distracted or miserable. I said in my very first blog post that we had taken another leap of faith. Just wondering why that leap had to be so big!

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Don't Look if You Get Queasy!

I've got a new splint that stays on 24/7. No therapy at this point as we are waiting for the transferred tendon to heal and a joint to fuse. I only take it off to clean the area. My skilled nurse (i.e. the cute baker in the post below) does a great job cleaning it for me. DON'T LOOK AT THE PICTURE AFTER THIS ONE IF YOU GET QUEASY......IT ISN'T PRETTY!






Now that's just plain ugly! It looks like a club!

I think it feels better today than it did yesterday. I'm still not at a point where I can turn my wrist besides a palm up position. That took awhile the last time. The good news is I can do my hair a little better and my make up my not be so crooked!

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Christmas Cookies!



The cookies looked great until Grant walked over with his in his hands. He bumped into me and they all fell onto the floor! He cried so hard. I didn't have the heart to throw them out so we packed them in tupperware for Santa. He won't care that his cookies were all over the floor, right?


Wow, that's a good lookin' baker in the kitchen!

Here's a video of Grant reading to me. Love it! Check it out. He gets pretty carried away with his voices!


I had a post op visit today and got a new splint on. Right now, I'm regretting my decision for surgery! My wrist feels like a wobbly mess. I remember feeling this way when I had the same thing done to my left wrist and thumb. We'll see!

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THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG REVIEW

We piled in the car last minute to catch the last matinee of The Princess and the Frog. The kids were excited....okay, Grant was really excited. It had a cute storyline and made the kids laugh. Actually, it made Eric and I laugh. BUT why have so much voodoo stuff going on? It is set in New Orleans and has great jazz numbers and adorable characters. It's just seriously heavy on the Black Magic crap. Just thought I would throw my two cents in. I think I'd give it 2 stars.

We did see a preview of Toy Story 3 though. We seriously love the Toy Story movies and will be heading out to see this when it comes out this summer. Hilarious!

I've been so lame on the blogosphere. Sorry! My back, hands, and arm have been so sore. I am so slow at everything too. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!


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O CHRISTMAS TREE!


So here is my hand. I feel like I am lugging around a small child everywhere I go, and my back is so very sore! The cast goes up past my elbow. I actually think that the rest of my body is hurting worse than the wrist/hand itself.


Omi, Eric's mom, came up to help out. She cleaned bathrooms, watched kids, drove us to the doctors office, and helped decorate the Christmas tree! Thanks, Omi!



Yikes! That looks like it was about to be an "America's Funniest Videos" moment.


Grant was a big help this year. We have always bought a real tree. However, this year, we borrowed my parents artificial tree since they weren't putting it up. Love not having to vacuum up pine needles every day!
Oh! The bad news is that my mom had the swine flu.....really awful. The good news is that we didn't catch it!

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Ally's Anecdote


I have pictures and a post to write, but my joints on my left arm (non-surgical arm) are very swollen and painful. I think they are angry that they have doing all the work and my right arm is resting! So I thought Id leave you with one funny anecdote from today.

Allyson went to a birthday party that had horseback riding. On her way home, she told Eric that she had a lot of fun. She learned how to ride, made her horse gallop, and stop. Then she said that she couldn't remember how to get her horse to "start" again!

Hmmm....where is that ignition on that horse!


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SANER'S NEW PICTURE






HERE IS A PICTURE OF OUR HAPPY BOY!
HE IS 2 YRS. AND 2 MONTHS IN THIS PICTURE. NOT EXACTLY THE "UPDATED" PICTURE I ASKED FOR, CONSIDERING HE IS 3 YRS AND 9 MONTHS NOW. HOWEVER, NICE TO HAVE A "BABY" PICTURE OF HIM, RIGHT?
HE IS SOOO CUTE!

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The Land of the Living

I'm back to the land of the living. Sorry, no pictures; I'm not a pretty sight! I'm still taking pain meds every 4 hrs., but this is only post-op day 2. When I had this surgery done on my other wrist, I had a great block. This time, it was a rotten one. I could feel my fingers in the O.R. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. I told them that I would like a refund on my anesthesia. Hmmm, I wonder why they didn't go for that. So, I think I cried all the way back home (2 hrs.). My hubby, who doesn't baby me too much, wanted to know how bad could it be. He said that since I had a knee replacement, wrist and hand pain couldn't be that bad! Yeah, I wasn't laughing either.
I got a new picture of Saner, but it wasn't really new. He looks so adorable in it. He is younger than the referral pic. I can't post it yet because it needs a little tweeking. You know the Chinese split pants? Well, he is wearing them and...well, his boy stuff is visible! Certainly can't post that on the internet! Trust me, though, he has an adorable smile!
Now, if only the stork would arrive with my LOA! I'd be so happy!

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'Regularly Scheduled Maintanence"



It's time for my "regularly scheduled maintenance" tomorrow. I should be home before the kids get home from school hopefully. Let's all hope my hiney doesn't hang out too badly! I'll post when I can. Thanks!

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High Fashion Folks!


I got to hang out with a wonderful friend who is quite crafty today. She pulled out her jewelry making things to fix my jewelry that broke earlier today, and then she showed me how to make some bracelets. Like them?

Seriously, my lousy picture just doesn't do them justice. Thanks, Rachel! Oh, wanted to remind everyone about our 100 Good Wishes Quilt. Just click on the left sidebar for more information.
Smiles,
Heather

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Happy Thanksgiving!


I'm thankful for......



Also, thankful for my mom's wonderful cooking! I ate way too much but enjoyed it. I would be posting pics of the Dominoes playing fun we had, but was having too much fun playing Dominoes! Besides, my aunt had fake fall leaves in her hair since Allyson "decorated" her, and she would absolutely kill me if I posted that.







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Ebaying Again!


Just thought I'd share that I'm ebaying some of those HOT gifts that are supposed to be the "IT" gift this year. I got a hold of some zhu zhu pets so if you have a friend who wants to buy them for Christmas, you can refer them to my ebay sale! I have several for sale along with other odds and ends. Every little bit helps out our adoption, right?


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Oh my....Could it Be?



First things first....these lovely cookies were made by Allyson. She made them all by herself AND cleaned up the mess. They are pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting. Pretty cool, huh?

Now, even more good stuff. My agency coordinator sent me an email asking me to fill out the I800 and mail it in to her for her to file! She said that I could "get my official referral very soon"! Is it possible? Surely she isn't getting my hopes up for nothing. Surely she knows something, right? That would be way quicker than I thought it would happen.
Maybe this will make recovery time go quicker. I don't think I mentioned that I've having wrist and thumb surgery next Tuesday. I've had the same surgery done on my left wrist/thumb. It's just outpatient, but my hand and arm past my elbow is hard splinted for a LONG time. This means, my hair won't be pretty and Allyson may have to unbutton me so I can go to the bathroom. For a Rheumatoid patient, surgery is really just maintenance. You know, you have your roots done, your teeth cleaned, your wrist and tendons repaired, your yearly checkup at the "ladies' office". Just part of my regular maintenance. Now, I think I'll go enjoy a cookie and read that wonderful email one more time!

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My Merry Maid




Yesterday, I had Allyson clean the bathrooms. She took several hours, but did a great job. She included the baseboards and floors as well. Last night, I got a good chuckle when I noticed that she even folded the toilet paper ends as such. She cracks me up!



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Sore Loser....Mom, That is


My six year old beat me in a checkers game. Yes, I'll admit, I was indeed trying to win.



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Good Fortune?


We enjoyed some yummy Chinese the other day.
Don't know if you can read them, but our fortune cookies cracked me up. Mine was, "Your dearest wish will come true". Eric's was, "You will step on the soil of many countries". Eric's response? "No kidding."



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No More Boob Talk!

I was pulled aside by our school's administrator and was told that someone said Grant and another child, who is often in trouble, were supposedly talking about boobs in the boys' bathroom. The administrator wasn't exactly sure what to think, but didn't necessarily think Grant was having that conversation. So last night at bedtime, I asked Grant if he was talking about something he should not have been with this other child. He wasn't sure what I was talking about at first. I asked again, and he said, "Oh yeah. I was talking about boobs". Ker-plunk! My jaw hit the ground. When did he turn into a 15 year old boy? They say it happens fast but this is ridiculous!
I prodded him a bit more. He then said very matter-of-factly, "I told them my dad has boobs". Ker-plunk! That was Eric's jaw hitting the floor. You can imagine how excited Eric was to find out he had boobs. You have to know, Eric works out and lifts weights every day and has had that routine for years. He thoroughly enjoys working out. Weird, huh? I pantomimed to Grant so I could be sure we were talking about the same thing. Unfortunately, we were. He said, "I can't remember what they are called. You know, not muscles." To which I replied, "Ohhhh, Yessss! You mean pecs?". He said, "Yeah, that's it, pecs!". PECS, Grant, PECS! On his way out the door to work this morning, Eric reminded Grant that he has PECS not boobs and that there should be no boob talk at school! Ahh, the things kids say! At least he is still 6 and not 15.

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100 Good Wishes Quilt


For both of my kids, I cross stitched a large piece that had a meaningful poem or wishes for them. I've had them framed in each of their rooms and hope they will treasure this once they are older. However, my Rheumatoid hands will no longer allow me to cross stitch so I am trying something different for San'er. We would love to start a 100 Good Wishes Quilt, or Bai Jia Bei. In northern China, there is a tradition to welcome and celebrate a new life with a "100 Good Wishes Quilt." It is a custom to invite family, friends, and oh-so-faithful blog readers to contribute a square patch of cloth. The patches are sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation. We would LOVE it, if you would contribute to this project. Here is what we would like you to do:


1. Choose a 100% cotton fabric that you like. It can be from a fabric store, fabric you already have, or something that is special to you, or maybe even fabric that has special family meaning. In China, these quilts were originally made from garments of family and friends, which would surround the child with luck/good wishes)

2. Prewash the fabric so it shrinks and is clean; then iron it
so that it is straight enough for cutting.

3. Cut one square measuring 8"x8" and smaller piece to include in our scrapbook with your wish.

4. Add your wish. The wish can be your own words or thoughts, a favorite poem or quote, a blessing for the new arrivals, a prayer for them, a favorite verse, or whatever. Place it on a card with a scrap of your fabric glued to the card. Your wish can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. If you feel creative and want to decorate it, that would be great too. For those of you who wish you can also include a picture of yourself so he can see who sent the wish. We'll have a special Wish Box or scrapbook for the wishes.

* You can send more than one piece of fabric for other members of your family

GOOD WISHES NOTE:

Wishes can be anything you wish for San'er's life.....good health, happiness, joy, adventure, remembering the good things in life, etc.

Please feel free to tell other family members and friends about our project. This is something that I think San'er will treasure as he grows older. I do not quilt so I will be finding someone to hand this project to, to complete for me.

You can private email (wwoodse@comcast.net) me for the address to send it to.


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Personal Assistant

Do you ever feel like your aren't really a mom? I think a better title would be "my child's personal assistant". After all, I pick up things they need at the store, schedule their appointments, make sure they get to soccer/t-ball/basketball/taekwondo.......... I make sure there aren't any scheduling conflicts. Allyson checks in with me not necessarily to see if she CAN do something, but if she has a scheduling conflict! Now, you have to understand something about this child. She HAS to be on the move. She seriously would rather be out at all times. This is kind of scary if this is a sign of things to come. Grant, on the other hand, would rather stay home. He doesn't want to go out to eat, to the mall, or anywhere! Hmmmm, I'm thinking ten years old is too young for a blackberry!



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Calling Your Senator Can Pay Off

Remember my H1N1 Vaccine post? Well, I ended up calling my senator who happens to be from our very small town. I found it VERY frustrating that the state was not getting this vaccine to those who were high risk and wanted it. I also found it frustrating that my tax dollars were vaccinating the public school kids, but my own kids would not be included. If other states can get it together, so can mine! I received several phone calls from the health department on my CELL PHONE. Yes, they are certainly persistent! Not only did he give me his home phone number, but he gave the health department my home and cell number! Thank you Senator for getting things moving! The health department took my information, and I honestly didn't think I would be hearing from them again. However, they called and schedule my H1N1 vaccine about a week later. I brought the kids when I went in and the nurse (who was so very nice!) asked if I wanted my kids vaccinated. Ten minutes later, both my kids had nice sore little arms and an inactive vaccine! Wow! Now I know immunizations are controversial these days, and I realize that the h1n1 vaccine is even more controversial. However, I CAN'T get sick. Better safe than sorry, right? Let's ALL stay healthy!

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Kazakhstan's Radioactive Legacy

Over at The Big Picture, there are pictures of Semey, Kazakhstan and the people living there. They have been affected by nuclear radiation due to the Soviet Union's atomic bombing practice with 456 bombs. This has affected three generations as they are still affected by it to this day. So sad. Some of the pictures are a bit disturbing. Sometimes, we get so comfortable with our own day to day, that we can lose sight of how other people have to live. We lose site of The Big Picture

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First Care Package






Our first care package has a pair of pj's, really soft bear, little snuggly blanket, picture book, disposable camera, "roaring" dinosaur, little truck, letter from us, and some teddy grahams.



This is one of the pictures we are including


Finally, the boys' bedroom. We are including these in the pictures as well.


This is the other half of the boys' room. Sending the care package makes things seem a little more real! Now, if I could only get a referral update!

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Is This the Face of Innocence or a Guilty Dog Pleading Not Guilty?

I came home to this face that says, "Who me? You think I made this mess?"!



Hmmmm.....maybe it was a very hungry burglar who only wanted trash to gnaw on.


She sure was eager to get out of the house when I got home.


Bad dog! Yesterday she ate an entire box of Golden Grahams that she pulled out of the bottom cabinet and chewed through the box and plastic bag. I just bought her a new bone too! I think she likes Golden Grahams better!







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I MIGHT have....



I MIGHT have dropped my kids off at school in my pjs.
I MIGHT have also walked into the post office and the bank in my pjs.
I MIGHT have let my kids take a cruddy lunch of pizza pockets, crackers, and candy to school. But, hey, we did get a lot accomplished this morning, and I stuffed some fruit in their lunchboxes too.
I'm just sayin', I might have.


Disclaimer: I don't smoke, don't take Prozac, and don't take my coffee black!


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Grown in My Heart

I'm taking a cue from Ann over at Cornbread and Chopsticks and doing my own adoption carnival from Grown in My Heart. I don't know why these pics showed up so grainy on blogger because they typically don't. Sorry!



First day with Grant. That was one of the hardest and happiest days! I've never seen a child so young be so scared.




Hanging on for dear life



Still wondering why these people keep coming back every day to visit. Then again, maybe he is wondering, "Seriously, all the parents in the world, and I get these goofs!".


The flat affect hung around for three weeks! He would just stare.

Hanging on again with a lot of worry

Hoping for the best



How do you spell relief? S-M-I-L-E
This picture was taken the day after I brought him to the apartment. Eric had returned home to the States, and I discovered that he liked "hide-and-seek". I can't even begin to tell you the relief I felt when he finally played, moved around, and smiled. He had so much personality. For the three weeks that we visited him in the orphanage, he just stared. It is nothing short of amazing how these kids change.

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