Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great DS Link

Check out this video of an inspirational man.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Brown Dossier
Ship (P/U) date:
Sep 15, 2009
Delivery date:
Sep 22, 2009 1:00 PM

Our Dossier has arrived in Armenia! :)

Pray for things to move quickly.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

More Sauder Pics

Making cornmeal and chicken feed at the same time.

Wigwams are cozy. Native American Indians really knew how to keep warm. Same cannot be said for early settlers. I see lots of "fresh air" in the log home below.

"Is that an actual tree? Why would someone cut it down?"

Sauder Village

We recently spent the day at Sauder Village. We are studying American history this year so it was nice for the kids to see up close exactly what we are talking about.

Madeline walking the corduroy road

School in 1868

Rolling the hoops

A family of 13 traveled across Ohio in this covered wagon, most of them had to walk the whole way.
We had a great trip!

Goosebump moment....

Just this morning while I was getting ready for the day (it was unusually quiet around here, Jim took the kids to the U of M game-thanks to free tickets from neighbors, so I actually could hear myself think!) I was thinking about what I want to do after graduation. Where do I want to work? I just love the hospital in general, it feels like "home." I know with out a doubt that God wants me to be a nurse, and that He will work out all the logistics of me working part time and having plenty of time to care for my family.

I like where I am now, working with adults with respiratory or renal problems, but I really miss the Moms and babies I used to work with. I was thinking back about all the different classes I have taken throughout nursing school, and while I have truly loved them all (which is why this is a difficult decision) I think my maternal/newborn class stands out the most. It just always felt like the right fit.

I then went on to think about what I liked the most about that area of nursing. Do I enjoy taking care of the laboring Mom, the sick (NICU) baby, or the transition time between delivery and going home? Labor and delivery is fun and exciting, but a lot can go wrong, a little scary/intimidating for a new grad. The NICU would be really interesting, I know I would learn a great deal. It would be very rewarding teaching new parents about their new baby, and/or help them deal with a difficult diagnosis (Down syndrome, perhaps? ;)). Mother/baby is my home base, where I started in the hospital, I already know I love the crew working there. It would be an easier, less intimidating place to begin, but I'm not sure it would be challenging enough to keep me on my toes. Does God need my skills to be a foster Mom to medically unstable infants who need temporary care? I don't know, there is so much to think about, some clarity would be great.

So as I'm pondering all this, the phone rings. Boston, MA shows up on the caller ID. Oh great, a sales call. I really hate those calls, especially on a Saturday morning! Usually I just let them go to voice mail, but this time I answered. On the line is a lady from March of Dimes. She said "Hello, this is so and so from the March of Dimes, where we think every babies first cry should be celebrated." My first thought was "me too! I was just thinking the same thing!" Then I though, "uh oh, she wants something from me, I can't take on one more thing right now, and I have no money to contribute at this moment." Luckily she only asked me to send out a few envelopes in January, because at that moment I probably would have agreed to almost anything she asked!

Definitely a God moment. Still need some more clarity, but this is a good start! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dossier en route

Our dossier was sent out by our agency on Tuesday. We are super excited/relieved, all the paper work is done. Now we wait, 5-6 weeks for our dossier to be translated and submitted to the Armenian Prime Minister, then another 3-4 month wait for him to grant us the first of 2 approvals. After our first approval, we will officially accept our referral (aka Ben). Once we accept our referral, we will be notified by phone of a registration date. This registration is the official matching of our documents with Ben's documents and takes place in his municipality.

We could at this time travel to meet him, have an independent medical evaluation, and be there to register him personally. We would love to be able to do this, but financially it is just not possible. Besides we already love him, and know that he is meant to be ours, nothing a doctor over there could tell us would make us change our mind. We already know what the medical field over there feels about children with disabilities. I'm sure one of them counseled Ben's birth mother to abandon him at the hospital, to walk away like nothing had happened.
After our files are officially matched they then need to be approved by various ministries which takes another 2-3 months. Once we have our final approval from the PM, we will be give 2-3 weeks notice to appear in Armenia in person for court. On this visit we will also be able to meet Ben. The trip will be a total of about 4 business days, not including travel.

We then return home for 30 days (we could stay in Armenia for the 30 day waiting period during which we would have custody of Ben, I would love to be able to do this, but probably not possible. 40-50 days would be a long time to be away from everyone here at home) and return for a 9-11 day stay. Finally, we would Bring Ben Home!

All this waiting puts us traveling in about March or April. Sounds like a lifetime away! I know it will go fast, we will stay busy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wake up to something yummy...

Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1 fresh apple peeled and chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 - tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons cinnamon

First off find a bowl that will hold four cups of liquid, and fit inside your crock pot with the lid on. Measure out one cup of Steele cut oats. Pour that into the inner bowl. Add the four cups of water, milk or half and half, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and cinnamon sugar. If you would like to add dried fruit or a cut up apple the add it as well. Fill the crock with water to about halfway. Set the inner bowl in the crock and see how high the water rises. Add more water in the crock if necessary. Try to match it so that the water reaches about the same height on the outside of the oats bowl or just below the bowl. Place the lid on your crock pot. Set on low and go to bed. When you get up the next morning your oatmeal should be cooked

This water bath method works the best. You will not wake up to a sticky mess, just yummy deliciousness. Almost like having warm apple pie for breakfast, without all the work!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm back to school...

to finish my last semester of nursing school. I can't believe I am almost done, it has been a long road. Do you think my being in nursing school the last few years has made an impression on my children?

They have learned how to do a pretty thorough assessment, as they have been my "patient" too many times to count. Together we have been in awe many times at how truly amazing the human body is. Mostly though I think they have learned that anything is possible, if you work hard and take it one step at a time. I also hope they have learned that it is possible to do it alone, but it is so much better when we do things as a team, and lighten each others load. It has been a team effort to get to this point, and I could not have done it on my own.

My Mother and Father in Law, and my sister have been my main source of child care and substitute teachers. My Mother has taken in our laundry many times (she gets big time bonus points for washing her son-in-laws boxers!).

So many people have lightened my load along the way. I am blessed with a wonderful family. I can't wait to be finished so I can start lightening their loads again soon.

Dossier complete!

Jim took the day off yesterday so we could go get our dossier apostilled, we wanted it to be a family event. We could have gone some place a little closer, but we found an Armenian restaurant near our state capitol. We thought we would celebrate the completion of our paper work with an Armenian meal. It didn't work out quite as we had planned, yes we completed our paperwork mission (yeah!) but the restaurant was not quite what we had expected. It was not open for one (in a busy area, at noon, what?) and looked a little shady to say the least. So we altered our plans a little and took Mexican takeout to a nearby park. The food was yummy, and we were treated to a little tree "trimming" excitement after lunch. Fun day! BBH!