Archives for June 2007

This afternoon

This afternoon our five year old was playing with Legos in the living room with her 9 year old brother. John and I were sitting at the dining room table, and the other kids were elsewhere in the house.

Pretty soon the 9 year old ran off to another room. Silence reigned for a few minutes. Then the 5 year old looked around the unusually quiet living room and said, “Is it just me in here or what?”

“Yeah,” I said. “Is it too quiet for you?”

“Yes!” said my socialite daughter.

“You just wouldn’t do well as an only child, would you?” I said, laughing.

Without missing a beat she replied, “A LONELY child, that’s what I’d be!”

Opinion Saturday

OK, guys, your turn. You get to ask the question this week. Is there some family-related question you’ve been puzzling over lately, and wishing for wisdom to handle? Share your question here. The person with the most thought-provoking question will win my Very Interesting Person Award on Tuesday morning. The winner’s question wil be featured here next Saturday for everyone to comment and give their opinion on.

So come on, hit me with your best question!

They’re ours!!

Hooray– we passed!!!! The girls are ours! Praise God!

While we were sleeping…

…we may have become the legal parents of two more children….or not…

No news yet.

(deep breath….praying hard.)

Of woodpiles and seatcovers

I’ve discovered a strange side effect to adopting older children. You start looking around at your life, and get the urge to spruce things up a bit. Strange things.

Last night the little kids and I could be seen pulling weeds around the woodpile. Today I have every intention of restacking the dumb thing. In my defense, the weeds around the pile were knee-high, and the pile at this moment actually consists of many scrawny piles– lots of odds and ends of wood set aside as we rifled through the woodpile last winter. It really should be restacked before we add new wood this summer anyway. But this is the first time I’ve ever nested by organizing firewood.

My husband confided the other day that he intends to clean out both the shop and the greenhouse before the girls come home. I intend to paint a dresser and a bathroom.

And I wrestled for ten minutes the other day trying to stretch a new (but almost-too-small) seatcover onto the seat of a hand-me-down bike. When my husband gave me good-natured but grubby-fingered help, leaving brown fingerprints on the white fabric, I was reduced nearly to tears.

I keep telling myself that these kid are coming from an orphanage in a third world country. They’ve never owned a bike in their lives, and most likely they won’t care one iota if their bike seats are scuffed up around the edges. (Heck, my americanized kids don’t care. Otherwise, why would they constantly throw down their bikes wherever they fall?) And for heaven’s sakes, why would any kid care if the woodpile was a wreck?

But I want everything just right for them. And so I scurry around, fluffing and straightening and scheming and planning, hoping desperately that they will like it here.

That they will like us.


The hours this week have been crawling. It’s less than 48 hours till our court date in Ethiopia, and my nerves are jangling. I am so much hoping to hear from our agency on Friday that we’ve passed and that the adoption of our girls is final. I’m already jumping every time the phone rings. This makes no logical sense because there’s no way I’ll have news before Friday. Also, news that we’ve passed will most likely come via email. They’ll only phone if it is bad news.

I keep telling myself if it turns out they are missing a bit of paperwork or that the judge needs more information, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Court doesn’t close till early August, after all. We could get rescheduled for a second court date and still have plenty of time to pass before the courts close for the holiday. But oh, I long to have it settled. To know that they are ours. To be only a month or so from leaving to get them.

Could y’all send your prayers and positive thoughts towards Ethiopia? I would so much appreciate it….

Works for Me: FLip Video

Today I’ve got the coolest thing to tell you about. A couple months ago I read about a cute new camcorder at photojojo, (which, by the way, is a fun website on it’s own). The camcorder is call the FLip, and it interested me immediately because of its size and ease of use. It is no bigger than a smallish regular camera, and got its name because of the little USB connector that flips out of the side of the camera, allowing you to plug the camcorder straight into your computer to upload your video to the computer. There’s built-in software, and it steps you through very easily. My husband, who swears that computers lock up when he looks at them, loves this thing, and was able to upload videos easily on his very first try.

You can buy either a 30 minute version or a 60 minute version. It has an automatic count-down, so you always know how many more minutes you can go before downloading. We have the one with the 30-minute memory, but for the little bit more that a 60-minute one costs, if I were buying it, I’d go with the bigger memory. And, get this– the thing runs about an hour and a half on just TWO AA batteries.

The video quality would probably not satisfy a high-end camcorder junkie. But it works great for us, and at an affordable price. The camera is light and small enough to fit into my husband’s shirt pocket, which means he carries it around much more than our old bulky one. In the past two weeks we’ve gotten more video than we have in the previous two years.

And that REALLY works for me!

Seen (and heard) at our house this afternoon


The two year old runs into the living room, dramatically shouts, ‘I’m dead’ and throws herself down flat on the couch to lie as still as is possible for a toddler to lie.

The 9 year old runs up and spots her game. Holding his arms out to either side warning people off, in true ER-style he shouts “Clear!”

And then leans over to lay a gargantuan wet “ph-b-b-b-b-b” of a raspberry right on her belly.

After which both the toddler and I laugh our guts out.

Amazingly, a post. (Kind of)

The combination of recovering from camp AND getting ready for two new family members has left me temporarily out of inspiration for a post. I did however find two other noteworthy posts to share this morning. The first is from Hearts of Hope, describing her family’s chore system. I have it on my list to update our family’s chore chart before our new girls get home, and her system gave me some great ideas. The paying-mom thing is purely brilliant.

The second, rather than inspiring me, left me feeling vaguely uneasy. This morning my oldest came down to breakfast. I waved vaguely at kitchen counter and said, “We’re just having whatever.”

She raised her eyebrows. “As evidenced by the ketchup, mustard, and relish on the table.”

Yes, this morning for breakfast, my kids had leftover hot dogs, pancakes and English muffins for breakfast. We did fry a few eggs fresh. Everyone here was fine with it.

Even me. Until I read about blue tin cups, vintage china, and streusal coffee cake over at Sarah’s charming place.

My stint as camp cook

We got back from camp last night. Yes, I survived the cooking. John got rather sick of explaining every day to our two year old that I wasn’t available because I was cooking– that part was a bummer. But the rest of the family was so busy doing their own thing that they mostly didn’t even miss me. Really I was only in the kitchen 2-3 hours a day, and in general it all went well.

We didn’t burn any of the food. In fact, I think most of tasted as good as in previous years with the experienced master cooks at the helm. We only entirely forgot one item — peaches — which my dad ran to town to buy for us the day before it was to be on the menu.

We did overestimate quantities a fair bit. But some stuff turned out perfect. Those 25 dozen eggs I mentioned the other day? There were 6 lone eggs in the tray by the end of camp. That tickeld me so much that I almost took a picture for y’all. But then to be honest I’d also need to take a picture of the 6 dozen English muffins we had left over. Ack. On average, I think we had 20% more food than we needed. The last meal was made up almost entirely of leftovers, meaning we didn’t even need to cook the last meal I had planned.

My frugal nature was a bit perturbed by all that extra. My family will be eating those English muffins for the next two weeks, I’m afraid, because there’s no way I’m tossing ’em. But when we packed up coolers to bring it all home, we realized it really wasn’t all that much over. Considering the huge undertaking it all was….well, we decided we really did pretty well for it being our first year. And heaven knows I would much, much rather be over than under.

A bunch of people thanked Cindy and me for the extra weight they’d be carrying home thanks to all that good food. That is exactly how we’ve always felt with the other cooks in charge, so I think we did good. And next year, we’ll know more about estimating quantities.

Except that I swore I’d never do it again.


Hmmm….I think I need to go back and read that highly stressed post I wrote last Tuesday when the weight of the world was on my shoulders.

(Oh, and letters!!!! We got letters from our girls!!!!!!!! I’m going to go write about that on my Ethiopia blog, so come on over in awhile….)