Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Fun

My flower and her bee and our magical wizard hit the streets tonight for trick-or-treating. It was beautiful weather today and a nice night for walking around town. Mr. B was being stalked by lots of parents and trick-or-treaters alike who thought he was the cutest little bee they had ever seen. Several people even asked if they could take his picture 'cause he was so stinkin' cute. They all looked great and had a good time.

Now that the kids are in bed we can loot their candy...he he.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Name is Stephanie, and I'm a Procrastinator

Well, I did it last year. And the year before. And most likely the year before that. I have all year to make my kids Halloween costumes, but I cannot start this project until the last moment. I just can't. I would like to clarify, however, that I do my best work under pressure!

I have been hard at it sewing costumes for the last few days. Keaton's is done. Delaney's is 1/4 done. Brezlan's is 3/4 done. My husband just looks at me and shakes his head and smiles. He thinks I am crazy, but I nothing makes me happier than seeing the smiles on my kids faces when they put on their costumes. I will sew on...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Say It Isn't So...

I just looked out the window and it is snowing. Snowing. There are tiny little flakes falling from the sky. Ugh.

Now, I know it won't last, but frankly I'm not ready to see it at all. Yesterday it was raining, today it is snowing, by Wednesday it is supposed to be in the 60's again vs. the 30's. You just never know what the day will bring weather wise when you live in Wisconsin.

Oops, the snow is already done and the sun just came back out. Fun stuff!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Seafood in My Tummy

I thought I'd splurge and make a surprise special dinner for me and the hubby tonight. We've got no exciting adoption news to report, but sometimes a special meal for two can lift your spirits. We spent a little time today lamenting over Anchise's pictures and talking about how much we want her home.

I made one of our favorite dishes - cajun seafood pasta. It is so scrumptious and we love to sop up the sauce with a nice loaf of crusty bread. Yummy!

Cajun Seafood Pasta
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 pkg. baby portabella mushrooms (quartered)
5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 lb. shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 lb. sea scallops (cut if larger)
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. dry fettuccine pasta
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. Pour dream into large skillet and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly until just about boiling. Reduce head and add herbs, salt, peppers, onions, and parsley. Simmer 7 to 8 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. Stir in seafood, mushrooms, and tomatoes, cooking until shrimp is no longer transparent.
  4. Stir in cheeses, blending well.
  5. Drain pasta. Serve sauce over noodles.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Proud Moment

I was talking to Delaney tonight about school. I told her I ran into another mom yesterday who told me her daughter was struggling a little with the popularity issues that crop up in middle school. I asked Delaney if it ever bothered her that she was not a part of the "it" crowd. She looked at me matter-of-factly and said, "I'm popular with God and that's all that matters to me." I think I started grinning from ear to ear. I'm so proud of my girl. It makes me so happy to know she is confident and happy with who she is and has a heart for the Lord.

Birthparent Interview Today!

While I was in Haiti filing our I-600, I also turned in our paperwork for the Adjudicate Orphan Status First Pilot Program. That means our birthparent interview will be conducted at the beginning of the process, instead of the end.

Anchise's birthmother's interview is scheduled for today at the American Consulate. The purpose is to verify that she is indeed the birthparent and that she has willingly relinquised Anchise for adoption. Please pray that she shows up for her appointment and that she will have the appropriate answers for the interviewer (so we can avoid DNA testing). Also, please pray that she will be filled with God's peace and comfort during this time and that she will be treated respectfully.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Favorite Moment

There were so many great moments on our trip and this was one of my favorites. To see these kids just bust out in song was great. I love their sweet voices.

It's amazing how the trip already seems like a lifetime ago. I'm ready to go back...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Anchise Likes Church

The Sunday before we left we attended church service at Port au Prince Fellowship. We had the pleasure of meeting John McHoul from Heartline while we were there. Anchise clearly enjoyed the service. She really came alive during the music.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Miss This Face

I miss the smell of her beautiful brown skin. I miss looking into her dark eyes & seeing the way her eyelashes are perfectly curled. I miss the feel of her hair and the way that it felt to hold her when she sleeps. I love this girl! Thank you Lord for our precious Anchise!

7 Random/Quirky Things About Me

OK, first I was tagged by the lovely & talented Mrs. Green and now I've been tagged by the fabulous Leslie, so I guess I need to do my part. Here goes:
  1. In high school I LOVED Duran Duran. I don't mean just a little bit, I LOVED them! My room was wall-to-wall DD posters. John Taylor was my absolute favorite and I dreamed of the day we would get married. Ha! That is so lame.
  2. We are a musical family - I play flute, Jeff plays drums, Delaney plays flute & cello. I secretly long to play guitar & piano. Some day...
  3. I enjoy gourmet cooking for dinner guests, but I don't do it very often because the best & freshest ingredients are often too rich for my budget. I love trying new recipes all the time - gourmet or not.
  4. One of my favorite non-gourmet meals is a good old-fashioned hillbilly dinner - fried potatoes, pinto beans with raw onion cut up in it, cornbread, homemade applesauce & sweet tea. Yummy! I was born in West Virginia & request this meal every year on my birthday from my mom.
  5. My faith in the Lord has grown tremendously in the past five years. I've always been a believer, but unfortunately much of my life has been spent being a "casual Christian" - it was good to have God for emergencies & such, but I didn't think about Him on a regular basis. I strive each day to include God in my whole day, my whole life. I fail frequently, but His mercies are new every morning. The adoption has grown my faith in ways I could have never imagined. God is good!
  6. My favorite movies are pre-20th century period pieces. I recently watched Becoming Jane and loved it. Pride & Prejudice is coming via Netflix this week & I can't wait.
  7. If I could go back in time & change one thing it would be to never get any cats. We have three cats who are 16 years old and I'm sorry to say they have worn out their welcome. Animal lovers please don't hate me (sorry Cara).

So there are some completely random things about me. I tag Katy, Michelle, Lena, Tracy, & anyone else who wants to participate.

UPDATE: I officially tag Kristina even though she thinks my head is filled with cheese and that I have forgotten her since I've been home, even though it's not true & she knows I love her very much!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Great Day

This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice & be glad in it!

We had an amazing speaker at church this morning - Apostle Greenwell Simutowe. He is the founder of Missions Outreach Ministries International located in Zambia. His passion for the Lord was inspiring & was a great start to the day. There was a spaghetti lunch afterwards as a fundraiser for his ministry which we were happy to participate in...yummy! Please join me in praying for Apostle Simutowe and that his ministry will reach many for Christ.

Our town had a huge fire safety event today & firefighters from throughout the area came with demonstrations, prizes, & of course their trucks. Mr. B was in heaven with all of these firetrucks in one location. All the kids had a lot of fun!

My great afternoon continued with a Swedish massage...oh yeah! Have I mentioned what a huge perk it is to have a massage therapist for a husband?

Even without all of these wonderful blessings, I would hope I could still wake up & want to praise the Lord. We have much to be thankful for!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Did You Ever...

...just want to live in a cave to shield yourself from human ignorance? Today is that day for me. Ugh.

I therefore make the following announcement:

  • We have been called by God to specifically adopt a child from Haiti. He has ordained this in our lives since the beginning of time. Who are we to argue with that?
  • If you are concerned about the number of children in the U.S. that need to be adopted, please, I encourage you to get more information & welcome a child from the U.S. into your home.
  • Adoption from any country is a great way to build a family. I pray every day that more children will be welcomed into loving homes.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Praise Report

Praise the Lord - we were blessed with a $100 donation today towards our adoption. It always amazes me when someone who doesn't even know us chooses to bless us.

Thank you Lord for knowing & caring about our needs and providing for them at just the right time.
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:31-33

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Photo Frustration (Somewhat Resolved)

We have a very old computer (it runs Windows 98 for cryin' out loud) and I have been having difficulty getting my photos from the memory card to the computer. I have figured out how to do it, but it is a little time consuming. Here are just a few photos from the trip. Gosh, I miss that girl!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Feeling a Little Bipolar

Today has been weird. I feel like I don't know what exactly I should be feeling.

I am happy to be home...I miss Haiti.
I'm so thankful I get to hug my husband and kids...but someone is missing.
Holding and loving on Anchise was so special...does she think I'm just another person who left her?
Life here is easier...easier isn't always better.
I'm glad to see my friends & family...I miss the friends I made on the trip and in Haiti.

I guess I'm just decompressing & trying to adjust to reality. Let the rollercoaster continue...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nag, Nag, Nag

I'm sorry for the lack of posting, but geez, I'm tired. I think it all caught up with me today and I was just plain worn out. We were on the road at 6:30 Tuesday morning and traveled all day. We pulled into Colleen's house at 7:30 pm and then I had a 4 hour drive home from there. Thankfully my girl Kristina called to check on me during my drive (love you girl!).

I know I have no other trips to compare this one too, but this team has decided that we are "exclusive" and should always travel together. We will, however, need a new leader since Colleen says she never wants to put up with us again (he he). I cannot remember the last time I have laughed so much. Kristina, Todd & I even had Jean Nathan cracking up at our DHS appointment (during the building evacuation & all)! We could find humor in just about anything and I can say I enjoyed every moment with this group.

Other than being with Anchise and the rest of the team, my favorite times were spent in the nursery. I spent quite a bit of time playing with the kids there. One of my favorite memories is playing with the shape sorter with Kervens. It started out just with him and then Sara, Layla & Jean Baptiste joined in. I would hand each of them a shape and make them take turns putting it in the right hole. When they had all the shapes in we would clap and say "yeah" and start all over again. They thought I was crazy & funny with the clapping & praising, but pretty soon they were all doing it too. We had lots of smiles. I also had a fun time playing catch with a beach ball with Jean Baptiste. I love these kids!!!

Meeting Anchise was overwhelming. I didn't want to force myself on her or scare her, but the nannies encouraged me to just dive in and take over as mama. She was pretty timid at first, but she let me hold her without too much resistance. The "wailing wall" kicked in when I took her out of the nursery for the first time (& the second time, & the third time - you get the idea). The team could always tell when I was coming with Anchise. Every day just got better and better. Hearing her call me mama was like sweet music to my ears. I loved every moment with her - wailing & barfing & all. It felt completely natural to be with her and love her as my daughter.

I'm sorry for lack of pictures - I am having problems downloading them, but hope to have help from my hubby with this tomorrow. I took close to 600 photos so I have lots of everyone's kids.

There were so many facets to this trip and I can't wait to share more, but right now I need sleep. Oh, sweet sweat-free sleep.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thanks for the Memories...

Abbie & Jim
Todd & Kristina
Cathy & Kaleb

Love you guys! It was a GREAT trip full of laughter. Pictures hopefully later today.