Tuesday, August 31, 2010

my anniversary present...

It got here today while I was at work. I am on call and I just got home and played an awesome game of Galaga. It came with 60 games including every permutation of pacman and galaga ever invented as well as frogger. After one game I already have galaga elbow (I am one of those frantic fire pushers).
What fun! My husband is pretty cool.
Tomorrow is my birthday...well in 2 hours or so I will officially be 25 (ahhahhhhahhaha I am so funny)...I mean 25 plus 13.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our new church

Destination Community Church One of the things that made us sad when we left Birmngham was leaving our church. We really enjoyed going to Clearbranch...it was a pretty large church...they had a great kids program the the kids loved, they had a great praise band (which I loved) and sermons that were very mission oriented. There were things I wished were different...I always wanted there to be an adoption ministry so I just tried to start one! haha.

So when we got to Pikeville, we started looking for a church that had a strong kids program. Well, we thought maybe we could help build one - so then we started looking for a church with a praise band that had live music and played contemporary songs...you know Toby Mac, Hillsong Utd, Casting Crowns..ok. I will be honest...I kind of started to give up...I just started watching the internet broadcast of Saddleback.

Then 2 weeks ago in a fit of anxiety over bad mothering I made dentist appointments for the kids at a pediatric dentist recommended to me by a nurse in preop holding. Keith took them and the dentist asked him if we had found a church yet. He then proceeds to tell Keith about the new church he and 11 other people had started several months ago. Their vision is exactly what we had been looking for.

Keith called me excited on the way home and I was so excited to go last Sunday. It is exactly what we had hoped it would be. Lots of kids and a focus on Kids church, contemporary praise music...although they are still working on getting a full band it is the plan. They even have adoption as part of their vision. I couldn't believe it when I went to their website and saw a tab for adoption.

They are meeting monthly now, and our frantic last minute dentist appointment was the week of the August service so we were able to make it. Weekly services start next month, but we went to the launch meeting today. In another piece of coincidence, several of the launch team members are faculty at the kids' school.

So we are very, very excited about our new church.

Shopping...

When we moved here...I wasn't really worried about shopping. We have a walmart and a grocery store. There is a bigger walmart up the road about 30 minutes. Then we started trying to find some furniture for Lilianna's room...and it happened. I went headlong into Target withdrawal.

So yesterday after naptime we drove up to Charleston, WV to go to the mall and target. the mall was certainly nothing to write home about. 3 levels and the basic mall stuff. They did have a build a bear workshop and 3 children's clothing places and a Family Christian book store (where the kids each picked out a veggie tales movie with which they will be bribed later today).

Then we went to Target....ahhh target. I miss you oh beacon of hope to the thrifty and fashion conscious...ok well at least thrifty. They had bunches of cute girl clothes which I stayed far away from..lest I be thrown into a rage at the US Embassy in Ghana and ruin my shopping buzz.

We spent $419. yeah! We bought cute furniture for the girl's room study nook, we bought backpacks for everyone, everyone got a toy for being good. By the time we were done it was 9pm. With squeaky breaks and a hilly, curvy 2 hour drive ahead of me I said ...look kids...holiday inn express. And we stayed at a hotel right by Target.

We all stayed up and had a slumberparty...watching Nickelodeon...we watched True Jackson and then Back to the future 2. Ben drifted off first at like 1230, then zeb around 1245 and Lilianna fought hard until about 130. At 7 we woke up ate little breakfast and scooted home fast. We managed to somehow make it home, unload furniture and then make it to church by 10.

chocolate chip cookies are in the oven, kids are in bed and in an hour we have orientation at school. This has been a packed weekend..but lots of fun.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mini ponies

Today I took Lilianna, Zeb and Benjamin to the house of one of the people I work with to see mini ponies. There was a baby named Chocolate Chip who was the same height as Lilianna and the mommy pony, Susan...who was a little shorter than me.

The kids all talked big...but were a little skittish! No one really got to pet chocolate chip because she was afraid. But we walked around and looked at the other horses there. The kids had fun. We will probably visit again because the kids really did have a good time. It will be especially fun to bring Alex and Zoe when they get home.

Keith is on a boyscout campout in Alabama this weekend (actually it might be in Tennesee...I don't know where he is exactly!) So it is just the kids and I. We are having a lot of fun. Last night we went swimming...It was very cold. Then we played outside on bikes and with the many kitty cats. Then we watched a movie and everyone went to bed without too much hassle.

This morning we got pancakes in the McDonalds drive thru....every time we go to McDonald's Ben gets so excited you would think it was Xmas morning! After the trip to the pony farm we all had left over pizza and everyone went down for a nap with like zero fuss. It was truly amazing!

It is nap time now and we are going to try to find the mall in Charlotte, WV after they wake up! Shopping is fun! haha.

As soon as Keith gets back with the camera adapter I will post the pictures of the mini ponies...although I didn't get too many good shots.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Amish Paradise

I didnt' remember the weird al song Mala commented about...so I googled and laughed so hard I posted the you tube video at the bottom of my blog...I don't know how to embed a video in the test of a message...I suck. anyway...head down to the bottom and laugh as hard as I did.
Especially at florence henderson.

August 26th...

Hmm....there is something about today...what is it? mmmm....oh yeah....3 years ago Keith and I had the awesomest wedding ever!

I think it has been awhile since I went on and on about how completely and totally lucky I am to have Keith as my husband. Every day he amazes me with something completely insane and unexpected.

The other day he took all of the kids to the doctor's office all by himself. They all had to have blood drawn and he didn't even bat an eyelid. Who knows how out of control Lilianna was...after the last time we had blood drawn and she screamed at the top of her lungs "Give me back my blood" over and over again...it really couldn't have been worse. Zeb was totally whatever...no problem. Benjamin was fine until it was all over and he saw the blood and the bandaid was going on.


I met him and the kids at McDonalds after the dr's appt and he was sooo cute herding the kids in from the car. I am sooo lucky.


He also took them to the dentist and everyone did good. In fact Ben and Zeb were so excited about going to the dentist they asked if they could go back the next day. They got pictures of themselves at the dentist office for their first dental visit and Lilianna looked super cute and ben and zeb looked like they were being booked into jail. It was funny...and NO cavities! YEAH! Although apparently all of our kids have way too many teeth in way too small mouths. Never in my wildest dreams have I ever thought to consider my children's mouth small..in fact quite the opposite!


Keith cuts down big trees (although they are still laying in the front yard), our washing machine exploded the other night and upon moving it we discovered that one of the washer hookups had been spraying water out for days, months, years...who knows. So he unscrewed a bunch of ancient pipes and did a little plumbing magic with pipes, nozzles, weird purple glue stuff. Amazingly it works.


He always amazes me with the things he knows how to do....even the things he fakes knowing how to do he somehow pulls off! While actions speak much louder the words... the things he does for us are way above and beyond anything I have a right to expect from a husband. His to do list for himself is way longer and more extensive than I could ever come up with.

Keith is not just amazing because of the things he knows how to do...it is because of who he is and how he is with me and with the kids. He is silly, funny, sweet, everything is a chance to teach the kids something. He treats me like a princess...which I love. He is always considerate...he opens doors for me, he waits until I get in the car and then shuts the door for me, he always brings me a drink when he gets one for himself. I think if we came across a mud puddle, he would put his coat over it for me to walk on....well if he had a coat!

With all of the stress of moving and the big change for him of staying home with the kids I wouldn't be surprised if his head exploded...but it hasn't and he even brought me flowers for our anniversary today. I can't wait to post a picture of the ridiculously big gift he got me for our anniversary - it isn't here yet but as soon as it get's here I am totally taking a picture and posting it! It is totally awesome and I have always wanted one, and I don't need any quarters for this one.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Houses and things....

I need to take a picture of the little stall we placed all of our potted fake plants...it is like a little jungle...there are big pots with 6 foot trees (the big ones all have little tiny fake bird's nests with face eggs in them....nice). There are little baskets with overflowing leafy fake plants, there are vases with big, hard, potpourried flowers, there are tiny little aztec - y vases with fake ivy. It is a wonderland of plastic leafery.

The crazy A frame down the street is coming along. So far the old carpets have been torn out, the ugly wall dividing the foyer from the great room (I use these terms loosely because the whole house is like 1700 squar feet so the great room is great only in coolness..haha) has been torn down and the wood floor guy is hard at work putting in the new floor. It is white oak and he has completed the stairs and the upstair's loft area and started on the bedrooms and great room. We decided at the last minute...meaning yesterday....to tear out the tile in the foyer and kitchen and put the wood in there too. The floor guy is a hoot. He is a DJ and is all "man this house is gonna be sweeeet"...but I know he does really good work I can tell from the pictures I have seen and from the work he has already done.
The carpenters doing the work are Amish. That's right Anita (if you are reading this)....we have 2 Amish carpenters redoing our house. There is a third man on the crew that drives everyone around...apparently you can't drive if you are Amish...but you can ride. The first day they came their jeep was dusty and someone had written "Amishmobile" in the dirt on the back window.

We are really excited about the progress on the A Frame and it may be close to being ready when my parents get here on the 12. As soon as the floors are all the way done I will take some pictures to post.

I am all post today......maybe I will make another one about the cool new church we went to this Sunday. ...Yeah we found a church!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Virtual Scream

I have had a pretty good day. Most days are pretty good...until I run across something that reminds me that my daughters have been waiting to come home since February.

When something reminds me that my own Government has had every piece of documentation they have requested for the last 13 weeks and they have not issued a visa for my daughters. In fact, they won't even respond to my emails. MY OWN GOVERNMENT is holding my daughters hostage.

MY OWN GOVERNMENT is punishing my family for some unknown reason. Other families have received visa's in 2 weeks of providing their I600 approval. Our I600 approval was cabled to them at the beginning of April.

We are being punished by the US Embassy in Accra and I don't know why because they won't reply to my emails.

We are totally powerless. There is no one to help us...there is no one we haven't written or called that will advocate for us. There is nothing we can do except pray that our daughters don't get sick while they wait for our OWN GREAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE to finally allow my daughters to come home.

If there is anyone reading this who feels moved to pray for us please do...please pray that our daughters remain safe and healthy and remember the love we have for them...please pray that the person in the US Embassy in Ghana that has stalled our paperwork is moved to finally approve our visas, please pray that my heart can find some peace while we wait...because there is not a whole lot of peace to be found in there right now.

I know intellectually that our visa's will come when they are supposed to but I also know that the enemy really does work in Africa - I have seen it. Some extra ammunition and prayers would definitely be appreciated.

more stuff!

My husband just got this truck for his anniversary gift.....3 years is the truck anniversary right?


He has some work to do around the house.....things to knock down and haul away...it is pretty cool huh? We got it off of ebay and will hopefully get it home sometime in the next 2 weeks so we can start making some headway with knocking stuff down. September is actually international tear stuff down month...I didn't know if y'all knew that or not!

Friday, August 20, 2010

ooops

I enabled moderation because of that jerk who kept leaving like chinese spam posts...and now I never know when there is a comment that needs moderation. So I am sorry to the 3 of you who posted comments ... I just found them.

But now they are posted and I am so glad y'all liked Zeb the mustachio.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The dome climber...

Something for everyone! it took about 2 hours to put it together and like 6 hours for Keith to tighten all of the nuts/bolts. But doesn't it look cool?!
















Girl Scout camp...


Dropping Lilianna off at camp...yes I know it was like a month ago....cut me some slack, jack. Doesn't she look precious. I was worried about her "roughing it" in her cabin with electricity and a little fan built into the wall until we walked back into the cabin with her bag and she started jumping up and down with glee that there was a lizard in her cabin.

This is her with one of her counselors and the lizard.


After we dropped off Lilianna we headed back to town. the kids were hungry so we decided to stop at a restaurant in a truck stop..I think it was like an A&W. Zebby saw some little quarter machines and asked me if he could have a quarter to get something out of it. I almost always say no to these types of questions...seriously...once you say yes to the quarter machines at the grocery story, gas station etc...it is a slippery slope. However, this time I said yes because of what was in the machine.


I have no more words...this picture says it all. Keith says I can't send this picture with his last postplacement report...but maybe I will anyway.


Long overdue pictures of moving day...

Zebby packs like I do....2 things in a box....2 things on my head. I have been known to wear a baseball hat a tiara and sunglasses around the house on packing day...and no...there are no pictures.

Here is Keith on the way out of our house with some of the last of the stuff....



Saying goodbye to Ms Dee, Jessica and Greg.

Hanging around the house...

We have a new big house. It came with a lot of furniture in it....by a lot of furniture I mean fully furnished....with a lot of bric a brac (is that really a word?) We are still overwhelmed by stuff. We increased our square footage by a ton and somehow managed to increase our stuff to space ratio as well.

Today was going to be fake plant liberation day. My plan was to move all of the free standing fake plants to the stable....we must have literally hundreds of fake plants in here. We have high ceilings and a very open floor plan with tons of fake plants hanging from ceiling planters that divide rooms, from high ledge planters near windows ... then there are the big fake plants that are sitting in pots with little fake blossom bulb-y things. Then there are vases with big artistic-y crunchy hard fake flowers in every bathroom, bedroom, well any room.

Anyway....I have been having some allergy issues for the last 2 days...so today I was overhwhelmed by fake plants and fake plant liberation day will have to wait until thursday. Your living, pollinating cousins may have helped you win THIS battle...but you will not win the war!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The end of my rope....

I my have actually reached the point where my head is going to explode. Our daughters became our daughters over 6 months ago and we patiently waited through the 3 weeks of waiting for our adoption decree, the 2 weeks for I600 approval, the 4 weeks it too for our I600 approval to make it to Ghana...the 2 weeks it took for the Embassy to acknowledge that they received it..the 3 weeks to gather all of the I604 investigation. May 24th......how long could it take for someone to see look at the documentation...the situation leading to their eligibility for adoption is extremely clean. In fact, you can't get any cleaner.

I don't know am not entirely sure why this is happening to our family and usually I just trust that things will happen in His time and that things will work out when they are supposed to.

Today - I am angry....very angry and I feel SO HOPELESS. I spent time today trying to figure out how we can buy a house in Ghana and spend half our time there and half our time here. It is ridiculous...of course we can't. I came across a blog once of a family who completed an adoption from somewhere in Africa...I forget which country and then they couldn't get an immigration visa for their child....so they literally moved there. Of course, we can't do that at least not in the near future.

In the past whenever I came to fork in the road....such as wait patiently for visa's vs plant one of us in Accra from September 15 until visa's come.....I could listen to my heart/holy spirit and had faith that the path I was choosing was the right one. Even though I have made some seemingly insane choices - when I was making them I knew 100% that I was making the right choices. So all day today I was sitting alone....flying solo while I pondered the choices before us. Neither of these choices is screaming..."jump" so either both of these choices are wrong or I have had my little inner cheat sheet pulled for THIS test.

I know I am blessed, and I know that this trial will result in helping us grow in some way and could send us in a direction that we may not have even considered before....obviously something I still haven't considered. There is always pain in change and while we have had lots of change so far this year...there may be more ahead of us that we can't even imagine...and it will be a blessing.

Today has just been one of those days where I don't have any idea at all what we are supposed to do and I feel helpless and hopeless.

So I am praying tonight for a day tomorrow that has renewed hope...some new ideas...and maybe some visa's....think big right!?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vacation planning...

Overnight I made an executive decision about our vacation. Keith and I had been going back and forth about what to do for our vacation at the end of October. We are knee deep in renovating 2 houses and paying off bills...so we decided we should not go on a big vacation. Then last night I remembered what my dad told me once....his only regret was that we didn't take more family vacations when I was a kid. Who am I to refuse to learn from my parents! So DisneyWorld it is!

Today I started talking Keith into it...so we started the planning process. We are thinking about joining the Disney Vacation club because...well...we love going to Disneyworld. I think the chances are pretty good that we will go to Disneyworld at least once a year for the next 15 years. Plus....with so much family it would be a huge blessing to have a villa thing with a kitchen and a washer and dryer.

Our life goes on ... but in the back of my mind is the the ever present question...when will my daughters come home. It has been 3 months that our visa application/interview has been complete...and still nothing. If we knew the girls would be home before then we might not plan this vacation....Disneyworld might be a tad overwhelming. If we knew they wouldn't be home by then then we would know exactly how many people would be on the vacation. Do we pause our lives and not plan anything just in case the US State Department finally grants their visa's? So we are planning the vacation with the hope that they will be home but with the sad realization that 2 1/2 months might pass with no visa's.

I am very excited about the trip...but it has served to remind me how very, ridiculously ridiculous it is that MY OWN GOVERNMENT is keeping my legally adopted children in an orphanage in Africa because they refuse to make a decision on the clear cut evidence presented to them 3 months ago. Literally, there is nothing gray or questionable about the circumstances behind the orphan status of my daughters before our adoption....nothing even remotely questionable. It is sooo frustrating and it is because the State Department doesn't have any deadlines or people they have to answer to...they can just stall forever and refuse to respond to my emails and refuse to do anything.

My rant is done....I am heading back to the OR and taking a deep breath to remember that I am clearly not the one in control here! haha.

Friday, August 6, 2010

How lucky am I?

Yes it is that time.....it is our Zebby day. Unfortunately, we didn't do much celebrating today. I was the late person at work....2nd call so I had to stay at work all the way until 3pm....oh the horror! haha. I am on 1st call this weekend so I think I will be working all weekend.

We talked with Zebby at bedtime about his gotcha day...but we didn't do much else...bad parenting....maybe. I spent some time last night and today marvelling at how unbelievably lucky I am to have little Zebby with me. I know some of you readers have been reading my blog since before Zebby came home (3 short years ago!)....how unbelievably insane was I to adopt Zebby when i did.

I was a single mom to a 3yr old little girl, living with my parents, working 80-100 hours a week as a surgery intern...recently divorced...like finalized Oct 13 and started Zeb's adoption in November (the month my baby was born). What kind of sane person does that? Thank goodness I didn't let my brain slow down my heart!

So every year on Gotcha day I look at Zeb and thank God for my blessing and remember that.....you can't let your brain slow down your heart. So how lucky am I? I get to look at my awesome son, be gratefull, and also get a reminder of one of the most important lessons of my life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ouch!


Insert me into this picture with a computer terminal at the Johnson City Pearson Vue testing center yesterday.....ouch.
That test kicked my butt. About 30 questions into the 250 question test I had a sudden realization....My complacent ass was going to fail this test. I didn't cry, I didn't panic....I just thanked God for giving me another year to study and learn more about anesthesiology...because if this test is any indication...I clearly need it!
I almost got up and walked out....but decided to do my best and finish the test. The feeling of inferiority just kept coming....for 3 1/2 hours I had my ego beate to a bloody pulp. OH the pain!
Having talked to some of my friends who took the test on Tuesday....I haven't really talked to anyone who feels particularly good about the exam and it is graded on a curve...so October 16th is the day I find out if I passed or failed....nothing like 2 months to stew!
I got home around 3 yesterday and we took the boys for a swim...put them to bed early and watched Hot Tub Time Machine....it was funny. Then back to work this morning to all of the well meaning people at work that asked me how the test went.....all you can really do in that situation is give some ridicoulus vague and glib answer...you can't really start talking about your new study strategy for passing it next year! Although I am developing one!
I was hoping once the test was over we would hear something about our daughters coming home....nothing on that yet though.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Senility sets in...

This weekend was my 20th high school reunion...I know what is going through your mind...how could someone as youthfull as myself be so freakin' old....yes that though goes through my mind on like a daily basis these days!

I missed the reunion for several reasons...the biggest being that I am taking my Anesthesia Board Exam tomorrow and really needed to spend some time studying. Since, you know, I hadn't actually done that yet.

So, as a study break yesterday..I perused facebook looking for pictures of the reunion bash..i did find some. More interestingly, I found a picture on the reunion site that wasn't labelled...but that looks suspiciously like it could be me. I totally had the curled in front, perm in back blue eyeshadow look my freshmen year in high school in addition to my cool lavendar jordache leg warmers....seriously. However, I can find no corroboration that this picture is in fact me..... here it is though...just in case it is me you can have a giggle. If it isn't me, I apologize to whoever I have been laughing at all day and all of the public humiliation I just opened you up to....without furthur ado.....

Even if it isn't me...feel free to laugh at the fact that it could be...oh yeah...my mom can't even tell me if it is me. I feel pretty sure it is because I ran across a picture of myself recently from my freshman year of high school and i look ummm..like that!
Oh yeah...my board exam is tomorrow at 8am EST...please send me good multiple choice vibes.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power