While waiting for Maggie, we are picking up her brother in Africa!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008!

Mama, Daddy, and Baylee Bear Aunt Lynn and Baylee
Baylee always lines up her presents in order of how she will open them!





Uncle Keith and Baylee
Aunt Karla and cousin Cody

Cousin Jason with fiancee' Kelly

Grandma C and Baylee

Brian and I

Baylee with a very special quilt Grandma Margie made

Baylee with cousin Jordi

Baylee with cousins Jaci and Josie

New cousing Caroline




Christmas came and then left way too fast! They say the older you get, the faster time flies. Well, I believe it! I am just wondering if I will even feel the days when I am in my 80's as fast as the days are going in my 30's! I love Christmas! I love the whole month of December that leads up to Christmas. I enjoy the shopping, the making out Christmas cards, going to the mailbox and getting cards, hot cocoa, a warm blanket and Christmas movies. I love the Christmas trees and decorations in my house and going to see Christmas lights while enjoying a steamer from Starbucks. I love making Christmas goodies and wrapping packages while listening to Christmas music. I love looking at my ceramic nativity set my Great Aunt Twila made for me and remembering why we celebrate Christmas. Most of all, I love laying on the living room floor in the dark, looking up at the Christmas tree lights and remembering.........remembering being a child and doing the same thing, and just simply enjoying the wonder of it all and then seeing that same wonder in my child's eyes. Christmas is a magical time and I always mourn the loss of it! I always tell Baylee that I think that's why God gave her to me in January instead of March when she was originally due! I needed something very special that month, and then my baby's birthday to celebrate every January there after to get over Christmas being gone! I do have this saying with Baylee, because she is so like me.....which is "There is always something to look forward to!" .......And there is too!

I posted slideshows of our 4 Christmas(s). One is Brian's family. That is alway fun, because of the Mendenhalls.......they keep us laughing with their bantering! One is our personal Christmas. Brian always beats Baylee and I up......he's such a morning person. Baylee usually wakes me up and then we tear into our presents. I usually fix a big lunch and Marge comes over for the afternoon. Another Christmas is with my parents and sister. That is always a lot of fun, because my dad is "A man of Action"! He keeps us laughing. This year Baylee got a remote control helicopter and Daddy's wienie dog, Gus, was after it with my dad's coaching of course. Gus did manage to taste a little propeller, so Baylee decided to put it up! Mama, Lynn, Baylee, and I played games too. Our other Christmas is our Laverne one with my mom's family. Since Thanksgiving is a big celebration with my daddy's family, we spend Christmas with my mama's family. It is always great fun. This year, two of my mom's 3 sisters, and my cousin and her family didn't get to come. That was disappointing, but we still had a lot of fun at my Aunt Carolyn's house. We have a beautiful new addition to the family........little Caroline, my cousin Brody's baby girl. Wow, she looks exaclty like him! We all played games and Brandon and Brody played guitars and sang. We hope and pray we will have our new little guy next Christmas. What a blessing that will be!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thanksgiving Fun at the Farm!

We went to Gate for Thanksgiving. As always, we had a lot of fun! This year, we had a lot smaller number of people because my dad's cousins and their families didn't make it out. We still so enjoyed spending time together. I am very thankful to be so close to my cousins still, so that Baylee can have the same memories I had growing up. We will be spending Christmas with my mom's side of the family. Can't wait for that too! I am very fascinated with these things!
Mom and IMom, Lynn, and Grandma Brown
Cousin Julie and Rustin

Brian as Ozzy and Dad
Baylee with cousins
Aunt Jo and cousin Jennifer
I got a kick out of the cows watching us play on the haybales!
Ali and Baylee
Haybale jumping
On the truck ready to go to the haybales!
Say turkey!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

3 MONTHS DOWN!

Yesterday marked 3 months in our wait for Eli! The wait for referral is currently fluctuating between 6 and 9 months. A referral is the baby chosen for you. When you get your referral, you are sent pictures and information on your baby. After the referral, you wait aprox. 6 to 8 weeks for travel. (sometimes longer, but they are really working on that aspect) We pray that we will get to bring home Eli next summer or even sooner! Please remember our family and other waiting families in your prayers. Waiting is hard. Our wait for Maggie is nearing 27 months. It is hard to fathom that it could be another 2 to 3 years wait for her.

Thanksgiving was wonderful! It is so nice to spend time with family. Baylee had a ball with her cousins. I will post pictures later in the week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Halloween Fun!

Baylee and her friend Olivia at our church's Trunk or Treat! Baylee dressed up as a Chinese princess and Olivia as Dorothy. Right after Trunk or Treat, it was off to a big Halloween party! It was an exciting and fun night!

For actual Halloween, Baylee and Olivia dressed up as a Toothbrush and Toothpaste! They were so cute! We went on our annual Halloween hayride. This year our hayride grew to 11 kids and 9 adults! It was quite a night! Baylee counted 115 pieces of candy when it was over! Wow! Too much! I will have to recycle some at school! Once again we have to thank Larry and Jackie, our dear neighbors, for loaning us the trailer, and for giving Baylee something extra!!


50six Scavenger Hunt!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2 MONTHS DOWN!

We are 2 months into our Ethiopian adoption wait! Here's to hoping and praying that the wait stays where it currently is......approx. 7 months! Wow! Please God, let it be!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

ONE MONTH DOWN!

We are 1 month into our 5 to 7 month wait for referral! Let's pray the wait time stays the same!

All else is fine around here. We had a great weekend with friends and family! Saturday, Baylee went to a Girl Power Rally hosted by the YWCA. She had an awesome time!

Saturday evening we went to a Chinese Moon Festival get together. It is alway so much fun to see all the families who have their children home, are in the paperchase phase, or in the waiting for referral phase. I never in my wildest dream imagined that we would still be going to these get togethers without a baby after more than 2 years. The wait time for our China baby continues to grow. It is so sad, for all the waiting forever families, but mostly for these babies waiting for us. These get togethers do keep it real for us though because they remind us that it will happen..........eventually!

Sunday was a special day because the people I hold most dear to my heart were at my home for dinner! My mama, daddy, and sister, Lynn were here as well as my Grandma Margie and Richard, my Grandma Brown and Chet, and also my Aunt Vic! We had a great time. I am so blessed with family and friends!

Me, Queen of Pictures, did not take 1 picture of any of these happenings. Can you believe it? I am ashamed of myself. I guess I got too caught up in enjoying everybody!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Verse for this week!

But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." -Habakkuk 2:3

This verse was posted on our yahoo adoption group board. It is so appropriate. I am soooooooo learning that I am not in control. It is all about God and His perfect timing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

State Fair Fun!

Yesterday, we went to the State Fair of Oklahoma in OKC. It is a September tradition for our family to go and to also go to Disney on Ice while we are there. This year Disney on Ice was High School Musical 1 and 2!! It was a lot of fun! Baylee thought it was one of the best we've been to. We invited our longtime friends, the Morrisons to go with us. Lori, her daughter McKenna, and Baylee and I all went on ahead to the city first to get some shopping in! We met Mac, Brian, and Lori's younger 2 children later for lunch at On the Border. Yum! Then we went on to the fair. Brian was a little excited to get out of Disney on Ice this year and hang out with Mac doing "man stuff", while Lori and I took the kids to the ice show. I have news for him. With 2 more little ones in our future, there will be many more Disney on Ice shows ahead. He is a good sport though!! It has been raining cats and dogs the last few days. Today, however, it is just beautiful!! We have all the windows in the house open. It sure seems like an early Fall. It will be really tough if it gets hot again before Fall truly gets here! It is hard to believe that we are already half way through September. It will be time to start making Halloween costumes soon. I love Fall.

Well, it has been over 2 weeks since we were officially DTE (dossier to Ethiopia). I want the wait to fly by, but I just can't wish the days away. Every day that God gives us is too much a gift to wish them away. My baby, Baylee is growing up way too fast. This is her last year in elementary school and if I wish for our wait for baby Eli and baby Maggie to hurry up and be over, I am also wishing Baylee to get older and go to junior high! Yuk! I don't want that! So, I think the best thing to do is to just enjoy every day as it comes,........to look forward to what lies ahead, but relish the present, which is so good too. We are truly blessed. Thank you God!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

DTE!!!

FIRST DAY OF 6TH GRADE!

We are now officially DTE! If you are wondering what DTE stands for, it means Dossier (fancy term for our life in papers) to Ethiopia! This really basically means we are now officially waiting! I prayed we would get our DTE date by the end of August and we did just barely! Thank you God! Our prayer now is that the wait time stays where it is which is 5-9 months from DTE date. Wow! It is hard to believe that we could be holding our baby by the end of the school year. Once you get your referral it takes 2-3 months before you travel. We hope that God's perfect timing is in alignment with our perfect timing. We know that this is not always the case, as we found out with our China adoption. We however trust God and His infinite and perfect wisdom and timing.


Nothing else really to report except that things are going well. I have a large, but loveable class. They are quickly growing in my heart. I still get to see my babies from last school year, as they stop by often after school to visit. Baylee is having a wonderful 6th grade school year so far. She is in band, playing the clarinet. She does Safety Patrol before school starts and after school. She has also recently gotten involved with Wednesday night church activities. I am very proud of her. She is a super kid!!! Brian has luckily been home the last few weeks, but will have to travel again before too long. Phoeey! I hate when he leaves! We have acquired 2 more dogs. We are trying to find a home for the loveable things, but we aren't having any luck! If you know of anyone that would like a couple of sweet, country dogs, please let us know. We have our hands full and our pocketbook empty already with the 4 we have!!!!


I will keep you updated!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to School and other stuff!

Whew! You can sure tell around here that school is back in session! We have been so busy getting back in the groove of things. Baylee is much happier when school is going on. She is such a social butterfly that she needs to be in the middle of friendships and happenings. Right now, her daddy is taking her and a friend to Fifty-Six, a church service for 5th and 6th graders at our church. She is also debating on taking band or not. I will let you know how that turns out. As for me, well, I am just tired! I always forget how tough the first weeks of school are. My class is delightful, but we have a lot of work to do to get in a good routine. They will get there. It just takes awhile. It takes me awhile to get in a good routine as well. It doesn't help with the millions of beginning of school year things to do. Enough with that already!! Brian was in Iowa last week. It sure is good to have him home. He sure helps take some of the stress off, with helping with things around the house. I told him that I wish I made enough money to make him a house husband!! He wishes that too! As for our adoptions.............China is still moving at a snail's pace. It took them 7 months to get through one month of the waiting list. They just finished January of 2006 people and we are September of 2006. Our Ethiopia adoption is going much smoother! I hope it stays that way! We sent our dossier (paperwork) to AWAA, our adoption agency, yesterday!! Boy, that was a wonderful feeling! I pray now that it will get there by Monday of next week and that everything looks good and they can forward it on to Ethiopia. Once it is in Ethiopia, the wait has been between 5-7 months. Hopefully, it stays that way! Once you get your referral of a baby, it is about 2-3 months before you travel. We are so anxious! Well, that is what is going on around here!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Adoption Update!

Well, our home study addendum is complete, notorized, and should be at the OKC USCIS office right now! Hopefully, they won't take long to change the country and get it back to me. The next step is taking it along with all our other dossier (adoption) documents to the Secretary of State and getting them certified. Then we will mail the dossier to AWAA, our adoption agency, for them to go over and then have authenicated. The final step is sending it on to Ethiopia where we will officially begin the wait! The wait currently is taking between 5 to 7 months for a baby boy. Hopefully, that won't change, and if so, not by much!!! We are so excited! Please join us in prayer that we can have our dossier in Ethiopia this month!! We will keep you posted!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This and That!

Mom, Daddy, and Lynn came over for my birthday! We had a great time!
We recently went to Laverne and Baylee spent a fun time with cousins, Jordi, Jaci, and Josie!




My beautiful Grandma Margie with Baylee Bear! We got to spend time with My sweet Grandma Brown too, but I missed getting a picture. Darn it!








Baylee with he daddy!

Aren't they crazy!! I took probably 8 pictures and all but the one above this one was like this!
Things are going well for us! Staying busy, but havin lots of fun! Our adoption paperwork is going somewhat smoothly so far. Please pray with us that we can get our dossier(paperwork/otherwise known as your whole life story) in Ethiopia next month. It is a big prayer, but with God all things are possible!
School for me starts this Friday. Officially it starts next Friday for teachers, but this Friday, I am going to a teacher share fair all day. It should be fun! Next week, there is no way I can wait until Friday to start on my room or I will never get it done. So Baylee and I will be working on it almost every morning next week. Baylee is a great helper. She has been coming to my classroom to help ever since she was a toddler, but let me tell you, I not only can get way more done now that she is 11, but she can do about anything I ask her to do. Thanks Baylee!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

COLORADO PICTURES!

Sunset view from our campsite.
Baylee and I doing our traditional Colorado rock painting.

Tame chimpmunk in Creede.

Brian and Baylee in the Creede firehouse.

This is the coolest firehouse ever! It is inside a cave! Brian was in heaven!

Mining competition in Creede on the 4th of July
At the Creede 4th of July parade

Smokey the Bear during the parade

Creede is a neat little town nestled in the middle of lots of mountains. This was the start of the parade.

Our almost nightly ritual. We sit around the campfire and be goofy usually! We laugh a lot!

If you click on this picture to make it bigger, you will better be able to see the herd of elk.

Close up shot of a deer on one of our evening drives.

Look at how tiny Brian looks! It makes you realize how small we really are in God's great big beautiful world!

Our almost 10 year old camping outfit. We have shared a lot of wonderful memories in this camper and truck. In the next couple of years, after we expand our family with 2 babies, we will hopefully be able to get a bigger camper and truck.

The fishing wasn't good this year, but the memories made trying are awesome!

Hummingbirds were as always thick! We enjoy watching the amazing and mean little creatures!

I love this happy picture of my silly daddy!

My little sister Lynn and Baylee. They had quite a time together!

Baylee and her grandpa share a lot of silliness and laughs!

Freeman's is a little general store a couple miles from our campground. We go there quite often for their delicious and large icecream cones! They make great burgers too!

OMG............Is that Baylee reading?


Despite overall bad fishing this year, daddy did manage to catch a 16 incher, or was it a 20 incher?

My beautiful and silly mom gathering fire kindling!

Yes, snow in July! Isn't it awesome!

Throwing snowballs........oh what fun!


This looks like snow, but it is actually cotton from the cottonwood trees in Lake City.

This is the waterfall Baylee and I sat by during our picnic. We went on about an hour hike.

Baylee during our hike!