Thursday, August 30, 2007

What's That Wet Stuff?

We are just short of breaking the record for the longest stretch of days over 90 degrees for our area(30 days). I know we are in the South, but the temperatures here in the East Tennessee area are usually pretty nice. Even on the days where it is hot, the afternoon often sees a quick thunderstorm and the evening ends up being pleasant.

August often gets really hot for a couple/few weeks where it is still hot at night, but over all, I'd rather stay indoors those few weeks with my air conditioning than to spend the five+ months of winter cooped up with the heater in a NY winter. There are plenty of people who love NY--more power to 'em!--But not me! I love Tennessee!

We've been having a drought here lately. I don't know, but I'd guess over a month without measurable precipitation. Everything is parched, tree leaves have turned brown, the grass is crispy, and the car is roasting hot every time we go to get in it! We are over 13 inches behind for the year...

But today:

The girls put their suits on and went out. Then they came back in for t-shirts since it was a cold rain--Wow!--cold!
We even got the shampoo and washed their hair! Hannah got out the squirt guns and Annette ran from them squealing despite the fact that the water was coming down in buckets from the sky!
The pool quickly had a few inches in the low side after they set it on the hill and turned it into a mini-water slide.
Ivy doesn't believe in getting her clothes wet. She watched from the door until I offered to take her picture in the rain. (She can't resist publicity.) She stepped out for a moment to smile for the camera....
...and then ran back in to dry off!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

To-Do: Braid Hair Elaborately... Check.

One of my regular blog-land visitors, Melissa, (such a lovely name, don't you think?) posted about to do lists. It made me think of mine. 'Course, she uses purple check marks and I use a hot pink cross-out line, but it is universally satisfying to cross a thing off a list, isn't it? In fact, if I get something done and it wasn't on my list, I will often write it on just so I can cross it off! Do any of you do that? Ha Ha!

And, completely unrelated to that (except in the sense of spending time that I maybe would have better spent on my list...) are these pictures of what's left of Annette's hairdo from yesterday. I call this a "crown braid". It's a French braid that wraps around her whole head. My mom used to do this with me except that side ponytails were more in style then so instead of braiding it to the tips of the hair and wrapping it over the top, she would tie it off and curl the ponytail that hung down at the side. Not that this is exactly "in style", just that I felt like I was hot stuff in a side ponytail back in the '80s!

It's pretty 'windswept' looking today but I think it looks so cute and if we weren't getting a family picture done this afternoon as well as going to church tonight, I would just leave it there all day.
It's so hard to get Annette to be happy with "up" hairdos. Despite the fact Cinderella wore her hair up to the ball, Annette does not count "up" hairdos as being beautiful. This one counted for her though. I think it helped that we went out that evening and quite a few people complimented her on it!
Annette LOVES flattery!
(who doesn't?)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What's Next?

Morning Glories growing up the front porch railings.
I love these! I planted them from cuttings I got from across the street in the ditch!

"Now that you're submitted; what's next?"
I'm so glad you asked!
First of all, to be submitted means that our facilitator/translator was able to get the SDA (social services in Ukraine) to accept our dossier (paperwork). This is HUGE. To get this far is a matter of many weeks of trying and failing. The problem mot being with our facilitator or with our dossier but due to the fact that the SDA does not feel much motivation to accept these. They have set limits and quotas and it is very hard to even get them to honor those. At any rate, we're in! Phew!

Now, it does not by any means guarantee smooth sailing from here on out (until we get 'in country') but it has been characteristically so for most others lately. This is very encouraging to us.

So, here is what happens now --probably :
  • 20 business days after submittal we are to get our notice of our appointment date.
    For others, this has so far been very exact. 20 business days is about one month.
    This means mid-September for us.
  • We get an appointment.
    This means an exact date and time to be at their office in Kyiv, Ukraine to view files of children and choose who we would like to meet.
    This is generally exactly three months from the submittal date. In our case, November 20th or so.
  • In country, we will choose the file of siblings that we both agree on. Then will travel in a few days to the orphanage/s to meet the children and at that point accept or reject this referral.
  • If we accept (let's hope we do!), then, most likely, our court date will be 20 days from then.
  • After that we will wait 'in country' for another 10 days manditory waiting period in which anyone interested can appeal the court's decision.
  • Once the children are ours (can't wait!), we will begin getting visas and passports for them. (The passport thing looks like it is working itself out as you will appreciate if you have been following our other blog.)
  • Somewhere in there, Steve's mom will arrive as well as his oldest sister Laurie to help us escort the children home. This will be very helpful as we navigate customs and airports with 3 children who don't speak the same language as their parents!
  • Home! (really can't wait for this!!!)
    This will be a very important and, I expect, crazy time where we all get to "bond" as a family. Just like with a new baby, we will want to just be with them and convey love and security. This is where reality will set in! LOL!

Time Gone By


I found this in my files the other day. My old digital camera ( the cheap one) took video but without sound (max 8 sec.). I occasionally took a few seconds of video and then emailed it to my parents who then lived in NY. I guess Ivy must be about four months, almost five in this picture because she is just learning to sit up. My how time flies by.

My one regret with our adoption is that I won't have been able to enjoy these little milestones of babyhood with them. I will, however, get to hear them learn to communicate with us in English and I can't wait to hear their little Slavic accents!

Monday, August 20, 2007


Ivy Mae as a little squirt :-)

Good News! we received the email today letting us know that our dossier has finally been submitted in Ukraine!!!
I am soooo excited!

I am only posting it here and not on our adoption blog yet because Steve wants to wait a bit to make sure it's the real deal. Anyway, you all get to have the inside scoop!

We (at least I) were totally not expecting this today. In fact, we had spent part of this morning down at the bank getting 27 documents notarized for updating our paperwork!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fundraiser for the Adoption: Yard Sale!

Now, I know this is not good manners since I made these cupcakes myself and all, but I am telling you;
if I were a customer at my yard sale, I would have bought two of these!
Sprinkles and mounds of fluffy white frosting are nearly irresistible to me!

This was Hannah's own idea. She labeled herself "the Magician" and did her favorite magic trick free for each customer. Many of them put donations (or, as Annette called them, "Dalmatians") into her specially designated jar. She made over $20! Good for her!
Annette kept busy handing out little slips of paper with our name and website address on them as if they were golden tickets! The highlight for her was when one guy gave her a little stack of quarters just to be friendly!

It was an especially hot day. My mom helped out in addition to letting us use their garage by putting big jugs of water and sweet tea outside for the customers to cool off with. She also made all of us "workers" ice cream cones! Yummy!

Some of the shoppers. :-)

We had a pretty successful day but I am surely glad it's over! Hannah asked me about "the next time we have a yard sale" on the way home. "I don't plan to EVER have another one if I can help it, Hannah"!
But we were willing to go through the torturous process for the sake of getting our little ones! Still, I am happy to be done. Phew! They sure are a lot of work. I found a website online with lots of great hints written in a very humorous way. I saw several violations of her "what not to do" items on our way to my mom and dad's this morning. LOL!


Does anyone else think Monk is absolutely hilarious or is it just me? I am so glad it's on at 9:00pm again. It's the perfect incentive to get the girls in bed on time and maybe even pop a bowl of popcorn! It's also a great chance to snuggle with my honey on the couch, too!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Broken Foot

I keep a plastic container on an unused part of my kitchen counter for miscellaneous things. I don't really have a junk drawer at all. I have a couple of seed packets that came in the mail, a coupon or two, a screw that must have come from something but I don't know what yet... that sort of thing. The main content of my box is stuff that the girls want me to glue. If something breaks, like a piece of doll house furniture, they just know to put it in my box and I will get to it. I also keep my super glue there. It is a system that works well for me.

Today, though, we had an emergency! Something that just couldn't wait for the box! I heard Annette start crying in her room--hard. Now, Annette is very emotional but this sounded serious. I though she must be bleeding or something! I hurried that way and met her in the hallway carrying her beautiful china doll that her Grandma Eimers had given her. She lifted the skirt and wailed the horrible news....
"wye zhiahh lolll ih rooooaaaahhhnnneeddd!"
( My china doll is ruined!)
In truth, the doll had tipped over and fallen and her foot had broken off into several pieces. Poor Annette was devastated. Hannah tried to comfort her and I took the doll and the pieces to the kitchen, grabbed my glue and performed plastic surgery on her. One piece is gone forever but the rest came together pretty well and we overcame the crisis together and it was kind of nice to see the girls all huddled around each other getting or giving needed comfort. I'm so glad I am home with them each day.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cool Slideshows!

Science and Stuff

We got this book of simple experiments at the Lenoir City Library the other day. Hannah has been so excited to try to do the experiments. Yesterday we did two of them involving food coloring. One was to illustrate that heat rises. A bottle of hot, colored water submerged in a jar of clear, cool water. The colored water rose up and curled out and into the cool water. It looked like a little volcano.
The other was the old favorite: food coloring in the water to color flowers. Hannah was sooooo thrilled to be doing these experiments!
She kept saying, "This is so fun!,
I can't believe this is school!"
and she also confided in me that all her friends are jealous of her home schooling. She is talkative anyway but doing stuff like this turns her into an instant "Chatty Cathy", babbling on and on and on....
By the way, notice that Lava lamp? Hannah got that at a yard sale this spring. Actually, Hannah had run out of money and the very generous Annette, who saw Hannah's longing, paid the dollar out of her own money and bought it for her big sister. Very sweet of Annette. And believe me, Annette knows and reminds us every once in a while, reciting the whole story, highlighting the part--with mock humility --where she saved the day. I have learned that Annette shows her love by giving but feels loved herself when she is praised. So, in a sense, she isn't bragging for bragging's sake, she's just asking for a verbal hug. Of course, the rest of the world won't look at it that way so a little etiquette instruction is in order-- but it's still kind of cute to me!
The flowers in the colored water. Some of the stems are split, resulting in flower heads that are half one color and half another. Hannah's favorite was the blue/green one.

My favorite. Dipped in red for a couple hours and then moved to the yellow overnight.

Hannah has designated this one for Grandma Falk, whose favorite color is yellow. Yellow worked the best.

Grandma Falk is coming to get the girls today
as she has on Wednesdays since the beginning of July. It started so that they could attend the Wednesday events at Mom's library but that ended a couple of weeks ago so now they are taking advantage of the pool in Mom's subdivision till it closes for fall.
It's a great time for me to get stuff done. (Today is to sort the toys. Shhh....) And this weekend the girls and I and Mom may go to visit my sister, Bethany. I haven't asked Steve yet. He may think it sounds fun to have the whole house to himself or he may think he'll be too lonely. We'll see. I don't think we've ever gone away without him. Mostly because I don't like to drive on the interstates (my pet phobia) so that keeps us pretty nearby. Yes, Yes, I know, I need to get over it and learn....