July 26, 2009

My First Fruits....

My goal when I started our garden was to be able to can a years supply of tomatoes . Gradually, every year, I want to add another vegetable and eventually provide our family with a year round supply of homegrown, organic vegetables. Our garden space, this year, could get us possibly enough tomatoes, but I think next year I may have to add another raised bed. Shhh...don't tell Brandon, I think he may freak out on me..lol! I found that carrots and green beans are pretty easy, so that will be my goal for next year. In the meantime, tomatoes. I cook daily for our family, and I use a lot of tomatoes. So here is the start for my year long supply of tomatoes.
Yup...two quarts of whole tomatoes. Stop laughing....haha! I've been carefully picking tomatoes and saving them until I had enough to can and I was so nervous to actually do it. I have researched canning tomatoes for hours if not days. There are so many ways to do it, it's kind of intimidating. These ended up being in a hot water bath. I added fresh basil, from the garden and stuffed as many as I could in each jar. They boiled for about 50 minutes. I'm really hoping that we don't get sick from these...lol.
If my blog posts stop suddenly, please check on us!

July 25, 2009

Memphis Vacation

Needless to say, we were surprisingly overwhelmed by the amount of comments we had on our Referral Video. I knew I had blog stalkers, but man....lol! Seriously though, we are so excited to have others excited as well. We got our call on Monday afternoon, rushed to the doctor's office to have him look at the medical information, then had money overnighted, packed and drove to St. Louis, all in about 15 hours. We had a vacation to Memphis, Tennessee already planned and just stopped by our agency to sign our papers in person.
On the adoption front, we officially accepted the referral of "Marley." Our next step is to wait for a court date. She is not yet at our agency transition home and we are hoping she'll be there soon. We know that she will be taken well care of. The Ethiopian courts are closing in a few weeks and will reopen in October. We will most likely have a court date in October. After we pass court, they will schedule a visa appointment and we will travel for that and bring her home. As for when that is, well that will be a mystery for now. We are anticipating late October or early November. We are just so elated to know who she is.
On to our vacation. Miles has really been wanting to see dinosaurs, so we went to the Pink Palace Museum. He had a blast with the robotic dinosaurs and fossils.
When in Memphis, we had to visit Graceland. We don't consider ourselves huge Elvis fans, but how could we pass up an opportunity to experience it? Surprisingly, it was pretty interesting. Expensive, but interesting. I tell you what, Lisa Marie is making a killing! It's cheaper to park at Six Flags...lol! Anyways, it was neat to get to see his mansion. I never knew he was such a giving person. We learned that he pretty much gave at least $1,000 to anyone who asked him for money or help. I admire that.
Then we had to visit the Lorraine Motel. We haven't started teaching Miles about Martin Luther King, or much history yet. We did want to visit the famous spot where he was shot. Neither me nor Brandon had ever been here and it is a very emotional and important part of our history. I get very emotional about racial issues and just don't see how much hate some people could feel for another race. I choked up just walking up to the spot. The Civil Rights Museum is attached to the Lorraine Motel and is pretty amazing. We walked up and got to see the actual room and then went across the street to see where his sniper was hiding out. I'm really glad we got to go there.
And totally random. We were at the base recreation center using the free Wifi and I looked over and saw this!

So funny! I'm not sure what this machine thing is? I took the picture on a military base so you never know...haha!

July 20, 2009


Today is the day! The day HOPE came, our FAITH has been renewed, we are filled with JOY! We officially waited one year and two days. It started off as a normal day. Brandon called me and told me he was about to leave the office and ten minutes later my phone rang, it's normal ring. I had our adoption consultants phone number programmed to ring a special ring. It said CHI, our agency. I answered it wondering why they were calling me. I had asked them to call only if it was "the call." Well it was "the call!" The voice on the phone said, "Elisa, this is Erin with CHI." I hesitantly said, "okay?" And then she said, "Brandon, are you on the line?" That's when I lost it. I knew the protocol!
We have a referral for a two month old girl who is healthy and beautiful! We have been in shock pretty much all day! We are elated!
So what is next? Well we did find out today that the Ethiopian Courts will be closing after all this summer. They will reopen the first week of October. We are fine with that right now, because we are just so happy to know who she is and that she is healthy. I already am carrying her pictures in my purse. We are signing our forms tomorrow in St. Louis and from there we will wait for a court date, which will probably be after the courts reopen in October.
Thank you God!

July 18, 2009

One Year

Today marks the day our documents arrived in Ethiopia. We were in the middle of moving and Miles and I joined my in-laws in Houston for some traditional food at an Ethiopian Restaurant. We started that day being hopeful. We were elated to begin our journey to our daughter. We knew she was coming from Ethiopia and have shared our story with so many people along the way.
Our road has been filled with joy, hope, excitement, fear, doubt, heartache, and now peace. Although we still don't know who our daughter is, we are filled with love for her. She has been longed for for so long, the love we have for her is infinite. We are hopeful again. We are next in line for our baby girl! It has to be soon. Our family will soon be complete! We love you Marley, and can't wait to see your precious face!


Brandon had a work thing in Chicago and I tagged along. My Best Friend lives up there and she just had a baby a few months ago. It was a great time and great weather. We got CTA 3 day passes to have unlimited access to the subways and bus systems. It was crazy at times, but an experience! We went to China Town, Navy Pier, and hung out with our friends. Great times!

July 9, 2009

IF Our Wait for Marley was on the Top 40....

We would be NUMBER 1!!!!!! Of course there are numerous potential obstacles, but who cares.....lol!

July 7, 2009

Harvested Today!

I'm planning my fall plantings that have to be planted in a few weeks and harvested a few things today. It's so cool Needless to say, we are having carrots with our dinner tonight!

Miles Takes Center Stage at VBS 2009

I have an entertainer...that's no secret! At 2:15 he spanks his butt during the Vacation Bible School presentation...classic!

July 6, 2009

Quickly Approaching One Year

We are quickly approaching one year of "officially waiting." This is actually a good thing, I think. The longest any family with our agency has waited for a girl under 18 months has been 11 1/2 months. Our agency pushed the wait times up to 13 months just a few months ago from a 6-10 month wait. So basically, if we have to wait over 13 months, they yet again have to change their wait times. That's not really good for them, in my opinion. When inquiring families call, that is the wait time they give them. Obviously, families tend to flock towards shorter wait times. Sooooo.....we have to be up soon.
The last few weeks have been really great. I have miraculously let go of all the anxiousness associated with adoption. I have felt a tremendous amount of peace. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. There are rumors that the Ethiopian Courts may not close this summer, they are scheduled to close in a few weeks and open again in October. I assume the announcement, if any, won't be anytime soon. Things in the adoption world tend to be so unpredictable. I am better at peace than pulling my hair out everyday trying to figure out if they will stay open or not. So currently, if we were to get a referral soon, we are looking at an October travel date, maybe. I have come to peace with that after seeing recent airline ticket prices! They are running about $2600 a piece! That would be about $6,000, just for airfare, for both me and Brandon and a lap ticket for Marley on the way home. The tickets in September and October are running about $1,000 less a ticket. I would never put a price on our daughter. We will do whatever it takes to get her home. It does calm me down a bit knowing that it's not our time.
Brandon is doing great. He is still taking classes and is doing a great job of managing family, work and school. He will be helping teach Financial Peace at our church starting next month.
Miles is fastly approaching five years old. His birthday is in October. He will be attending the local elementary school as part of a Reverse Mainstream class. Basically, he will be the male model on target student in a Pre-K Special Education program. We applied for this back in the winter and he was selected. He will be going four half days a week.
Our Garden is doing great. I pulled up the brocolli and zuchinni, and planted cantelope, cucumbers and more tomatoes. A few of mine have some kind of fungus, I'm devistated, but we'll manage. I have heard of a technique that will allow us to plant potatoes and squash in the winter. I'm trying to get into a canning class to help teach me how to can. I know I can read directions, but I'd really like to learn from a pro. I'm still hoping to can a years supply of tomatoes.