Friday, September 26, 2008

Is she 3 years old or 13?

Just had to share the laugh of the day...Well, I am sort of laughing...I am not sure I should be laughing, but now it seems funny to me...What does this mean? How old is this kid anyway? Somedays, I just don't know. And let me just say, I have NO IDEA where the following comment came from. She has never heard anything like this said in our home. Man, they grow up WAY too fast!!!


I was downstairs with Gracie in her playroom CLEANING...cleaned all day today because we have company coming...and Gracie did not like that I was moving her things around so I could vacuum.
My response to her fussing: "Honey, I will be finished doing this in just a minute. Sorry, but I have to vacuum."
Her response: "But Mommy, you are wrecking my life."

No joke! She said it. JUST LIKE THAT. Simple but brutal. Some pretty CRAZY things come out of her mouth these days. I had to explain to her that her statement was not very nice to say to Mommy. I was not "wrecking" her life. I was "cleaning" her entire life. There is a big difference.

Later in the morning, I was still cleaning. This time I was dusting. I handed her something that had fallen on the floor that belonged to her, and she says to me,
"Mommy, I appreciate that."

Is it me or is this the sign of things to come?...Moodswings already at three and a half. What will she be like when she is 13?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beach Bums, Baby!!!

Van, Gracie, and I headed to North Carolina this past week for a much welcomed mini-vacation. Our dear friend, Niels, and his fiance, Sherry, once again, took us all in. Their home in Manteo/Roanoke Island is just the greatest! This is our second trip this summer to see them, and they have been so kind to have us stay there. We had such a great time! First off, we were treated to a HUGE boiled shrimp dinner. We went to the aquarium where Gracie got to touch rays. We flew a kite on the dunes. We played with their tiny dog, Spalding, and their monstrous bear of a dog, Izzy. We went fishing twice...I caught two spotted trout...My Daddy would be so proud! We went to the beach. There was a pizza feast. We took lots of pictures!!! We sat on their porch swing and rocked the day away. It was the BEST! Here are some of my favorite pics from our time with Niels and Sherry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Prayers for Hyatt Nolan

Dear Family and Friends,

I am asking for you to include in your prayers at home and at church a special young mother that lives here in our area. Many of my friends know her, and are friends of hers. I was sent an email tonight with a link to a blog that updates everyone about her condition. Her name is Hyatt Nolan. She is a mother of two...a two and a half year old daughter, Sidney, and a five month old daughter, Rebekah. Her husband's name is Troy. She went through sudden cardiac arrest, and a seizure, and is currently, I believe, in a coma. She is not doing well. Please pray for Hyatt and for her family.

Here is the link to the blog that gives updates about Hyatt.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just for Fun...Updated! How to Order the Flowers!!!

Random pictures of Gracie:
We had some pretty heavy rains from tropical storm Hanna. Gracie spent that morning in her airplane. Don't you just love that flight helmet? Then, she went "fishing". That swimming noodle was her fishing pole. Imagination can take you anywhere!
Gracie and Bindi...I just love the look on her face. She loves her cat, and Bindi loves Gracie.
I absolutely adore living here in this neighborhood. We have GREAT neighbors and there are so many kids for Gracie to hang with. And they are all as sweet as they can be!!! Every evening, we go out to play and everyone just hangs out. The kids have a blast, and it is a welcome break for me to chat with friends. This picture shows a typical afternoon with some of the kids.
And last but not least...MY NEWEST FAVORITE THING!!!.....Wooden roses! I bought seven dozen from a lady who was doing a fundraiser for her son's school. Guess what it cost me? $28
I LOVE THESE!!! They look real and they never die!!! They are actually called "everlasting roses". Just had to share that. Click on the picture to see how real these look!!! LOVE IT!!!!
******UPDATE...Many of you have asked where you can purchase these flowers and how....This is a fundraiser that Betsey is doing with her son's school. If you want to order these flowers from Betsey, just email her and she will get in touch with you. She told me today that she can ship these very easily anywhere and at very little cost because they are so light weight. So if you want to purchase some of the beautiful everlasting wooden roses, her email is
Like I said, they are some of my NEW FAVORITE THINGS!

Crafts and More Crafts

Gracie is a crafty girl. She would be crafting from sun up until bedtime everyday if she could. These are some of the things we have been doing lately. She has loved this!
* Salt dough crafts...We made salt dough pumpkins and fall leaves. These are so easy and fun to do! I included the recipe. You don't even have to use the oven. They can be microwaved! Paint them and spray with acrylic sealer. Make magnets for your refrigerator or just put in a bowl for decor. They turned out so cute!!! And they can be kept indefinitely as long as you keep them dry. Glue gun them on a fall wreath. There are so many ways you can use these.
* Sorting beans into a muffin pan and making "bean muffins".

Off Topic: The Issues and Politics Now

I cannot tell you how many conversations we have had with friends and neighbors about the candidates for President. There have been so many. Never before have I been so involved and interested in politics. Maybe it is because I have children now, and I want so much to make sure that my vote counts in November for their sake as well as ours.

Below is a chart that a friend of mine sent to me via email that compares Obama and McCain on key issues in this election. It says that you can verify this information on the following websites. It is interesting reading for those of us that need a little special help with seeing the whole picture when looking at these candidates....

Favors new drilling offshore US
McCain Yes
Obama No
Will appoint judges who interpret the law not make it
McCain Yes
Obama No
Served in the US Armed Forces
McCain Yes
Obama No
Amount of time served in the US Senate
McCain 22 YEARS
Obama 173 DAYS
Will institute a socialized national health care plan
McCain No
Obama Yes
Supports abortion throughout the pregnancy
McCain No
Obama Yes
Would pull troops out of Iraq immediately
McCain No
Obama Yes
Supports gun ownership rights
McCain Yes
Obama No
Supports homosexual marriage
McCain No
Obama Yes
Proposed programs will mean a huge tax increase
McCain No
Obama Yes
Voted against making English the official language
McCain No
Obama Yes
Voted to give Social Security benefits to illegals
McCain No
Obama Yes
0% on home sales up to $500,000 per home (couples). McCain does not propose any change in existing home sales income tax.
28% on profit from ALL home sales. (How does this affect you? If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on taxes. If you are heading toward retirement and would like to down-size your home or move into a retirement community, 28% of the money you make from your home will go to taxes. This proposal will adversely affect the elderly who are counting on the income from their homes as part of their retirement income.)
15% (no change)
39.6% - (How will this affect you? If you have any money invested in stock market, IRA, mutual funds, college funds, life insurance, retirement accounts, or anything that pays or reinvests dividends, you will now be paying nearly 40% of the money earned on taxes if Obama becomes president. The experts predict that 'Higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains would crash the stock market, yet do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.')
MCCAIN (no changes)
Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250
OBAMA (reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 125K - tax $38,750
Under Obama, your taxes could almost double!
- 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)
Restore the inheritance tax Many families have lost businesses, farms, ranches, and homes that have been in their families for generations because they could not afford the inheritance tax. Those willing their assets to loved ones will only lose them to these taxes.
New government taxes proposed on homes that are more than 2400 square feet. New gasoline taxes (as if gas weren't high enough already) New taxes on natural resources consumption (heating gas, water, electricity) New taxes on retirement accounts, and last but not least....New taxes to pay for socialized medicine so we can receive the same level of medical care as other third-world countries!!!

There is a chart made by another friend above. Click on the chart to make it larger and easier to read.
Also, I found these websites comparing the candidates on key issues:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Day 52 Of The Wait...

We are currently still waiting for our Letter of Acceptance. We are on day 52!!! Our friends in Haymarket (right across the highway) received their "Letter of Acceptance" from China on day 80! And they received their travel arrangements to China 21 days after that. They will be travelling to bring home their beautiful baby boy very soon...sooner than we will. LOL. He also has a cleft lip and palette, like Garrett. We are close behind them in this race to the finish line, and close to receiving our own LOA, I believe. I am so happy for them. The Bakers are a great family. The link to their blog is in my list in the sidebar here, "Baker's Sweets", if you want to check out their beautiful family. Their daughter, Kiah, came home from China at the same time Gracie did. They have an amazing story to tell about adoption and growing their family.
Here is the LOVELY email we received today. I am a little miffed (ok, pretty ticked off really) mainly because of the tone of the email. Seems that we are "missing" some other documents again. How does this happen? Is it because we never received any word that this International Adoption Services Agreement was needed or wanted? YES. We have never seen this document before. (It could be that I read it SOMEWHERE in the 500 PAGE BINDER from Small World that they sent us at the beginning of this process, but I just might have overlooked it somehow in all of that reading!) . Also, this is something we should have signed at the VERY beginning of our process with our agency...not NOW. I cannot tell you how many times we have asked them if ANYTHING ELSE was needed from us! And the copies of our tax returns??? HELLO! We have given this to them now I think twice! But from the way this sounds...just the wording of it..., we are the ones that are deemed disorganized and negligent in not sending in the required we wouldn't send it in to them!!! And they need to know we have received the email she sent and will get these items to them pronto.
Here is the email...

"Hi Madeline,

We still have some documents remaining that are necessary for your adoption.

I have attached the International Adoption Services Agreement that we do not have in your file. We MUST have two copies of this signed and in your file before we can give you the Letter of Acceptance for your child. PLEASE sign this and send it to us ASAP to make sure all is complete.

We also need photocopies of the first two pages of your income tax statement.

Please let me know that you have received this notification and that these are on their way. I don’t want to hold anything up, but will be required to if we do not have these.
(Ok, DIG DIG DIG in my HEART and SOUL!!! Knife in the heart!!! Like we are going to do anything at this point to HOLD THINGS UP!!!)

Thank you!"
(No, Thank you! Grrrrrrrrrr!)

I am still working on getting our Power of Attorney document authenticated and certified. It is notarized now, and we are sending it to the Secretary of State tomorrow.

I cannot tell you how HAPPY, RELIEVED, OVERJOYED, (etc.) we will be when we are no longer required to do ANYTHING on paper in THIS country for this adoption. China is a whole different story, but Van will be dealing with all of that paperwork in China not here. And at that point, our beautiful baby boy will finally be our son, and we will finally be Garrett's parents.

And let me tell you, everytime I whine about this process on this blog, I feel sooooooooooo guilty because there are soooooooooo many people in the world with REAL problems. This should NOT be this hard! It is not rocket science, but you would think it was! Crazy! Maybe ya'll can just chalk it up to hormones...but I am not I guess I have no excuse. Anyway, it is what it is.
Just say a little prayer for us.

Next on my worry list... I will be going to my niece's wedding in Alabama on October 3rd. I am going alone without Gracie and Van, and I have to tell you that I am really getting sad already just thinking about being away from Gracie for that Thursday afternoon/night, all day Friday, all day Saturday, and then home again on Sunday afternoon. I have never been away from her. I keep thinking about how Van is going to handle it. He will be fine/wonderful/the great Daddy that he is, but I expect that Gracie will have many little breakdowns throughout the weekend. And I have to FLY on an airplane by myself which leads me to soooooo many wierd, irrational, terrifying "what-if" thoughts.

Also, September 11th is just around the corner now. Will you be flying your American flag out in front of your home in memory of all of those that died on that day? We will be. Van and I have watched some of the footage they have been playing on television, and even seeing it now is so terrifying and heartbreaking...Maybe that is why I am having all of this anxiety about flying to the wedding in October, come to think of it. Van has a friend that actually made it out of the second tower alive, but the people she tried to help on her way back down the elevator did not get on with her. And they did not survive. Can you imagine seeing your coworkers and friends standing there outside of a door to an elevator, trying to coax them on because the building next door is burning, and having them tell you that they would not get on (remember many people were told by their bosses to stay), and watching that elevator door close...never to see them again? There are so many stories like this. That one hits home for us. I had a little boy checked out of my class that day early because his dad had been working at the Pentagon and had narrowly escaped being severely injured inside the building. Those memories will never fade. Seeing the footage of the planes hitting the twin towers on the television for the first time...I still remember that. Time stood still. God bless all of those families, all of those survivors, and all of those children who lost so much that day. They have a REAL reason to be hurt and sad and angry. September 11th, We will never forget!!! With the elections coming up in November, we have a lot to think about. The security and safety of this nation is a critical issue.

Uplifting blog post today, huh? LOL. Sorry! I am just in a mood... And "This too shall pass."