Welcome!

The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family. ~Thomas Jefferson




Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Picnic to Remember

Yesterday we were invited to a picnic for the AFCA Adoptive Families for Cultural Awareness. We met so many wonderful people who have adopted african american children and have become multicultural families. It was great to chat with several Moms there who really understood what we're going through in reference to waiting for the probation period to finish and bonding and thoughts about birth parents. Also met a wonderful Mom who has 5 birth children and 4 more adopted children - she mentioned the word crazy a lot & that's my favorite description of ourselves going into this wonderful adventure. lol It IS crazy in some ways, but we've been a wonderful sort of crazy for years and we love it. :)

Wesley is doing great. He sleeps the best when he's being held. I'm torn between holding him and making up for lost time, and wanting him to get on a schedule of sleeping and napping that doesn't include me holding him. :) He is adorable. Nicole has been so loving to him - cooing to him and kissing his cheeks. Both little girls enjoy holding him and feeding him bottles.

One of these days I'm going to start an offshoot blog for my cooking adventures.... I've got to wait until I have a few minutes to cook AND type though. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

YAWN!!!

Well... Wesley and I are at odds on what time of day we like to play. I MUCH prefer playing during daylight hours and HE seems to be enjoying the wee hours of the morning... before there's any light at all. LOL I'm going to have to get back to having a nap in the afternoon when HE has a nap.... but it sure is a great time to get some housework done.

We're heading to town here in a few minutes to stock up on diapers and formula... I think he's on a growth spurt as he is starting to eat more AND more often.

I am SO enjoying not working right now. I have all day to figure out dinner and am enjoying being home with the older kids too. We can spend all day telling stories and playing with them. I hope we can swing it for me to stay home for quite a while. :)

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Finally we're home! All of the children have each had several turns holding the baby and he's already won them all over. :) Nicole hovers over him and lets me know any time he makes a peep. Even the older boys have been picking him up to hold... it's so cute to see them all get to know their new little brother.

Wesley's had many visitors already... Cassie, Aunt Beth and Grandma M were here soon after we arrived home. Aunt Peggy came to visit last night. Today Vicky, Megan and Jake came and Mom & Dad B came soon after. It is so much fun to share the excitement of a new baby with the whole family. Thanks everyone for helping us have a wonderful time welcoming our new baby.

Our garden grew while we were gone. Tomorrow we'll have new peas & potatoes from the garden for dinner. The chard was picked and given to Charlie Llama. I put Wesley in a sling and went out and picked currants with the little girls - we got enough juice for a batch of jelly and one small batch of currant syrup. We should have summer squash in a few days. Maybe tomorrow.

It sure is great to be home. :) I'll have to add a few pictures tomorrow of the kids & the baby - they sure love him.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Look Out - Here We Come!

We get to come home! Woohoo!

The Dallas agency called this afternoon to say we have verbal approval to take the baby home. This is another one of our little miracles. ICPC has to approve the adoption papers in both states before we can leave Texas. The agency told us it usually takes 5-10 business days for approval.... the papers had to be sent to Austin TX to be evaluated & approved, then to Idaho to be evaluated and approved. The original papers were only sent on Monday! I can't believe how fast that went! Heavenly Father heard our prayers! We really expected to hear approval on Monday or Tuesday of next week. This saves us several more hotel nights - and allows us to get back home to our family so much sooner than planned! Yahoo! Life is GOOD!

We were going to drive home - but cost ended up being a little cheaper - and much faster - to fly. So... we leave from Dallas at 7am and into SLC at 9am. We should be home around 1 or 2 pm. We're so excited for the kids to meet Wesley! He is going to love his new family. :)


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another day in the life.....

What a great day! We had to run over to the adoption agency here to sign a few more papers and pick up a possession paper that has Wesley's official name on it. (before it just said Baby Boy McKinnon) The people at Adoption Access are wonderful.

We also stopped by a Super Target to pick up a map of Texas to use in driving home. We ended up with an atlas that is small enough to keep in the car. Wonderful! Also, I've been hunting for a diaper bag that wasn't too big or too small.... and wonder of wonders.... they had one on clearance for $17 that I love! Just what I had in mind! Yahoo! Also picked up MORE formula. I tried mixing with some Parents Choice formula that compares to the Similac he came with, but it makes him fussier right now. I hope we can switch him pretty soon.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Ole Whiskers Catfish Buffet. I keep seeing little catfish shops everywhere & figured it must be something common here locally. You'd never find it at home. :) It was quite an experience to try a bunch of food I've never had before! I now have experienced: corn fritters, hush puppies, baked catfish, deep fried catfish, deep fried okra (which I loved!), and seafood gumbo. They also had a home made peach pie w/ ice cream for dessert. It was wonderful. (still drooling lol) I went through the buffet line & filled my plate and then went and asked the hostess to tell me what I was eating. She was sweet not to laugh, but so much of this food you'd never find in Idaho! I've only read about it in books. (what a dull life I lead lol) I think I'd double my size though if I ate these foods very often. Sure was good though!

Wesley is finally getting his long afternoon nap.... and so is Dave. I think Dave's snoring lulls Wes to sleep. lol We got Wesley's birth records today. All of the medical and hospital papers on he and his birth mom. Her name is blacked out on all the records... I have such a desire to know her though. I cried when I read the evaluation paper on her that mentioned under the nurses observations that she was bonding with the infant, had eye contact and cuddling. My heart breaks to know she loved him and was still able to choose to let him be adopted. I remember all those precious moments with my own babies in the hospital where I just fell in love with my new little one. May God bless you sweet Birth Mom.

I'm off to nap. These late nights are making me teary. lol I'm getting pretty homesick too... miss the kids & know that most of the yard & housework will wait for me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We Have some Awesome kids!

I just talked to the kids at home... Keeley mentioned that she & Darren were getting the kitchen and dining room cleaned up. They've both been at work all day AND just got their wisdom teeth out last Friday. What terrific kids to still pitch in when they're tired and don't feel so great.

Love you guys!

Our new baby Wesley

We're having quite an adventure here in Dallas. Sunday we found an LDS church 10 minutes away so we took time to go to Sacrament Meeting. It was a wonderful experience feeling the spirit and sharing this with that ward. They were very welcoming. If we can't go home this coming weekend we'll go there again. We had naps & took a walk outside in the evening. It is so warm here and much more humid than at home.

Today we ventured out to find groceries. A nearby Kroger provided that. We also needed some items for Wesley and this afternoon we found a Target. (after quite a tour around) I still need a diaper bag but can't find what I want yet.

Wesley is a good, calm, baby. He fusses to be fed or changed and he loves to be held, but really a good baby.

Here's what he's like in real life. :)



video

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We have a NEW BABY!!!

As some of you know, we've been trying for nearly 2 years to adopt a baby. A few days ago our agency called & we were able to pick up our new baby boy today! Oh, he is so cute... he was born June 18th and is about 7 lbs right now. I'll try to post a picture...
And here he is with Dave & I and his foster parents.... they were such sweet and loving people...
We are staying the week (or more) here while paperwork is finished. We hope to be home in a week or so. Pray it goes quickly - we miss our family!

I'll keep you posted on our activities & what we choose for a name for our new little guy!

Joy

Monday, July 7, 2008

Frugality takes some thought

.... And some action. :) With the price of gas and groceries steadily on the rise, I THINK a lot more now about the cost of driving anywhere. I'm more careful to combine errands with trips to and from work to cut down on driving. Menu's are being reworked to cushion the higher cost of food. When I bake bread (which is still cheaper than buying it) I consider the cost of my flour A LOT more than I did a year ago.

Some other things I'm doing to be frugal: Hanging clothes on the line (I might dry 1 batch a week in the dryer), being sure to use leftovers, using less detergent in my dishwasher - 2 tsp. is enough to clean everything well, and using vinegar in my rinse-aid dispenser instead of Jet Dry. I also use fabric softener less often and much less detergent in my laundry batches. (it helps that I have a new front loader washer - you have to use less) We're also being careful about turning lights and fans off when not needed and unplugging equipment we don't need as often. Audra picked up several cute shirts for the little girls last week for $1.50 each... they each got one now & the others are saved for back to school.

I'm excited about my garden coming on... we had chard for dinner tonight. My chicks are growing quickly and we're looking forward to eggs here in a couple of months. I think about that all the time. :)

I'm going to continue thinking before I purchase or use items. It's good for me to stretch and grow this way. Right? LOL!


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Wow!

What a great 4th of July Celebration! I had to work until 2:30, but made it home in time to get to Brett & Darren's Battle of the Bands performance. They sound pretty good considering the amount of time they've had to put a band back together. I'm impressed. We walked through some of the Freedom Celebration in Idaho Falls while we were there - interesting booths & some great people watching opportunities. :)

We came home and grilled burgers and made homemade root beer. (can't beat that!) Yum! Audra bought a ton of fireworks & we spent the rest of the evening lighting and enjoying those. Thanks family for a great time!

All in all a great day. Looking forward to the next party. lol

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Quick Adendum

I just shopped for our 4th of July barbecue... I will amend the previous post to read that the healthier lifestyle will remain in effect except for holidays. LOL!

I did purchase a bag of cracked wheat buns for burgers - and we are having watermelon, cantaloupe and baby carrots. Oh - and ketchup for the burgers contains antioxidants. Does that count? :o)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Healthy Lifestyle Changes on the way...

Okay, okay, okay.... All that stuff I've been hearing about healthier eating and getting exercise I've been trying to ignore. HOWEVER, I visited my new doctor for my yearly exam (that I've missed for 5 years) and he reminded me that "at my age" (can you believe he SAID that?) I need to start paying attention to that to avoid health issues later. (Hmmmmph.... at my age... and he appears to be about the same age... pretty darn young I'd say.... lol)

Soooo.... I'm back to either feeling guilty about my pilates workout OR actually DOING the workout, which eases my conscience, and figuring out how to add fiber, cut back sugars and refined grains, and bring more healthy food choices to the table.

Tonight we're having brown rice, swiss chard from the garden, grilled chicken and watermelon. That sounds pretty safe. I'm hankering to make some treats and I really shouldn't, but if I do I'll make Chocolate No-Bake Cookies... they're full of oatmeal - so essentially a health food. LOL!

Well... I'm off to search the internet for some healthy menu options that I can AFFORD to cook and that the whole family will eat. I'm not cooking 2 separate meals. lol I'll post some of my better ideas!