Saturday, May 31, 2014

Today is the Day! Kicks for a Kause is Happening!

I am so excited for this event! I hope if you have not already planned on coming that you can arrange your day to attend this hour and half long event! It will be so worth your time. We all as women should have the knowledge and skills if ever put in a dangerous situation that we can defend ourselves. We need to teach our daughters the same! 7 years and older can attend so bring them!! We have some amazing raffle prizes some of which include a gift certificate to frozen yogurt, a hair color service and a MASSAGE!!! Ladies you read that right MASSAGE!! So hope on over to the facebook event page( ) and rsvp there is still time or just show up today at 3pm! We would love to see your smiling face. I will post pictures and write a post later on our fun day! So be on the look out for that also.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Making Room for More

This is an exciting blog post and is a little late coming but better late than never right!  The first weekend of May my in-laws came for a visit. We had a wonderful time as it had been nearing a year since we had seen them (way too long). We were all excited for their arrival and perfect timing with the kids off school for two days on conferences.
Prior to their visit my husband and his Dad love to come up with a project to work on together while he is visiting. One year they built toddler size bunk beds, they were amazing and many a foster children slept in them, and this year we were having trouble deciding what the project would be. We considered a woodshed, a fire pit and some storage areas up near all the livestock. Then it hit me as we were sitting around our table one night. As we add to our family we would not be able to fit around the table we currently had. Our Dining space was fairly large and I had actually been on the search for an antique dresser or buffet that I could use as storage/shoe rack and to take up some of the openness.  Then a brilliant (I say brilliant) idea came to me.  Why not get a table that was more like a big restaurant booth to fit our every growing family.  I ran to the computer and started searching booth style tables.  They all seems so small and I was not sure where we could buy one.  The space that I wanted to utilize was big.  So I brought the idea up to K.C. unsure of what he would think.  To my surprise he LOVED it! We started throwing ideas back and forth about the size etc and then got the idea that his Dad and him could build the benches, with storage underneath!  BRILLIANT! We of course searched the internet for DIY storage benches for dining room tables and found some wonderful examples!!  The excitement just built from there.  We sent an email to K.C.'s dad and told him our plan along with some pictures and ideas. He was onboard and excited too!
The weekend came and the planning, shopping, measuring,, cutting, painting, building took place.  Here are pictures to show a progression of all the hard work. These men worked hard!  MIL and I, we painted all, so we worked hard too!
After the building and painting we then knew we would have to have luck on our side to find the kind of table we wanted. We knew we did not want 4 legs on the table as with the benches it would get in the way and takeaway from the leg room underneath. We had researched and thought a trestle table would work out best. We also knew the table needed to be long and if we could find one wider than normal. So back to the internet searching. I could find nothing. When I did find something the prices were way more than we wanted to pay. We were trying to do this on a budget. I was getting freaked that we were going to have to get a table custom made for what we wanted. I tried to have patience, searching craigslist everynight before bed (haha, patience). Then one night there it was. A trestle table, with 2 leaf options, not the width we wanted, but hey you can not have it all right. The price though, there was just no beating the price. I noticed it was a call for the item only and so would have to wait until the morning. Ugh. Let me be first. The next morning I woke and waited until an appropriate time to call a person in the morning, lol! A lady answered and said yes the table was still available and I set a day to go look at it. The negative. I had to drive 40mins away, but I just knew this was going to be good. So the day came to go take a look at the table. I got cash in hand for the purchase just in case and set out after the morning rush hour was done. No joke where I was driving was out in the middle of no where and true story I sent my husband a text with the address to where I was headed and the statement that said, "Just in Case". It was in the middle of no where folks. We get there (baby and I) and a very sweet lady and her two young children greet me in the driveway. I felt instantly safer. She took me into their wood shop and I started checking out the table. I put the leaves in and like the children will do I started leaning on the table from this way and that way, lol! She was watching me for intently and so I explained to her that we would most likely be leaving the leaves in all the time as we were adding two new children to our family this year. We instantly started talking about adoption and she shared with me her brothers family is fostering their first sibling set and just in love with them and scared of the outcome. I shared our fostering history and told her to encourage her brother through the process. She then told me she would take $20 off the table as it was a little wiggly, I was beyond pleased. I knew my hubby would concoct a way to stabilize it a tiny bit more. It was not that bad and when leaned on with adult weight it did not even budge to flip or tip and that was the most important to me. We continued talking as we loaded the table up in my Mommy (mini) Van. The littles were running around playing and enjoying their time together too. She then offered me some homemade baked bread she had just pulled from the oven. It smelled delicious and how was I suppose to pass that up. Baby and I got our bread and loaded up saying goodbye to the friendly strangers who just added a huge piece to our journey of making room for more!
We still have a ways to go finding 5 chairs, lol that usually come in sets of 4 or 6 and also getting cushions made for the benches so they are a little more comfy to sit on. We are so in love though with this new space that will fit all 5 of our children and more (don't tell K.C.). I can not wait to see our family sitting around this space that was made with love. Made with our future in mind, right at the center. We will have many meals, and many, many memories made right around that table! Thank you Grandpa Cliff and Grandma Denise for all your help in making this idea a reality.

Seeing the RED

If you are following along on our Adoption journey then you know we are in our I800a approval wait. We have had our fingerprint appointments on 5/8 and were praying and anxiously awaiting our approval letter. Well less than a week after our appointment my husband received a phone call from USCIS saying they just wanted to clarify things. In his "excitement/nervousness" he pushed the button erasing the message before doing anything with it. Frantically calling me I go in to investigator mode to find out who the call was from and what they needed.  I got through to a lady who told us we had been assigned an officer.  I knew from talking to other adoptive parents being assigned an officer was a great step to be in!  So of course said officer does not answer phone and I leave a message stating what happened and we are again waiting for her call.  Phone tag was played for a day or so, not fun in the waiting process. When we finally made contact, she told my husband it was a wording problem, but  had been cleared up. OKAY.  
Well that same day I get an email from our placing agency saying they received a letter from USCIS that we were missing something in our home study. WHAT? She attached the letter and told me i would be receiving the same said letter. I head to the mailbox. OPEN. Pulling out all those nice white envelopes, as I thumb through I see it. THE RED LETTER sticking out like a sore thumb through that white envelope with the return address USCIS. OH NO, Ugh. Not good. My mind is racing and I tear it open, what did I forget or do wrong, I double checked everything before sending. I had been so careful to read every step of instructions and more than once. But at the top of that letter head it said in all caps and bold, black letters,  REQUEST FOR EVIDENCE . This my friends is the dreaded RFE. Upon further reading of the letter I find out this in no mistake of mine, but something is missing from our home study.  See we have to have Child Abuse Registry Checks in every state we have ever lived in since the age of 18. If you know my husband and I that means quite a few.  I am praying this is something that is already done and just forgot to get added into our home study.
After 2 days of emails and phone calls on a Friday at 5pm I spoke with our social worker who reassured me we did fill out the proper forms to have these checks done and he will be checking on Monday to find out with USCIS exactly what they need as proof that it was done. I let him know this was a time sensitive matter as we have been moving along pretty smoothly with everything so far. So please pray come Monday we will have some answers and that this will be a quick fix.

Prayer Requests - Besides named above.
-Pray that our future daughters file is moving along in the proper steps of preparation everyday. That we will receive it soon or an update of its where abouts.
-Pray for our up coming Kicks for a Kause Fundraiser that will take place May 31st here in Sherwood, OR at our local Taekwondo Gym
-Pray for our future sons leg that it may heal properly.

Thank you all for following along on our journey and all of your support and prayers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hair, Photos, Floats, Parades, and Good Deeds.

We are so excited to announce that our oldest daughter Kendall has been chosen for the 2014 Maid Marian Court here in Sherwood. It is a part of the Robin Hood Festival which is in its 60th year this year! Here is the web link for more details ( ). She is beyond excited for this opportunity. I am not really sure how I even found out about the application process, but when I approached Kendall about it she was very excited and we filled out the application together and mailed it in. She was chosen for an interview this past weekend and then waited throughout the day to see if she would be chosen to be on the court. We finally received an email that night and all gathered around the computer to read it together and clap and cheer for Kendall and her accomplishment! This is going to be a great experience for her, teaching her more about the community we live in, giving her more opportunity to make friends and serve alongside those friends making her community a better place.
Here is a picture of her at the coronation. She is looking so grown up.

Now that coronation is over she has her first event with her new friends a High Tea! So elegant sounding! Then they will get right to work with costume fittings, design of parade floats and then of course building the float. Mommy and Daddy have a lot to look forward to as far as participation also. I do look forward to see my husband all dressed up, lol! There will be pictures you can count on that! So if you pass by Kendall congratulate her on her newest journey!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Featured Family!!!

This week we are the Featured Family over at the Give1Save1 Facebook page . Go check them out! Like the page and Give $1 or more! What a great idea of community, proving over and over again that even $1 adds up to many. When people work together it makes great things happen! We also have a video that my Mother In-Law put together of our journey. I am in love with it! It is amazing and she is so talented. The video can be viewed on Vimeo

14_The Lees from Denise Lee on Vimeo.