Tell me what it is you want to do with your one wild and precious life? -mary oliver

Monday, January 31, 2011

Moments in Time

"Don't just have minutes in the day.  Have MOMENTS in Time."

Austin and I had Date Weekend, time for he and I.  Andy and Addy went on an Indian Princess campout, so it was the two of us.  Friday was movie night, along with a meal at McDonald's.  He is such the artsy type, and loves to paint so we went to Marcy's Clayground Saturday, a paint your own pottery place.  It was perfect, and he kept that lollipop going with one hand, and painting with the other.  The most difficult part was choosing what piece to paint!!!

We'll get our finished products later this week, after they fire it up.  So much fun. I even painted a magnet for a friend.

He had his first Pinewood Derby Race, and enjoyed the process of making it with Andy more, than seeing how fast it ran.

 And now we wait...wait for the imminent storm that is destined to leave us with an ice coating on everything, along with a mixture of every type of precipitation within the next 48 hours.  I've been to the grocery and the library, and hope the candles I do have will last if the power goes out.  Perhaps some time to shoot some picturesque photos if I get out tomorrow:)  I'm celebrating the moments of time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Wonderful, Wild Week

 I shall not believe God plays dice with the world.  Albert Einstein
A whirlwind of one wild, wonderful ride as pieces to our Sarah puzzle were placed together this week, amazingly, perfectly, and accordingly to a Master Plan.

Saturday, my in-laws brought the kids home from a special event and handed me  this.  

My sister-in-law sent it over so we can record our voices for Sarah when we meet her.  I'm thinking of having the kids alternate on each page, so she will recognize our voices.  Thanks, Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Matt.   
All The Ways We Love Her...

Sunday, I was asking our associate pastor's wife for the title of a book study she's doing, Cultivating Contentment.  Our adoption process quickly wove its way into our conversation, when she shared some connections with translators and others in Sarah's country if we needed help.  Another couple we recently met, asked us where we were in the process and they have friends who recently adopted from Sarah's country.  Over and over that day, I shared with friends how we know she will be coming home to our family, it's the when.  It will happen we are sure, and I'm at peace with knowing that. 

Monday, our fingerprinting appointment came in the mail, along with notarized licenses that we needed.  Five months to the day from when we committed to Sarah.    Much rejoicing and celebration.  The last big hurdle.

Tuesday, our associate pastor left a message on my phone.  On Monday, our church scheduled a trip to Sarah's country.  The first one in many years.  They will be traveling during our projected time of being over in her country!!! How cool, AMAZING, DIVINE is this!!!

Wednesday, I talked with our associate pastor.  He gave me the city where they will is half-way between the two cities we'll need to be for our adoption!!!!  Our pastor's wife said, "Shelly, this is a God thing."  No kidding!  Unbelievable.  The pieces are all coming together, and quickly.

Thursday, we received another fingerprinting appointment two weeks later:)  Oh well, it's better to have 2, than none at all.

Friday, Andy went to get his fingerprints early!!  One down, and I'll go on Monday.

Sarah's country opens up for adoption submissions in two weeks.  We could have our dossier over there soon.  Early on in our Red Thread story, my heart's desire was to have our paperwork ready for when they open up in February.  It could happen or soon there after.  We are, oh, so very close!!!!!

What a blessed, wild, wonderful week!!!  So many blessings, so many celebrations, and so many ways to embrace our journey.  No dice were thrown on this wild ride.  This was a perfectly, crafted, well-thought out plan.  We are merely pieces on the gameboard, changing the world for one little girl, one princess, one life worthy of love.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Five Months Today

Five months ago, Andy and I committed in our hearts, to our family and friends, and to Sarah that we would one day bring her home.  Five months ago, the process seemed daunting,with all the i's needing dotted, the t's crossed.  The day we opened up the "packets" that needed to be completed, it was overwhelming.  But, we didn't look at the bulk, but one piece at a time, like the little engine that could.  One piece of paper, one step.  God has given us patience and grace to complete each step faithfully.

Yesterday, our friends were asking us where we were in our process.  They knew we had hoped to have our dossier sent by now.  As I was sharing with them, I knew there is a reason why we were not finished on our time table.  We may not know what it is, but God does.  I was at peace, knowing it is out of our control.  We will bring her home soon.

Today, I planned to call immigration for an update on our status at school, but neglected to write down our case number.  I quickly raced home to call them.  We unpacked the car, got the mail, and then the rest of the evening looked like this...

Austin took this shot:)
 Our appointment came in the mail, and then we'll get the GOLDEN TICKET.!!Joyous day, filled with gratitude, celebration.  Our red thread is inching closer and closer to Sarah.  I was shouting from the rooftops, the kids were dancing, and we were calling everyone we knew.
Grace for the day, no more no less.  Step by step and day by day..

My next reads...recommendations from friends and other blogs I "lurk":)
Our first Snow Day of the Year

  They love painting and what better way to paint than with paint pens and metal buckets!  

 Of course, curling up with a good book is a must.

Andy baked his work equipment in the oven:(

The international adoption process is not easy, but every step we've achieved is so worth the treasure we will one day bring home.  Soon, very soon...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

That Place

The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.
Norman Vincent Peale

Here is my place, the place where I can string encouragement, photos, and wordsmithing together.  It's where I can share celebrations and joys with family, friends, and those who've stopped in unexpectedly.  Here is where our journey to Sarah began, and where we'll continue celebrating her homecoming.  This peaceful place is where I find more energy.

Addy and I had our first Parent Book Club at school last night.  Cam Jansen and the Mystery of Flight 54 was the book suggested and over 34 second graders were in attendance.  Book-lovin', friendship, and fun...

Austin was so excited to bring home the Tiger Flag from cub scouts.  He marched it up to his room and proudly displayed it for me.  The "boys" have been working ferociously on a Pinewood Derby car that will be raced soon. 

Another snowstorm arrived.  While it was too late to delay school, the kids had early dismissal.  Andy put them to work using their Christmas presents from Grandma and Grandpa.  Thanks!!!!!

On the adoption front, we've had to redo some paperwork for the country.  Signatures and copies from others were not done to specification for Sarah's country.  It's not a hurdle, nor a huge leap.  Only a blip:)
We're still waiting on our fingerprinting appointment and USCIS approval.  Once we get those, the whole paperwork enchilada will be sent over ASAP!!

So many answers to prayer, encouragement, and love has surrounded this journey we've embraced.  I've learn to notice, to see more of everyday moments that matter.  To smile and make a difference, to celebrate with those who are celebrating, to read other family stories and be uplifted, and know I'm on this journey for a reason, a purpose.

Our children are anxiously awaiting, asking questions if they'll get to go to the airport to meet her, speaking with their friends as if she has always been a part of our family, and friending those who need a friend.  We are changed for the better.
I shared with you earlier about Nella's ONEdr Fund.  Currently, the fund is almost to $80,000 and Nella's birthday is this weekend.  What was thought as a huge $15,000 goal, a movement was started.
The video below is a celebration of life, family, and mostly love.  Trust me, you'll need tissues!!

Make a difference, be a friend, and embrace your journey!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ying and Yang

Remember my book? 
"Even if you can't change the world...never doubt that you can do remarkable things to change and rearrange your little corner of it."
It's been difficult to find words after the horrible event that took place in the southwest last Saturday.  Yet, on the same day in Naples, Florida, a movement to celebrate  children and families who have been touched by Down Syndrome was taking place through our blogland, Facebook, twitter.  People were spreading the word about Nella's ONEder Fund to raise money for the National Down Syndrome Society.  Kelle Hampton began with a goal she thought big, and it has grown substantially.  As of tonight, Nella's ONEder Fund has raised more than $50,000 in one week.  
Check out her blog for her latest creation;  a video of celebration.
Ying and Yang 
We're forever in artsy mode now that we hibernate on the weekends.  Bracelets, suncatchers, coloring, mosaics:  we do it all. 

A snowstorm hit our area this week.  Hopeful for a snow day, it came too late.  But, at lunch I did take a snow walk outside to capture the whiteness, brightness, and innocence of the initial snowfall.  I love the heat and sun of summer and fall, but during the winter I enjoy hibernating with a good book, coffee, and laying around.
Ying and Yang

We received our home study this week and immediately sent it to USCIS for approval.  It's getting so close and we are ever so excited to begin the next phase of our journey!  Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts.
I love words and they are everywhere in our house.  I even buy Yogi Tea for that special inspiration on every tea bag when you open it.  Like digging through the cracker jack box to see what the prize is.  Every morning, I walk into my classroom, heat up my water, and open my tea bag for the little happy thought of the day.
Of course, I drink it in my special smiley face tumbler.  Happy thoughts!
On the news tonight, a story about Making a Difference in the darkest times in Tuscon.
A lady who began making wind chimes as as testament for the memory of her son, is making them, passing them out, and the town of Tuscon is hanging them all throughout the city.
Blowing In the Wind

You're the one who can brush away the clouds and make the sun shine!
Happy Weekend:)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nella's Rock The ONEder Fund

So much good in the world and so much love.  Opening my favorite blogs this morning, I read this post and want to share with my online world.  During my daily happenings, I always take a few minutes to stop in on Kelle Hampton's world for a much-needed feel good moment.  Our lives are never perfect and neither is hers, but she has this magical way of taking the small moments and Rockin' the magic out of them.

For my family, I shared her story that was featured in Parents' magazine , and she's also in my blog roll: Enjoying the Small Things.

Her daughter is turning ONE!  A miraculous, celebration is planned and Kelle is seeking to Pay It Forward for her daughter's celebration. She is asking her readers, followers, and friends to give $5 to the National Down Syndrome Society in honor of Nella.

  Check it out.  You'll be changed.  You'll be blessed.  Mostly, you'll be making a difference in the world!! 

Nella's Rock the ONEder Fund 

UPDATE:  In 24 hours, $24, 000 has been raised for the National Down Syndrome Society.  Kelle is going BIG now and has set a new goal $47,000 for 47.  Give, pay it forward, and celebrate the good in the world!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011


These past few weeks, we have loved, lounged, and laughed the old year out and the new year  in.  All of us have been home (in our pajamas way past the morning hours:), yet we've worked on our own separate projects.  Closets, pantries, a new rec room for the kids are all projects undertaken in our respite from work and schedules.  We've begun work on Sarah's room and our decorations are almost down.  I enjoy putting them up before Thanksgiving, but come January 1st, it's out with the old!!    After 11 years of marriage, I finally decided to buy these nifty ornament and bulb organizational tools and am totally lovin' it.  My question is why did it take so long....

New Year's Eve, our weather turned spring-like...60 degrees in Ohio!!!  Never one to let good SUNshine and weather to go to waste, we rode bikes, played outside, and made it to the Columbus Zoo for the annual Wildlights showing.

 Necessary merry-go-round trip.  Never to old to take a ride!
 There was a time when they would not touch any wild creature.  How brave they're getting!!!
Lovin' the toothless smile!!

This year, the kids lobbied to stay up and watch the ball drop.  While we knew Addy was up to the challenge, we figured Austin wouldn't make it to 10.  Boy, were we wrong.  Both stayed up till 12:30 and spent the night in their new rec room.

I enjoyed relaxing conversations with good coffee and friendship...

I even read a book or two and found some inspirational blogs from some remarkable women.  The kind of happy, life is good, awakening the consciousness around you, making a difference type reading I enjoy.  I've added them to my blog list on the right:  Dig this Chick, Lisa Leonard, Joy's Hope, and We Are That Family.  Each story and family are trying to make a difference in their corner of the world, whether through words, pictures, or deeds. They are touching lives.

  Andy and I traveled downtown today to certify and apostille the bulk of our paperwork.  We'll need to make one more trip down there, but it was good to get 25 pieces apostilled.  A different experience that took more time finding parking and the right building than the actual paperwork:)  But it's completed!  It's getting so close and I am daily seeing the finish line closer and closer for when we'll send it all off to her country.   Each day, we are one step closer.

I have relished this "all about us" time, the living- in- the-moment time, the no deadline time. 
Life is the flower for which love is the honey.  Victor Hugo