Monday, June 30, 2008

We're in Haiti

We made it to Haiti.
Wow, all I can say is: I love my children.

Well, and the following...

Thanks for praying for us. We're here, we're safe and we're together.

We received the girls' visas today!

As far as I know, we're still arriving home late Wednesday night.
Please continue to read Sarah's Blog at this link for flight information.

We love you!
I miss you, Amy. You're going to LOVE your sisters.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Itinerary

Hello lovely friends and family,

Thank you all so much for your prayers, love and support.

We just can't believe it's finally here!

If you'd like to meet us at the airport, we get home Wednesday July 2nd at 10:50pm.

I don't know what gate yet, so Sarah has agreed to update her blog on Wednesday with the info.

So check HERE at SARAH's BLOG on Wednesday evening to find out if our plane is on time and what gate my cute little family will be walking through!


E.X.C.I.T.E.D.


Friday, June 27, 2008

WE'RE GOING TO HAITI

We got the call!
At noon today we were informed that our visa appointment is Monday morning at 7:30am.
We are beside ourselves with anxiousness and excitement!
This is what we've been waiting for for over two years.
Hallelujah!
We leave tomorrow!
We get home at 10:50pm on Wednesday July 2nd. I know that's a crummy time for people who have kids, or who have to get up early the next morning. So we totally understand if you can not be there at the airport to greet us. But anyone who wants to, we'd love to see you there when we get off the plane.
I'll write more later. I think. I have to finish packing!!!!
YYYAAAAYYYYYYY

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mini Golf. Maxi Love.

When Husband and Daughter have a day together, they will often head to Costco for a hotdog and a berry sundae. Then they throw a stone and ta-da, they're at the miniature golf park right next door. What a fun date for a dad and his 6 year old!

I sent the camera asking for pictures of their adventures and even 'suggested' trying to get a pic of them together. But all that came back were of Amy. Trust me, David was there. He took the pics.

David is a jack of all trades and I can tell by looking at these photos that he has Amy well-instructed on how to hold a putter. They bring home their scores (yes, they keep score!) and I'm always impressed. What that man can't teach his daughter!

With berry stains on their faces and laugh lines to match, it's no wonder she listens so patiently to her father. They're eager to please each other.


I love their bond.
I love his devotion and would-do-anything-for-my-child life he leads.

I love her teachable spirit and her head-over-heels love she has for her dad.

I'm jealous of their dates but know KNOW how important it is for their relationship.
What a pair they make. I don't know who makes who laugh more but if we were keeping score, I'm sure it would be pretty close.
Me? I just cry because I'm so in love with them both.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Strawberry Fields and Friendships and Creativity Freeze

One of the perks of living on the Western side of Portland is being so close to the country. In about 10 minutes I go from Fast Food to Farm Food.

Amy's horseback riding lessons are out in the country. We visit our dear Brady friends
out on the farm. And it's all just a hop skip and a jump from my house. Head the opposite direction and I can be in the posh Downtown Portland drinking shmancy coffee and shopping in equally shmancy boutiques just as fast.

I attended one of the largest four year high schools in Portland. And in the 9th grade I met Claire.

Dedicated, Crazy, Fun, Hardworking, Hilarious, Honest, Claire. She was the girl who took hard classes and got really great grades and had a thriving social life and ran cross country. Without freaking out.


We were inseparable those four years. My parents loved her. My sisters loved her. She fit right in at our home always feeling free to raid the snack drawer, pulling up a chair for dinner then going home only to call me every five minutes.

Two of those years we both suffered major accidents. Together. Each one affected the other in different but equally massive ways. We pulled through and it brought us closer together.

But then, she went away for college, I stayed home and got married.

With that change, as change is oft to do, our friendship pretty much ceased. Although we managed to be in each others' weddings, we missed most of our 20's and the births of our kids. About a decade of life.

Just recently, life has found us back together!


How I've missed her! She still cracks me up.
Her children are adorable. She's excited about my adoption.
We've grown up but have reconnected in a way that feels like we haven't missed a beat.

Thanks, God, for Claire.

Claire and I took the kids strawberry picking today out in the country.


I'm trying to think of some AbFab metaphor or simile about life, friendships and strawberries. But for the life of me I can't think of anything. Zilch. Maybe there isn't one.



I'd love it if anyone could come up with cutesy phrase that combines all of these thoughts together.

There's gotta be something about the seeds of life or fields of friendship
or...well...see, I got nuthin.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Enchanted Forest

Every year my dad (AKA Grampy) and I take Amy and Mason to Enchanted Forest.
It's one of those adorable little theme parks known to those only here in the woodsy NorthWest.
My parents used to take us to EF when we were little and I'd pay handsomely for pictures if anyone can find them!
My dad and I are coffeeholics and we always start the 45 minute drive with a good cup of jo from home or from a drive thru. Or both. This year we did both. Gotta have me some coffee!
(Sorry Claire, I broke the one-cup-a-day rule). Sometimes we go to EF with cousins (if they're up from Redmond) sometimes we go by ourselves and this year we brought Angela (see her pretty face on the sidebar!) and her kids. I totally recommend it! Note: Not ideal for strollers.
It's one of those places that keeps it's character due in part because it hasn't been updated since it opened in 1971. So it's old and rickety. They've added a few rides, but for the most part, it's stayed the same. Modern technology could totally revamp the whole park and turn it into something grander, but I think that would lose it's heart.
Here are a few comparison pictures.
2006















2007





2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

His Word. His Promise. His Love.

I've been thinking about my girls in Haiti.
Quite a bit.
I miss them.
So very much.





These verses brings me comfort.
Psalm 121:7-8



The Lord will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
NIV

God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.
The Message

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
King James


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jenny


My twin sister and I have a super duper close friendship. We were womb-mates. And even though she's lived three hours away from me for the past six years, we have maintained a tight friendship. Sisterhood. I don't know where I would be without my sister.

And the funny thing is, we are extremely different. Night and Day as the saying goes.
  • I crave salt she craves sweets.
  • I like schedule she likes spontaneity.
  • I like shopping she likes swimming.
  • I like new TV she likes old TV.
  • I like coffee she likes tea.
  • I love Haiti she loves Nicaragua.
  • I take after our mom. She takes after our dad.
Maybe that's why we love each other so much is that we bring opposites and variety into our twin lives.

Of course, we share similarities, too.
  • We both love God
  • We both love our husbands
  • We both love our children
  • We both love our little sister
  • We both love Disneyland
  • We both love cracking up till we pee
  • We both love downhill skiing (but we kind of suck at it)
  • We both love time alone together (this is usually when the laughing and peeing begins)









We shared a room most of our growing up. And even though we had bunk beds, we usually found ourselves in the same bed every morning.
Then we grew up a little more and got our own rooms and were blessed with water beds (yes, it was in the '80's) and yet we still drifted off to sleep on the 'waves' of our silky sheets...together.

Is it just me, or does anyone else agree that boys wreck everything!?

Enter: boyfriends.
We stay close, but there is now a guy on her arm and a guy on mine.
But we stay close.
More boys. Darn boys.
I choose early. Get married.
She chooses 3 years after me.
And of course, it's all about our boys.
Love those boys.

Now we're both wives. We're barely past teenager years but here we are wife-ing it up.
We love it.
We meet at the mall.
We still hang out.
We're DINKS
They're DINK
(Double Income No Kids)
We meet for dinner over at mom and dads.

We talk on the phone all. the. time.
We leave apartments and rentals and move in to houses. We remain close both in proximity and relationship. Friendship.

Enter: Children. Wow how we love our children. Sweet that the cousins are close. Almost like sisters.

Driving around town? Now we have cell phones!

She moves away. Just three hours. But no more mall. No more dinners at mom and dads. No more taking the kids to the park on sunny afternoons. No more hammock and mini pool (the best summer of our lives).



Email. Instant Messenger. Phones.
Here I am in a gigantic house, with 72 toilets to clean, miles of carpet to vacuum, light years away from my sister.

Webcam.
We remain close.
We remain close.

Change happens in our lives. Even in our personal walks with our husbands, children, God, friends, self... and that's okay with us. We can weather the change. We have a bond. We have a sisterhood. We have a twin-ness.

Someone pointed out to me that they recently heard a comment that went something like this:

"When someone is going through change, even if it is good change, they will often lose their friends."

Jenny is my twin sister, and she is my friend.
I've experienced a lot of change in my life and concur that the above thought can indeed happen. Sadly. Sometimes. Not always will one lose their friends during change, but that can happen. There are a million and one changes in life (location, politics, religion, spouses, children, work, money, people, sin, callings, age) that can cause friendships to be lost.

My sisters life has changed, my life has changed. But we remain close. We are each other. We are sisters. We are twins.

She is, Absolutely Fabulous.

Ooh, and she just started a blog. Not the same kind of blog that I have. Hers is about her adventures in being a Doula. What's a Doula? Yeah, I asked the same question.

A childbirth assistant. There's a prettier Greek definition, I'm sure. Kind of like a midwife. Go check her out! Radiant Motherhood. She only has two entries as of right now so it won't take you long.



Love you, Jen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Game Night

I love to play games. Card games, board games, made up games, car games, all sorts. I grew up playing games on family night. My parents still play games and we often will break out a Scrabble board or Trivial Pursuit game when we go to visit (which is quite often!).

Funny team games are my favorite. You know, the kind where you find yourself laughing at each other while acting or singing or humming something. Charades, Pictionary, Scategories, Cranium, you know the kind. But I enjoy playing just about every kind of game. Except Chess. Or Risk. Or those other super long super brainy games. ~shudder~


My sister and I have a running game of Rummy that we try to play every time we're together. We don't care who wins each hand because it's an eternal game that we'll still play in Heaven. It's our thing.



My daughter and I play games almost every day. Go Fish, Checkers, random word games, Old Maid, and our newest favorite game: Sleeping Queens. It's a multiple award winning game that is super duper fun. 2-5 players. LOVE IT.



My husband is a game junkie, too. He's frequently bringing home games for the family to play and for friends to join in. He does not, I repeat: does NOT like to play games where he is made to look foolish. He refuses to play charades because he says he has no idea how to act out the title of a movie such as "The Sound of Music" without looking like an idiot. Nor does he know how to draw much better than stick figures so Pictionary is out of the question.

He can play chess. He's a published author on a book about chess. I can spell chess and that's about it. He really likes those super duper brainy kind of games.

So it's challenging to find games that are two player and that we both enjoy and that neither of us has a huge handicap. But we find them. One of our favorites is called Ticket to Ride. Its also an award winning game.

We've had this game for a couple of years now and it's really fun. We've played it with friends and we play it just the two of us.

The other night we played round after round for three hours after Amy went to bed! There's a little strategy, a little luck and a lot of fun. I recommend it.

And of course, spending time together and interacting while doing something other than watching movies is always a relationship booster. Gets you talking and laughing and being sociable with each other. Totally AbFab way to spend an evening together.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chinese Proverb (by Jack Black?)

Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift
...that's why it's called the present.
~Oogway
Kung Fu Panda


Okay, perhaps the creator of this movie isn't the one who thought of this AbFab saying, but it's where I heard it for the first time. I think it's clever and every line is full of meaning.
Skudoosh.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 13, 2002

Today is my daughter's 6th birthday.
Never did I think we wouldn't be together to celebrate.
Know that I love you, baby and you'll be in my arms soon.
Happy Birthday.
Love,
Mother

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mini Vacation

Hello Peeps, (I don't think I'm cool enough to say that word. I can't stop thinking of those Easter candies)

I'm in Redmond and probably won't be updating my blog for the next few days.
Thanks for the comments, emails and prayers regarding my Haiti Girls.
God is already on the move...I can feel it.
Your support and a little R&R with my sister is just what I need.

Personal Notes:
  • Thanks for the email, CJC. Those pictures bring back good memories. Smooch.
  • Don't get too lonely Kismet~!
  • Every time I hear the word chickee, I've been thinking of you, DCB! That name is AbFab.
  • Don't forget to send me that email address, TB.
  • Sorry I didn't join you at the zoo, SV. Your post made me feel guilty!

Have a Fab day. It's hot here in Redmond! Neener Neener!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Haiti Information

This is copied from a blog that I read of a young gal who lives part time in Haiti at the orphanage where my girls live. She mainly helps the teens with their English and other tutoring. But she interacts with the young ones (including my girls) regularly.

Anyway, along with this post, and a recent email from my adoption agent indicating that we need to take further action to push our adoption along, my heart is aching. We have contacted Gordon Smith's office for official government assistance.
I've known that kidnappings are on the rise again. Haiti has had more
kidnappings since January than they did in all of 2007. But it's gotten
significantly worse in the past month. Families are paying ransoms and the
victim is still being murdered.Dr. Bernard met with everyone in the O today and
said the trend is seeming to be children. We are all on extreme restrictions. I
thought Wilson, our gatekeeper, might melt into a puddle during Dr. B's lecture
to him about letting strangers in the gate. I got threatened within an inch of
my life about going to the Seminary by myself. I'm not even allowed to buy food
by myself anymore - so sad.Please keep the children in your prayers. It is very
apparent that HFC has US money behind it and therefore our children can be very
big targets. Pray for everyone here - the NLL office workers, Lamarre as he is
out and about every day, the nannies and workers as they come to work every day,
the janitors, Manno and Kerland as they escort us all where we have to go.Dear
God, don't let a hair on these children be harmed.
Be in prayer with me, please.
Thank you.

"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all of their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:17-18


KATIE


YOLANTA


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Manipulation

The root of manipulation is selfishness.
A couple Biblical examples of manipulation can be found in Judges 14-16 and Matthew 4.

Am I a manipulator? Are you a manipulator?



Seven Types of Manipulation

1. The Comedian
Do what I want or I'll laugh at your expense

2. The Intimidator
Do what I want or I'll hurt you


3. The Includer
Do what I want and I'll include you into my circle
4. The Lamenter
Do what I want or I'll crumble

5. The Zipper
Do what I want or I won't talk to you
6. The Noisemaker
Do what I want or I'll get loud
7. The Pace Setter
Do what I want or I'll subvert your plans





Manipulation is not the Jesus way.



Philippians 2:3-4

3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

What should I do with Manipulation?


  • Examine Motives

  • Discover Dependence

  • Confess Control

  • Break free!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Inspi(red)


Here are five things that inspired me today.


Answering a question about what I do to be a joyful mommy

For I was inspired to continue doing what I'm doing, and to look for additional ways to create joy in my home.


Sitting with my daughter helping her do wacky puzzles and logic games

For I see the educational benefit of getting her brain stirring and see the relational benefit of touching and being together.


Receiving confirmation from our adoption agent that the Consulate received our final documents

For I believe we are moments away from going to Haiti to bring home our daughters.


Reading this scripture while searching for something different for a friend

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26

For I don't always know what to pray for a hurting friend, or for the prolonged adoption process or my own iniquities.


Hearing my sister brag about how thoughtful her husband is

For I am reminded that thoughtfulness is nothing to overlook and to be considerably more thoughtful to those I love.


Maybe I'll make this a weekly thing. To list five AbFab things that inspired me that day.

Where you inspired today? Wanna share one of them with me?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Foto Phun at the Pharm with Phriends

My friend Tiffany says that photos taken via a timer on a camera are "riotously hilarious!"
You know, the big Thanksgiving pictures where Uncle Ed spends an eternity behind the camera trying to program the timer while 72 family members (70 of them all under the age of 9) are all gathered in a pyramid formation eagerly anticipating UE to come running back to the huddle and jump in to the hole left for him. And one of two things happen, either the camera goes off mid jump and everyone has their eyes on Ed when the camera clicks, OR everyone is frozen in time f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and smiles fade and people start talking about malfunctioning cameras just as the flash and click go off.

So yes, they do make for some pretty funny pictures.

My friend Christa said she does not like pictures obviously taken by the camerawoman herself. Of herself. You know, so that you can usually see the photographers arm in the picture as she takes her own picture, or you can see up her nose and the left half of her face is usually missing.

So yes, they do make for some pretty awful pictures.

However, I am famous for taking my own picture. No wait. I'm famous for taking my picture WITH someone else. No wait. I'm not famous. But I do take pictures of myself with my friends.

Here are some pictures we took at the CSA farm this week.

Tiffany is also going to post about the farm and didn't want to have twin blogs, so you'll have to check hers out for the group picture as it was on her camera. Here are some pictures from my camera of a couple self-took friend pictures, some pictures of donkeys, children, and the farm.

Tiffany, Sarah, me and my arm



Our daughters, Elisabeth, Hannah and Amy


My daughter Amy and her twin sister Elisabeth










Amy petting a donkey (the one from Shrek)









Me and Joy (Joy took this one! Okay, I did)--->


















<---Anyone need a double dose of Grace in their life? Here you go! Grace and Grace.







I know you want this little girl named Maggie, but sorry. I've got dibs on her.


Hannah darling.



Zackie Shmackie





And an AbFab farm shot. They sell to Farmer's Markets here in the local area and offer produce boxes for pick-up.

Fun day! Fun Friends! Fun Farm! Fun Photos!

My sentiments, too

"Home can heal. There is healing in home."

~Maya Angelou