Monday, April 27, 2009

Update on my two sickos

I kept both Teresa and Caleb home from school today and was so pleased to get a Dr's appointment this morning. Teresa has a sinus infection and possibly strep throat; Caleb has an ear infection and possibly a sinus infection as well. Both have started on their antibiotics but can't go back to school until Wednesday. Caleb is up 'riding' a stuffed unicorn--he calls it a 'gorse'.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Life Around Our House

OUTSIDE
Caleb enjoying our resurrected swing set. It spent all last summer laying over on its side with screws missing and parts disassembled but my sweet Daddy painstakingly put it back together just a couple weeks ago. Now there's only one part we can't use.
CALEB AND SCHOOL

Caleb all dressed up, waiting for the bus to go to OT at the school. It was a sunny day and I had to persuade him not to wear his mittens or he would have had them on, too! He particularly wanted to wear his Ukraine hat.


CALEB IS SICK
Here's my sick boy-boy. Caleb is generally so healthy but on Friday, he was feeling hot to the touch and having some loose stools and just kind of sitting/laying around. And then the throwing up began. This was the first time he's thrown up in the 14 months he's been home. Poor little guy--he'd just lay on the floor kind of sleeping and then he'd start this pitiful cry and we'd try to get him aimed over the pan. It took Scheri and I both because he was so wiggly when he was trying so hard not to be sick. Saturday morning he got up and got dressed and went to the Pinewood Derby. He had fun and enjoyed racing his bus but still wasn't his usual bouncy self even with his Papa whom he loves so dearly. Saturday afternoon it was back to fever and very rosy cheeks and sleeping a lot--though he did eat dinner well without throwing up. We gave him Tylenol pretty much as often as he could have it and cool baths and heartfelt prayer. Today he stayed home from church with Kevin and I taking turns being with him. He slept at least 4 hours on the couch this morning. Now he's watching Toy Story and his skin feels normal to the touch. I will be glad when he's back to his perky self.
(Though it was awful to have Caleb so sick, it was sweet to feel him clinging to me and looking for me if I left the room. It felt good to be a source of comfort to him. To know he actually liked it when I held him or laid by him. As weird as it sounds, I think his illness was a bonding thing. )


Caleb's concerned older sister, Scheri, watching over him.

ANNUAL PINEWOOD DERBY AND KIDS' CLUB AWARDS
Here are my kids working on their Pinewood Derby cars with Billy's developmental therapist looking on. Kevin cut the cars out for each person according to his/her preference and gave each vehicle a coat of primer but the kids were responsible for actually painting their own cars. We did choose a "bus" shape for Caleb since that seemed to pertain to his life. I would dip the brush in the yellow paint, then hand the brush to Caleb and try to position the bus so he could get each side without getting too much on his shirt. I was impressed with how much his artistic ability has improved since Derby-time last year.

Our Annual Pinewood Derby was held April 25 at the Hansen Elementary gym. Here's James and his car--a military transport vehicle. He received 1st place in the Discovery Rangers race division.

Billy and his car--a railroad locomotive. It got first in the Adventure Rangers division for race and second for show.

Teresa and her shoe-shaped vehicle. It got first place in the Junior Open race division.

Caleb and the bottom of his school bus. Kevin had to drill holes in it because it was over the weight limit. Caleb was also in the Junior Open class.

Kevin being silly with his string of 5 dice car. He raced in the Commander's Division.



Scheri designed her car as a very unique cell phone complete with flip top.


My car was called 'Precious in his sight' and was shaped like a foot with the toes and heel painted gold and the rest painted "red and yellow, black and white" as in "Jesus Loves the little Children of the World." It was the fastest car of the outpost!
This year we followed the derby Race and Show awards--pins for first place/certificates for the other places--with our annual badges and trophies for our Missionettes and Royal Rangers.

Caleb is our only Rainbow and we don't have a teacher for his class so he always sits in with my group of girls. When I added up the scores for my students, he actually had the 2nd highest number of class time points!




James is a Discovery Ranger and he received the trophy for Ranger of the Year for his club.


I teach the Prims--the club for 1st and 2nd grade girls. These young ladies earned 5 badges this year.

This is Scheri and Teresa with their STARs leader. Scheri was the STAR of the Year




Kevin helps lead the Adventure Rangers and Billy is one of his two guys






The two boys were separated by only one point in determining the Adventure Ranger of the Year--good job for both of them!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

An Update on the Update

I didn't understand what Nastya meant by "weird" in her earlier note so I asked for further explanation. Also I was concerned about our dossier becoming out-dated with all this waiting so here's the word from our facilitator.

Hi Joy,
The soonest date on the dossier is in June, so we are doing OK, we checked. Court wants orphanage, inspector (absolutely normal), prosecution (normal as well), birth certificate office (very weird), SDA (OK). Usually we notify all these offices personally about the hearing, pick up needed papers and bring them to court personally. Here they won't give any to us in hand, they want them mailed to each office and get answer in mail--that's what is taking so long. I am afraid we won't be given a date [for the main adoption hearing] until preliminary hearing.
Blessings, Nastya

Preliminary hearing is May 22

Here's the message from Nastya when I told her my curiosity was killing me about how the private meeting went with our judge.

Hello Joy,
The visit went fine. She seems like a very nice person. This court has weird rules, they want to ask five different offices in court. We have to inform them all, get letters from them that they won't be there, etc. So, preliminary hearing is for May 22. Just Alexey needs to be present. The main hearing should be about 2 weeks afterwards. You have to be present at the main hearing.
Blessings, Nastya

So, if all goes as planned we should be back in Kiev in about 6 weeks!! Believe me, we will be delighted to finally be at the main hearing!

Please pray with us concerning child care. With our travel being during summer vacation babysitters will be much more expensive than if they are just with our kids after school and during the night.

Also I have never been in Ukraine except in the winter. I am really looking forward to seeing grass, flowers, leaves on trees, etc. I really have no clue what to expect as far as temperature but I'm pretty sure we won't be needing the boots, gloves, winter coat, sweat pants, sweat shirts, tights that we left in Kiev for Steven :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shoshone Falls in Motion

These very short videos are far from professional but I think they give a hint of the huge amount of water roaring over the Falls

video video

Beautiful Shoshone Falls

I love Idaho. It is a state of rugged, natural beauty and variety. The south-central part of the state where I live is considered high mountain desert and we receive less than 10 inches of rain per year. However about 100 years ago a group of men financed an extensive system of canals, etc that provided necessary water to many acres of what had been sagebrush; extremely fertile and productive farm land was the result. Thus our area has the nickname of "The Magic Valley." Much water for these canals is taken from the Snake River. But in the spring--before the water is turned into the canals--the flow over Shoshone Falls (about 15 minutes from my house) can be absolutely breath-taking (depending on the year) as it was last night when we visited. These pictures don't do it justice but I just had to share.

I feel sorry for those out-of-staters who visit later in the year and see such a tiny stream of water coming over the Falls. The Snake River canyon is still gorgeous but they have no idea what they are missing.



Billy, Scheri and James with Caleb in front. Teresa was at the church helping on a quilt.






















































Billy sitting on the rock with info about the Falls.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prayers were being answered

I just want to share the email we got from our facilitator today.

Hello Joy,
We just got back home tonight. The visit with the judge went well. The opening she had for preliminary hearing was May 29th, we convinced her to put it closer but she could only give us May 22nd at this point. We are going back tomorrow for a more private conversation and are hoping to get a better result. She seemed happy with documents, no more stupid impossible requests. She seemed nice and smiled a lot so hopefully she will be a good fit for the case.
Have a good day, Nastya

Monday, April 20, 2009

A tiny UPDATE

I got an email from Nastya and she said both she and Alexey will go to court tomorrow and ask the judge for the soonest possible hearing. She feels so bad that this is taking so long but I assured her we know it is not HER fault--she and Alexey have been doing everything possible.

Thanks for your prayers. God is bigger.

Here Comes the Judge

It cracks me up that I have to sign into my own blog now that it's private. With so much electronic sophistication, you'd think the blog could 'tell' that I'm its mama.

Yesterday was Easter in Ukraine and I have gathered from another blog that today is a holiday as well. Yesterday was also the day our new judge was to have gotten home from his vacation. So I am praying that he is well-rested, full of energy and zest for life, and ready to schedule an adoption hearing very soon--as soon as he knows that we even exist! (I think he was assigned to our case while on vacation so he just doesn't know the excitement in store for him)

Thanks to everyone who is like the Energizer bunny and keeps praying . . . and praying . . . and praying . . . and praying . . . and praying.

Could we please pray that Nastya and Alexey will be able to establish a good rapport with our new judge, that his mind will be open to our cause, and that he will have an opening available. This paper pregnancy is at 46 weeks, 3 days and I'm really ready for delivery :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Sunday

Caleb was the only one of our children that I was able to 'shoot' at home before church. Then the battery on my phone was too dead to take any more pictures (I know, I know! No one can imagine that I would forget to plug my phone in :)
Here's Billy looking spiffy.


Billy beside the Easter lilies. It's a good thing I got these close-ups of Billy because by the time I was ready to take the whole crew, Billy had already been outside the church playing in the dirt and mud

Here's Caleb and his 6-year-old chasing-buddy, K after church. Caleb looks more comfortable with his shirt-tails hanging out. They have such a good time together.
Here are several shots of our kiddos: Billy, James, Caleb (in front), Scheri, (friend, C) and Teresa.

Here are Billy and Teresa much later in the day showing off their new caps from Grandma R. Billy's is a NASCAR hat and Teresa's has Tinkerbell. They also received Easter eggs and candy.




As much as I love Christmas, Easter is truly the most wonderful day of the year. Without Jesus rising from the dead, the Bible says I would still be dead in my trespasses and sins. But now He ever lives to make intercession for me. . . . And you. . . .
I want my life to be a 'thank-you' present to Him.

Scheri's 13th Birthday
















Scheri, her guests and her special High School Musical cake (chocolate with chocolate filling)

The gift table festooned with Happy Birthday crepe paper--and Caleb crawling behind.

First, Scheri opened a birthday card and gift card from her birth mother.


Daddy and Scheri with her new aeropostale hoodie sweatshirt.

Adorable bag, flip flops, lip gloss from sweet friend, H.

Nail polish, nail files, body lotion from Teresa, James and Caleb


Lovely hand-made necklace from friend, C.

Touch-screen digital dog from Grandma and Papa

Collection of nail polishes from Billy


3 pair of earrings from Mommy and Daddy


I love you, Scheri!



Scheri found these adorable H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y candles--the perfect number of letters for a 13th birthday.

Getting ready to make a wish


Scheri wearing, showing off as many of her presents as possible.

Caleb enjoying the cake and ice cream


Our older daughter got to celebrate her special birthday a day early since the official date fell on Easter this year. 5:00 was the appointed hour. Alas we did not get home until 4:10.

You guys will know exactly what I'm talking about when I say it was a busy day that started at about 6:30 because our younger daughter Teresa was to be in Gooding, about an hour's journey, at 8:30 for volley ball. There were 3 courts set up in this gym for the 15 teams participating and no space to pull out the bleachers--it was a bring-your-own-chair event! I honestly thought they HAD to be joking but they were dead serious. After watching Teresa's 4 initial matches (interspersed with other team's games) we left Teresa at the gym with her team for the afternoon tournament while the rest of us hurried to complete another round of last-minute errands: Easter shoes for two of the kids; dollar store gifts; birthday candles, birthday cereal and birthday cake; birthday party guest. Teresa actually called us about 5 minutes before we got home, asking where we were! She got home before we did.


At 4:10, as I mentioned before, we tore into the house like banshees with each person assigned a room to scrape out. :) The girls concentrated on their room and then did some very cute decorating. We didn't quite pull it off by 5:00 but with the help of my Mom who arrived a little before time, we did start around 5:15. I would have to say that the girls all seemed to have a very nice time without any fighting amongst them. One guest got to stay until around 9:30 or 10:00 and the other stayed overnight. I think Scheri had a very Happy Birthday.