Sunday, December 29, 2013

An Adoption Journey- or Are We There Yet?

First of all, I'm not sure I knew adoption would even be a journey.  There were some things I did know.    For all of her life Rae wanted to be a mom. I wasn't surprised by this as that was always my goal as well.  So, she became a mom by the typical route.  Sadly, immediately following that near text book perfect birth, things were anything but typical.
On the advice of her docs, she and Michael decided to pack their bags and head out on this adoption journey sooner than expected.
I knew she was a completely engaged and loving mother. I knew there are babies who desperately need that kind of mama.  So, let's get her done.
Whoa, not so fast. It just doesn't work that way.
 She opted to go domestic, as it seemed it would be less expensive than an international adoption with the chance of getting the baby soon after birth far greater.
 So my first bump in the journey was discovering that we have to attach a dollar sign to putting needy babies with good parents. And  while I am in complete agreement with home studies, drug tests, the whole nine yards, I can't get why in the world  it takes so very long?
Then, the way they do it. I don't get it. Usually now, you have to make a book, a family portfolio, all about yourself.  They call to tell you there is a potential child, and you submit your book, and wait.
I've been prayerful over several of those phone calls as I shared here. Over and over their book was submitted, but they weren't chosen and left with another heartbreak.
I can only imagine how hard this has been for her, because I know every time she's called, I've started making plans and dreaming about that baby.  I can't help it.
Then a different phone call, a private adoption, maybe.  This lawyer gets the problem with this passing out twenty portfolios to every perspective birth mother. Her words, "The cutest couple gets picked." So
she only submits one family to a birth mother and she was willing to submit Rae's family to a client, since she did not have a family willing to accept this wee one
 Doing it this way however comes with a price and a big one. 
So, another bump in the road, a big one indeed. 
 I've watched this couple live very differently than many people I know, wearing clothes till they fall apart, making their own detergent, lotion, toothpaste and shampoo, no vacations, no eating out, not doing much that requires money so all funds go the baby they desired.  Still, this is a ton of money.

32c28be0-cc31-4c63-9218-29bef327ee12_profile.jpg  You can read their story here.

The birth mother did pick them and plans are underway for us to fly out of here the last week of January and bring our new baby home.
A little girl baby, due on the very same day her Mama- to- be was due(what are the chances?), but arriving early due a scheduled c-section, very close to Mama-to-be's own birthday.
The journey isn't over, we aren't there yet.
So, we trust the Lord to provide for this littlest bit of a girl.
Thank you for your continued prayers, for everyone involved, including the birth mother.  It's been a wild ride, heavy on the emotional side,  but we hope we've arrived and

I can't wait till she's ours.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Back On Up

Well, I managed to skip right on over the traditional "Christmas Party Overnighter."  This was Giddy-Up's first. I've lost track of how many for Bean and Bugg, but five I think.
Giddy-up went right to bed without a peep and slept till 7:00.  When he's here, he's too busy to sit down for a meal. Bean and Bugg are just not breakfast people.  So, in order to not impede play, I sat breakfast out in bowls for them to partake at will.  Some turkey sticks, cheese cubes, chex mix, oranges and grapes.

This boy was most excited to see it and exclaimed, " Breakfast, I love it."

Note his "not so Christmassy" jammies.  His cutest ones are hanging on the chair. Before bed he came to me patting his leg and saying, "I'm sweaty."  Hmm, not likely in my house in winter.  He apparently tipped over Bean's tea, then sat in it.  On went a summer shirt.
Missy Bugg got right to work on her new Lego set.  She managed it totally independently.

I loved Bean's interest in his new git-fiddle and he was already strumming, singing and having me look up lyrics.

 Giddy-up enjoyed his guitar as well, but also enjoyed making music with his forrest friends.
 I forgot the crackers at supper, but they were enjoyed just as much with breakfast.
Mustaches, crowns and lips were found inside.

Some exciting adoption news to come.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Granny Wandy's Christmas Eve

Each and every Christmas Eve of my life has been spent at my Mama's.  While Auntie G-Lou is responsible for most of the fixings now, Mom still is interested in a big tah-do with punch and apple stack cake still making an appearance.
 Great Uncle Tim's Timothy and family
 Teresa's Todd, Stacey and Gracelyn to be
 Drummer Boy and his family
 Glenda's Amy and crew
 Teresa and boys
 Kaye's David

Ol' Mother Hubbard and the whole Cupboard!
I still managed to miss a few.

Christmas Day was weird, just Handy Man and I.  I read the whole day away.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

C'mon Ring Those Bells

Merry Christmas.
I've been revisiting an old, tattered, but beloved Christmas book, Take Joy!  by Tasha Tudor.  She and I shared some DNA I believe. Well, ha, with exception to the drawing part.

I love a prayer/salutation from the book written by a Fra. Giovanni in1513.

I SALUTE YOU! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take joy.
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away.

To which I say, "Amen!"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Guitar Guys and Girls Galore

For family Christmas Round #2 the guitars were again a big hit. There was much toe tapping and strumming.
Rock Star!

But even better than jamming is playing while balancing yourself on a balance board.

But more than the presents, this is what I love to see.
 A sweet friend gifts me an online Advent calendar every year that Missy Bugg just loves. You can't click on the day till the day arrives, so each time she comes she's anxious to get to the next activity and here she is anxious to share it with Giddy-up.

Now, an older one reading to a younger one and though Christmas chaos abounds, they are lost in the telling and the listening- be still my heart.

Even great guitars are no match for a rescue helicopter for a 3 yr. old boy.

 A special beloved friend we haven't seen since new hubby whisked her away to Wyoming last fall was able to join us. Joy, joy!

 Bugg, Bean and Giddy-up opted to spend the night, so the fun continues.......

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Hurrier I Go

Whew, I'm exhausted.
Sometimes I wish I could just not have to feel like I have to do everything.
By the end of the winter quarter, I have had about all of the Christmas my senses can manage.
I want Christmas for my students to be more than just what gift they are getting.  So, they work all month long to present an Advent Tea to the their friends. Each group of five (mostly 4th grade with one or two of my fifth graders) presents their tea one afternoon Monday through Thursday.
Then I can't just do some run of the mill prepackaged ornament that I stick their picture in for parents.  Oh no, we have to have a hand stitched gift. I love these little angels.

Friday was our turn to do mass and in late November I found a different Jesse Tree project than the one I had.
This one included the O' Antiphons, and though I've loved and sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel all my days, I didn't know the reason for the other verses.  I really enjoyed researching the history of this monastic song.  Soooooooo, I decided I'd teach my kidlets to sing and sign all the verses, yes, all seven of them- verses, I only have six students and one left early in the week for vacation.  There was no point in starting it until the school Christmas play was over as they had to learn about ten songs for that.  By Wednesday, I was feeling like I seriously bit off more than we could chew.  Look it up, those really aren't easy words. If you don't know about them, here's a part of the introduction my student gave at mass: 

The verses of the 9th century Latin hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," are derived from the "O ANTIPHONS". These seven great "O's" mark the last week of Advent. One is sung each day until Christmas Eve. They sum up the longing of Advent as they depict the desperate plight of humanity in need of a Savior, and address Christ with seven grand titles, O Wisdom, O Lord,  O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Day Spring,O King of the Nations, and O Emmanuel,pleading with him to come save his people. The verse we know as the first was actually the last, climactic verse in the series.
We would like you to join us in singing through these O Antiphons after Eucharist this morning.
In Latin the letters which begin the titles form an acrostic, which when reversed means "I shall be there tomorrow". In other words, this is the answer (spoken the day before Christmas!) that echoes back from the One to whom the people call.
Let us now turn our hearts to Him.
Those five little girlies did an amazing job as it turns out.  There was a woman there I'd never recalled seeing at our children's mass.  She grabbed me on the way out and said it was the best rendition of the song she'd ever seen in her life. She said it was easy to see the kids understood the words and were passionate about it.  She had been both a Director of Religious Ed and a music teacher, so that made me feel like it was worth the effort.

They also took home their rag dolls. Some of which have a bigger wardrobe than I mine I believe.

Backing up a bit, Wednesday night was our Hobbit date.

 With Pap and Miss Jackie, our Hobbit cohorts.  I went to bed at 11:30 and woke up at 4:15,  ugh.
 Thursday was Ol' Mother Hubbard night.  After enjoying creating their own omelets with black beans or not, each chicklet got their very own guitar with their very own name painted on.  Guitars Uncle Tim and I worked on many nights since the  five wee ones had to be restrung with tie-on strings and they had to be tuned again and again.

 They were a big hit and much jamming ensued.

Last night was spent getting Pap's 35 year work gift up and running - a Kindle Fire.

Tomorrow is my children's Christmas, so today has been crazy busy just trying to everything wrapped and straightened.  I am whupped.  Sometimes I regret having moved our Christmas celebration to the Sunday before.  I love, love, love the picky little details of holidays, but when school isn't out until the Friday before, well, you can forget details. If I manage to get everything wrapped and a name on it I feel I've accomplished something.  I miss that though.

If you are curious about the O'Antiphones, or wish to hear the brothers singing them, you can go here-

Friday, December 20, 2013

Make Way for Serious Cuteness

My little Giddy- up and Santa (aka Uncle Jimi).  Thanks Ceece.

 Whatever secret they share must have just been hysterical.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Just Playing Around

Gardner E. found these sprouts for sale, still on the stem and brought them when she came to teach art Thursday morning, so my students could see them and I could take them home to the gramerlings for Playdate. How kind. I decided to roast them right on stem . Oh my, they were delicious. Though I am a frequent conoisseur of most thing cruciferous, I have never cared for Brussels sprouts.  Those little ones on the tip tasted like candy.
You might ask why those oranges are floating about in the background.  It wasn't a science experiment on buoyancy, though it is intriguing that  they float before peeling and sink afterwards.  Just a lovely little orange life jacket that peel. No, warm oranges juice better for said juice to be sipped through a peppermint stick. Another Christmas tradition.
Gardner E. was also looking about for metal, umm, I don't know, scarf clips is perhaps the name, to hold scarfs and tees shirt corners.  She got a sack full from e-bay, chose what she wanted, then gifted the girlies with the remainder. Swee-Tee and Bugg enjoyed using them for all sorts of fashion statements with their dolls.

Bean was interested in making the worry dolls. He caught on easily and was churning them out without much help from me.  When he said he was going to make some for his guy friends, I wondered how well "dolls" would be received.  I suggested he might want to refer to them as "worry folk."  I never had an issue with boys having dolls.  All the boys in my class make a rag doll just like the girls. Well, it's usually dressed significantly different. And all my boys knit and sew as well.  I love this boy for many reasons, but one reason is his love for things crafty and his wanting to do it independently.  Sadly, to me anyway, is many boys his age are interested only in video games and sports.  I don't talk either of those languages.  Anywhoo, I don't want someone teasing him and sabotaging my craft partner, ya know?
 I loved the Over the Rhine concert with the Cpt. on Friday.

Saturday was a full day.  Since Bean and I have a standing date for "The Hobbit,"  I needed to take Bugg for movie.  We went to see "Frozen."  It was cute.  Love that sisters trumped that ol' prince for a change.  She knew we'd be going to Miss Linee's dance recital, so she wore her tutu.
 Movie candy didn't make it past the commercials.

Now, would it be Christmas without some wee girls, decked out in holiday attire, tapping their way through a carol or two?  I'm thinking not.

 Unhappy that they had to go their separate ways after the dancing was done.

I made Handy Man's fancy Christmas dinner for work- bean soup, corn bread, fudge, cinnamon rolls and chex  mix.  He said the guys had started asking about it.
Uncle Tim and I spent another evening getting the gramerling gifts in working order. It is going to be a musical Christmas around these parts.
I'm tired.  Have a good week ya'll!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside

Sunday was our sibling Christmas Brunch and was so beautiful and yummy, though it was a bit unnerving driving through the leftover snow and ice to get there.
No, a Jewish Rabbi has not joined the ranks. Those are sunglasses on Uncle Joe's head.

Then Monday brought Uncle Tim, Aunt Bran and Ol' Mother Hubbard for some Christmas elving, laughing, and eating soup, homemade bread and lots of fudge and staying up way too late.
 All I can show of the surprise awaiting the gramerlings.

I wasn't surprised we had a delay on Tuesday, but was a bit taken back when the alert went off again at seven thirty to announce school was cancelled.  For a good bit of the morning, I did a lot of nothing.  I called Ol' Mother Hubbard and discovered she was reading in Antebellie's class in the afternoon and she invited me to go. I'd never visited their school, wanted to and figured I'd best jump on the opportunity. She had to drive by, so she said she would pick me up.
No way was Handy Man going to come home and find I'd done nothing but play all day, so I layered up and put on his water proof hiking boots and went to visit the animals.
I haven't reported on tiny farm life in while, so today is a good day to bring you up to snuff.
Strider got food, warm water and a nearly empty peanut butter jar for entertainment.

 This weather doesn't appear to concern him in the least.  The Cpt. says he's likely grateful that someone finally turned on the AC.

The occupants of Cluckingham Palace had no desire at all to join him in the snow and ice.
Chickens molt as days grow shorter and colder, and need a lot of protein to replace those feathers.
All the roos lined up.
 I took them a big serving of oatmeal and sardines in warm beef broth. Now doesn't that sound delicious?
They gobbled it up.
The girls enjoying some sunshine.
During molting, they lay very little, but that one new Ameracauna keeps churning out an egg most days.

Sadly, one girl who just has never been too robust, gave it up and I had to do a chicken removal. Ughh, my least favorite part of chicken keeping.
The bees require no attention at this time, but Handy Man did wrap a tarp around Mordor.

They've kicked out those boy drones and will spend the winter keeping Miss Queenie Bee toasty warm.  Those ungrateful bees in the Harmony hive flew the coop, no that's chickens, rather swarmed, so we'll have to get a new few thousand bees come spring.

With exception to the required deceased fowl removal, I love tending our little flock, especially when I'm off and even in the cold and snow. I loved visiting the kid's school and seeing them for a bit.
I don't know if we'll get anymore snow, but our current temperatures mean what we have will be sticking around awhile.
A big date night with the Cpt. to see Over the Rhine, a birthday gift from Aunt SuZQ.