Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yep; I bawled...

Katie got one of my favorite movies from Santa this Christmas and for the first time I can remember I burst into tears at this part of the movie:



Aileen Quinn makes a great Annie, no doubt, but this young lady, Charity Farrell, has a fantastic voice too! Thank you, Charity, for the permission to post this on my blog!

So what do YOU do when...

the cutest little girl you know...


picks out some super cute fabric at the fabric store (and on clearance to boot!)...




and positively begs to have something special made out of it?



Well I don't know what YOU do, but I proceeded to borrow my mom's sewing machine...




Search for an appropriate pattern to work with for my first venture in sewing for real...



Muddle my way through the for dummies version of something I doubt I could ever understand if it were NOT for dummies...

But then get in a groove and TOTALLY LOVE making a really cute skirt and decide partway through to make a matching purse with the left over fabric ...



Get ALMOST done with the skirt - just have to finish the waistband, then it's on to the purse -



And then have to call Mom and Dad for help because I have somehow managed to BREAK THE SEWING MACHINE!



Seriously.




One day I hope to be able to post a picture of Katie modeling her cute little skirt and purse but for now...it's almost done.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What a transition!

From this:


To this:



in less than an hour. He's one handsome kid, isn't he? And growing faster everyday.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

So you don't get enough of my inane ramblings on this blog?

Have I got a deal for you!
[bad pun...read on to find out why.]

A post I originally saw on the TeamHuerta blog back in August got me thinking. Then my position was eliminited due to budget reasons and I became a stay at home mom. Then I started toying around with coupons and budgets and the like. Naturally, I started reading the coupon and frugal living blogs like crazy. And now I have issued a challenge to myself for 2009 to see just how well I can do at this new game and I have started a new blog to chronicle that journey while this one will still focus on my family and our adoption and all that fun stuff. Care to join me? Check out the new blog HERE. Want to challenge yourself too? I'd love to hear about it...you've got 3 days to get ready!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And now for the test...

Tonight is the Cooper's Annual Christmas Eve Open House at my parents' house. Tonight we'll see if any of the food I made yesterday (and the rest of the food that I still have to make today!) is actually edible.


Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What a lo-o-o-ng day...

I'm breaking out of my mold! Believe it or not, I have spent the entire day cooking! Yes, me, the one known for my entire adult life as one who avoids the kitchen at all costs; me, the one who is barely capable of following directions on a box in order to cook dinner; me, the one who created an entire cookbook for people who only occasionally cook to use as a fundraiser for our adoption.


I made miniature bacon quiches,

pigs in blankets (in this particular case, however, I think the pigs are in sleeping bags...),

pepperoni and mozzarella puffs, and

brownies.

I also made mini spinach quiches and spinach and parmesan puffs but they somehow escaped being photographed (poorly) by my camera phone for proof for the naysayers.

So, it's true, the wonders never cease. As it turns out, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Whether or not all these creations are actually edible remains to be seen.



Monday, December 22, 2008

I'll Be Home For Christmas...

Admit it, you smiled. You saw the picture and you smiled. I don't know how it could not make you smile, but maybe it's just me. See, this is my ornament from last year (remember?) Last year when we were just taking our first steps on this adoption journey. Last year when, once I had composed myself, I noted the three "gifts" (which were immediately symbolic of my children) in the bag and wondered about it aloud...Mom said she couldn't find one with four and figured three would have to do.

This year, as I pulled this ornament out to sit it on the shelf near the tree -- we'll put it on the tree when everyone's home together -- I couldn't help but smile thinking three's perfect.

God willing, we'll have completed our adoption and will all be home together for Christmas next year, but for now...

"I'll be home for Christmas...if only in my dreams..."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY TO ME!!!

Wow ~ I've been at this blogging thing for a year?! Time flies in the paperchase! Thanks for keeping up with us! Here's some funshine for you!

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Monday, December 15, 2008

These are the things to remember!

We have one of those outdoor light up nativity scenes that we set up each year outside our house. Even when I'm in a hurry to get inside I can't help but smile (and be thankful) when Katie stops, kneels before the baby Jesus with her eyes closed and her hands folded and says a prayer. She started it completely spontaneously when she was just old enough to walk herself from the car to the door and now it's become her routine. She stops and prays, then she picks up the baby Jesus and kisses Him, kisses and hugs Mary and Joseph, and greets each of the three wise men before proceeding into the house.

It was adorable, if a little surprising at first, when she was a toddler and it's heartwarming and still precious now that she's a Kindergartener. These are Christmas memories. One of many I hope to never forget. Have any Christmas memories of your own you'd like to share?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We're still here...

In case you were wondering about us, we are still here -- just working towards completion of the amended homestudy. We have signed and returned the forms for our updated background clearances (our others have expired) to our Social Worker and will wait patiently to see what is needed of us next. I can't help but wonder what else will have to be re-done because it has expired in the time that it takes us to make the necessary changes to our dossier. I'm pretty sure we'll have to get our USCIS fingerprints redone soon...I better check on that to see when they expire.

In the meantime, I am in a state of constant search for resources and information on Down syndrome. At the kids' recent well kids checkup, I spoke to our pediatrician about the adoption to try to get some insight from her. As it turns out, she was really more concerned about what region of Colombia we will travel to (which we don't know yet) because some regions will require special immunizations. She gave me information about where to go to get those shots but really didn't give me any information about Down syndrome at all -- not even so much as whether the practice has experience with children with Ds -- so I was a little disappointed with that but the more I think about it I have decided that maybe it was because Down syndrome wasn't as much of source of concern for her as the potential for the illnesses common to the regions of Colombia that she spoke about? That would be a positive thing, I think. Either way, I still wanted them to be aware of the new patient that would be coming to their practice, God willing, within the next year sometime.

Through it all it seems that God is raising up a network of support around us that only He could orchestrate: a friend who is a Speech Therapist who has given us some guidance in that direction; a friend of a friend in a graduate program for Occupational Therapy who has offered to provide us information and direction in that area; and one after another of our family members and friends who have offered prayers, love and encouragement in so many different ways. We are so grateful for you all. God is good and we are so blessed. We love you!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A quote to remember from another great book...

What would happen, they conjectured, if they simply went on assuming their children would do everything. Perhaps not quickly. Perhaps not by the book. But what if they simply erased those growth and development charts, with their precise, constricting points and curves? What if they kept their expectations but erased the time line? What harm could it do? Why not try?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

WOW -- this is surreal!


DON'T FORGET TO SCROLL DOWN AND SHUT OFF THE BACKGROUND MUSIC TO WATCH THE YOU TUBE VIDEO.


I finally decided after a bazillion blogs mentioned Sitemeter to add it to my blog. Since I have I have been able to see the generalized locations of the people who link to my blog, either intentionally or by accident, and it's pretty cool! (I still haven't been able to figure out how Renee does her "You found my blog how?!" posts, though...)

It's surreal because there have been hits on my blog from ALL OVER THE WORLD! I'm sure the majority of them are "accidental" hits, meaning they had no interest in my blog at all and just click right on through to someplace else, but it's still neat. Besides the international clicks, I am thinking there could be hits from almost every state in the US.

So, whether you're here by accident or on purpose, WELCOME! Peace and blessings to you and your family! And while you're surfing the truly WORLD WIDE Web today, consider doing something really great for some kids that need it! Check out the Angel Tree at Reece's Rainbow, or Sponsor an Orphan through our agency, Children's Hope, or do your own search on how to offer help to those in the world who need it most.