Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Date " F"

Get your minds out of the gutter people. We had such a fun Letter date "F". This was my date to plan and after Date "E" not ending so well. I was determined to have a great time. I have been listening to Love and Respect and just learning so much and loving learning ways to improve my marriage. Marriage is not always easy friends. Love is a choice. We have to choose to love our spouse everyday, even when we do not feel like they are acting lovable. So going in to date F, I put thought into it. Something he would enjoy, something that would have to allow/force me to trust him, something we could do together, I could learn, he could teach. I think I nailed it. Here is some of the equipment needed.

I have never been shooting before, but we have a live fire range that has just moved to Sherwood so I thought what the heck, let's give it a try. My husband having the military background enjoys this stuff and I knew would love teaching me. We own a shotgun and I am all about knowledge, so wanted this date to bring me knowledge to something we have in our home for protection. Living out in the country, this is protection from mainly wild animals if they should happen on our property. I will pray we never see them (cougar, coyote) and it never has to be used. Never the less knowledge is power. So here we go. I was a sort of nervous wreck just walking in the building. I filled out my liability forms, said prayers in my head and got all geared up. They lead us back through a few sets of doors onto the firing range. It was silent when we walked in and the gentleman was explaining all the rules etc and then someone shot and I think I leapt a foot in the air. Not joking. Every shot for the next few minutes caught me off guard, and I either jumped or had an obvious flinch. Slowly I started to relax. Then it was my turn to shoot. We of course shot at Zombies, because we had to prepare for the zombie take over you know, lol! There are no pictures of me shooting, but there is a video and maybe someday when I learn to get videos onto my blog it will be on here, but until then it will just get posted to my facebook page.

In the video you can see how nervous I am, and that is not the first time I had shot that evening it was like the 5th or 6th. The first time I was shaking so bad. I could not even hold the shotgun up. Hubby came along side me and helped and encouraged. It was scary, but I did it. Again and again. Each time though I had to get up the courage to pull the trigger. In the video you can see and tell by my body language as I shift, and hesitate for a long time between shots. My motto this year for myself though is "Love Life, Be Brave" I was being brave for sure.

After shooting we headed to dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ, we had a delicious dinner, way to big, lol. Wonderful conversation, hubby told me about the first time he ever shot a gun and also some of his experiences in the army. It was so nice to hear him talk and enjoy himself. I love still being able to learn new things about him. We actually sat and talked for a while after we were done eating, enjoying our time together with no children! When we decided that maybe the babysitter had had enough we headed home. My love tank was just full. We snuggled on the couch and watched a movie, and finished our date with the most important "F", FAMILY! Blessed!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thank you Pie Lovers!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! To everybody who bought pies, cobblers and frozen fruit. To all who shared my posts and told their family and friends about our fundraiser. To Willamette Pie Company for their amazing support and allowing us to do the fundraiser for a second time. We raised almost $400 dollars towards our adoption. To some that may not seem like a lot, but really when you break all these costs down it truly is such a blessing. Every dollar is going to a fee of some kind. As we move closer to the end their just seems to be more fees! God will Provide.

So on November 19th My mom, Baby and I took a field trip to Willamette Pie Company to pick up all the pies, cobblers and fruit! We did not really know what to expect, but had an appointment for 10am. It was a cold, but sunny, dry day! So we drove the back country roads and it was just beautiful! The drive was only about 40mins and we arrived on time! We found the office and the potty since we were traveling with a potty training toddler it is a must find at every stop, lol! I let them know I was there to pick up my order and then we got to watch them make the pies! If you know anything about Willamette Valley Pies they hand make their crust, and the pies and it is amazing as they have big windows so you can watch the yumminess happen. Baby enjoyed this part only for a few minutes, I could have watched much longer!

They have a fun little farm store that has all kinds of cute things to look at, but the best part is if you go between 9am and 11am it is their "Happy Hour"!! $1 or $1.50 pie slices, and they warm them and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on. So of course since we were there we had to take part in this yummy special. I chose Boysenberry, baby had Pumpkin Pie (mommy figured it would be the least messiest), and I am completely drawing a blank on what my mom had. She can chime in on the comments! It was so tasty! What a yummy breakfast, lol!

We got the pies all loaded up, there was so much they filled the back of my minivan with the seat laid down! The man that loaded them asked me all about our adoption and shared with me that his wife and him hope that one day that they also would like to adopt! We let baby play on their little playgroup out front. Yes they even have a little playground so on nice, warm summer days, "Happy Hour" would be even more amazing outside! Then we started our trip home to get all the pies, cobblers and fruit back to the two pick up spots. I am just filled with so much happiness, and love at all the support. I hope these pies and cobblers are eaten and enjoyed with family and friends! Thank you again for being apart of our village to bring our children home. Here is the address to Willamette Valley Pie Company, so if you are ever in the area you can look it up!
Willamette Valley Pie Company, LLC
2994 82nd Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97305

website: http://www.wvpie.com/

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Date "E"

Just because I am blogging about these I thought if I skipped one it would be strange to everybody. I do not really want to write about this date. Everything started great. My poor husband having worked in NY all week and flown across the United States to get home that day and still went out on a date with me. I appreciated that. We had a nice dinner, good conversation and we probably should have ended it there. As I believe fatigue and miscommunication turned our great evening into a not so fun evening that ended. This is real life people. Not everything is all rosy and perfect all the time. These not so good times give us a time for self reflection, a time to think and a time to apologize and work it out. I do all this with a lot of prayer. Prayer for my husband, myself, my heart and our marriage. " Prayer is the least and the most we can do. We did learn that dating on a day where you are exhausted is probably not a great thing. Lesson learned. On to date "F"

Date "C" and "D" did Happen!

I am so behind. Caught up in the whirlwind of life with 3 kids and fundraising for our adoption. We are getting so much closer to the end and want to make sure all the funds are in place. Anyways we are still dating, Letters C and D dates did happen. I have thought about sitting and writing about them, but then never actually do it.

So Letter "C" was my date choice and being the money savvy person that I am wanted something different, but of course with a deal! So I kept my eyes open for something. Then one day in my email I saw it. The words COMEDY CLUB! In an email titled Groupon! Win, Win!! How fun would that "C" date be, laughing together is always a good thing in a marriage. We Our night started more stressful and rushed, as sometimes it does, getting kids settled with the sitter, us living way out in the sticks and then knowing I had made reservations for a specific show time of course there would be lots of traffic, oh yes and the gaslight just has to come on now right. Ugh, all this just gives me time to practice my grace and patience. Knowing that we will get there at some point and it will be okay, it will be okay! We arrived with a few minutes to spare, whew (in my head)! Walked in, even had to wait in a line, lol. Guess we were on time by everybody else's standards. We were escorted to a table right up front. Front and center. I knew this could be a bad thing and so did the hubby. Haha. We got our food ordered and settled in for the show. So at Comedy Clubs there is the Host, the Opener and the Main Act. They were all pretty good. I am not a big fan of dirty comedy, but it seems to be the thing to do these days. At one point, being in the front row the comedians talk to you, interact, make fun, etc. The comedian was asking people their favorite kind of music and yes, yes he looked straight at me and said and what is yours. Well being a mom I could have took the easy way out and said I ride with kids, all I get is kids songs. Honestly I did stop and think and stumble on my words, but then I said it. Christian Music. That is what I listen too. I love my Christian music. Well honestly, he was semi shocked I think, and did not truly know where to go from there, so moved on to someone else, but then would come back when it fit into his joke. Saying something about all my music speaks to the soul etc. Even though I stumbled and almost denied my favorite tunes, and even though it caused me to be the brunt of some of the jokes I am proud I did say it. It truly is my favorite, it makes me feel good, and is a way that I worship. Plus guess what he kept bringing it up, so people kept hearing the words Christian music, maybe they will go check it out! The night ended on good notes with lots of laughs and an all around good date!

Date "D" we were trying to cram in some alone time as hubby had been traveling a lot for work and we just wanted to get out of the house together without kids. Date "D" was really his date to plan, but I let him off and suggested a low key date at the Drive-In! Yes we have a drive-in still in the next town over. One of the few left. Just so happens they had only adult movies playing so we really scored because hubby is not a fan of kiddie movies, lol. I grabbed us a pizza, packed snacks, and blankets and pillows and set up the sitter, it was all ago! Now I am not even really a movie person, but hubby loves movies and our last outing at the drive-in was not very fun with 3 small kids who complained they could not see or were hungry or cold the whole time. We were excited it was going to be just us all cozy, no complaints!

We got there early to get a good spot, which ended up not being needed since it was not very full, because guess what? It started raining right before the movie started. Who wants to go to the drive-in in the rain. We do! So we get all set up and comfortable and start eating our dinner, rain stops! Movie starts and it was pretty good. Now at the drive-in you can watch two movies for the price of one. So we had talked about possibly staying for second movie as it was something hubby had heard was good. We get settled in for the second moving, i snuggle into my blankets get comfortable and next thing I know I wake up and the movie ends 5 mins later. OOPS. I knew I was tired, but I guess I was very tired, lol. Hubby had watch the whole movie and said it was good. I enjoyed a 2 hour nap. You know when you have been married 11 years those things are allowed, lol. On to date "E".

We have our LOA and now i800 wait begins!

I totally forgot to announce on our blog that we have our LOA!!!! This is the biggest approval for China families(besides our Travel Approval). LOA (Letter of Approval) is the longest waiting period really. We waited 76 long days for this approval. Actually it went rather fast until we got to day 60. I have had such a peace about this adoption and when I am in a time of waiting have learned to put my focus on my family that is present and prayer. It truly worked yall. Prayer is just something amazing. It just helps you Let it all go, lets you live your life without stress or worry of the future. I am a firm believer in Prayer. At day 60 the wait did get a little harder, but it was more I think the excitement and anticipation as I knew were getting closer. In the end we waited 76 days. We got to check the box saying we accept the named child (our child) and sign as the adoptive parents! What a feeling that was, praise to God!

We are now waiting on our i800 approval from the USCIS. This was mailed out a week ago monday and actually just today I received my text message and email stating our case was received. So it could be now a couple weeks before we receive this approval. From the USCIS website; "USCIS will provisionally approve the Form I-800 if the child qualifies for classification as a Convention adoptee and the proposed adoption or grant of custody will meet Convention requirements." In case you did not know what it was for, I am learning as I go as there are so many steps and approvals that have to be done. It is a brain overload really. We are excited to be at this point because it means that we could be about 8 weeks from traveling to meet our children. After almost a year of working on this process that is just about the most exciting and motivating news ever.

So we ask that you continue to pray as the paperwork is processed and approvals are issued that all will go smoothly. We appreciate everybody's support through kind words, participation in our fundraisers and prayers. It is such a blessing to have such a large village surrounding us.