Moving Forward...Regardless

Friday, November 18, 2011 there has been more going on behind the scenes than I have been letting on to you. To make a long story short, a friend of ours shared with us, about a month ago, that they knew a girl who was pregnant and looking for adoptive parents. She asked if we would be interested...and boy, were we. This truly was the reason that we put the pedal to the metal in regards to our application process. Each weekend, our friend told us that they had talked with this family and they were "very interested", they were probably "going to call" us in the next couple of days, etc. My motherly nature just got overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts about becoming a new mom again...feeling like that baby was already in my arms. I was crushed this past weekend, when our friend regrettably told us that the family decided to go through an agency...CRUSHED.

I was so confused and frustrated with myself for getting so emotionally attached...especially when they never contacted us. I confused myself...I kept telling myself that I would be fine, but once we got the official news, I felt like I had gotten that dreaded call from the fertility clinic...the one telling me that my blood work was negative. I was right back in that place...that I never wanted to be in again.

So...put all of the brick walls back together again. With the above bad news on top of the email from our agency telling us that we were going to be placed on a wait list...and I feel broken.

Here is my plan...OH NO, you better believe that this is not going to stop me!!! I have to continue to move forward, because if there is one thing I learned from my four years of hell with's that you CANNOT stop moving forward. My darkest moments were when I stopped to set up camp in PITY park.

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of having dinner with some long time friends who have a lot of experience with they have two foster kids of their own. Our original intent to meet with them was to ask for advice on what we needed to do to prepare for our home study (Well, that was before we knew we were going on a wait list). Our evening ended up just being full of much needed encouragement. They shared their own experience in foster care, information on an agency that we didn't know about (one that has a huge success rate), as well as information on simply adopting with the aid of an attorney. Through our discussion, as well as with their testimonies, I was reminded of how much Craig and I were turned on to foster care when we finished the state mandated PRIDE training. After hearing the stories of what these kids had gone through, and also having first hand experience with some of these kids...being a teacher, sometimes I just want to take these kids home with me and love and protect them...give them a safe home to live in and a loving family to be a part of. This evening just helped to shed light on, yet, another option for us to move forward in.

Foster to adopt is a scary road to that you never truly know if the child placed in your home is a "forever" child. There are so many questions that you, I, need to consider. Am I strong enough for this? What if the child can't stay with us? Am I strong enough, emotionally? How will Emily handle this? How will this affect her? How will I handle it if a child is taken away from us and placed back with their family...which I completely understand that that is the states number one goal for all of the children. I just can't imagine having a child for any length of time, growing attached to that child, loving them...and then having them be taken back. BUT...I think about James 1:27, and how much it would mean to those kids to have, even for just a moment in their life, a glimpse into what a family "could" be like, a glimpse into what God's love for them is like. To be able to witness to each child...plant a seed in their life. How powerful would that be? Would the possibility of pain, on our part, be worth that? Without hesitation, the answer is YES!!! The only problem is that my mind knows that...but I don't know how to tell my heart that. My mother is a product of an amazing foster family, and I am convinced that it is because of that family that God placed her with...that allowed MY family to be as wonderful as it was/is.

We have a lot to think about...many choices in front of us to pray about. I will keep you posted.

Calling All Prayer Warriors. I'm Going Into Battle.

Friday, November 11, 2011
So, as if that letter from our agency wasn't frustrating enough... Craig and I received a call from our Dr. yesterday to reschedule our appointments. We scheduled a week in advance for our adoption physicals, and it seemed too good to be true that the Dr.'s office was open on the same day that both Craig and I had off from work. THEN, the day before the the appointment, they called to tell us that the doctor will not be in the office tomorrow and that we needed to reschedule.

I'll be honest, I wasn't the sweetest thing on the phone. I was so excited to be able to cross SOMETHING else off of my to-do list, especially with the bomb dropped from earlier this week...and to call me
THE DAY BEFORE my appointment?!?!? I say it nicely...a tad bit frustrated.

Well, just as before, I am finding myself consumed with thoughts of adoption. Before, when we were going through our journey of infertility, all I could ever think about was "it":
  • Would I ever be a mom
  • Would I ever get pregnant
  • Would I ever experience a baby in my belly
  • Would I ever get to hold a child and call it my own
  • Would I ever get to rock a child of my own to sleep
  • Would I ever...YOU NAME IT. 
I would always tell Craig, "You never have to wonder what I'm thinking's about a baby"...and I meant it. In EVERY SINGLE moment that I had to myself, in my head, I would start thinking about a baby and what it would be like to be a mom.

NOW, I find myself in a similar situation, only this time I am thinking about adoption...NON-STOP. It is overwhelming to be in this position again because it just drains you. I literally have to tell myself to snap out of it and pay attention to whatever it is I'm in the middle of doing.

This morning, I just prayed to God to give me peace about this situation, about the entire process. This process has given me the false idea of being in control...once again. (I seem to think that I am in control, or that I can easily take control, of these overwhelming situations I keep finding myself in). I prayed that I would be able to find rest in this situation while, at the same time, allowing God to do what he does best.

Today, I had one of those epiphany moments...while sitting at the lunch table THINKING about adoption. Let me start by sharing about my thought process from this morning. While standing in the kitchen, eating my breakfast...I was thinking about how it seems like all of these doors were closing on us this week...and wondering if God was trying to drop some pretty big hints that we were moving in the wrong direction. I thought that maybe we just are not called to do adoption. As I thought about that idea again, at lunch, here is the message that I received:

If God calls us to take care of the orphans (James 1:27  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.) then why would he close the doors on us when we are moving forward according to his own Word? So, if it's not God closing the doors on us, than we must be under attack for doing God's will. John 10:10 says that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 

It all made sense to me then. It was one of those moments where your palm meets your forehead and you think to yourself, "DUH"!!! Whenever God's children are moving forward in their calling, Satan is right around the corner to bring discouragement. Discouragement steals your joy, kills your hope, and destroys the plans that God had before you.

Even though my bombs from this week SUCKED...I am so encouraged to realize that I am in the middle of this battle because, to me, it means that I am moving forward in what God has for me...why else would Satan want to destroy it?? I am just going to be working that much harder, believing that much more...that God is beside me, watching over me, and will guide me every step of the way.

Please continue to I gear up for battle.

Coming To A Screeching Hault

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WOW...Craig and I were seriously on fire and looking like we were going to finish our end of things by the end of this week. Today, I faxed over our PRIDE training certificates and our CPR certificates to our agency...and I received this email in response:

Hi Heather,

As to your question regarding a case manager, I want to inform you about a change we have just had to make in our adoption process.

We believe strongly in finding forever families for all orphans, regardless of age, and we do facilitate adoptions of orphans from all age groups. That said, we have an abundance of families who desire to adopt a child who is four years old or younger. Statistically, however, only about 20% of children within the state system who are ready to be adopted are ages 0 – 4. Currently, about 80% of the children who need a forever home are ages 5 – 17.  I do not mention that to discourage you, just to give you an idea of the issues we encounter. We are also working diligently on developing a birth parent program that would draw more birth mothers to our ministry, allowing us to facilitate a greater number of private infant adoptions.

In order to address the child population presented to us at this time, we have instituted a temporary wait list status for families requesting a child ages 0 – 4. To give you an understanding of what this means, once I have received all of your homework, you will have reached the point in the process when we would normally assign you to a case manager to begin working on your home study. At that time your family file would be put “on hold” temporarily until our case managers and placement coordinator have room on their caseloads to add another family requesting a child under five. During this waiting period we would still keep in touch with you and be available to answer your questions. We would contact you immediately when you are taken off “hold” and assigned to a case manager.

Ultimately we believe that if the Lord has placed the desire to adopt on your hearts, He has already chosen a specific child to add to your family. We do ask families to prayerfully consider being open to whomever the Lord has chosen for them, even if the child may be older than hoped. Of course, there are legitimate concerns for adopting younger children, such as keeping the birth order within your family if you already have children. Every situation is different.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter. As always, please let me know if you have questions, and I will do my best to answer them in as timely a manner as possible.

A little disappointing...who am I kidding...A TON disappointing, however, the end of their letter is true and I just need to keep reminding myself this: God already knows!!!! If adoption is the road that He has chosen for us, then He already has a child in mind and their "wait list" won't stop Him. This will all come together in His timing...not mine.

A small part of me felt that if I can get the paper work completed SUPER fast, then it will speed up the process of adoption and we will be chosen to be adopted parents sooner. YES LORD...thank you for your small correction in reminding me that I am not in control of this situation. I put this back in your hands, Lord, and I will take rest in knowing that this is Yours to handle and take care of.


Adoption Paperwork Update

Friday, November 4, 2011 the paperwork isn't as awful as I expected it to be, and when I say "awful" I mean as long and detailed as I imagined.

When I actually broke it down, here is what I have left to do.

Like I said in a previous post:

  • We are taking our CPR/First Aid class tomorrow
  • We turned in our FBI fingerprints in the mail yesterday (please pray for a quick processing time)
  • We already completed our PRIDE training
In regards to the new paperwork:

  • We both have to have a Dr.'s check-up (which we are scheduled to do next week). Our doctor has to fill out some paperwork and send it straight to the agency
  • We have to have 4 references completed (which I have already sent out to our friends and family members in hopes that those will also be sent to the agency soon)
  • Then there are two sets of paperwork, one set for our case worker, and one set required by the state. Once all of the paperwork is completed, we have to burn it onto a CD and send it to the agency. 
I have already finished the set of paperwork for our case worker, and I hope to complete the state's paperwork by the end of this weekend. Once that is all turned in, then they assign us a case worker and we schedule our home study.
While we wait for the home study, they gave me detailed instructions on how to make a family profile, which seems to pretty much be a family scrapbook for the birth mothers to look through when they are trying to choose a family for their baby.

So there you go! So much happening right now. I am on fire!!! I want to get this done and be able to sit back and not have the "wait" be because of me anymore. Though, anyone who knows me...knows that I will not be able to just sit there and wait. Who am I kidding??? Nonetheless, I want to be able to complete my side of the work.

Craft Room Closet traveling craft room has found a permanent home. Ever since we moved into this craft room has moved to multiple locations. Before Emily was here, I started to set up shop in one of the bedrooms on the main floor. I found a desk on Craigslist and purchased a number of organizing boxes from Michaels and then waited patiently for Craig to hang up my shelves so that I could place my pretty IKEA boxes on them. The shelves didn't get hung until a number of years later...which was my excuse for not "crafting". For the most part, I did all of my crafting at my mom's house. She has the craft room of all craft rooms set up in, what used to be my own bedroom.

Now, as my craft room began piling up "stuff" on it...I began to try and convince Craig to let me turn the front closet into my "new" craft room. My reasoning was because we would eventually need to move Emily into the room where my crafts currently hopes that we would still need to use our nursery for another child (fingers crossed...lots of prayers). This convincing was not easy to do. Because I didn't really use my current craft room, Craig didn't see why I needed a craft room at all. He didn't want to go through all of the work of painting and hanging shelves again after he had already done it in the previous room and I did nothing with it. So...after some sweet and loving "husband and wife" discussion, we finally came to a mutual agreement. I would paint the room and move all of my crafts myself, and Craig agreed to hang shelves for me...once again.

So, this last summer, I did my part of the agreement and Craig attempted his part, however, it isn't very easy to hang shelves on walls made of plaster and lathe. After several attempts, and many holes in the wall, the progress came to a stop and my walls were bare.

Fast forward four months. This last weekend, Craig and I started talking about Christmas lists and what we wanted to buy for others and what we wanted on our own lists. I was "kidding" around (kind of...but not really), and I said that I wanted shelves to be hung in my craft room. I don't know what got into Craig, but he made it his mission that very weekend to get shelves hung for me...and POOF...shelves were hung, and I couldn't wait to organize my crafts and find a that perfect spot for everything.

So, without further is  my new craft room.

I Just Got the Mother Load of Paper Work

Friday, October 28, 2011
Craig and I recently had a little flame lit under us to get the adoption process moving again. I guess I just got a little discouraged when we were told by the agency that...because we were looking for an could take up to three + years. When told that...I just kept thinking, "Why rush?"

So, when we received our letter of approval, it also told us that we needed to complete the PRIDE training class (which we completed right before we found out we were pregnant with Emily), and a CPR/First Aid class. Once we faxed them our certificates they would sign us up for the next step in their adoption process...a class called "Next Step Class" (Clever, right?) here is where we are at now:
CPR/First Aid: Signed up for a class next month

I called the agency to ask them when their "Next Steps" class was scheduled so I could put it on our calendar. Well, I received a reply from them today!!! The email said that they are actually in the middle of turning their "Next Steps" class into an online class so that couples can complete it on their own time.


And then...they attached the paperwork that I would normally receive AFTER the "next steps" class. It is a LOAD of paperwork. I can't believe I have it!! I can't believe I'm not working on it now!! Once this paperwork is completed, they assign us a caseworker. Once we have a caseworker, then they will schedule a home study. Once the home study is done...then we play the waiting game!!!

Getting Rid Of The Binky

Sunday, October 23, 2011

WOW!!! Craig and I...OK...Well..."I" thought that it was time for Emily to lose the BINKY!!! It is way past due, and she had no reason as to why she needed GOOD-BYE binky. I think that I was just so ready for the binky to go away that I didn't think about what would be best for Emily. I never researched it or talked to other people...I just figured that she should go "cold turkey". 

NOW...almost a week later...she still doesn't go down for a nap, or for bed time, very easily. At the very least, I have had to go in twice to calm her down from all of her crying. With that said...even before we decided to take away the binky, she started putting up a huge fight before bed time. She wouldn't open her mouth to let me brush her teeth, she fought me putting her pajamas on, she would purposely get in trouble and try to get into time out...just to prolong the inevitable of bed time. 

With that said...maybe Emily is just bored, not having a binky to suck on anymore, so she is just finding a new way to stretch out bed time. Every time I go in to her room to get her, she immediately asks to cuddle on her rocking chair. 

I don't know what to do. Do I give in and give her the binky back? What will that do to trying to get rid of it in the future? Do I give her tough love and know that eventually she will get over it? AAAaaaaa!!!!!

Trip To The Pumpkin Patch

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I've been WAY TOO busy!!!

WOW...this new school year has been super overwhelming. Learning a new curriculum, taking on the new role as co-chairman of the math and science institute (MSI), creating new lesson plans, having two preps, and trying to keep up with all of the emails and meetings that the parents request...etc.

With all of that said, I wanted to share some of the great resources I have come across as I have been creating new lessons for my middle school science classes.

To begin with, my ULTIMATE favorite science teacher blog is found here:

This blog has so many great lesson plans, printable worksheets, and great practice assignments for homework...that aren't overwhelming. She is a 5th grade teacher, but her material is perfect for middle school because it helps to make, what could be a confusing concept...basic. They make it easy to build upon the new concept. 

Right now, my 7th graders are working through a Chemistry unit. I came across this resource...that I ABSOLUTELY love!!!!

This is an amazing blog as well. This is a high school teacher who records his lessons. You can hear his voice and watch his smartboard as he writes his notes. I showed the following video to my students. I created notes for them that matched up with his smartboard...and the students were able to write in what the teacher was writing as he explained his concepts. 

The students actually really enjoyed it because they are getting this deeper's like a puzzle that they are solving and they are getting such an accomplished feeling of themselves. 

And then...there is the closing of my lessons. I love when I can find a good video that applies what we are learning in a fun way. My AWESOME students teacher from last year found this teacher...and he has so many great songs. I will be showing this to my class next week.

 That is what I have so far. I will do my best to stay in better contact with the blogging world. 


Saturday, September 17, 2011
I just got the email from the adoption agency letting us know that "We have been approved to move forward in the adoption process".  They will be sending us an "acceptance letter" in the mail that will have more information regarding our next steps with them.

Adoption Interview

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This last weekend we had an interview with a staff member from the agency that we are working with. It went SUPER well. The interviewer was super nice and made it a very relaxed experience. He was nice enough to come all the way down to our neighborhood (from Kent) and we met at the Tully's by our house. We started off the interview by just having regular conversations..."How's the family?" "What are you doing this weekend?", etc. Soon after, we got down to business.

He told us up front that he only had three questions for us and here is what he asked ~

1. Why now? Why are you looking into adoption now, at this point in your life?
We told him that we had already started to look into the adoption process after our failed IVF, and due to my lack of patience...we skipped a few steps and dove right into the PRIDE training through the state. It wasn't long after that we found out we were pregnant. Well after Emily's arrival, Craig and I talked about how that desire to adopt has never really left our hearts. So, here we are...moving forward in obedience to this calling that we feel God has given us, to see what doors open up for us.

2. What sort of support system do you have surrounding you?
We told him how close both of our families are to us, and also to each other. Both families are excited for us as we move forward and are ready to help in any way that they can. We told him how much of a support our families were when we were going through infertility treatments. They were there whenever we needed a shoulder to cry on, a friend to talk to, an safe place to vent, etc. We have AMAZING families!
We also shared about the support system we have in place with our church: our couples small group, the infertility group that I co-lead, multiple Pastors who are praying and believing with us, etc. It doesn't get much better than that!!

3. His third question, he said, "This last one isn't really a question. I just want the two of you to go home, talk about this process, and make sure that you are on the same page. After praying together about this, ask yourselves if moving forward is something that you feel called to do and if you are both ready for it. We will be contacting you in 72 hours to check in on you.

And that was pretty much it. We went back to regular conversation after that for a little while and then shook hands and went our separate ways.

I felt really good about the whole interview. There wasn't anything that I wish I would have said differently, however, there were a couple times I had to squeeze Craig's leg under the all know what I mean!! LOL All in was great, and I'm looking forward to see what's in store for us.


Monday, September 12, 2011
 After our failed IVF, Craig and I wanted to have something in our house that would symbolized our journey through infertility, and more specifically, the loss of our embryo's. When I saw this picture, I immediately fell in love. It is now framed and hanging in our living room. When we first hung it brought tears to my eyes!

by Russell Kelfer 
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, "Wait." 

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word. 

"My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,
Or even a 'no' to which I can resign. 

"You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply." 

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting for what?" 

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

"I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

"You'd never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I'm doing in you.

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

What Would It Be Like?

Saturday, September 3, 2011
For some reason, for the last week or so...I have had this reoccurring question playing over and over in my head:
"I wonder what it would be like to be able to get pregnant...when you want to get pregnant?"

I find myself becoming jealous of all of my friends who decide to increase their family, and then the next month they make their announcement. I guess I'm just starting to get's that UNKNOWN that is so hard to deal with. I just have to keep reminding myself: If I knew that I would have ended up with Emily at the end of the four years of "hell" that we had to go through...I would, without of a doubt, do it over and over again. I just need to stay strong and believe that God can and WILL do it again for us. Part of me just wishes that "once" was all we needed to go through...but I can appreciate how much stronger it made me.

Hmm...I can't wait to meet the next addition to our family. What does God have in store for us?

Best 1st Day of School Activity

Thursday, September 1, 2011
I have been searching high and low for some basic entry tasks for my middle school science class room. I was (am still) looking for something simple...and more importantly something that was already created for me, and I came across this short video:

I haven't read the book, but my husband has...and he loved it. So, basically...I started class today by showing this short clip and then afterwards, I posted this question on my smartboard: "What is your sentence for THIS YEAR at school?" I told them that it didn't have to be specific to my class. It could be about a different class, a sporting season, their relationship with friends, their relationship with God, etc. I told them to think about what they wanted to others to say about them by the end of this school year. Once they came up with their "sentence" I asked them to come up with at least three steps that they would need to take in order to make their "sentence" a reality.

I must say, I was beyond proud of the sentences that my students turned in:
  • She brightened peoples days when they were feeling down.
  • She shines Jesus in whatever she does.
  • She is the one who cheered people up.
  • He helped his classmates succeed in what they do and let them know that they have a friend that will be there for them.
  • She was a great person, an awesome friend, a strong woman of God, and I want to be like her.
  • He always did his best.
  • She lived for God and she was an influence on everyone she met. 
  • He was a good friend.
These are just a few examples of what my students turned in. I am so proud of them. Throughout the year, we will be looking back at our "sentences" and asking ourselves the second question from the video: "Am I better today than I was yesterday?"

I thought this was such a fun way to start the school year. Let me know if you use this in your class. I would love to hear some of your student responses as well.

My Summer With Emily...

Monday, August 22, 2011
This summer was definitely one of my favorites...regardless of the poopy scoopy weather. I cannot tell you how much fun I have had with Emily. This was my third summer with her. Her first summer was amazing because she was brand new to us and we were both just in awe of the gift that she had become. Her second summer was amazing because she was learning so many new things...still very dependent on me, yet, at the same time, she was trying to figure things out on her own.

This summer was nothing short of amazing as well. I have been crying for the last couple of days because I will just miss her like crazy...but I know that she will have SO much fun with my friend who has offered to watch her for me while I start another school year.

Craig has been so GREAT this weekend!!! He has gone above and beyond in making sure that I am relaxed and able to enjoy the last few days of summer before going back to work...fancy BBQ's with family, Sunday morning breakfast, dinner out tonight...the works. Tonight, Craig asked me this question: "What were some of your favorite things about this summer?" It didn't take long before I rambled off this long list....

  • The many walks to the park with Emily

  • Our Starbuck treats together...they have enjoyed Emily so much that every now and again, they will give her a free cake-pop
  • When Emily reaches out to hold my hand
  • When Emily rests her head on my shoulder

  • The times when Emily pats my back and ends with a small back rub...just like I do to Emily
  • When Emily runs to me saying, "holdu holdu holdu" (Hold You...she says it as though it is one word)
  • Her belly laughter
  • Playing "Ring Around the Rosie" in the front yard
  • Coloring on the front walkway with sidewalk chalk

  • Playing "chase" everywhere we go
  • Watching her face light up as we go to each animal exhibit at the zoo

  • Listening to her read a book to her baby dolls
  • Hearing Emily sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. (She just says, "tinkle tinkle" over and over)
  • Watching her run out and greet her dad when he comes home from work
  • Watching her take care of her baby dolls just as she has been taken care of

  • Seeing Emily chase after random kids at the park
  • Our morning cuddles on days she used the "I'm Not A Morning Person" card
  • Taking Emily on her first camping trip...which she did so well at!!!

  • Feeding the ducks together
  • Listening to Emily as she pretended to have a phone conversation with each family member and friends
  • Giving Emily her first pedicure

Emily,  you continue to bring me joy with each smile...with each hug and kiss...and with the sound of your laughter. I will miss you like crazy when I go back to work!!!

It's Official...I am officially a PRIVATE SCHOOL TEACHER!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Do you know how long it has taken me to write those words...It's Official??? WOW, so much has been going on this summer it is ridiculous!!! I don't even know where to begin.

 Our Mascot: The Eagle

So, towards the end of the school year I wanted to test the waters in finding a job closer to home. Considering the current economy, it didn't take too long to realize that this really isn't the time to look for a new I put it to rest. I want to say, the week following the end of the school year, my friend informed me that our church's private school is looking for a middle school math and science teacher. I was super excited when she told me because this is the school that I want Emily to attend and, even though Emily has a number of years before starting school, it is SO VERY important to me to be close with her. I just love the idea of teaching at the same school that she would be attending. I love the idea of being able to see and accompany her on each of her "first day's of school". I love the idea of having her come to my classroom at the end of the school day to work on her homework as I finish up grading papers. Everything about this opportunity screams DREAM COME TRUE!!!

I called up the school to let them know that I was interested...and as though they were waiting for my call, they immediately set up an interview with me. Following the first interview with the principal, the process practically took up my entire summer, unfortunately, but I will take this VERY long story and shorten it up.

At my first interview, the principal told me that I was one of his top picks and that he had already chosen me, and two others (out of 11 interviewers), to have a second interview with the headmaster of the school. So, the next week I had my interview with the headmaster...and it was one of those interviews where you were positive it had to of gone better than I thought it did, because I really didn't feel confident about the interview once it was over. Sure enough, however, I received a call from the headmaster, by the end of that week, asking if I was interested in a different position: the 7th/8th grade science teacher. I was THRILLED!!! I LOVE teaching science! Now, it wasn't an official job offer, just an idea that the headmaster had and needed to run by the principal.

Still trying to cut this long story down...August rolls around, and I haven't heard anything. Wondering whether I have a job with them or if I'm staying at my current school, I decided to call them up. They called me back the next day...still with no "official" answers. They told me that their enrollment was down, and they want to, and WILL be offering me a job, they just weren't sure what my schedule would be.

Fast forward another week...and FINALLY I was made an offer!!! They wanted to offer me the 7th/8th grade science position AS WELL as wanting me to play a lead role in their new Math and Science Institute (MSI). I was honored...and a bit nervous as to what that job description entailed. Craig and I were both hugely a bit concerned with the pay cut, knowing that private school teacher's pay drops down significantly from a public school teacher's pay. Fortunately, the school made it a point not to drop my pay too much in hopes that I would accept their offer. YES!!! YES!!! I'LL TAKE IT!!!!

Now, all of that to say...that this job TERRIFIES me!!! I no longer have the job security that I had at the public school. I am terrified that my science knowledge is not at the level that they are expecting! I'm terrified that this lead role in their MSI is too much for me to tackle. I'm terrified that the economy is going down...which could play a huge role on the enrollment, and ultimately my job.

I just need to cast my worries on THE ONE that is in control of all things. I truly feel that this is a new calling on my teach in the private school. And, ultimately, if it is only for a season...I know that God will continue to guide me in the right direction. Craig and I have already been talking about possibly taking a year and teach abroad. How fun would that be???

Well, there you have I said, IT'S OFFICIAL!!! I am excited and terrified, but I am up for the challenge!!!

Adoption Update

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Well...we finally received an email from the agency that we chose to work with. They let us know that they have fully processed our application and that they are ready to move forward with the next step...the prescreening interview. I was really surprised to get this email because Craig has yet to find time to get his fingerprints done for our background check...though, I'm sure that the agency understands that that can be a lengthy ordeal.

The scheduling of the interview was a little difficult, but the agency was able to be extremely accommodating and they allowed us to schedule a weekend interview with them. However, they were not able to schedule a Pastor to meet on the weekend, so we will have to find a Pastor at our own church to perform that part of the interview for them...PERFECT.

I am so excited to be able to move forward to the next step of this process!!! Our interview is scheduled for September 10th. Keep us in your prayers. 

More DIY Headbands

Sunday, August 7, 2011
WOW...these last few weeks have been crazy busy, and CRAZY overwhelming. I'll fill you in about all of that later. In the meantime, there were a couple of days that I was able to accomplish more DIY headbands during Emily's beloved nap-time!!

One of my favorite blogs that I follow: LITTLE MISS MAMA, is having a headband challenge HERE. So I thought I had better get my butt in gear and show you the rest of the headbands that I have created from other tutorials that I have found.

The first one I was so excited to make because I loved the picture from the tutorial that I found. You can find the tutorial HERE from Lee La La.

In playing with my hair...I think that, for me and my hairstyle, it is a lot cuter when my hair is pulled back. I like that this can be dressed up or down and look SUPER cute!! This was SO easy to make. I followed the tutorial exactly and had no problems or struggles.

The next headband I made...I think that I need to change it up a bit. It definitely has the potential to be SUPER cute, but since I am "new" at the whole headband wearing look, it is too big of a statement for me to make. So, the only change that I would make is to use a smaller width of lace and maybe even a smaller diameter for the accessory as a whole.
You can find the tutorial HERE from Little Miss Mama

The next headband was actually fun to make. It uses satin fabric, and the only satin I had was 1 1/2in wide ribbon. So, if I were to make this again, I would actually go and buy some satin so that I could have more liberty at choosing the size of the circles that I could cut. I like this a lot, but I would also like to see how slightly larger circles would turn out.
You can find the tutorial HERE from (again) Joy Is At Home

Because my satin circles were smaller than desired, I ended up making three flowers and then hot gluing them together to create a little more presence. I didn't actually glue them to the headband, I just slipped in a hair clip so that I could have the option of attaching it to a decorative headband that I recently purchased from JoAnns or I could clip it to a more subtle hairband, or I could just clip it right on to my hair.

My Birthday Surprise

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Craig totally out did himself this year!!! As I type this for you, I am still amazed at what he has done. For my birthday, Craig told me that he wanted to cook a nice dinner for me, but he was going to surprise me with what he was going to make. To accomplish this, he needed me out of the house for a few hours before dinner.

I was more than happy to comply and I was so excited to see what he was going to make. When I was finally allowed back home, Craig greeted me at the door and I was surprised to see him still in his nice work clothes (slacks and a button down shirt). As he was walking me through the living room, I could see a beautiful table set up on our back deck. It was adorned with white linen, our china from our wedding (used maybe a total of five six), and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

Coming through the kitchen, I was introduced to our personal chef: Chris. He was one of Craig's childhood friends, but the man knew his way around the kitchen. Craig, later, told me that he was a chef at The Gateway to India, Anthony's, and The Spar. Chris had arranged to create for us a 5-course meal. I was in heaven!!!

As we walked to the back and sat at the table, it was clear to see that Craig really thought out every little detail...from the music playing in the background, to the vase holding my bouquet of flowers (it was practically a matching set to the one that he had used at my proposal).

~My 5 Course Meal~

Asparagus with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan Cheese

Berry Salad (Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry) with a strawberry puree dressing

Chicken with an orange glaze and garlic mashed potatos

Peach and Strawberry Sorbet

My Cupcake for dessert...I devoured it before remembering to take a picture...OOPS!!


My final surprise from Craig was...

a sweet "Bachelorette" type date. He is whisking me away on a boat plane from Seattle to Orcas Island...where we will be staying at the Rosario Resort!!! How cool is that!! I cannot wait! 



OH MY GOODNESS!! Emily's party is just a blur to me! Note to not have a party during the week because you are all by yourself to set up, cook, frost, and at the same time...make sure that the birthday girl has a great day!!! I have already posted the tutorials on the crafts that I made for the party, so I will just post pictures from the party. If you have any questions about how I did something, or where I purchased things from, leave me a post.


Click on this photo to get a closer picture of what it says. I basically took her invitation and changed some of the wording to give guests directions to take a tie, or bow, and head on to the back for the party. 

 I used the Cricut to make a HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign that matched her invitations. Sorry, you can't see it really well.

I used about ten yards of tulle to make the table skirt, then I pinned a sequined ribbon to hide all of the pins from the tulling. I purchased the tulle tent from Target. I figured I would reuse it for Emily's big girl room. 

The cook always has to taste what they cook before the guests arrive...and I have to say...they were DELICIOUS!!!

After everyone enjoyed their burgers, I cleared off the table to make room for the birthday cupcakes. The special cupcake stand is actually a candelabra that I have had for years. I don't remember exactly where I got it from. I want to say it was at a Christmas exhibit one year. 

Emily's Friends


 She wanted to see the pictures that I was taking of her. When she saw this photo she said, "Mess!!" LOL

Gift From Mom and Dad

 I am so happy with how much she loves her gift!! Unfortunately it has become a huge struggle to get her to clean up and get ready for nap time or bedtime. We placed this in the dining room so she can see us while we cook in the kitchen and she can cook in her kitchen at the same time. 

I can't believe that I have a two year old now!! I remember, as if it were just yesterday, bringing her home from the hospital! I look at pictures of her now and I just can't believe where the time has gone.

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