Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This cat has the life

While we were running around like crazy trying to get the house ready for our company, this is what we find--our cat relaxing in the sun. If only I could be a cat for a day.


Cowboy day at preschool. If only we had had little cowboy boots!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


That is the only word I heard last night while I was soaking in the tub trying to get this kink out of my back.

I asked Kevin to dry Brynn's hair with the hair dryer mainly (bad parent alert) so that I could lay in the tub for just a few minutes alone since my back has been thumping all week. It was relaxing until I heard Kevin yell, "Get out of the tub. We may have a fire!"

Now, let me tell you this--16 months after we were married, the house we were living in burnt down to the ground. Luckily, Kevin and I were safe, but we lost some very important items that my mom had given me before she died. We know what it feels like to realize we have no toothbrush or underwear. Such a strange feeling.

So, not wanting to get out of the nice, hot bath, but also not wanting to burn to a crisp, I slowly got out of the tub to find out what had happened. Meanwhile, Kevin is running down the hall looking for the fire extinguisher. Like I have any idea where it is! (I probably should though, ha?) Finally, I figure out that my hair dryer caused the outlet to catch fire. The smell of smoke was very potent in our little bathroom. Brynn couldn't understand what was going on. One minute she was getting her hair dried, the next Daddy is running down the hall like a madman yelling for the fire extinguisher. (Looking back, that part is actually funny!) So now we have no electricity to any of our bathrooms since they are all on the same circuit. Tonight it is on to Home Depot to get parts to fix everything in the wall and Target to get me a new hair dryer. If our house makes it in one piece to Kevin's brother's visit next week, I will be really amazed.

Our garden is still going

I can not believe that Kevin picked these vegetables from our garden last night. We definitely shouldn't still have anything coming from our garden in late October except pumpkins. I think this should be it for this year, but if the weather stays warm, who knows!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall Pictures

How about that view? This is what I see from my front sidewalk. How blessed am I?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Our wonderful weekend!

This past weekend turned out wonderful. The weather was perfect, especially Friday night when we went to Boo in the Zoo. It was so nice just to walk around with friends and watch Brynn have fun with other kids.

Kevin got to do one of his favorite things in the world on Saturday--cut firewood with his dad. I don't understand why he thinks this is fun, but he does. Plus we picked all of our pumpkins. We ended up with 19. We are kinda surprised, since we planted them a little late.

Sunday, we went to church and then to a friend's house. Brynn got to play with other 3 year olds. She had so much fun and she didn't need us around the whole time. I think the other kids may be why she enjoys school so much--other people her size to play with.

Too bad it was back to work so quickly:-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Talk about irony

It hasn't rained here, well, for ever. It is so dry here. Not today. Nope, it decides to rain today. I can tell that you think I should be excited. Well, I'm not. We just spent all week scrubbing our carpets in our living/dining room area. We are having our furniture delivered today in said living room. And it is raining. This means that the delivery people will be coming into my home with rain soaked shoes. I just can't believe it. Kevin will cry if he has to clean the carpet again and I really don't want to see a grown man cry.

Tonight we are going to Boo in the Zoo at a local small zoo. And it is raining. Oh, the irony.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pocus gets a bath

Bandaids and plastic doll faces do not go together--just in case you were wondering. Poor little Pocus has a huge sticky spot right across her forehead. Brynn had to give her a bath. And being the dumb and inexperienced parents that we are, we left her alone to do it. Water everywhere in our freshly remodeled bathroom. Ugh. And the sticky stuff didn't come off. Figures.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

If I had a hammer...

Brynn got to help Daddy last night. She was so excited to use her Home Depot tools again and we actually let her hammer a little with hers. Isn't the distressed wood look in?

Two things I want to point out in the picture--The ugly furniture will be in our basement soon. You just don't know how excited I am. Let just see how stain resistant it actually is.

The second thing is the blue hammer. This was actually my Dad's hammer and Kevin uses it all the time. It gives him a connection to Dad. He admired (and still admires) my dad so much. I have heard it said that many marry what you are used to. I have been so blessed to have married a man that is like my dad. Miss you Dad.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our Weekend Part 2

This is how our weekend started. Brynn in her "painting apron" ready to help us paint. She was such a trooper helping us. Of course, that lasted about 2 minutes. It was then onto watching "The Jungle Book" for her while we painted.

We were so excited to go to the local Pumpkin Festival with Brynn so that we could spend some quality, non-painting family time with Brynn. No such luck. The pumpkin festival was having a parade. Think Macy's Thanksgiving Parade--Not! This is a little town with a Halloween parade that has little kids walking down the street in their costumes. They blocked a major road for this parade and they also blocked the entry to the only parking lot. We sat there and waited and waited. Finally a cop directed us down a street to park. It was a dead end with no parking. Fine, we aren't going to the dumb festival. We're going to The Springhouse. We'll show them.

The Springhouse is a local dairy that milks their own cows and makes the best lemonade. (Kevin would say they make the best iced tea and chocolate milk.) We haven't been here just the 3 of us for such a long time. Brynn goes often with the grandparents so we let her "show us around".

First, we had to get ice cream. It was 40 degrees and very cold, but it was ice cream time.

Next, we walked around outside and looked at pumpkins and tractors (like we don't have enough of them at home). Brynn was driving the tractor and Daddy was working the brakes.

I know this sign says that Brynn is under 3 feet tall, but look at how much lower her feet are to the bottom of the sign!

This is how the weekend ended--with Kevin getting a cupcake with one candle in it a day after his birthday at 8:30 at night. But, hearing Brynn sing "Happy Birthday" to her Daddy made everything seem perfect.

By the way, we are done painting!! Tonight, we are reinstalling the freshly stained baseboard and I'll be washing all the crap (I mean that in a good way, of course.)that goes back into the curio and china cabinets. Lots of glass. Fun, ha?

Looking forward to Friday when we get the furniture and we can say we are done with this project. Next weekend, we are cleaning the computer room so that Kevin's brother actually has somewhere to sleep. I think I would rather paint.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Our Weekend

I normally love weekends. I am not looking forward to this one. Tonight we are painting the hall and it's ceiling. Tomorrow we will be going to a pumpkin festival in the morning so that our daughter doesn't think we are totally ignoring her. Tomorrow afternoon, you guessed it, more painting--the walls of the living room and dining room. The cathedral ceiling makes the walls 13 feet high. UGH. If we are not done tomorrow, then Sunday after church will be more painting. We have to get all this done this weekend if we want to scrub the carpets before our furniture comes next Friday. I can not wait until all of this is done and we can relax. Brynn really needs us right now. She has become very insecure so this isn't the perfect time to need to get this done, but it has to. Hopefully we can figure out a good balance between work and play.

By the way, tomorrow is Kevin's birthday. Happy Birthday to my best friend in all the world. I love you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Helping Daddy

Kevin was removing the screws from the hall walls last night so that he could start patching. Brynn grabbed her screwdriver ready to help. Unfortunately, her Home Depot toy screwdriver doesn't remove real screws. But, she helped anyway with Daddy's screwdriver. Don't you love the leverage she is getting off his head?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I'm not green!

Brynn was eating Lucky Charms over the weekend and was very proud of her green tongue from the green clovers. She was showing it to everyone including the cat. I told her she was turning green like Shrek. "Mommy, I am not green. I am olive." Well, ok. I have been corrected.

We have been painting our living room/dining room/kitchen for the past couple of weekends. These rooms are really just one big room, so the ceiling took all day last Saturday to paint. We are now onto the walls in the living room and dining room. Kevin is patching all the holes, so we should start painting soon. I am so excited to have it done. Our house has been torn up for weeks and I want my house back!! And, now we are on a time line--Kevin's brother, sister-in-law and kids are coming home in a couple of weeks and are staying with us. And we are hosting an open house for them. Yikes!! My house isn't that big, so this should be very interesting. I hope the guest list isn't very long.

So, now we are power painting. We have to scrub the carpets too since we are getting new living room furniture next Friday. Ugh. What was I thinking?

Friday, October 5, 2007

We have a new nephew!!

We are so excited. We just got the call that Kevin's brother and sister-in-law just finished the adoption of their second child, JJ, from Guatemala. They will be home on Wednesday after having to stay almost 3 weeks. They will be coming to our house in a couple of weeks so that we can meet the newest members of the crazy family. We can not wait!!

This picture is from March, so we know he won't look exactly like this, but isn't he cute? Congratulations for a second time in 2 weeks to Uncle and V!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Special Olympics in Shanghai

What a grand celebration for an amazing group of people! Click on the title to see Good Morning America's coverage of it.

Take a minute and vote

Okay, you can make a difference and it only takes a couple of seconds...

Hello again-
Our volunteers in Wuhan had a great idea. It may be possible for some of
our Half the Sky children to carry the Olympic torch next year. I've
entered a contest sponsored by the China Daily Newspaper and, if I can get
enough votes from citizens all over the world, I may be able to have that
honor. If it happens, I will run with 8 children from 8 orphanages in
China. Believe me, I am no runner. But I would dearly love to give the
children a place at the party.
Please take a moment and vote for me right now:


We need a LOT of votes. Please pass this on to your friends and family.
Thanks and love,
Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation
Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. We establish and operate infant nurture and preschool programs, provide personalized learning for older children and establish loving permanent family care and guidance for children with disabilities. It is our goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future.

We love fall!

How do you beat a night of playing in leaves? My stepmom was blowing leaves from her yard (She's a little insane!) and Brynn was playing in them and having the time of her life. Too bad my camera's battery was dead. I'm sure we will have other opportunities to play in her leaves because you can't have any in your yard according to her. We will back over as soon as we hear her blower and I will have a charged camera battery!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Arthritis? What Arthritis?

What not to do when you have been diagnosed with arthritis in your neck.

My husband is such a dork. Brynn truly does have the best Dad in the world because it truly doesn't matter the pain. He will do whatever to make sure she has a great childhood. He is such a blessing.

Rumors are spreading that referrals are likely to come this week. Too bad we have no idea what the cutoff date is. We have friends that have been waiting since December 2005. Their dossier was submitted when the wait was only 6 months. I feel so bad for them. I talked to her today and she is just depressed. And I can totally understand. Here's to a big bunch of referrals. Please!
UPDATE: Our agency's referrals are in for dossiers logged in on November 30, 2005. Congrats to those families. Our agency's next group isn't untl December 19th. It is going to take months to get there. What a terrible feeling.

Update on Kevin's brother and sister-in-law. They are still in Guatemala hoping to get their son's paperwork to the Embassy by Thursday. They stayed an extra 9 days so that they could bring him home too. We haven't heard anything since Sunday so hopefully no news is good news. We need JJ to come home with his family.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Brynn painting our walls

Brynn had to help us paint our kitchen. She painted most of the area behind the refrigerator. We only had to scrub the counters and cabinets a little when she was done (ok, a lot of scrubbing was needed).