Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Xavier

Today is Xavier's birthday. He's 8 years old. It doesn't seem possible that he's that old. He is funny and sweet. He love to snuggle and give love. He is such a boy though too. He loves to hunt, and play outside, and tease his sister. He is also so in love with his baby brother. To see them interact the first time was priceless. He is so proud and excited to show him off to everyone. Today he went to Jump Zone which is a huge building full of inflatable bouncers. We took him out to a special dinner and then came home for cake and ice cream. He was so full and tired from today he didn't even eat any! Paxton missed out tonight too, b/c he was taking his evening nap.

Adjustment is going great. He's actually starting to sleep through the night a little more. We've had him outside a lot this week! It's really helping. He is eating everything that we give him. He won't eat any plain baby food veggies, but stews or broccoli and chicken type baby food he loves. It has to have flavor! He refuses to eat baby rice cereal! Even when mixed with juice. And he won't drink juice. He drinks water from a sippy cup(somewhat!) and from a bottle. He is full of smiles. He is about to cut his top front teeth. He is so sweet! He does have a bit of a temper when we've seen while trying to get him to sleep at night!

Naia is doing great too. Right now she's upset b/c she wants to play with Xavier's new Nerf 2-in-1 double shooter gun, and he doesn't want her to play with it. She loves Paxton. She has been a big help the past week! He loves to play with her in his room. I'm not really sure what she does in there, but it keeps him entertained, so it works for me! She is determined not to help with a poopy diaper, but just wet ones she's all for it! She loves taking a bath with him and he loves it just as much.

This is what's happening in our household right now. It's been an exhausting week, but we are so thankful to have him home. It gives us both such a peace knowing that all our babies are here in our house with us.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

First day at church

We made it back to church today. It was so exciting going and getting to show off our new family to people that have supported and prayed for us the past year! He was an absolute doll today as well! He smiled and played and cooed accordingly and to all the right people! He even slept perfectly during the service! Now if we could just get him to sleep during the night.....

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What time is it...?

So, we're still working on the time adjustment. Its the biggest issue right now, we've had some long nights. We shortened up his naps today quite a bit, so we'll see how he does tonight. Other than that, Paxton is doing GREAT. He plays well and is such a good natured baby. The kids are in absolute love with him and that makes us very happy.

Christmas has been really good. He has done well during all the craziness, and hasn't made too much of a fuss during all of it. He got lots of presents and was pretty interested in all the paper, at least putting it in his mouth part. So biggest thing is we're still trying to get on some kind of routine/schedule, mostly during the night. Before, he was waking up once a night, and I would gladly take that over what we're going through right now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pictures.

So, here are a few pictures that i said i would upload. My most sincere apologies for the wait.
Paxtons foster mom right before we got him.
Our plane for the ride home.
Our first family picture!
Another family picture.
First bath at home.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Gotcha Day and beyond...

Paxton is now HOME with US! We are so excited right now (not to mention tired). We haven't slept since 5am Korea time Monday morning. I don't know how many hours that puts us being up straight, but it is a 15 hour time difference. I saw a lot of the hours of today twice today, if that makes any sense.

Gotcha day was fun. We started out taking some GREAT friends out to a market that they hadn't been to yet, along with the Korean war memorial, which is a must-do. It was really cold that day. We got a guy to write scrolls for the kids while we had a 'massive quantities of food' lunch at hard rock cafe. After that we showed them where to get a decent priced hanbok, and we took off to get ready to get Paxton at 3 that day (Sunday). We were almost late, because we were trying to find his foster mother flowers, and everything is closed on Sunday apparently. We finally found a small flowered plant, and took off back to the room. Whenever we got ready, we went down to the lobby for the wait. Another couple was down there recieving their baby as well. We exchanged a few gifts with the foster mother, and the tears started rolling whenever she gave us a packet of about 20 pictures that she had taken of him for the past 8 months. This was truly that toughest experience that we have ever had. She loved him so much and we are so thankful for a great foster mother that Paxton had. She will always be special to us.

That night started off a little rough. He grieved for just a little while, and I was able to get him to sleep. We got some pizza delivered around 830-9 or so (again by some awesome friends), and before, we caught Paxton in the greatest mood ever. He was so happy and has been an excellent baby ever since. He sleeps a little crazy, but we'll see how he does in a crib. The flight was good, we didn't really have any issues with him, and we are glad that it was only 12 hours instead of 16 hours to get back.

We had a great welcoming at the airport, so many people there to see our little guy, and he was in a great mood too. Now we're home, and trying to get everything in order a little bit. You sure can find out how well your house is baby-proofed after about 30 minutes of him running (crawling) around!

Pictures and more to come... Bye for now,

BRENT

Friday, December 19, 2008

This is the day

Well we met with Paxton again today. We got to spend 30 minutes alone with him in our room. He cried about 15-20 minutes of that time but did finally calm down and just rested in our arms. It was so sad. I know that tomorrow will be really hard for him and so will the nights to come. After we returned to his foster mom he was all smiles. We even got a laugh out of him! So sweet. He loved to just cuddle us when had calmed down, but he never came back to us. We had our prayer meeting yesterday as well. We had looked forward to meeting the senior Dr. Kim, but his health is very bad and he's in the hospital. Someone else came and said our prayer for us. It was very neat. We also signed our papers saying that he has been delivered to us and he is free from physical illness and defect! Our baby is ready to come home!

Today we are meeting up with three other couples and are going sightseeing together. If the weather clears up that is. It's very cold here today. 32 is the high for the day. It also rained/snowed last night so it's going to be a COLD day here! For those of you about to travel, don't forget rain gear!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's way to early...

It's about 6:30 a.m. here. I've been awake since about 2:30. I finished reading the last of my two books. I've spent thirty minutes in the computer room, I've showered and gotten dressed. I've made breakfast. I've made a list of all the gifts we are going to try and buy today. And now I'm bored. We're going to try and hit another market today. Yesterday the one we went to wasn't what we were expecting, so hopefully today we'll have more luck. I did buy Naia a beautiful hanbok yesterday though. Today I hope to find some practical gifts for everyone.

We get to see Paxton again at 3. Too many hours for me to figure out how long that is. My hips hurt today from walking so much yesterday! We walked and walked and walked. Today will be more of the same. I'll be taking some tylenol for sure tonight. It still seems a little surreal that we're in Korea to bring home our baby. Other than the language barrier, it doesn't really feel like we're in a foreign country. I'm sure that on Sunday night when he's crying and wants to go back to his foster mother the reality of everything will set in! For now I guess I'll just live in bliss and have a good time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Introducing...



We finally got to meet our sweet Paxton! He is precious. He has the sweetest smile that he only shows rarely. We got to meet with him about 50 minutes or so. As we were walking down the stairs to meet our social worker here, we saw his foster mother come in the door. She recognized us right away and we knew that "she has our baby!" She was carrying him in a sling on her back, underneath her coat! He was asleep when he got here, but she handed him right to me. Oh he smelt so good. And so small. Not really small but small, he now weighs a whopping 17 pounds! He was just adorable. Then he started crying so I gave him back to his foster mother. She sat him on the table in the room we were in and he played with the toys. Every time I would touch him or try to get him to hold my fingers, he pulled back very quickly! Not with Brent though. He loves his papa. He didn't cry either of the times Brent held him unless the foster mom left the room. Then he screamed. He screamed every time I held him! She told that he loves his foster dad, so I'm sure that's why he loves Brent so much. We played with him about 50 minutes then it was time for them to leave. She wrapped Paxton back up on her back and they left.

So here are the pictures. The real reason I'm sure you're still reading! Without further ado...

Paxton Sol Efird


Isn't he precious?! He really loves his foster mother. He is probably her last foster child b/c of her age. He's been with her since he was 20 days old.

I also went and held babies this morning. So sweet! I walked in and washed my hands and put on a gown and they just handed me a baby! She was 8 months old and so cute! I even got to change a dirty diaper. We're about to go back there until a couple we met is finished meeting their baby and then we're all going to go do something together.

Awake and Ready to go

I actually slept most of the night last night! Our room is right next to the nursery so we heard teeny baby cries most of the night. I can't wait to go hold them today. The bed is really really hard! Kind of like sleeping on a pallet on the floor! We were so tired though that it didn't matter!

We get to meet Paxton in just a few hours! I cannot wait to see him. In his passport picture he looks so sweet! He's finally getting some of the crazy hair that other babies from Korea seem to have! Too cute! We just met a lady from the US that is leaving today with her baby. She's the first adopting family that we've met so far!

We both slept decent last night. We were so tired though. We walked around and had dinner at Outback last night! There are some intersections that don't have crosswalks and we couldn't figure out how to get across to eat at KFC! Today we'll know to just get on that side of the street early! Dinner was good, but we can't wait to eat some real Korean food. Maybe we'll get brave when Emily and Nathan get here and all eat out together!

Are we there yet?

We finally made it to Korea! Our flight ended up being over 16 hours long. We're exhausted! We do get to sleep in just a little in the morning though! We get to meet Paxton at 10 a.m. We are soooo excited!

It's very cold and windy here. We went walking after we checked in this evening and are still trying to thaw out. Our room is right next door to the babies room at Eastern! We've heard teeny baby cries each time we've gone back to our room. Tomorrow we get to visit with Paxton and his foster mother for one hour. Then we have lunch with the Drs. Kim. After that we are going to go hold babies! I can't wait. I couldn't talk Brent into it tonight, but he said that's what we would do tomorrow!

Xavier and Naia, I hope you had a great day at home with Juby yesterday. We miss you so much!! You wouldn't have liked flying over here at all! It was very very long! We'll post more tomorrow after we meet Paxton and we'll try and get pictures on here as well!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ice, sleet, rain, oh my!

Please pray that the weather holds off! It's been sleeting here all morning and the deck is covered in ice! The sidewalks and roads are all probably pretty slick!

We're almost packed and getting ready to leave! Brent is packed up for the most part. I've not even started packing yet! I've got the bathroom stuff packed up......almost. I keep emailing my mom and Brent's mom for last minute instructions for the kids! AND

My friend Jennifer might be having her baby today! She's bringing their youngest over here to play so she can go to the doctor and get checked out to see if it's labor or not! Keep her in your prayers as well!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good day today

We had a much better day today than yesterday! The kids played really well most of the morning. We didn't leave the house until this afternoon and that was great for both of them. We've had some really good quality time with them before things get crazy starting tomorrow. Sunday's are always busy for us with church. Also tomorrow I'm going to Ft. Smith the finish shopping for clothes and boots(!!!) for Korea! I love it when my mom takes me shopping.

Today we took the kids to see the movie Bolt. Too cute! It's all about friendship and being there for your friends. Very very good movie. I'm so glad that it was good. And it was really funny for everyone without all the "adult" jokes in it! We loved it. "awesome"

And of course today we made our daily trip to walmart to get the things on todays list. One thing I forgot was undershirts for Paxton. He's used to wearing at least two layers of clothing, so I don't want him to be chilled as soon as we get him! So we got those and we've gotten two suitcases packed. Not big ones, but I did get the diaper bag packed so I could use it as a "carry on". Then we packed our bag full of donations and gifts. We've got the big suitcases laid out and I'm sure we'll start packing those tomorrow. Well okay let me admit, I probably won't start packing until Monday!
Have a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Transition question for my older kids...

Both of our kids are in a mood today! And it's only 7:47 a.m. I know that Naia is feeling slightly insecure b/c of all the excitement yesterday when we got our travel call. She was very clingy to me right afterwards, and then after school just a brat towards me! Then at home last night she was very much a mommy's girl. Wanting just me and to be held a lot. Completely understand that. Xavier is also having some issues today. Not minding, being grumpy, wanting me to do little things for him. Not that I mind doing things for him, but he is nearly 8 years old. I don't have to pack his backpack for him in the mornings. I didn't expect him to be this way. We're going to take them both to a movie tomorrow and spend some time doing stuff with them, but does anyone have any other ideas on helping, Naia especially, adjust to having a new baby in the house?

Brent here...
ALSO, today marks 'Day 400' of the wait since we turned in our first application. It is also our 100th blog post today. Funny thing the way things work out because my blood pressure has went up by either 200 or 300 over the past few days...
We're excited beyond belief right now. We get to be there next week whenever Paxton turns 8 months old!!! I've been looking at strange stuff on the internet lately, well, you might think its strange, i don't though. I've looked at the Airport websites for Dallas and for Seoul. I looked up the exchange rate too. Just to figure out what it will take to make me a millionaire. I looked at the TSA website to see what has changed since the last time i flew. And looked at the forum to see how much money we need to take over there (still not 100% sure on this one either). And being the engineer that I am, I had to also look up the Boeing 777 that we will fly on over there. That thing is pretty neato, especially some of the testing that they did on those planes. Youtube is a wonderful thing.
SO, those of you who have gone before us, please let us know if there is anything that we need to take that we aren't thinking of right now, because our minds are pretty scattered!

**** giveaway at http://www.goodhappenings.com/

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!

We are leaving to go pick up Paxton!!! Isn't that the most exciting news you've heard all day!!!!

As of right now we are leaving on Tuesday the 16th and coming home Monday the 22nd. We are over the moon!!! Our sweet baby boy will be home for Christmas!!!!! Which means today will be spent finishing up ALL Christmas shopping! And tomorrow will include making a bajillion lists!

I've got tons of baby laundry to do, b/c at my best I'm a procrastinator!! So I'm off to wash sweet baby things! Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Exciting News!!!!

So today I got an email from our case worker Jan. WE have EP & PP!!!!!!!! We are just waiting on our travel call!!! It could still be between 2-4 weeks before we travel but we are praying for a quicker travel time than that!!!

Hope everyone is having a great day!!! Go look at www.goodhappenings.com for great giveaways again!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Giveaways...

There are still awesome giveaways on www.goodhappenings.com !!!! check them out.

Not much to report here yet again! Outage is over, so we get to return to normal life for a few more months. We celebrated Brent's birthday on Saturday with his family. It was fun to see everyone. Even though his brother only lives about an hour away, we don't see them very often. They have three girls and all the kids had a great time playing together. They all had a great time shaking presents under the tree too!

This weekend we are planning on going to Silver Dollar City. We love to go at Christmastime to see all the lights. I just hope it's not bitterly cold! It's always fun though, lots of hot chocolate, way to many sweets, and lots of fun just the four of us!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Leap Frog 2

Today's giveaway at www.goodhappenings.com is the Leap Frog 2. Go check them out!

Friday, December 5, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

over at www.goodhappenings.com there's an awesome giveaway! check it out. she'll be doing a giveaway every day for 12 days, hence the 12 days of christmas!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dreary Day

Today has been a great kind of lazy day! It's cloudy outside, dark, and damp. It was supposed to storm and/or rain today, but neither has happened. Naia and I both had nice long naps today.

Not much is happening in our household right now. We're rather impatiently waiting for any kind of update on Paxton. We were told our paper work is at the NVC, but that EP is taking longer lately, so a December travel date is pretty much out of the question. We'd like any kind of update though. We only have a couple of pictures and a short video of our sweet baby and the last developemental update was mid October. Anything at this point would be nice.

Our neighbor and good friend is 9 months pregnant. Her baby will be born on the 18th. We can't wait to meet their newest little boy Matthew.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beautiful sunny days

Today was a beautiful day here! Sunny, about 65 degrees out. Perfect! We are at my mom's house getting ready for Thanksgiving. This morning my mom, grandma and I made all of our casseroles for tomorrow. Now we're making our traditional mexican cornbread the night before Thanksgiving. I guess tomorrow wraps up our days of thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

TLC

Today I'm thankful for my daughter's school. She goes to a mother's day out program at a local church. It's great! She started going just one a day a week when she was a year old. She's been going ever since! This is her last year to be going. I probably won't send Paxton until pre-school, so we won't be back for at least a couple of years. Tomorrow they are having a Thanksgiving feast. She is SO excited! They are going to dress up as pilgrims and indians and sing songs. Then they get to eat dinner with their families. This year at school they are learning about the continents. They've already talked about Africa and Europe. She knows so much about each of those places it's amazing! At the zoo we would talk about where the animals were from and she'd say every time we'd mention Africa, "we talked about that at my school!"

We are so thankful for this school! When Xavier started kindergarten, he was bored most of the time b/c he'd already learned all that stuff at preschool! I'll post pictures later, if I remember to take the camera!! (I've been really absentminded lately!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Baby Shower!!!

Today we had our baby shower for Paxton! We were so excited! Our church family is so good to us. We got so much neat, fun, and really just awesome gifts from everyone! I am so thankful for all of them. They all mean so much to us. Here are some pics from the shower!


His cake was sooo good. It had
fish and frogs made of frosting on it!
So cute!!!


A new family picture! It's not great, but it is recent!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Missy's Meatballs

Today I'm thankful for Missy's Meatballs. My really good friend Missy makes these and they are awesome! We had meatball subs tonight for dinner. They are perfect for appetizers, dinner, spaghetti, etc. Here's the recipe! Enjoy!!

1 package frozen homestyle meatballs (you can get italian, it just changes the flavor a little)
cook those according to the package directions

mix together in a bowl

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar(we use splenda brown sugar)
1/4 cup chopped onion or 1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. of liquid smoke (we add a little bit more)

pour over meatballs and let simmer in a crockpot until heated thoroughly.

Make these for a Christmas party! They're great!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Again...

Today I am thankful for my mom and dad. (again for my mom) When I was 13 my soon to be stepdad threw me a huge birthday party. Before the party that night, I got a present from my parents. The cutest sweetest red miniture dachshund. Ruby. Oh she was sweet. When I got married and moved out, Ruby stayed with my parents, thus becoming my mom's dog. She complained about Ruby all the time! BUT she also spoiled her rotten. Last summer Ruby started having problems with her back. She started taking steriod shots to help her be able to walk. They put off putting her to sleep b/c the shots were working. A couple of weeks ago, she started having problems again. And the shot didn't work this time. My parents made the decision that if this didn't work, they wouldn't do it again. She was in pain. She couldn't walk. She could barely eat or get out of her bed. So today my parents had her put to sleep. She's been in our family for 13 years. A long time for a little dachshund. She was buried in our backyard next to her "boyfriend". He died several years ago. I am a little sad today b/c of this. I'm so thankful for my parents who took such good care of her. And let her be in peace today. They buried her in the backyard with a brick headstone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Letters

Today I am thankful for love letters. They don't have to be romatic love letters, letters from my kids saying I love you are also perfect! But I love it when my hubby suprises me with sweet notes to pick me up. Especially here lately when I've had mush for brains! When Brent and I were dating we spent a fortune on postage mailing each other letters all the time. We lived 2 1/2 hours away from each other. I have a box full of letters from him. I also have several letters and cards from him from the past 8 years of our marriage. They're priceless to me. Love letters from my children are so sweet. I have a letter from Xavier on fridge that says why he loves me. It's so sweet. So today I am thankful for love letters.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Paxton turns 7 months old today

Today I am thankful for two women that I have never met. One I will meet in a few short weeks. One I may never meet. The latter, chose life for her son. A son that she lovingly gave up for adoption for reasons I may never know. A son that Brent and I love so much it hurts that we're not with him today. The first, has been a mother to our sweet baby. She loves him. She rocks him to sleep. She sleeps with him every night. She takes such wonderful care of our Paxton. These two women, that live on the other side of the world have given me so much. Two women that I will always be thankful for. Happy 7th month birthday sweet baby Paxton. We love you.

This is Paxton and his foster mother.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm thankful for a husband who works so hard for his family.

So I've been an "outage widow" for the past two weeks. Brent works at the nuclear plant here in town. Twice a year, they have outages for repairs, updates, etc. We're in our second one this year. This one lasts 6 weeks. He works 12 hour days when he's on normal shift. During outages they still work 12 hour shifts, but they work six days a week. The past three weeks he's been on days. Last night he started his 3 weeks of nights. Six nights a week for three weeks, with Sunday night as his only night off. This is why we are known as outage widows all over town. We see him only a couple of hours a day before he heads to work. It's actually better when he's on nights because we see him more. When he's on days he leaves the house around 5:30 a.m. and doesn't get home until 6:30 p.m. The kids have after school stuff until 7 two days a week and we have church one night during the week, so we have two nights that we don't have anything going on. The kids go to bed by 8 most every night, so he's only seeing the kids maybe an hour. When he's on nights he sees them from about 3 until 5. I'm so thankful for a husband that works so hard for us. He doesn't complain often. He just gets up, goes to work, and still does stuff to help around the house. Even though I don't work outside our home. He allows me to stay home to raise our children. This is always how I pictured my life would be. Staying home to care for our kids, being the "soccer" mom. I wouldn't change any of it. We have a crazy life! We're always busy. I'm so lucky that I get to get up every morning and go to my dream "job' every day! Even on days when my kids drive me nutso, I'm still so thankful that Brent works hard so I don't have to rush out of the house!
one more thing. GO here....giveaway.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful that Christmas is almost here...

Today it began. I took down all my indoor fall decorations. I threw away the semi rotten mini pumpkins from the dining room table. I put away all the other decorations placed around the house. Outside I put the pumpkins in the burn pile. I took down my big fall wreath from the door. THEN today I started decorating for Christmas!!! So far, I only have my nativity scene put up and a couple of snowmen out and a wreath on my door. My snow village will come later this week as will the two trees that I'm putting up this year. I also bought really neat outdoor trees in pots for my front porch! I got them last year after Christmas so they were really cheap! I can't wait to get them out. ALSO we bought lights for the house, but with Brent being on outage(he works at the nuclear plant) we may not get those up this year. He only has Sundays off right now and he's on nights as of tonight, and that wears him out. So we may not get them up this year.

I am so thankful that Christmas is almost here. I love this time of year. Everyone seems to be a little bit nicer. There's a nice nip in the air. And this year it means we are so close to bringing Paxton home!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday afternoon naps

Today we had a really great nap! I came home and made us a big dinner instead of just sandwiches and then we all took a nap. Xavier even went to sleep which here lately he's just been playing in his room. Sometimes quietly sometimes not. Naia slept great as well! I think we got roughly a two hour nap! I'll never be able to sleep tonight, BUT that's okay! I got to cuddle with my hubby on the couch! So today I am thankful for Sunday afternoon naps. Maybe next week we'll have naps in front of a nice cozy fire!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ladies Night Out

Last night we had Ladies Bunco Night at church. I've been wanting to do one for a long time, but hadn't just made myself put it on the calendar. We finally did it and had a blast!! When we got there I had only played once before about 3 years ago! So needless to say, figuring out how to tell others to play was quite interesting, ALSO I had only a limited voice due to my sickness this week! After we got going, we had a blast! We had 12 other ladies show up, so I sat out so we could keep the even 12. It was still tons of fun! I loved watching the other ladies get so excited about hitting a Bunco!

Today I'm thankful for the ladies that came out to play last night. I'm thankful for their support in our women's ministry and I'm most thankful for their friendship! We had a great time playing, but we also had a great time talking afterwards! So, here's to good friends & good fun!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Lifetime Movies

Today I'm thankful for Lifetime Movies. Sometimes they're dumb. Sometimes they're sappy. Sometimes, they strike a chord. Today while putting away groceries, I started to watch a movie about a little boy that was kidnapped by his non-custodial father and severly abused for 5 years before being found. Sadly, it was based on a true story. There are so many kids that are kidnapped every year, usually by someone they know. I love the movie about the woman who started the Amber Alert Program. Several years ago there was a little girl kidnapped in AR from a ballpark. She's never been found. Nothing has ever been discovered about who or why. Her mother is now an advocate for missing and exploited children. I feel that Lifetime does a great job of creating movies not only for entertainment purposes, but for showing people real life circumstances. Adoption, abortion, teen pregnancy, abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, substance abuse, you name I'm sure there is a movie about it. So today I'm thankful for Lifetime movies. Movies that inspire or just make people aware.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is my mom's birthday! After a long couple of weeks, surgery and spider bites, she's finally able to walk. She's also feeling much better. So today I'm thankful for my mom. She's an awesome mom who loves me and spoils me and my family all the time. She's also a great grandma. My kids will never know the feeling of not getting something they want, when Nona is around! Happy Birthday Mom. We love you!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veteran's Day

So yesterday when I should have been thankful for the Veteran's that served our country, I was so thankful for something that gave my throat a little relief. Today I am going to say thank you to the men and women that serve our country. They do this on a voluntary basis and it is a thankless job. Seth, who is now serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. We love you and miss you and know that you'll be home soon! Billy, even though you're just starting out, we're so proud of you. Thanks to all the other men and women that put their lives on the line and lives on hold to serve for our country.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sickly

I never get sick. It's been a long time since I've really really been sickly. Well this week I'm sick. I've got a cough and a stuffy nose and a sore throat. Friday night I told Brent I thought I might be getting sick. I never thought I would be this sick. I've not run a fever yet that I'm aware of, so that's good, but today I've stayed in my pj's and in bed just watching tv and sucking on ricola lemon sugar free cough drops.

So today I'm thankful for Ricola sugar free cough drops! They keep my throat moist and keep me from coughing for almost an hour at a time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Preparing for baby...

Today I am thankful for my family. When we first made the decision to adopt we/I were a little apprehensive about telling everyone. I never should have been! Everyone in our families has been so excited and can't wait until we bring Paxton home. Today while talking to my mom and grandma, we were talking about our baby shower which is coming up in a couple of weeks. My mom already knows what she's getting us, but apparently the highchair I picked out wasn't "good" enough for my grandma, so she made me pick out a nicer one! AND big bonus, she's going to pay for someone to come clean our house while we're gone to Korea and for a couple of months when we get back! I can't wait. I typically clean my house once a week, but not usually a deep cleaning that our house needs for a baby to be around on the floors. SO we get that as an awesome gift.

Brent's mom is also really excited about the new baby. We were talking last night and she can't wait until he gets here. She's actually moving closer to us and that will be super nice to have family close by.

We've done so many "nesting" things lately it seems surreal that we're going to have a baby in our house soon. Covers on the outlets, guards on the cabinet doors (which i can't work by the way!), getting his room done, planning for a baby shower, it all just seems too good to be true. We're finally going to bring Paxton home! Prayerfully, sooner than later!

So today I am thankful for our families. Families that love and support.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Church

Today I am thankful for my church family. We've been at the same church for nearly 8 years. We visited there twice before Xavier was born. When he was two weeks old we left him in the nursery for the first time there. We were right out of high school, just starting college, new baby, newly married. It was such a blessing to have them there. Our church family was there for us while we were in college. We always had a sitter for night classes. Brent and I both worked while we were in school and if Xavier were sick, we could just call someone and they'd watch him so we wouldn't have to miss class or work. The same thing with Naia as well, except we were out of school when she was born. We've been incredibly blessed by a church family that has loved us unconditionally. They've supported us in prayer and love. Today while at church I was visiting with some ladies and they are so excited for us and can't wait for us to bring Paxton home. One lady even said it's like she's getting another grandbaby! All three of our kids are spoiled rotten by people at church. People that know we don't have family close by(everyone lives about 2 hours away) and they take our kids places and include them all the time.

This church has helped us raise up our children in the ways of the Lord and I know b/c of this they will keep Him in their hearts forever. We are truly blessed by this group of people that the Lord has chosen to be a part of our lives. So today I'm thankful for LFBC and all the people that we have come to love.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Year

Yesterday marked one year since we have been in the adoption process. What a year it has been! Ups, downs, excitement, stress, etc. It has been a great year. It's hard to imagine that in a few short weeks we will be traveling to Korea to pick up our precious baby boy!

Thankful for Saturdays

I am so thankful that one day a week, we don't have to get ready early. We don't have to leave the house on most Saturdays. We certainly don't have to get up at 6:30 and most of the time, oddly the kids stay in bed a little later and let me and/or Brent sleep a little later.

Today was no exception. I slept an hour later than during the week. The kids played quietly until I got up. We made breakfast and now they're playing again and I'm trying to talk myself into getting into the shower. We do have to leave the house today. Xavier has karate testing today for his first stripe on his white belt. So we have to get ready and leave in a little bit. That's okay though b/c it gives me a reason to put off cleaning the house before we have company the next four days!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thankful...

Today I can't choose what I'm thankful for! Right now oddly enough it's between working out at Curves, or a snack size Snickers bar....

So today I guess I'm thankful for beautiful fall days! The weather today in Russellville is absolutely perfect! It's sunny. Not a cloud in sight. The wind is blowing and it's nice and cool! I love it. I love driving around our town and looking at the mountains and seeing all the beautiful fall leaves changing colors. I love when I drive up to the house, I spot the puppies in the yard just sun bathing in the yard. I am very thankful for a beautiful fall day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day 5 & 6

Okay, so I went to bed last night without posting for day 5 of thankfulness.

SO I'm doing it nice and early this morning so I won't put it off too long again!



I am so thankful for our son Xavier. He is inquisitive, and smart and has a great sense of humor. He loves to read. Likes long showers. He is very loving and has a big heart for others. He loves to watch anything about animals. Animal planet and the discovery channel are big at our house. He loves going on vacation. Whether it's just to grandparents' houses or somewhere really good, he loves it. He likes history. He likes to draw. And unlike his sister, he loves to sleep! He loves knowing that he is already almost as tall as me and he's only in 2nd grade. His foot is bigger than mine already and he's always reminding me that it won't be long until he's bigger than I am.


And Now for day 6:

I am thankful for good music. I love music. Preferably, 70's/80's classic rock. 80's mtv rock, love it. I really don't care what genre of music it is, I just like it to be good! I like good christian music, country, rock, etc. So today I am thankful for good music!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I 600 Approval

We got our I600 approval already!!! How quick is that?! God is so good.

Today I'm thankful for the speedy process workers at the Ft. Smith CIS office!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 3

I am so thankful for my sometimes sweet baby girl Naiabean. She likes this nickname when she's in a playful mood but other times not so much! It has been with her since infancy! She is sweet, stubborn, smart. She loves to perform and sing and dance. She loves being the "teacher" to all her kids in her "school" in her bedroom. She likes to "spend" with us every night before going to bed. She tends to sleep in the floor in her doorway. Why? You may ask, well we're not really sure, but here lately it has meant that she's sleeping through the night, so I'm not going to complain just a whole lot!


Today we made applesauce cake and she loved getting to lick the mixer when we were done. She even had a piece with her lunch today.


So today I am thankful for my sweet Naia.


This is Naia getting her hands dirty in the Pumpkin that we carved for Halloween.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

30 Days of Thanks

So I saw this on another blog, and thought it was a great idea. And since I'm a day behind I'm going to do two for today! The idea is to just post a short blurb each day November about something you are thankful for.

I am so thankful that Jesus died on the cross for me. Without Him, I would be nothing.

I am thankful for my husband who loves me uncondtionally through all things!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's out of our hands...

Our I600 is in the mail. We're mailing the last papers to Dillon today as well. For the most part, getting Paxton home is out of our hands. We have to finish our education requirements and will do that in a couple of weeks when we take our E & P class in Tulsa. We're working on getting a will made up and we have to take a first aid/CPR class soon. Other than that, we're done! The paper trail is almost complete!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Legals

Our legals for Paxton came in the mail today! We've got most everything ready, just need to get a couple of papers notarized and we'll be done with our part of the paperwork! Nearly a year after we sent in our first application and we're nearly done with the whole process. Sometimes it seems surreal that this has happened so fast. Pray now for a quick finalization process!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not much is happening in the Efird household! We had a long weekend. We had a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's this weekend that went much longer than anyone should have to endure!

Sunday after church our children's director and I took all the 1st & 2nd graders to the pumpkin patch. I'd post pictures, but that would mean I'd have to get out of this chair, and I'm not really that motivated. SO a picture less post. It was a good day overall and the weather was beautiful. Our church also hosted Biker Sunday yesterday. I had nursery but from what I hear it was pretty cool. After church all the biker's had lunch on us and went for a ride around the Russellville area.

We were also told on Friday that we had legals for Paxton! First step in getting him home. We will get them in the mail tomorrow and should have them back in the mail on Wednesday! So yay for step one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New give away

At Good Happenings! Check them out. Cool stuff plus really good adoption info.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

San Diego

The kids and I went to San Diego this past week to see my brother graduate from Marine boot camp. We arrived late late Wednesday night and came home Saturday evening. We had family day on Thursday where we got to see just glimpses of Billy for the first half of the day. Him running, him standing at attention for an hour, then we got to eat lunch with him and hang out around the base the rest of the day. Most of you know that Billy and I aren't extremely close, but it was nice to see him. To see him grown up. To see him clean and happy and proud of himself. Friday was his graduation. After his graduation he got to leave base. He has a 10 day leave. Billy and I took Xavier, Naia, and his little girl, Kailie, to the San Diego Zoo that afternoon. I went there as a kid when I lived there and remember it. Of course, it was nothing like I remember!, but it was neat to go back there. Saturday we spent flying home. It was a quick, great trip! We're so proud of him! Enjoy the pictures of the trip!



Xavier & Naia in front of the Marine symbol.






Billy on Family Day. He's the one in the very middle. Billy again.



The Galapagos tortoise that I'm sure was there 20 years ago when I lived in San Diego!




Xavier climbing a tree.


A meerkat. Xavier loves watching Meerkat manor on Animal Planet and this was probably his favorite animal to see.



Panda Bears. We've seen them at the Memphis Zoo, but these were way more active! They were eating and running around while we were there! There was a huge line to see them and they didn't let you stay too long, but they were really cool!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Still here...

I promise I didn't just drop of the edge of the earth! The kids and I went to sunny CA for a few days! I'll post lots of details and pics tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update on Paxton

We got some new pictures of Paxton yesterday! I'm really anxious to see what our new written report says about him! Also, Jan said we have a video coming in the mail soon! He's changed so much just in the past couple of weeks! He seems so much "older" now. He's lost his baby looks! And it appears as though he's had a haircut! Enjoy!



Monday, October 13, 2008

You know you want to...

I know all of you waiting moms are just itching to call or email Jan to see if she got any video or pictures of your cutie pies! Come on, you know you want to!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The weekend...

Well it's finally Sunday and our lives can get back to a little normalcy!

Friday night we trucked it to Mena after I picked up the boys from school and dropped off our neighbor. It's a 2 hour drive to Mena. A long drive where not many radio stations pick up! The kids were pretty good though, which was nice. Then another 2 hour drive back home the next day.

When did you start to think of the town that you live in now as home? I was thinking about this when we were driving home from Mena, thinking I would be glad to get home. I lived in Mena all my life until I got married. Then we moved to Russellville. I've lived here for 8 years now. It's our home. I'm not sure when I first starting thinking of Russellville as home and not Mena. I loved growing up in Mena, but I'm not sure I could ever go back to living there. Maybe if something happened to Brent, the kids and I might go back, but I'm honestly just not sure. Does living here just a mere 8 years make this our home? Is it just a sense of feeling "home"? I'm not really sure. I just know that this is our home and it was good to come back to it!

Today we had just another uneventful Sunday. Our pastor is preaching a series on Generations from Psalms 78. We started with the Builders from ages 66 & up. Then came the Boomers 46-65, then today was the Busters 29-44. We will be next week, the Bridgers. 28-18. Each week the generation coming up has prayed for the generation that we were talking about. It's been really neat. I do sort of feel like a "baby" in the church since we fall into the youngest age group! I can't wait to see what he says about us though, and to us. It will be really good!

Tonight was one of the first times in a while that we didn't go out to eat after church. We were just really tired. And the kids and I are leaving for San Diego on Wednesday afternoon to see my brother graduate from Marine bootcamp! We're going to the zoo while we're there!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Okay, so we didn't make it...

We couldn't post every day for a week. We missed a day already, but I am going to say that I was out of town AND just kind of thought that Brent might update since he was home alone for the night!

The kids and I are in Mena for the day. We're getting baby clothes out of storage here and going through stuff and getting the kids' clothes ready for San Diego next week.

It was so fun to go through Xavier's baby clothes and to actually find stuff that Paxton will be able to wear this winter and summer. Sweet baby clothes from when Xavier was the ONLY grandchild! And sweet new baby clothes for Paxton for when he gets here.

So this is it for now. More tomorrow I'm sure!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Brent posting here, beware...

Ladies, this post is for all your husbands. You can still read if you want, but i might bore you with my 'man talk'...



So guys, how many of you got new backgrounds for your computers whenever you got that referral picture? I DID. Pictures have also seemed to be placed at other strategic locations (in my truck, on my desk at work, in my bible, and others...) Funny story of how we finally ended up getting those pictures. We did the online thing to our friendly local 'wally-world'. We get there and their machine was broken, strike one. We didn't have our sd card with us either, so back home we came. We think hey, we can use walgreens online, haha, strike 2 they don't do the online at our walgreens. SO, we finally had to do something to get pictures of the boy to show off to everyone. The sd card traveled back to wally-world, and we now have pictures. Not the best quality of course, those quick things aren't that good quality, but they caught my at a near desperate moment i guess. And like i said, i have pictures everywhere now, and I love it. Its great to be able to finally put a name and face together to this baby boy that we've all been waiting so long for.

The referral call (as I saw it). After one of those 'long days at work', yeah, you know what I am talking about, I got home and was just relaxing by playing some sudoku (yes, in the bathroom, you can laugh, its ok). Yeah, I'm a geek i know. Dania was completely beside herself on the phone, so i immediately knew what was going on. While I kept my macho, cool joe attitude, I was really excited inside. We looked at the paperwork after the phone call and immediately started doing our research. It was a long night, since I needed to study for a test at work the next day (I'm in reactor operator class, fun stuff). I got up extra early the next morning to head to work, leaving the busy work to Dania to run around and do. I think I might have had a few phone calls at work that day, which was nice as updates to what was going on, but i was trying to study hard for a test at noon. And man, it was a hard test too (I passed with a 90%). So, after all that was over, i finally got to call Dania and talk about the little guy, and we had no issues with accepting the referral.

I got home early that day and we were just waiting for our social worker to e-mail us a picture. Seems like it took a long time, I was stalking Dania's email inbox. Whenever we finally got it, much excitement was in the air. Such a good looking little guy. I guess somewhere inside I'm a big softie. I really thought that it would be hard to keep Dania from being overly 'depressed' so to say about not being able to go get him now. I think its the opposite though. I'm ready to go, put me on a plane tomorrow. I don't care that there is a million and four things that have to be done here at the house before we bring Paxton home. I guess in the next few months, I'll have to work on those to keep me busy. We've got the adoption education coming up in a few weeks that we're currently planning on going to also and hoping to meet some of you guys in person.

Well, I guess I'm done with my post here. It's been fun, I'll have to do it again sometime. And ladies, don't be 'blog-hogs', let the husband say something sometime... HAHA! (PS i changed up the music!!!)

p.s. another cool giveaway.....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

All in the phone call...

So most of you are wanting the details of our referral! So here goes. It's nothing different but it is certainly special to us.

Thursday, Oct. 2, was a normal day. I had had a feeling all day that the phone could ring, but I think seriously I'd been having that feeling for a few months at that point! It was my car pool day so I took the boys to school and then Naia to school. Went and worked out that morning and then came home to do laundry. Thursday is my second laundry day of the week! Brent went to work as usual. And oddly, we had lunch together. At Italian Gardens, where I don't usually eat b/c they don't have any whole wheat noodles! He usually gets home about 4/5 but today he got home at 3:30. Just as we were coming in from picking up kids from school and dropping off our neighbor. I was sitting on the bed when the phone rang. I answered it and it was our social worker, Ed.

He asked if I had a few mintues that he had somethings to talk to me about. I told him I had all the time he needed. At this point, I was running through the house looking for Brent. Who could not be found! I only half listened to Ed as he was telling me about a baby boy born on April 19th. Finally I found Brent. He'd been in the bathroom! I pointed to the phone and was smiling and still trying to listen to Ed! Finally I asked Ed if he could go back over everything again so Brent could hear, so I put him on speaker phone and he went back over everything about this baby boy. He is 5 1/2 months old, developing right where he's supposed to be. He can hold up his head, roll from side to side, put weight on his feet, etc. So exciting. So we tell him, yes we'd like to see his file and take the information for our doctor's to look at. So we get the file and on Friday morning I take the file to our doctor who is also an adoptive parent, except that he's out of town until Monday! So I go ahead and take it to one of our friends that's also a doctor. He looked at it and said everything looked great and that he didn't have any concerns about anything on there! We knew it was a go from there!

We called Ed back and asked to see a picture before we got the file to say yes for sure. Ed emailed us his picture about 2 hours later. We were officially in love. He was precious. At this point we hadn't told the kids, and we hadn't picked a name b/c our original name, Max, didn't really go with Sol, his Korean name. We went ahead and told the kids. They weren't nearly as excited as I thought they'd be! Naia even said a little while after, "I'm just not really sure if I'm going to like this baby or not."

We finally decided on the name Paxton from our list and used Sol as his middle name. THEN we started calling our families! I called my mom and when I told her we were having a baby, she asked if I were pregnant! After she realized I was talking about a baby from Korea, she was really excited, but disappointed b/c she was on her way to the lake and wouldn't be able to see a picture until Sunday afternoon! Brent didn't get to tell his mom immediately b/c she was in the car on the way home from work. I called our neighbor and great friend and told her and she was so excited for us! She's expecting a little boy in December so we know that our boys will grow up being good friends!

Saturday I was going on a Ladies trip with our church. Me and several "older" ladies. One of our very close friends was going and I couldn't wait to show her our picture and tell her the news. But of course, she was the last one to arrive! I rushed her into the office where all my stuff was and showed her the picture and she was so excited for us! Tears and everything. So the 1 1/2 hour trip to Little Rock, was spent talking about Paxton, when he'd be home, and baby showers!

Sunday at church was also exciting! We got to share with people that had been praying for us and that have helped us and supported us through the last 8 years of college, kids, and everything in between! So it was a weekend of celebrating! We have all the paperwork ready to be turned back in to Dillon today. It's signed and ready to go. And in 3-4 months we can bring our baby home!

As part of our 1 post a day for a week, we'll post tomorrow about the process and what happens next for everyone not familiar with the Korea process!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Official Paperwork

We got our official referral paperwork today! So exciting! When the fed ex "stork" pulled up this afternoon I took a picture of the truck coming into the driveway. Then I took his picture as he walked down the sidewalk in front of the house. He wanted to know what was in that package that was so exciting! So I told him it was paperwork for our new baby in Korea. He thought that was pretty cool that he got to deliver them!

We got everything notarized today. Thank goodness that we have a friend that will do it for us for free! That was a lot of notarizing today! Now we just have to finish the I864 and the I864 A. Then we'll be ready to send it back off tomorrow! Another week closer to bringing home our sweet baby boy!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sometimes things sneak up on you...

Like a referral!

With great joy in our hearts, we introduce you to:


Paxton Sol Efird
April 19th, 2008


I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
1 Samuel 1:27



Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nothing like a good movie...

So today I had a little down time. House was clean for bible study group tonight, nothing else to do, etc...SO i watched a movie I had DVR'd. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Great movie. I love it! Made me forget about the waiting. And it's hilarious! It has one of my favorite songs in it...You're So Vain. Love it.

The kids both had school today so the house was reletively quite. Just me and the pups! I had a really good workout today too. It's not been going to great, working out. I'm usually just worn out when I'm done, but today I felt great. Brent and I got to have lunch together as well, which never happens! And the biggest bonus of all, the weather has been beautiful! A perfect 75 degrees all day. Slight breeze. Perfect day.

Hope everyone is having a great day!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Strength Will Rise

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God The everlasting God
You do not faint You won't grow weary
Our God, You reign forever Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God The everlasting God
You do not faint You won't grow weary
You're the defender of the weak You comfort those in need You lift us up on wings like eagles

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You Gotta Have Friends...

I've never been one to have close girlfriends. In high school most girls really got on my nerves. I was never really part of the girly cliques. Even as a college student, I pretty much stayed to my self. I had other things to worry about, a baby, a job, classes, husband, etc. Now as an adult, two kids and another on the way, I'm starting to have real adult girl friends. Friends that I can call and just talk to, or have over, or drop kids off at their houses, etc. Real friends. Christian friends. Good moms. Nice people. Praying friends. Godly women that I can trust and that I'm growing to love. God has blessed me at a time when I really needed it. I've needed these women during the past few months. God is so good.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Free Giveaway...

Hey, there's this site that I read, Pho For Five, that has really good adoption info, plus, she's started doing free giveaways about once a week or so. I get an extra comment for linking them, SO here it is! Check it out though, it's a good site. I don't always agree with what she writes about or her opinions, but that's okay! She still does have a really good knowledge of adoption issues.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Puppy Love

We have two dogs. Skillet is a long haired black & tan miniature dachshund and Lulu is a short haired reb boar miniature dachshund. At this time last year we didn't have Lulu. We had our beloved Sassy. A yorkie. With floppy ears that we rescued from a puppy mill. We loved her. She was the first pet that we bought together as a family. She disappeared last year right before Thanksgiving. It was a sad sad time for us. I still tear up when I think about her. She was the spunkiest and sassiest of all dogs! We got Skillet as a puppy and he and Sassy were the best of friends. He'd never been without her until she disappeared. After her disappearance, he got very depressed and territorial, which is completely unlike him. So 5 months later, we brought home Lulu. Now she has never been without Skillet. Where one is, the other is close by.

Last night before our Bible study started I was getting some last minute cleaning done. Brent had taken the kids to karate and the house was silent. Except for Skillet out on the front porch howling at something. Finally it go so bad, that I went out there and called him to come him, then I called for Lulu b/c she wasn't right there with him, but she didn't come. I immediately knew that she had probably gotten locked in the garage, b/c she isn't tall enough to set off the sensor and can get in at the last minute! As soon as Skillet got into the house, he raced for the door leading to the garage. He knew she was in there. I opened the door and he tumbled out to find his beloved. How sweet is that? They are so sweet together. I think they are soul mates!


I didn't have a picture of them together, but aren't they sweet?!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Staff Leadership Conference

I just went to a Making It Work leadership conference with the other staff members of our church. Absolutely amazing. We heard Dr. David Platt speak. Awesome. He preached on Romans and of Paul's ministry there. He had the first 8 chapters of Romans memorized and preached like no other. Very very awesome time. He challenged us to not be doing church, but to BE the church. I'm tired of settling. I want awesome not just good. The ladies ministry in our church has lacked to say the least the past couple of years, but this year, it's going to be awesome. I can't wait to see what God has in store for the women of our church this year. We've already gotten off to a good start with the bible studies, but we have several other things in the works for serving the community and reaching each other and ministering to other women in our community! So just keep looking for the news on what God is doing in this ministry that has captured my heart!

Naia has company today. Our neighbor went to our boys' school today to help out with the vision and hearing screening and I'm keeping Caleb so she could go. They're playing so good together. We went to the park this morning for a little bit. Then we came home and made homemade playdough which is probably one of Naia's favorite activities to do. Now they're just playing with their new pink & green playdough and being so incredibly good!

Yesterday I had one of those heart stopping moments in the adoption world. I was waiting for Naia to get dropped off from school and my cell phone rang and the number was one that I didn't recognize. Let me rephrase that, it was a number with an area code that I didn't recognize! And that never ever happens on my cell phone! Ever. Needless to say, I got really excited, but alas it was just Naia's school calling b/c the person picking her up that day wasn't on the okayed list! Man, I really thought it'd be good news from Dillon! That's okay though! Really. Although I wouldn't mind another heart stopping moment this week!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Life of a Stay at Home Mom

Whoever says that staying home with your kids isn't "real" work, is sadly mistaken! School has started and we are going at full speed right now. It seems that after the Labor Day weekend, that everything falls into the fall routine. We started with the kids' after school activities last week and new Bible studies started as well. Xavier is taking karate. So far he's really liking it. We're making him make a one year committment to it. He did soccer two years ago and then part of last year. He finally decided that he didn't really enjoy it any more. That was fine with us! We didn't enjoy it either. He played Upward basketball last year and loved it. But it only takes up about 8 weeks in the winter and he wanted and needed something a little extra to do during most of the school year. So we've started this. It's really neat. It's christian based and he's learning Japanese!

Naia is becoming a ballerina! She started dance classes last week. Whether or not she ever becomes a skilled ballerina, she looks adorable in the outfit! Too cute! She did gymnastics last year, but it really didn't amount to much more than her running around turning flips for 45 minutes. So we're trying something else this year. So far she's loving it, if for nothing else than the outfit!

I started a new bible study at our house last week. We're doing a study by Leslie Parrott called You Matter More Than You Think. Our first session was last week. It went really good. After all the storms here last week b/c of Gustav, we only had 2 people show up, but this week is looking very promising. During the study we're supposed to journal about things, and I'm going to use the blog for this purpose, so if I bore you with the small details of our daily lives, I apologize!

Nothing has happened on the adoption front. We've not heard anything, nor has anyone else in a few weeks. Right now we're pretty disappointed. Not necessarily b/c we don't have a referral yet, but b/c there seems to be no activity right now in the referral department. We shall continue to wait though. And we have plenty on our plates to keep us busy in the meantime! Also, since we're obviously not going to travel in the next 4 months, Brent will get to work full outage at the plant and that will help in the finance department!

Football season has started. yay.......I actually don't mind it too much. I just get tired of watching several games on Sunday plus Monday nights, plus another week night. It just gets to be too much. But it does mean that fall is here and for that I'm happy! (Brent just informed me that there will now be not 1 but 2 Monday night games......!)

I guess this doesn't really have to do too much with being a stay at home mom, so I'm going to add just a little bit more.....
Naia started back to school last week. She goes 3 days a week now to a mother's day out program at a local church. She loves it. I love it. I used to use those days to have mommy time, but this year, since I know we will eventually have a baby, I'm using my time working at Xavier's school volunteering in his classroom. I worked there 2 days last week. On my 3rd day, it was grocery day. This week, I have a conference to attend with the other staff members at church and on Wednesday I'm sitting for a neighbor so she can volunteer at the boys' school for the day. It's a busy time for us, but if we're not busy we're usually bored, so I guess it works out well!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Today is the day...

that the Lord has made. I'm going to be glad no matter what happens!


Today after working out, in the few minutes of peace and quiet in my car on the way home, that song came to my mind. Naia was what we could call difficult most of the morning. Xavier was throwing a fit while I was walking out the door, b/c he had real homework for the first time this year. I got my feelings hurt about something really dumb that's too dumb to even mention. But while enjoying the quietness I realized that it doesn't matter what happens. My God is there. He's always there. He's not leaving me. I'm going to be glad.


Now that may all change tomorrow if Naia's being a stinker again!, but for right now, I'm going to be glad and rejoice that my Father in heaven loves me.


Also, I don't know why I didn't post this picture in the post about my brother, but it's a picture of us the day he began his life over again. The day I took him to rehab. I haven't heard back from him yet, but I have hope that I will again. For those of you that are praying for him, thank you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Grocery Shopping with a 4 year old....

Today is my last Friday grocery shopping with Naia for awhile. Kind of sad. I have really loved taking my kids with me to shop for our groceries. I love to teach them about the foods we eat, those that we don't eat, etc... Today while Naia and I were in the store, I wouldn't let her have brownies in a box, b/c I told her we didn't need junk food like that in the house. I should have let her have them! They would have gone well with all the cookies we bought today! I literally bought four different kinds of cookies for our house! She was so good today, which is not always the case. I know people always say not to grocery shop when you're hungry b/c you'll buy stuff that you don't need. I think the same goes for a preschooler! She was missing snack b/c of the shopping and the longer we were in there, the more snack foods she wanted and funny enough got!

After a dry week on the Dillon forum, we finally had some great news! Another referral! We haven't moved up the list in a while, but we're handling it okay for now! I had a funny thought about this summer today. Early in the summer I started praying for patience with my kids. Not that I'm a grouch all the time or anything, but I have my moments. So I started to pray specifically for patience when dealing with my babies.(who are 71/2 and 4) I think when I did that God included all of our children. Even our baby in Korea that we don't even know yet! It's definitely teaching more about patience in our children than anything else has! So I'm "patiently" waiting on God's timing concerning our new baby. I can't do anything else but that. There's nothing I can do to change His timing.


And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:23

Monday, August 18, 2008

Psalm 120:1

I love my brother. We haven't always had the best of relationships. When he was 12 his best friend committed suicide. That was 11 years ago. He's had problems with drugs and alcohol ever since. He went into rehab in the spring. I was the one to take him and sign him in. It was his decision to go. It was easily the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life. After that day I didn't speak to him again until he was leaving rehab against our families wishes. And then after that once before he decided to join the Marines. I wrote him a letter in the Marines last week, not expecting to hear anything back. He never wrote back while he was in rehab. I was reading a book not long ago (a fictional book) about a brother and sister and pretty much their relationship. The sister would write letters to the brother not ever hearing a response in over 12 years. Her husband supported her writing him, but told her when she got discouraged, "You don't write him b/c you expect an answer. You write him to let him know that you still love him." Now I see my brother occassionally, so we've not been apart 12 years or anything like that, but I would love to have something from him that shows he at least acknowledges me as his sister. Honestly I would take the recognition of distant family member if that's all I could get.

I've prayed extensively for my brother. For his problems, for his health, for his soul, for our relationship, etc. I know that all things happen when God wants them to so I'm by no means questioning what He's done. I have friends that pray for him. A friend that is a prayer warrior tells me constantly that she is praying for him. I know that he is surrounded in prayer, and right now, that's the best and really only thing I can do for him. Last week when the kids and I wrote him, it was to tell him we loved him. That we were proud of him and that we were constantly praying for him. While I prayed for him, I also prayed for myself that I would love to get some kind of response. Anything. Today when I checked the mail I got not only one letter, but two! Imagine my sorrow when I read them that he is injured. He has a broken ankle and is having to go through physical therapy so he doesn't have to change platoons. I'm beyond grateful that he wrote. Now I know, that my parents are out of the country and that I'm the only person left for him to write to, BUT he did choose to write me! Like I said, I'll take what I can get!

At a time when I really needed, the Lord has heard my cries, and answered my prayers. For that, I'm humbled and feel loved that He would do something so small for me. I'm reminded of the verse that says exactly those things, Psalm 120:1 "In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and He answered me."

Thank you Lord for loving me. Thank you for my brother. Lord I lift him up to You. Heal him Lord. Bless him. Keep watch over him.

Lord I lift my friend to you. Ive done all that i know to do, I lift my friend to you. Complicated circumstances have clouded his view, And Lord I lift my friend up to you. I fear that I wont have the words, that he needs to hear, I pray for your wisdom oh God, and a heart that's sincere. And Lord I lift my friend up to you. Lord I lift my friend to you, my best friend in the world, I know he means much more to you, I want so much to help him, but this is something he has to do, And Lord I lift my friend up to you 'Cause there's a way that seems so right to him, But you know where that leads, He's becoming a puppet of the world, Too blind to see the strings, And Lord I lift my friend up to you. My friend up to you.
Lord I lift my friend to you. Ive done all that i know to do, I lift my friend to you

Monday, August 11, 2008

Last Minute Details...

We are working on the last few things of summer before school starts next Monday. The kids both do extracurricular activities that have to be scheduled and organized. Thankfully, I'm not too late to sign them up for above mentioned activities! Naia's going to take dance/ballet this year and Xavier is going to take karate. We also have to get Naia's four year old shots next week. Not fun. The last time she had shots it was awful and that was over 2 years ago.

There is also tons about to start at church in September. I can't wait! Two new women's bible studies. One a Beth Moore study about the life of Paul called To Live is Christ. It should be really good. And another called You Matter More Than You Think by Dr. Leslie Parrott. We're hosting this one at our home and I really can't wait to start it. I love doing in home bible studies. We don't do them very often in our church so it will be nice to get going on that! On another note about church, I've decide not to teach our Jr. High SS class anymore. It's just time to let someone else take over there. I'm going to teach our 1 year old class this year. It worked out really well b/c we'll be in there for a while anyways when our new baby gets here b/c we won't leave them in the nursery for a good while. SO I might as well serve a purpose back there while I sit and play with our baby! It will be exciting b/c I've never worked with the babies classes before. I've always done youth! Hopefully there won't be near the backtalk!

I love it when school starts. It gets up back into a routine that we really thrive in! Things in the summer get too sluggish for us! We all love the routine of knowing what's going to happen during the week! One more week of sleeping late though! I think that'll be the hardest thing for me!





John Samuel & Xavier at Circus at school last year. Too cute. We live right behind them and there's a creek between our houses. The boys have played together most of the summer building what both mother's hope to be a lifelong friendship!


Kailie & Naia at Naia's birthday party! They're cousins and absolutely love each other.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's in a Name?

We are having the hardest time figuring out a name for the baby. We had names all ready to go with both of the other kids. We have pretty interesting ways of choosing their names so I'm going to share. Yesterday the kids and I were working on cleaning out our guest room closet where the baby will sleep eventually and we ended up going through their tub of baby things that I've saved that were really precious to me. They love hearing those pieces of clothing or shoes or blankets and it brings back such sweet memories for me.

Xavier Daniel- Somehow, we just always knew that Xavier would be his first name. We didn't tell anyone his name until he was born, but we had known for months that we would have Xavier. As for his middle name, we really couldn't decide. We wanted it to be significant, since Xavier didn't really have a special memory for us, we just liked it. He was the first grandson in either of our families and we didn't want to upset someone on either side(and trust me it would have been an issue with either of our families) by naming him after just Brent's family or my family. SO we rock paper scissored it and decided to name him after Brent Daniel. So that's how our son became Xavier Daniel.

Naia Linnet- Naia's name came a little more difficult to us. We had originally picked out her name to be Peyton. Not after anyone in particular, but Brent really does like the Colts! And that was going to be her name Peyton. We had a couple of middle names in mind and weren't really worried about that at all. On the way to our last ultrasound for Naia at about 32 weeks or so, I had an emotional breakdown about her name! We had a 20 mintue drive to the dr.'s office and I just broke down. I couldn't name my daughter after a football player! I don't know what came over me, but I was in tears and Brent said, Dania we don't have to name her that. We'll find something else! So when we got home we made up new rules for looking. All new names. Nothing from the old lists could be on the new list. We ended up finding Naia and it just fit. We couldn't have picked a more perfect name for her! Linnet is named after me and my mom.

Xavier means new house. Which is kind of funny b/c the day I went into labor with Xavier we moved into a new house!

Naia means flowing. It's Greek.

Okay so with all of that, here are the "rules" that we use(d) to pick out our kids' names.
1. You can't know a person or have known a person with the name.
2. No nickname for the name. Neither one of us are fond of nicknames.
3. No name that's in the top 100 or so maybe even top 500 baby names for the year he or she is born.

I think that's it! Now if only we could find a name for baby number 3! We love all the names that we've seen from others, but I think our creative juices have stopped flowing! Everything we like is either too cutesy or too popular or someone famous keeps naming their kids that!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back to School already

I bought school supplies for Xavier today. I know, those of you that know "Dania in Real Life" that this is totally out of character for me to buy something so early before actually needing it! I'm the world's greatest procrastinator! It was a little sad buying the supplies though. This is his last year in the Primary school. Next year he'll move over to the elementary school and Naia will start at the Primary school. Also, he had to have spiral notebooks for this year. That seems like such a big kid thing to need! I can't believe he's going to be in 2nd grade.

Kindergarten Graduation May 2007




Father's Day June 2008(notice the difference in his smiles!!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just another manic Monday

Not just Monday though!

We've had a crazy summer so far. Trips to Branson, trips to Mena, trips to Springdale. I think we've finally made the rounds this summer with the kids to see grandparents. Last weekend we went to Branson. We bought season passes to SDC so we're really trying to put them to good use! We also went to the Titanic museum while we were there. Very neat. Not something we'll do again, but it was neat to see once. Xavier has been begging us to take him there. He has a huge interest in the Titanic story. He has read several books and watched several documentaries on it. Pretty cool for a soon to be 2nd grader.

We're moving up pretty quickly on the wait list. On the unofficial list we're about #5. COME ON RERRALS!!! We are excited about what's going on in the adoption world. A friend of ours has moved up to the #1 spot for a baby from Vietnam. If they get their referral before September they will still get to go and travel to pick up their baby. Very exciting for them. And several fellow bloggers from the Dillon forum have gotten referrals recently. Also very exciting! So again, keep the referrals coming!

Monday, June 30, 2008

How I Met My Husband?

I got this from a fellow blogger's site. I thought it was neat so here goes!

Brent and I actually met when we were about 12-13 years old. We met at a band camp here in Russellville, AR. We were friends from that time on. In the meantime we both dated other people like teenagers do, but remained really good friends. We lived about 2 1/2 hours away from each other, so we really only saw each other at band events throughout the school year. At one point I actually dated one of his good friends! Our senior year in high school we met up again at yet another band event. We spent the whole day talking and pretty much ignoring everyone else there. We began dating shortly after that. We got married right after high school graduation and moved to Russellville to attend college where we had originally met all those years ago! Next week will celebrate 8 years together!

You can go back to fellow blogger's site and enter your story as well as read others' stories!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hiking

We had a family reunion this weekend. After it was over we went on a hike with Brent's brother and his family. Brent and Aaron grew up in the area and wanted to show us all a waterfall on the hike. So off we went. Brent said it wasn't far, but the hike guide said it was a two mile hike. It was so much fun. Now I'm not really an outdoorsy type of gal, but we did have a great hike. It was beautiful. We stopped at a big creek with lots of rocks and a great place for the kids to play and took some great family photos. (I'll try to post them, but I'm not sure if it'll work or not. I have to steal them from my facebook.) Then we went and saw a waterfall, and sadly I don't have a picture on here of that, but it was pretty!





This week is VBS at church. Aloha, Outrigger Island! We had fun with all the decorations this year. It's a fun tropical theme. The kids are having a great time. Chloe our neice that's Xavier's age is staying with us for the week to go with him. They're having a great time playing together during the day. Xavier is the only boy in our family, so he's stuck with girls most of the time. He doesn't ever mind though!

Xavier, Kynnadee, Chole, Karter, Naia









Chole & Xavier hunting for crawdads.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Patience

Lately I've been praying for patience concerning our kids. It's summer time here and we're home most of the day every day. We can get a little stir crazy. I've been trying to not get angry over little things. We've been using timeout with Naia per our adoption agencies rules for new adopted children. We don't want her to think that we treat her and the new baby any differently, so we've cut back(and I think I make it sound like a lot, but it's not, I Promise!!!!) on spanking and only using it as a very last resort. Every night, when the house is quiet I start to pray. I pray that I will have patience with my kids. That I won't overreact to little things. That they are just kids. That I have to teach them to do things the correct way, the way that I want them done. I can't just expect them to know exactly what I want. I know that people say when you pray for patience that God's going to send really annoying people for you to practice with! I've really been expecting the kids to overly drive me nutty, but amazingly they haven't been too bad! It's been a pretty good week so far!

I just finished watching an Adoption Story. I think my eyes stayed teared up the entire show! I can't believe that will be us in (keep your fingers and toes crossed) less that 8 months. We will be the ones that are struggling with a baby that doesn't know us from Adam, that wants someone that knows exactly what he wants. That will be us, exhausted, exhilarated, and completely stressed from being on a plan for 14 hours or more! (I'm not real big on flying...)
I can't wait!!!