Monday, October 27, 2008

HAHAHAHA - What do ya know? Whining works!

If you haven't ready my whiny post yet, that's below this one. =)

We found out today that our court date is December 3rd! That's only 5 weeks from this Wednesday! That means the judge (in Ethiopia) will hear our case that day and (if all goes well) we'll travel 4 to 6 weeks later. Our best case scenario would be to leave the weekend after Christmas (crazy!), but mid-January is probably more likely. And if we don't pass... well, it's all very possible, but we're trying to remain positive!

It's a Waiting Game

So any of you that actually read my blog much last year know that I am a horrible waiter. I should go back through and find all my whiny posts about waiting and waiting for things to move forward with the adoption. :) Actually, I think most of my whining was directed at Mark, some at family and friends, and later (when we hit snag after snag) to our adoption agency (by that time it wasn't really whining...).

Anyways.... You might have noticed I've been much better this go-round! I think there are several reasons. 1) I understand the ups and downs of the process a bit better and am better mentally prepared for the ups and downs and 2) I'm just too freaking busy to worry too much! :)

So, we waited patiently for our 171h. We waited patiently for the courts to open. We waited patiently for a court group (to be filed). Those things all moved along more quickly then we'd dared to hope - yeah! But now it's been a couple of weeks since being filed in court with still no news about an actual court date. That anxious-Cat is starting to rear its ugly head...

So, since I have no actual news to report, I thought I would clarify something. Back in this post when I *bragged* about our getting filed as part of Group A, I confused a few people. Group A doesn't have any significance to anyone really, other than other families with our agency. "Groups" are filed with approximately 10 cases each and are assigned a letter for organizational purposes. With Abi and Hana's cases, our group was Group X. So, as you can see, it's pretty arbitrary... but it's something!

So, it's been a couple of weeks now and still no word on when our actual court date will be. Although I understand that the steps of this process always take longer than I think they should... it is a bit frustrating. There is so much I want to organize (not the least of which is work-related!) Yet, I keep trying to keep it all into perspective. As I worry about ME and how this messes up MY schedule, I try and remember this is all about something much bigger than me. And in the grand scheme of things, my schedule doesn't mean squat.

But I am hopeful we'll have some news relatively soon...

Here we are again - anxiously waiting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Joys of Photoshop


Okay, we're a little Ally-heavy lately, but my sis just played around with her photo with the above results. I thought it was pretty cool!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Serious Cuteness on the Swings




"If my heart can become pure and simple, like that of a child, 
I think there probably can be no greater happiness than this." 
Kitaro Nishida -

Track Star


Pumped up before the race...

Yep, she's airborn!

Her first class cheering section:


Ally  was super-cute cheering "Go Ce-Ce"... which would've been more effective if she could've done it WHILE Grace was running rather than 2 heats later.  But sweet none the less.


Sweat plus sacrifice equals success.

~Charles O. Finley~



Monday, October 13, 2008

Random Task

So you know when you've really entered the cult world of blogging when you've been "tagged"!  Thanks Erin!  =)  

Hmmmmmmmm... 

1)  I grew up on a farm and my parents continue to grow corn and soybeans.  I did not help much on said farm as I had terrible allergies and asthma as a child, so bad that I had to have
 allergy shots twice a week for many years.  Now, I rarely have issues with my allergies, which annoys Mark to no end since HE gets the itchy watery eyes now and I don't.  (evil smile)

2)  While growing up, I didn't really play sports or take dance classes.  I was very involved in 4-H and raised animals each year from age 9 to 19.  Most years I raised sheep and steers.  Nearly every summer night was spent training those animals for the Fair.  And I wasn't half bad at it.  :)  I even placed 10th at a state competition in showmanship once when I was about 13 (but that was for showing pigs, oddly enough).  

3)  As part of the Fair experience, I entered projects, including artwork, photography, sewing and baked goods.  Some I liked, some I did because my mom made me.  One year my mom "made" me make banana bread for the Fair at the last minute.  I hated banana bread, but I did it (probably with lots of grumbling).  On the way in to enter the projects at the Fair, I
 completely dropped the banana bread on the asphalt - and it bounced!  So I entered it anyways.  Later that week I found out I was chosen to be on TV (local morning show, but still) with my steer and I was SO excited.  On the day of taping, I was the last one to appear on the show and they were running out of time.  So rather than go on with my steer, I had to be on TV with that stupid banana bread!  Years later, I found on that TV show put out a cookbook - with my banana bread recipe in it!  (and yes, I won a blue ribbon for that sucker)

4)  My first year of college I was a pre-vet major.  My 2nd year I switched to business with every intent of majoring in hospitality.  I wanted to manage hotels like this.  I worked in several hotels while in college and eventually realized that the hours sucked.  So I majored in International Business and Spanish instead.  I ended up in law school because I didn't want to work in sales with my bachelors.

5)  #3 was not my only television experience.  At the end of my first year of law school, I was selected to compete in the local version of the "Apprentice" - instead of Donald Trump, I got Geoffrey Fieger (of Dr. Kevorkian fame)! I was teased mercilessly about that show (it played in 5-10 minute segments on the news every day for a couple of weeks), but it was honestly really fun.  It was called "The Intern" was terribly cheesy.  It was also filmed during study time/finals, which wasn't the best idea for a first year law student!  But I survived.  

6)  I am addicted to Facebook.  Its true.  I admit it Julie.  I even have it on my phone.

7)  I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey and we have been following his plan (with several ... modifications) for about 4 years.  Although we have a ways to go before we will be debt-free, I honestly believe if we had not been employing his [common sense] principles, there is no way we would financially have been able to make three adoptions in a year and a half happen.  I will be forever grateful we found his radio show!  

Alright, there's my 7!  Now for my tagging:

1)  Randi
2)  Natalie
4)  Brianna
5)  Denise
6)  Emily
7)  Angela

10 Reasons Why We Aren't Rich

(and I'm using "we" as in Americans generally... although I certainly wouldn't call Mark and I "rich" by any typical use of the word!)

=)

Ran across
this article this morning and thought it was pretty timely and interesting...

The gist of the top 10 list is this (in no particular order):

1) Car Fever (You are what you drive right?)
2) Serious case of entitlement (I work hard and I deserve it!)
3) Lack of diversification (Anyone with all their eggs in one basket is probably hurting pretty bad right now!)
4) Started too late (missing out on the benefits of compound interest)
5) You don't do what you enjoy (Is your work a job? a career? or a calling?)
6) You don't like to learn
7) Poor judge of wants vs. needs (Did you really need another Prada handbag?)
8) You don't understand value (whether you buy the cheapest option, or the most expensive, neither may bring you the most value)
9) House poor (bigger house, bigger taxes, more maintenance, etc... bigger is not always better!)
10) Missed out on opportunities (I could've done that, I thought of that... doesn't do you much unless you act on it!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Expect Trouble - but be Bigger Than It

"If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me."

-- Ann Landers

(thanks Ju)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Who are Your Heros?

CNN has named its Top 10 Heroes of 2008 - what an interesting list! I'm a little biased as to one. =)

"Yohannes Gebregeorgis, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia --
Moved by the lack of children's books and low literacy rates in his native Ethiopia, Gebregeorgis established Ethiopia Reads, bringing free public libraries and literacy programs to thousands of Ethiopian children. "


To learn more about the wonderful work of Ethiopia Reads, check out their website.

Nobel Prize and New Vaccine?

You may have heard that two of the three scientists behind the discovery of the virus that causes AIDS won the Nobel Prize this year (as did the discoverer of HPV, the virus that has been linked to cervical cancer).

"Since its discovery in 1981, AIDS has rivaled the worst epidemics in history. An estimated 25 million people have died, and 33 million more are living with H.I.V.

In 1983, Dr. Montagnier and Dr. Barré-Sinoussi, a member of his lab at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, published their report of a newly identified virus. The Karolinska Institute said that discovery led to blood tests to detect the infection and to anti-retroviral drugs that can prolong the lives of patients. The tests are now used to screen blood donations, making the blood supply safer for transfusions and blood products.

The viral discovery has also led to an understanding of the natural history of H.I.V. infection in people, which ultimately leads to AIDS and death unless treated."

This week, one of those scientists has stated that we could see a therapeutic vaccine for HIV/AIDS within the next four years.

"Montagnier, 76, said a treatment could be possible in the future with a 'therapeutic' rather than preventive vaccine for which results might be published in three or four years if financial backing is forthcoming.

'I think it will be possible with a therapeutic vaccine rather than preventative vaccinations. We would give it to people who are already infected.'

A therapeutic vaccine prevents disease from flourishing after it has taken hold."

Unfortunately, just this past February, another Nobel laureate stated that we are no closer to finding a vaccine then we were 25 years ago and a vaccine may never be found:

"An Aids vaccine might never be found, claims one of the world's leading experts on the disease. David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate, said the complexity of the disease means scientists are no closer to a vaccine today than when they discovered the link to HIV more than 25 years ago.

Baltimore, a biologist at the California Institute of Technology, was awarded the Nobel prize for medicine in 1975 for discovering an enzyme that was later discovered to be the key reproductive mechanism used by the virus known as HIV...."

Although the February article is unclear, it appears Dr. Baltimore is referring to a preventative vaccine, rather than a therapeutic one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A is for Apple ... and...


Adoption news! Adoption news!


THE COURTS ARE OPEN! WE WERE FILED!


We are part of Group A!!! We don't have an actual court date yet, but last time we found out what that was about 1.5-2 weeks after we were filed. so hopefully by the end of the month we'll know. Dare I hope - we might actually get to travel yet this year! Whoot whoot!


Craziness.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Head-Scratcher...

"It’s extraordinary to me that the United States can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion dollars to save 25,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases."

- Bono


(thanks J)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Few More Photos...

Yep, that's my girlie-girl with a big fat toad in her hands.  Ah, how fast they grow up.  Note Abi was loving the toad as well.  Hana... not so much.  She tried, but as soon as she touched it, she pretty much threw it up in the air (poor thing!).   ;)  


I love photos of all four of the kids like these.  The above photo is from Gma and Gpa B's house a couple of weeks ago.  Ally thought she was so cool staying up late and "watchin' movie" with the big kids!  
The below photo is just before church last week. The kids all looked so cute. But then we were running late and Ally was crabby.  So we sort of "lost the moment". But it was still cute.