Monday, June 30, 2008

Hot Day at the Water Park

I think today was our hottest day yet this summer. Of course you know where you could have found Hannah and me. We were at the water park when it opened and I'm glad we were as it got very crowded by the time we left. Hannah such a little fish and not one bit worried about getting wet. Yesterday while we were at the WP she was playing with on of Ron's nurses granddaughters who had a little torpedo time toy that twirled to the bottom of the pool. Hannah was actually diving down to the bottom of the pool to collect the toy over and over and over. OK this is cool as we will have her snorkeling ASAP. She also loves to dive off the side of the pool.

Notice Hannah's skinned knees...from the water park

We are both getting soooo dark. Hannah tans very easily and that makes sense because her skin tone is tan to begin with. I on the other hand am very white with blond hair and should just burn like my husband. I don't burn (very rare for me to get burned) but tan very quickly so with all the time we are spending at the WP we may both look like Hannah's little sister from Africa by the end of the summer. Her more than me as her hair will still be black (with beautiful natural red highlights) and my will be nearly white from the sun (it gets lighter each day).
The photos are really not a good indication of how dark we really are...and if you could see my eyes they are really green (just like my mother's).
That's about it as we are headed out to supper and probably back to the WP with daddy as he is off after being on call all weekend.


Saturday, June 28, 2008


OMG is it windy. I just got back from a walk and I felt like I needed a weight belt as the wind nearly blew my 105lb frame right off the path. As windy as it was I still had fun because I rarely get to go for a walk by myself so I got to listen to my ipod. I have over 2000 songs on the darned thing and never really get to listen to it (and only watch the movies when we travel). I discovered the perfect song to walk to (for my pace) is Swingtown by the Steve Miller Band. I had to listen to it twice then Morning Has Broken by Neil Diamond came on (I love N.D. and that song) I didn't even know it was on my ipod...pleasantly surprised.

Well it is Saturday and if you have read my blog in the past you know that it is cleaning day for me. This is OK today as it is windy and cold so I guess it gives me something to do all day stuck in the house. The bad thing is I can't send Hannah out to her sandbox to play so I can get my work done without her constantly under my feet. I'm not kidding she is like a little magnet when I 'm trying to clean. Wanting to help with every task which means it takes me longer because I have to clean up the mess she has made trying to help. It is a good thing she is sooo cute.

I am hoping our Ethiopia overview packet arrives today so we can start collecting the needed paper work for our adoption. Hannah told me the other day "Mama we are not getting a Zoey from China we are getting a Marissah from Africa". So I guess the name change is settled...Marissah it is.

OK off to lunch so hope you all have a great weekend with better weather than we have.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Chase is On

We received word on Monday from our adoption agency. Our application for Ethiopia has been approved. They pulled our Dossier from China today. So we are officially done with China and on our way to paper chasing for Hannah's little sister from Africa. This should go fairly quickly as we have a lot of it done from our China Dossier. The good news is that we did not have to pay the application fee ($250) and some our fees for China will transfer. Also we recently had to renew our immigration paper work (including being re fingerprinted) which the govt. recently started allowing one free renewal (this costs about $900). So we won't have pay that either. With the wait time for China getting longer each month we would have had to pay the fee to get our immigration paper work renewed as it would have expired again in 18 months. Saving the money is a good thing...the only bad thing (well maybe not so bad I don't know yet) is we both of us have to take a 10 hour (on-line) course on international adoption (fee $175). It is a new rule the National Council for Adoption has implemented for all families adopting internationally. We would have had to take the course even if we stayed with China. So all things considered we are very excited to get the chase going...for our baby girl. The one thing up in the air is what her name will be...we had chosen the name Zoey for our China baby but feel that but since we are changing things up and there are so many Zoe/Zoey s around we need to choose a new name. We already have a girl with a very popular name. Our paper prints all the names born at the hospital in the past year....this past year there 16 Hannahs and 8 Zoe/Zoey s. We need a name that is different...when we are at the water park I hear the name Hannah yelled way too much.
Anyway that is where things stand right now.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Super Saturday

Hannah walking the yellow
brick road at story book park.
We had a fun Saturday. It started with a gorgeous morning so we went for a long bike ride (it is always my job to pull Hannah it gives me more of a workout). The afternoon was spent at arts in the park with Aunt Bonnie. After supper Hannah and I spent some time at Story Book Park (that is where the photos are from). It is a wonderful park within walking distance of our house. I am really proud that a city of our size has such a great park with a huge campground that draws a lot of visitors to our humble little city.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cool Clouds

I swear South Dakota has some of the most beautiful clouds...I couldn't resist taking a few shots.

Of course I couldn't resist a shot
of little Miss Hannah
Fun Day
It was finally a day that felt like summer. Temp in the high 80's YES I LOVE IT. Hannah and I were at the water park all afternoon. I wore a different suit so have some redness (in spots not previously exposed to sun) to show for our day in the sun. Hannah is just 5 shades darker. I have always been proud at how fast I tan (for a white blond girl) but I can not compete with my almond eyed, already tanned skinned daughter. We've only been to the water park 4 times and she is already so dark. I predict by the end of summer she will be almost as dark as her little sister (to be). Yes, her little sister will be black (from Ethiopia). I can't believe how many people ask me that question when they find out we are adopting from Africa.
I got 2 hours off the mommy job this morning as Hannah had Kindermusik camp. She only has two more sessions left. She so loves it. I am so loving to see her personality develop each day. She does not have a shy bone in her body. To me she has a very Chinese personality. I need to explain...I went on a mission trip with our adoption agency before we adopted Hannah. I encountered the real Chinese culture...they are for the most part loud and obnoxious (especially during a public meal and the older kids would be overly affectionate to perfect strangers. Hannah is becoming more and more like this each day.
She is the most affectionate little girl. She hugs and kisses me each day and tells me "mommy I love you"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beautiful Day

Hannah made this spider hat at her story time this morning the whole 10 week theme is BUGS
She thought it made a good frame for her little face
She took this picture of me in the silly hat...I think she took a pretty good picture for a 3 yr. old
Ron was off again today to work on the porch. He really under estimated how much work the porch was going to be and was not able to finish it. He will have to work on it this weekend.
It was such a beautiful day and you know what that means for Hannah and me. If you said water park you would be right. Our nice days are so few and far between we need to take advantage every time one rolls around. Hannah has so much fun and always finds a friend to play with the whole afternoon. When I say friend I mean some random girl (always way older than her 8 or 9 yrs) that she latches on to and they become fast friends. When I went over to correct Hannah's behavior on one of the slides the girl she was playing with looked at me (with a bit of confusion) and asked if I was her mom. I get that a lot at the water park. I also ran into a woman I met at the water park last year. We connected because she has two boys from Korea. She came running over to ask if we had gotten our second baby from China. I filled her in on the whole saga about China and the unbearable wait time and we have since decided to drop out and adopt from Ethiopia.
Well that's about it for today. I have to go put Hannah to bed as Ron is playing catch up at work tonight (he usually gets to put her to bed as it is their special time together).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We had a nice time yesterday celebrating Father's day with our Fathers. Of course Ron spent the day preparing a delicious meal ( he didn't do all the work I made 3 dishes and the one of the desserts. Ron grilled steak and halibut that he caught in Alaska. Soooo Good. After dinner we took my dad to the go-cart track to do some racing. He has never driven a go-cart...what's with that? I think he had fun. Hannah loved it. She is now tall enough and old enough to go on the double cars with us. She wanted to go as fast as we could possibly go. She took a turn with dad first and then me. I asked who was the better driver and Hannah (she's the best) said MAMA!
Ron took today and tomorrow off and is spending his days off working. He spent all day working on the front porch. I think it is a bigger project than he thought. After working all day he came in for dinner and said "why don't I ever just hire someone to do the work?" I told him because they wouldn't meet his standards. He likes things done just right and he is good at doing them himself and I know he enjoys doing it. Hannah and I spent the afternoon shopping. This not something I really like doing but Hannah needed a new swim suit. I got her two new ones a month ago but they don't fit because she has such a tiny hiny. She has been wearing her bikini that is size 18 mo. it still fits on the bottom but the top is getting kind of tight. I wish you could by children's swim suits as separates. It took me three stores to finally find a bikini (2T) to fit her (why didn't I go to Target 1st). I will only take Hannah to the water park in a 2 piece because she always has to go potty at least twice during our visit and it is so much easier to just pull down the bottoms. Now if we could just get some summer like weather so we can go to the water park.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Porch

Ron is pretty much replacing our front porch with vinyl product so we don't have to paint it every other year. Hannah had fun playing with all the tools. During the destruction of the porch a small storm moved through which gave us the very beautiful rainbow (it was really colorful but started to fade before we could get a photo). I love that we can see a full rainbow where we live. This always makes me think of the Wizard of Oz (although I don't like the scared me as a child) because the author lived in our city. I found some interesting information about Mr. Baum and his years spent in our state.

The South Dakota years
In July 1888, Baum and his wife moved to
Aberdeen, Dakota Territory, where he opened a store, "Baum's Bazaar". His habit of giving out wares on credit led to the eventual bankrupting of the store, so Baum turned to editing a local newspaper, The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, where he wrote a column, Our Landlady. Baum's description of Kansas in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is based on his experiences in drought-ridden South Dakota. During much of this time, Matilda Joslyn Gage was living in the Baum household. While he was in South Dakota, Baum sang in a quartet that included a man who would become one of the first Populist (People's Party) Senators in the U.S., James Kyle.

Hannah and I spent the afternoon at the waterpark...Thank God for giving us another day to play in the water. I can't tell you how cold and windy it has been everyday. Please God let it be summer already.

Tomorrow is Father's Day and Ron bought his own present (some sort of mighty power saw). Good for him but Hannah insists on getting him a butterfly balloon (and I am so letting her get the balloon for daddy).

Happy Father's day to all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

VBS Program

Last night was the final night for VBS. The preschoolers put on a little program for the parents. The theme for the week was military boot camp. It was a fun week and the program was cute. Hannah was so unfocused during the program and was all over the place (will share video soon). She was so exhausted from her day. She spent 2 hours running around at Kindermusik in the morning, played pretty hard at the neighbors in the afternoon and then 2 hours at VBS before the program (which was held during her bedtime)...she was wiped out. She hit the pillow pretty hard when we got home. She did really well all week and I know she had tons of fun.

OK you know there is always one child in a program that is a distraction. That happened to be my child last night. In her defense she was extremely tired and when she is tired she gets very hyper. She did fine in all the rehearsals...woudn't you know she would pick the night all the other parents are there to act like the little goof ball she is.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yucky Outside

Hannah sat looking out our bedroom window wishing that the yucky weather would go away so she could go out and play. It rained and the wind blew like mad today. I really didn't want to leave the house but there a couple things I had to do...I hate weather like this.

We have VBS again tonight. I sat outside Hannah's classroom last night eavesdropping. I was cracking up at my little girl. She was the ring leader of the group. Her teachers were quite entertained by her. She thinks she owns the little house that is in the room. And she was inviting all the other children in one by one. Saying "Oh Yes! You may come in and have a seat to relax in while I get you a refreshment." I kid you not that is what she said. This kid is such a mature little blows me away the things that come out of her young little mouth. Anyway by the end she had all the children in the house including the 13 year old boy that was helping his mother with the children. It was hilarious.

Hannah has her 2nd Kindermusik camp tomorrow. So will have 2 hours free in the morning and then 2 hours and 15 minutes free at night while she is at VBS. This is good as I have to put the photo project together for the last night of VBS.

Well that about it for now not much to share when your stuck in the house trying to entertain a 3 year old all day.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Row Row Row Your Boat

Hannah in her Row Boat this morning
It must be cold where she is rowing her boat as she needed daddy's cap he got in Alaska
What do I spy with my handy binoculars
Hannah enjoyed her 2nd night at VBS. She actually went with our neighbors and Ron and I went to dinner alone (this never happens). The people at the restaurant were puzzled when we walked in without her. It was strange but a very relaxing meal. After dinner I went to VBS to take more photos. I know this sounds like an easy job, but it becomes very time consuming as I have to put together a couple of projects in a very short amount of time. The worst for me is the 5th graders always get to make a video (should be easy as I have a degree in this area) but it is the most difficult thing I have to do all year. They want to do it but won't come up with any ideas and like 5th graders won't cooperate in the short 20 minutes we have to shoot the stupid thing. I have just one day (with a 3 yr. old to entertain) to try and create something out of nothing. I have pulled it off the last few years but I really have my doubts this year. Once that project is complete I have to go through the hundreds of photos I have taken and put a video together for the service on Sunday. Just thinking about it makes my little brain tired.
Hannah has her first day of her summer reading program at the library tomorrow morning. Part of this program requires that we read to her 20 minutes a day. I asked if I could only read that long. Please...this child has always loved books. She needed a bath today and because VBS at night the only time that worked was in the middle of the afternoon. I am so glad she thought of the brilliant idea of reading to her while she was in the bathtub. Yes, she made me read so long that she discovered her hands and feet could turn into prunes (you know what I mean).


Vacation Bible School began last night at our church. Hannah had a blast. This is her first year being enrolled but she went we me last year as I am always the photographer for VBS week. So she was with the preschoolers and I was taking photos of the elementary classess. She was one tired little girl by the time we got home. It kind of cut into her bedtime as she usually goes to bed between 8-8:30 and VBS doesn't get over until 8:15. She was up kind of early this morning and told me "Mama, I didn't sleep very well".

Before we went to VBS last night Ron grilled some of the salmon he caught in Alaska. It was white salmon which is rare to get but it is the best. It was soooo good. Hannah loved it and I couldn't believe she was actually eating the salmon. This is good because we have a freezer full of fish. I think we will have some of the halibut for Father's day. Hannah said she is going to get dad a butterfly balloon for his day.

Hannah and I have been going on walks around the neighborhood. I can't tell you how much I enjoy these walks. Anyone who knows Hannah knows she is a talker. She tells me the funniest things on these walks. I swear her imagination is in overdrive. A lot of the time we are in search of treasure...yesterday we found some gold nuggets (really 5 rocks)that we had to bring home to show daddy.

Well gotta go shower...what a lazy morning we have had we will have to make up for by having an active afternoon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2 Free Hours

Hannah had her first day of Kindermusik camp today. It is 2 hours 1 day a week for 5 weeks. I realized how much you can get done in 2 hours without a 3 year old around. She had a great time. It wasn't a big jump for her as she has been going to Kindermusik since she was 18 mo. old and is very comfortable with Ms. Sonya (her teacher...she's terrific). Her regular Kindermusik class is only 45 minutes long and I stay the whole time. Hannah was so fine with me leaving as I knew she would be it was just Bye Mama. I did get a very nice welcome when I picked her up...she ran to me gave me a big hug and said "I missed you". I have to share the very cute moment when she arrived at camp today. Her boyfriend Evan was there and they have not seen each other since their play date. Hannah gave him big hug and said "Hi Evan, I missed you" precious.

Hannah with her treasures from Kindermusik camp. It is a beach theme.

She said "Mama I am a movie star"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Hannah's Haircut/Adoption Update

Hannah's new do
Hannah got her haircut today. I have to thank dear Becky as she does a great job on this very wiggly girl. Anybody that knows Hannah knows it is against her nature to sit still for anything. I swear she probably burns more calories than she takes in just eating as she is in constant motion. The only time I have seen her sit completely still for over an hour was at the circus (although she does surprisingly well on an airplane...Thank God because we travel a lot). So now that she has her new haircut she will be asking everybody she sees "Do you like my haircut?".
Adoption Update
Hannah will not be getting a little sister from China. We are dropping out of the China program. We are done playing games with the communist Chinese government. They are really messing with so many families with their stupid politics. I also fear for many adoption agencies that will be put out of business (ours included as they have a huge number of families pursuing China). We really want to go where there is a need and right now that is Ethiopia. We know this is where God is calling us. Since Hannah knew she was getting a little sister she would talk about China everyday. "Mama are we getting on a plane to get my little sister in China?" About a year ago that all changed she quit talking about China. She kept saying "we are going to Africa". The first time I heard that I was like how does a 2 yr. know about Africa. About a month ago she said to me "Mama I want a little sister from Africa". So we are now pursuing an adoption from Africa. Please keep this next adoption in your prayers.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Fishing Trip

My husband and his brother are back from their fishing trip in Alaska (Sitka). I am happy they got to spend this time together. My husband has never been on a vacation without me our entire marriage (nearly 20 yrs. but I know he counts the trips I have taken without him as a vacation LOL). I will share a few photos of the men and their fish tonight and will create a slide show of the trip later (I was blown away by the flowers...yes my husband took photos of the beautiful flowers in Alaska). My husband on the Right with a 26lb King Salmon and his brother on the left

My husband caught a 97Lb. Halibut (to that I say Hallilujah)

Ron's brother with his 87lb side of a halibut white and the other side is dark.