Saturday, November 29, 2008

Another Afterthought

I was looking at maps for a cake. Dave's boss was here for Thanksgiving and was telling him that he was trying to get Dave some assignments in Okinawa and one in Thailand....just short ones. Do you see where Thailand is? From where we are, you have to fly over Vietnam, almost directly over where Nathan is. How unfair is that, that we are this close and still not bringing him home? I'm considering asking Dave to get jump certified...what do you think Dave? Jump out right before you land, I think you could make it. Heck, for as close as we are, I'd swim :) I always joke about swimming somewhere. Airline tickets are too much from here to anywhere and swimming is free... It doesn't look that far on the map!

Two Birthdays are coming up!

Now that we "have" Nathan in our family, we have two birthdays very close to each other. Nathan's is Nov 30 (that's tomorrow for us!) and Miranda's is Dec 3, just four days after! Miranda has told me what she wants. She wants to take the family and a friend to the local water park and have a Kung Fu Panda party...Have we seen a theme the last few years with having panda parties? I'm pretty sure I can pull off a panda cake :) I'll get more details from her about it later today so we can create her masterpiece. On to Nathan.....I'm not sure what I want to do for a cake or even a party. I think I may poll the family. I could do the map of Vietnam, a "bowl" of pho (I want Cookie Monster, but will wait until he is here to enjoy that.) I may just skip it all and eat left over sweet potatoes and pretend that he isn't turning two without us. There will be more to come. I'll let you know what we decide.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for! We are so blessed. Today I am thankful for kids that keep me on my toes....

I cooked a very large Thanksgiving dinner for the single and deployed troops that go to the chapel Bible Study. This seems to be tradition for us. One that we enjoy, but I always get so worn out. (I'm thankful for a husband who appreciates this and has scheduled a massage for me today)

One of the troops came over to help and we took a break at the dining table to eat a little lunch and the girls offered to peel potatoes for us. We were delighted to have help. I set the garbage can up with the girls and gave instructions to not make a mess and make sure that it got in the garbage can. After finishing our little break, I found this.....

You may have to click on the photo to see the full effect of potato skins stuck EVERYWHERE. Luckily I was patient this time (there have been times that I am not :) and the girls are old enough to clean up their own messes!

I got so busy with dinner and our guests that I forgot photos again! It was a great time. We ended up having 17 for dinner. I think they are looking forward to Christmas. I may have to regroup and do a non-tradtional meal then.


Can we ever have too many posts about the Cascades here?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So glad to feel humidity!

How crazy is that? I never thought I would say that. But, with being in the dry climate and having my sinuses bleed because I am so humidity deprived, I was glad to arrive in the humid air. All of the nasal spray still hasn't worked....I think I may be headed for a sinus infection. It always happens when I fly home!

So, a recap on my trip. I think the total time coming home was 74 hours. It was a longer trip home than going there! Who would have thought? My total flying time home was 25 hours. But, I made it home in time for Thanksgiving!!!! Good thing I was up for the adventure. Now, I'm off to take a shower.

Too Bad I'm Not Earning Flight Miles

It's quite the ride. I'm now in California...I know my last post was from Hawaii. It is in the wrong direction. There weren't any flights to Guam in the next 72 hours from Hawaii and I wanted to get home for Thanksgiving. I found a flight back to California and then another flight straight to Guam, so I risked getting stuck farther from home. I asked how often they have these and the guys at the desk said he had never seen one before....Phew! I am on the manifest and should be flying home soon! I'm so glad it worked. I checked commercial flights and it was WAY more than I wanted to spend, even from Hawaii. So, I went to and from Hawaii for nothing. o-well. Oh, and I found cinnamon bears last night that were two bags for a dollar!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Hawaii again!

Well, I am in Hawaii and no sight of any flight to Guam soon. There was one and it dropped off. I am hoping there will be one pop up, but not so sure that I want to wait in the terminal for that to happen. There is one on Monday morning early....I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cinnamon Bears

I am sitting in PDX getting ready to head to Sacramento. It is looking positive for a flight to Hawaii. Hopefully it really works as I have planned....but from the previous trip, we all know how it can really work.

The one item that I didn't pick up while here was cinnamon bears. If you know me, you know this is one item that I miss when I am not in the NW. I was going to pick some up at Fred Meyer on my way out of Redmond, but ran out of time. I walked by a shop in the airport and just grabbed two bags to take on the plane with me. As I was checking out she said it would be $8.00.....What? I told her that I was sorry but I wasn't going to pay that much. She began to tell me that this was a good deal. The original price was $4.50 a bag. I'm sorry, that's not a good price, not even in Guam!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"Val"....she still doesn't say Auntie it is "a". So we stick with "Val".
The newest addition.....Coca Cola. I like to call him Diet Vanilla Coke. He is a puppy and still a chewer. Dave, good thing you are kidding about a puppy!


This is a photo of the big logs prior to filling the trailer.

Boys will be boys.

The boy's dogs.

The fun work involved on my part :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I have arrived in Oregon after 52 hours of travelling. I was exhausted and needed a shower desperately. I was able to get one shower in the midst of the travel, but that sure isn't enough!

My parents had no idea that I was still coming. I made arrangements for my brother to come pick me up at the airport and on the way to Mom and Dad's house we decided to stop at the country store for a corn dog. Krystal told me that I better hop out because Mom was standing right there. Sure enough. Mom was there. I hopped out and went up to her and said Hi and hugged her. It took her a few seconds to really figure out what was going on. She started to cry. I was so happy to be there. We went back to her office so she could tie up a few loose ends and let them know she was taking the rest of the week off. We went back to the house to wait for Dad to come home for lunch. I was holding Kyndall (She likes Auntie Val now and isn't scared of me :) and we hid behind the front door. When dad looked around to see who was holding Kyndall he was shocked as well. What a fun surprise.

Today consisted of.....cutting wood. Can you believe that I was suckered into this? I need to learn to say no better. Actually, it was a really good time with Brian and Mom. Much better than I anticipated. I am running a little low on sleep, so I wasn't as much help as I could have been. I donned several jackets and was given a pair of leather gloves. Brian and I pulled fallen trees out of the woods with the winch. It was kind of fun. I also helped load huge logs. I'm a little stronger than I remembered :) It was SO good to be out in the fresh mountain air. It smelled like Christmas trees. I haven't downloaded photos yet, but trust me, the logs were BIG!

After the woodcutting adventure, I insisted on a trip to WalMart. I spent way more time than my parents anticipated, I'm sure, but boy did I find some GREAT summer deals! I am so excited. I am going to go check the clearance racks at the other Walmart in the morning and Target too! I am now sitting at the only 24 hr restaurant trying to get myself sleepy. My body doesn't want to submit to the whole time change thing. I decided instead of keeping my parents awake at 1 a.m. I would leave. I think I need to find some Tylenol PM.

This will be a short trip. I will be headed back on Friday. I need to give myself some bumper time so that I can make it back before Thanksgiving. I have learned a lot about hopping space a and think that I am almost ready for the kiddos to join me for my next adventure. I may have 3 kids in tow next time!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Spilling the Beans.....a little early

I'm in Hawaii! No, it isn't a glorious vacation on Wakiki...although I have considered it, but don't even have my swimsuit with me. What was I thinking? I am in the Hickam terminal and have been for almost 24 hours. I made it out of Guam. Now I'm waiting to make it back to the states. I missed my SIL's shower. The other reason for my trip.....My parent's surprise 40th anniversary party! I missed that too. I called and got an update from my parents and found out that they were very surprised. My mom said that I sounded a little tired....I lied...I am! I didn't tell her that I was stuck in Hawaii and wasn't able to make it. She doesn't know I am still trying to come. I am hoping that I'll make it today before she gets to work on Monday to check the blog. More surprises to come Mom & Dad! I have considered just turning around, but then where is the adventure in that? I should be on a flight in just a couple of hours, but I heard that yesterday too. The flights keep changing :) When I start to get frustrated, I keep reminding myself that this is FREE!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Still Here!

I'm still on chance of making the shower. Flight time alone is longer than the shower is away. I tried to make a flight this morning and I was bumped. Granted, I would have to back track quite a bit, but in the whole scheme, it was close. I would have flown into Pennsylvania and then back to Oregon commercially. It's OK. I tried.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Free to go......

So, now that the Purity Ball has concluded, I am free to fly off the island back to the "Mainland." I have been planning this for weeks. The only military flights. They are all headed to Japan, around the wrong side of the world to where I am headed. I was hoping to make it in time for my SIL's baby shower. No such luck. Even if I get a flight tomorrow, I don't think I can make it. I'm not sure what the game plan is now. I do however, have 10 precooked meals in the freezer, so I don't have to cook for a while! I was trying to make it easy for my husband to be a single dad. He told me that I was feeling guilty. I told him that I was planning ahead so that he may let me do this again :)

Purity Ball

McKenzie has just finished up her class on Worshipping God Through Purity.
Dad was looking forward to this night too! McKenzie requested that he wear his mess dress.

McKenzie was VERY proud of her ring. This is one we have purchased for her at the Black Hills this summer.

We are so proud of our little girl. She is becoming such a wonderful young lady. I can't tell you how delighted I am to have a daughter that honors Christ!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Please Pray!

I try not to share every little detail of the ups and downs of adoption, but just the overview. Today we have heard that the DOJ of Dong Nai have agreed to meet with Holt staff to review the remaining files of Children in the Dong Nai province. Please pray on Monday afternoon of next week (US time) that our children will have the approval and be coming home SOON! I don't know all of the details of what this meeting could bring about, but I do know that God is bigger than any government! Please pray that this meeting will bring about a huge release of these children!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Silver Lining

Holt called today and let us know to expect another 6-7 months. Not the greatest news. But the silver lining came in the mail this afternoon. Here is our boy in the clothes we sent him. I don't speak Vietnamese, but I am sure the foster mom is saying "Dada." ;) The pictures he is playing with are of our family.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Home Study Update

Whew! For all of you PAPs out there...You know my house is clean, but boy am I exhausted! We had our update appointment today. Hopefully we will have it notarized soon and moving ahead in the process. For now, I am going to enjoy my dvr'd show in a pristine home.....all of the laundry is even put away. It won't be for long....the kids will be coming back home soon :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Our First Earthquake

Well, we have experienced our first earthquake. I'm not sure how large it was, probably not large...but boy was it a way to wake up from my Sunday afternoon nap.

**It was rated at a 5.1

You can see here

More Animals to add to "the list"

On my bike ride Thursday, I cut it short because I came upon a monitor lizard. He was on the road and was taking up 1/3 of my lane. I'm guessing he was a good 3 ft long. By the time I turned around he had scampered away, but I didn't want to continue down that road to see if he would come back!

Yesterday, I thought I was coming up on a boonie dog. I began to worry because I didn't bring my cell phone and heard that they chase bikes! This wasn't a little puppy. This was large rotweiler type. I got a little closer and it wasn't a dog. It was a BOAR! Luckily they don't chase bikes and he ran into the bushes too. I was so excited to see a boar. I have wanted to see one since I arrived. Sometime soon I am going to capture a photo of one.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Harvest!

Miranda was enjoying being an angel. McKenzie was a very pretty pirate, however I missed getting pictures! She was out with her friends. I may have to remake the evening another day!
Miranda enjoyed walking with our neighbor L.

We went to the chapel for the Havest Festival....lots of fun.

Carving pumpkins last minute....I was sure they would mold. I had to replace one before we even got to Halloween!
Miranda's Panda and McKenzie's Jonas Brothers logo!
McKenzie's newest cake creation. She donated it to the cake walk at the chapel. Everyone wanted her cake. They made it the last "grand prize" cake of the night.
Mom's contribution to the cake walk....I am sick of making cupcakes. I did the same amout for Miranda's school just last week. I was so exhausted from, pumpkins, cupcakes, costumes, candy.....don't forget dinner and running errands for Dave. The kitchen still hasn't recovered :)
This week was red ribbon week at the school and McKenzie participated in the Crazy Hair day!