Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good Day Sunshine...

~ I need to laugh ~

~ and when the sun is out ~

~ I've got something I can laugh about! ~

(Gotta love the Beatles!)

The garden is providing quite a diversion as we wait the 3-5 months for ICBF to review and, God willing, approve our dossier. I've got the plan sketched out for the way the backyard garden is going to be planted this fall...

Don't the blooms on my kumquat tree look per-ty?

The plan is for my little Kumquat, along with the Ruby Red Grapefruit and Key Lime trees already planted in the backyard, to be joined by tropics-hardy Peach and Plum trees. We have our tropics-hardy blueberries already producing back there and with the revamping of our vegetable garden, complete with raised beds our backyard should be as productive as it will be pretty. And there's a perfect little nook just BEGGING for a couple of hammocks to boot! Now if we could just get Baby K here to enjoy it all with us!

Friday, May 8, 2009

What's That? and the Sunflower

A couple of pictures for you...and a cry for help. I need help identifying something that is starting to grow in my garden. And before you even ask -- Yes, I planted everything in my garden...mostly transplanting baby plants grown from seed. Even still I have something growing that I have NO IDEA what it is. It has leaves like the squash, blooms like the cucumbers, hairy vines like the watermelon and round hairy fruit (or whatever?) growing...

Okay, so HELP!?!?!?!?... Anyone??...any ideas?...At all???

And then there's the sunflower. This picture was taken two days ago. Today, it's taller than Kyle and still getting ready to bloom. I can't wait to see the pretty sunny head on that beauty!

Breaking My Own Rules...

For as long as I can remember I have had a canned response to any mention of running or jogging whatsoever: "Me? No. Not unless something very fast, large, and scary is chasing me at a very high rate of speed. Thanks anyway."

And then came the epiphany. Or something. I wish I could explain the hows and the whys of the big change of viewpoint but really I'm not sure what it was. Could've been that my birthday is coming up in 10 weeks...but it's just 34, nothing earth shattering there. I've never been one to subscribe to the "Birthday Blues" theory of life. I mean, I want to live to be 100, God willing, so what sense would it make to get depressed over a birthday? In fact, quite the contrary, I love my birthday. I have always taken the day off work because, well, you SHOULD! It's a day to celebrate and relax and be thankful for another year. But I digress...

Anyway, it could've been that, but I don't think so. It could've been my sister and brother-in-law's masochistic diet and exercise program making me feel like a sloth but I don't...well, actually, now that I think about it maybe that was it since they are the ones who introduced me to this program, but I'm getting to that. It could have been a lot of things but whatever it is I have a new response in the making.

I went out and bought a new pair of fancy schmancy running shoes (my first pair of closed toed shoes in I-can't-tell-you-how-long) and I have started a running program designed for lazy janes like me. What is it? The The Couch to 5K Running Plan. I wasn't going to put it out there for all of blogland to read, but I decided I needed to do it to keep myself honest. The financial outlay of epic proportions (for the shoes, that really weren't THAT much but $50 is a lot to a cheapskate like me) is a good start for motivation but as these workouts get tougher I may be tempted to slack...but not if there's a chance I'll have to 'fess up later. My goal is to be able to run a 5k by my birthday. It's a 9 week program; I have 10 weeks left to get it done. And - don't tell anyone, alright, but I am actually REALLY enjoying it!

By the way -- I'm only going into week two...anyone care to join me?

Ok, I'll admit it...

Despite my best efforts to eat healthy and institute healthy habits for my kids, I have quite an addiction to Diet Mt. Dew. The kids don't drink sodas but me -- gotta have it. This goes wa-a-ay back. My high school Government teacher used to crack jokes about my "urine sample" in my little go-cup on my desk. (Thankfully, though, he didn't make me get rid of it. It was first hour, for crying out loud, I think he understood the finer points of caffeine addiction himself.) It was the regular Dew back then; in recent years, however, I've switched alliances to the Diet variety.

During our trip to el Bodegon last week, my friend pointed out Colombiana la nuestra as being way more readily available during our upcoming trip than my typical "of choice". Gotta tell ya: love, love, LOVE it. A little sweeter than I expected but yummy nonetheless. I even let the kids taste it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our Trip to el Bodegon

My friend took us on a trip to a latin supermarket last weekend (el Bodegon) and pointed out some traditional Colombian fare for us to try at home. Some were big hits, like the Avena (a sabor Canela), a yummy cinnamon flavored oatmeal drink that's pictured, and some were huge misses with the kids, like the arepas. I will report back on the other foods and beverages we try soon. It's a good sign, though, that Katie asked why she didn't get any Colombian food in her lunchbox this morning.

What a great time we had and I can't wait to go back to el Bodegon - for the food and the practice with my Spanish!

Tropical corn, anyone?

A little later than promised, here is a shot of one of our stalks of corn, complete with cactus and palm tree in the background. We have passed knee-high and have some stalks that are waist high. The real test will be when we find out if we have achieved that required pollination to have ears form. Stand by!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Help Save the Adoption Tax Credit

Our agency posted this blog on April 30, 2009 with regard to the upcoming sunset of the expanded federal Adoption Tax Credit.

The gist of the post is this:

As many adopting families have heard from Adoptive Families magazine and, the federal Adoption Tax Credit that so many families depend on will revert to its original level of $5,000 in December 2010, if its sunset is unopposed.

Important legislature has already been introduced to make permanent the current $10,000+ tax credit for adoptive families. The bill presently has 79 sponsors and is in House Committee. With your help this bill can gain the momentum it needs to maintain the federal financial support adopting families count on to adopt both domestically and internationally.

Urge both your state senator and representatives to support "The Adoption Tax Relief Guarantee Act of 2009," to make the tax credit permanent.

In 2005, a bill with the same intentions – to make permanent the expansion of the federal adoption Tax Credit as introduced in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 – went on to gain 74 representative sponsors, but later stalled in the Senate, failing with only 22 senatorial sponsors.

Bipartisan support in the Senate will be essential for this 2009 legislation to become law.

If you feel led to, please click through to our agency's blog for information on how to alert your Congresspersons to support this legislation.