Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bananas The Monkey

We promised the girls a trip to Build A Bear for our little boy when we went to Florida. We each read a few verses of the 23rd Psalm and put it in a paw for our little guy. Here is our "Bananas" Monkey. With Dave's new GPS, we explored to the Oriental Market. Unfortunately it was spur of the moment and we didn't have our Vietnamese recipe book with us to help us shop. We did however find the Vietnamese bananas. They aren't quite ripe. I can't wait to try them and see what they taste like.

Our nursery will be a monkey theme. This is what I have been drooling over, however I haven't yet purchased it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Kyndall!

Hey! Happy Birthday Kyndall. Boy, if I wasn't working and had a little extra cash just sitting around I would be in Oregon right now. I sure wanted to fly out to help Kyndall celebrate her first birthday. It is hard to be Auntie Valorie and Kyndall not even know me. Maybe she'll want to talk on the phone when she is a little older.

We had a great Christmas. Dave rented a beach cabin for us and we went down to Florida for a few days. It was nice to be together as a family for four consecutive days. The girls were completely spoiled. McKenzie with a new electric Daisy Rock guitar and Miranda with an "intendo" DS. Dave found our way home with his new Garmin GPS. Why did we not do this YEARS ago? (oh yeah, they didn't have them and we couldn't afford one!) If you have known us long, you know that we don't travel well together. Neither one of us have a great sense of direction and reading the map is not my greatest skill set. This little purchase could have saved us lots of heated "discussions" in the car. If you don't follow it, it tells you.....I don't have to!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My Christmas Gift



Well, I got my Christmas gift a little early. Dave has been searching for a new fireplace. The previous one the girls and dad made last year because you can't have Christmas without a fireplace, or so I've heard :) Isn't it nice? Dave has also hung the stocking that Miranda came home from the hospital in. He is hoping that it is filled with a little boy.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Miranda shares her birthday!

When I came home from work last night Miranda was asleep. She stayed sleeping until almost 9. I tried to wake her up several times, but she was just too tired. She missed the big news and all the phone calls from family wishing her a happy birthday last night. This morning, she was delighted to receive an e-mail from my brother with a picture of her 10 new "cousins."

Monday, December 03, 2007


This Sunday was the start of the Advent season. We were chosen to light the candle of Hope yesterday as a family. We were blessed to have Emily here too!

We made it to see the pandas. Mei Lan was sleeping the whole time. She has grown a lot, but not quite as big as I had expected.

Here are the girls with Mom and baby panda in the background.
When we came home, we had pizza and panda cake. (I finally finished it!)

Miranda received a new bike from Mom and Dad! We finished the night out with a sleep over. I am exhausted. We will have the annual Christmas tree lighting at the chapel tonight. The Christmas season has officially started!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The four of us went down to Emily's house in Florida to see Josh and Karla. It was so great to see them. Josh has grown so much. We are very proud of him and how well he is doing with life. We had a nice, but short visit and then rushed back home so Dave could make it back for a wedding rehearsal.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy great photos of pies and turkey to post. I forgot to take photos before we ate. We had a nice afternoon with Emily and two of her friends from ASBC at a fellow chaplain's home. Tomorrow our family will be going to Florida to see Josh and Karla at Emily's house. We have to be back tomorrow night for a wedding rehersal. I don't have too much shopping planned. I was hoping to pick up a few things, but instead I will opt for every moment of sleep I can get. I have to get up too early on the weekdays.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


We were notified today that our homestudy has been received by our agency and we are #48 on the waiting list! It should be about 18 months before we go pick him up. Sounds like it is projected to be a little bit sooner than we have can and may change. We'll see :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Homestudy Complete

Yeah! As soon as the homestudy is copied 9 times and each notarized, they will be sent out. You know what that means? We will be put on the waiting list! I don't even have an official wait time, but it will be nice to know that we are one step on to more paperwork!

Volunteer Work

Dr. Hawkins and I volunteered at the Convoy of Hope in Montgomery today. She did free dental screenings and I was her assistant (I held the flashlight :) She was the superhero; I was the sidekick!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yeah! Early Update!

Our agency called us a day earlier than expected! They stated that the situation that we were up against would be resolved and that we will proceed as planned! We are all relieved. The supervisor was in China and our case worker asked her while she was still away. What a blessing to have an agency who works for you!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Decisions, Decisions!

Our agency called today to welcome us back to the Vietnam program and we had a nice discussion. However there happens to be a large glitch that came up with their requirements and our requirements. The lady who is able to resolve this is not in the office until Tuesday. If we cannot resolve it, we may have to switch countries and that may cause a problem with us possibly moving overseas in the midst of the adoption. Please pray for the right decision to be made. We have our heart set on Vietnam right now and if we need to change, we need to be prepared for that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Huge Adoption Changes

This weekend has been an up and down one for me. I ended it with a migraine on Sunday :) I have been doing a lot of research on adoption and Vietnam. There are big changes right now and I have several family adoption blogs that I follow that are are stuck in Vietnam without approval to bring their babies back and stuck in turmoil. I began doing a lot more research and Dave and I have prayed and decided that we are changing agencies. Granted, this is one of the last weeks to decide this. It has a lot of repercussions.....a much longer wait for our baby, but a much more reputable and trust worthy agency. Not that I would say our previous agency was bad, but it had some horrible reviews online and a lot of baggage that we can't afford to carry. I'm not willing to chance this with all of the emotion and finances that we will have to put toward this adoption. We knew that the length of time would be extended with the old agency and we would not be able to travel until after this summer. It now means that we will be waiting a year longer. That is tough to swallow, but we feel so much more peace about this decision. We initially applied and were approved with our new agency before we chose the old agency, so there isn't too much to catch up on. Yeah! We didn't really waste the money on the initial application. And....the new agency is cheaper!!!! And....the new agency is where my cousin was adopted from!

We also decided to not change countries. We could change countries and change our wait time as well, but I have my heart set on Vietnam right now. We are going with our gut instincts. Dave and I both feel that it is the right decision to make. We need to know with all assurance that the adoption process is completely ethical and that the adopted children are truly orphans and the parents are not being paid off. This change is the one safeguard that I feel I can take to make sure we are doing our part.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I-600 Off!

I mailed out the preliminary application for citizenship for our little boy! We still have a lot to do and a whole lot more waiting, but it is one step closer :)

Friday, November 02, 2007


Miranda was Princess Diana for school. The sceond grade class had a history project and Miranda chose to be Princess Diana.

Super Girl at night!

Hannah Montana and her gypsie friend.

The girls had a great time gathering candy. This was McKenzie's first year going out with her friends by herself. Only because we live in Mayberry did I allow it. In our 5-6 block trek around the housing area we saw over 10 police officers. It is such a pleasure to live on base! You sure couldn't get this experience anywhere else.

Emily is here for ASBC for 5-6 weeks and joined us with a friend to take Miranda out. It was a lot of fun to have more family here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Adoption Update

We are ready to send in our I600A. We have learned that there is now a longer wait for referrals from our agency. When I was talking to our agency rep on Friday she said that travelling in May would be "pushing it." It may mean that we won't be finalized to travel until after we PCS. We were frustrated on Friday, but I am confident that God's plan and timing is more important than mine and that if we are supposed to do this, it will work out in the timing that is supposed to work. I know that I was concerned about moving to Alabama and the girls' schools, etc, etc. God worked it out just perfectly. He knows our needs and is faithful to take care of them, including the increase of fees for the adoption.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

TV Troubles!

Ok, my husband received a promotion 2+ years ago and with his extra income we purchased a NICE tv. It was his gift for working so hard. On Sunday morning the TV decided not to turn on. I know that there is a lot in our budget going out on adoption right now and decided I wasn't going to think twice about the stupid TV. Yes, I felt jipped for spending so much and it not lasting too long, on and on. Dave and I discussed the situation and we decided that we were not going to spend any more. We would bring the little one from our bedroom out to the living room.

I went to work and when I arrived home Dave had a Cheshire Cat grin. I couldn't figure it out. He has a NEW Phillips TV! Ok, it is name brand (our other one wasn't) and.......It is 8 inches bigger!!!!! Our old TV was past warranty and when he called the dealer to get a place to take it to fix it, they wouldn't give him a name because it was past warranty, WHAT??? He did a little research online and found out the the brand we purchased wasn't known for their customer service. Dave called Sam's Club (sorry Costco) and they said bring it in and they will refund the money.....well past warranty, on and on. Dave called his friend and they took it in, they gladly refunded the money and said that he would have to get a Sam's Club membership renewed.....didn't think twice, of course. So, Dave got a new Phillips TV, 8 inches larger, Sam's Club membership for the two of us for a year and a refund of $.90! How amazing is that? I'm so glad that I didn't worry about it!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Home Study Visits Finished!

We have finished our third and final visit with the social worker until our little boy is home. She shared with us a lot of what to expect with an international adoption. She will finish up the homestudy paper and then send it to us to proof and then on to our agency in the next couple of weeks. She gave us the go ahead to file our I-600 with the US Citizenship and Immigration office so it will be ready and waiting for the homestudy. Honestly, I'm not sure what the next step is, but we are progressing :) I feel confident that our agency knows what to do and we just follow them step by step. So far, there are no glitches. I'm relieved to have yet one more step out of the way!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I know it isn't that exciting to those of you on the West Coast, but here in the South, it's exciting news!!!!! Our Costco opened this week. Dave went down today on his day off with the girls and got our membership renewed. It was like being home again! We ended up spending way more than we needed to....don't we always? As we were driving out there, I sighed because I didn't bring my camera. Dave reassured me that it would be OK to not have pictures :)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Home Study

It has been a stressful week!!! I had an awful day at work on Tuesday. I stayed for 12 hours. I can't wait to walk into work with airline tickets in hand, someday! Anyway, with the stress at work, it didn't help that Dave and I were keyed up about the unknowns of a home study. I stayed up cleaning on Thursday night and luckily have a late arrival on Fridays. I jetted home as fast as I could from work on Friday and arrived just as Dave and our social worker were arriving. We had a wonderful time of conversation and lots of good insights of the international adoption world. We were left with a binder of reading material and she will come back to meet with the girls next week and then the week after she will meet with Dave and I again and be on our way to having an approved home study.....Oh, and all the cleaning, probably not that important, but when I am stressed, a clean house sure helps me feel better :)

Scooter Crash!

McKenzie was riding her scooter on the porch waiting for me to get ready for church. Dave normally walks to church, so he headed out the front door and told her to put her helmet on. I was walking by the front door and thought I would peek my head out and check on her. Just as I was looking.....she hit the crack in the porch and fell over the front of her scooter and landed straight on her wrist. I held myself together and asked how she was. I was sure she broke her wrist. I called Dave and he didn't answer. I got ready quickly and decided to head to church early. We immediately put her wrist on ice. She never cried through the whole process. Dave has a friend who is a Dr. here and he gave a little triage and stated that we needed to take her in for x-rays today. So, Dave and Randa stayed for church while Kenzie and I headed for Pri-Med. We were seen quickly, considering the other waits that I have had to endure there :) The Dr. looked at the x-rays and didn't see any breaks. She went home with a splint. We took her back to the on-base Dr. on Wed (the Pri Med Dr's suggestion if it didn't feel significantly better) and had more x-rays. The radiologist confirmed that it was not broken. There for a few hours she was hoping for a a few days with a splint, she is happy there isn't a cast involved. She should be out of the splint in another week or so :)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cheer Season again!

Wow! I really notice how much the girls look like each other here. They are back into cheering for Football and will start Basketball after the first of the year. It is nice here at Maxwell. You pay a minimal fee for the two seasons. The other advantage is that the girls can do it together and I am not running all around. I couldn't do it this year.

My Funny Girl

My friend called me yesterday while Miranda was at her house playing and had to share Miranda's conversation. Their conversation went something like this:

Friend's Mom: Miranda I like your skirt, can I wear it?
Miranda: I don't think it will fit you.
FM: Why not?
M: (a slight pause) You are TALLER than me!

The mom just had to share that Miranda was being polite and cautious to answer without hurting her feelings. I was quite proud of my little girl. She is a crack up and I have been told more than once this weekend that she keeps everybody around her laughing.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


You know we have struggled with Mickey since we got him. He has been offered Prozac on many occasions and doesn't do well with kids and visitors. So, before our homestudy I made it very clear that Mickey had to find a new home. The girls have done exceptionally well. We took Mickey to the Humane Society 2 weeks ago. They haven't even mentioned him since! Why didn't I do this a long time ago? I was so afraid that the kids would be upset and scarred for life. Dave and I have had a harder time than the girls. Dave can't bring himself to go pick up his cage. We told the girls that they couldn't accompany us to the shelter. The lady that we left him with assured us that he would receive a good home and be peaceful.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ready for Home Study

We received word this week that we are now approved to get our Homestudy. We will have a social worker contact us in the next week and set up a meeting. I think it will be a month or so after the meeing that the Homestudy will be finished. I'm not sure what all it involves, other than cleaning my house this weekend :)!!!! We are still a long way out, but progressing steadily.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Here is a picture of all of us with Emily. Our neice Emily is stationed in Florida just a few hours away. She came down for a visit and we went to Six Flags for free Air Force Day. It was so much fun to have her here. We can't wait for more visits!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Adoption Application

We have mailed our adoption application and it has been received by our agency. It is a long process and I know that waiting is involved. So, we are now waiting. As soon as we hear that we are a ready to go from the agency, we will schedule our home study. Please be praying for:
* Rest for us knowing that God is in control and His timing is perfect
* Our little boy and his birth mother to get the best physical and emotional care

More Family Pictures

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Dave saw some friends at the reunion. One of them e-mailed this picture. I'm sure you could never guess who the little boy in the background is. I think this pretty much sums up how he was as a child. Isn't it funny?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Family Photos

First Day of School

The girls are back to school already! Boy, did the summer fly by. McKenzie is in 6th grade and Miranda is already in 2nd grade. McKenzie will be in Jr. High next year!!!!! Do you notice the humidity? It has been hot!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Grandma Passed Away

I received a phone call from my mom letting me know that Grandma passed away this morning. She has lived a wonderful life of Christian example. I am blessed to have such a great heritage of faith. The family is doing well, but will miss her.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

We are back from Vacation

We had a great two weeks, but boy it is good to be home. We were right back into the groove of work the very next morning. It was quite an adjustment with the time change and sitting in the plane for 2 1/2 hrs waiting for the weather to clear up in Dallas.

Dave attended his 20 year reunion. I wished that he would have felt better for it. He ended up in the emergency room the morning of the reunion from possible food poisoning. He had vomited all night long and needed two bags of IV fluid and anti nausea medicine. He was dizzy for a couple of days. I have never seen anybody this sick before...poor guy.

Bruce and Richelle

McKenzie stayed with her Godparents Bruce and Richelle while she was in Boise for a night. I think Richelle enjoyed taking her shopping at the mall and doing the girly things that she wasn't able to do with three boys.


Grandpa arranged for the girls to go fishing on his friend's boat. More than fishing, they enjoyed going fast!
Each of the girls reeled in two fish. I told Miranda to turn around for a picture and she immediately belted out that she was not touching the fish! She's quite the girl!
The girls were able to see their cousin Kallie

Sand Point, Idaho

While we were in Spokane, we went to go see Kelly, Dave's sister too!

Grandma's House

Dave and I had to drive to Spokane for some paperwork for the adoption. While we were in town, I found Grandma and Grandpa's house. I was thinking that it was going to be kind of run down, but look how good it looks!


We stopped in Prineville next and I must have forgotten about my camera, because I didn't get any pictures on my camera. We had professional photos taken together. I'll get these on here later.


The girls with their newest cousin, Kyndall.
Kyndall meeting Uncle Dave, but we all know that she likes Auntie Val best :)

McKenzie Rose

We planted a rose bush for our McKenzie Rose on McKenzie Pass.

Nanny Nadine and Papa John

Dishes with Papa John
Cookies with Nanny Nadine

Mr. Dave

Miranda's Baptism


One of my requests while I was in Oregon was to pick blackberries! I found a bush, didn't get a whole lot of berries, but I did have fun picking them :)

We visited Stayton!

I'm sorry that we didn't get more pictures of friends that we saw, but here are a few!The Voltins....thanks for letting us stay. We truly LOVED our time with you! Thanks so much for being such generous hosts!

The Fenders
Miranda was able to bottle feed the calves!
Our YWAM Missionaries, soon to be going to Thailand....not too far from Vietnam :)
Our pastors John and Nancy
KiKi and Carrots!