Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pesto fest

I don't have a green thumb, but one thing I can grow well is basil. I've been coaxing these 4 babies into small trees since late April. This pic is actually post harvest.

Here's the harvest, all washed and ready to be transformed into pesto, a wonderful starting point for pasta and pizza sauce.

The secret to these large beautiful leaves: Spray 'n Grow plant vitamins. My mom is a QVC junkie and she was so tempted by the baseball-size strawberries and canteloupe-size tomatoes they touted, she had to have it. That's a bit of an exaggeration, but it works!

And here's what it all boiled down to. I make up the recipe sans cheese, freeze them in cubes, then pop them out into a freezer bags. Voila!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Excitement and uncertainty

It's definitely been exciting to see new referrals coming to Bethany families much earlier than expected, and largely due to the agency's new relationship with a private orphanage. The buzz on blogs and forums is all about names, travel arrangements, hair care, etc. Which brings me to my current state of mind: paralyzed with indecision. I want to plan, make arrangements, buy stuff, paint, organize and prepare...

Should we be considering names? Well, we don't know if it will be a boy or a girl? And depending on his/her age, we may not change names at all. Should we think about sleeping arrangements? Will he/she share a room with Caroline or will we sub-divide her large bedroom? Should we build a bunk bed or will they share a bed? We don't know if our little one will be 3 months or 2 years, sleeping in a crib or a bed.

And here's the biggie: how do we explain to Caroline why there's a new little stranger living in our house, playing with her toys, sharing her room? Will she be old enough to understand? She could be more than 3 years old or barely 2 when we bring home her new sibling.

I guess I'm just a linear thinker/planner. I need to resolve the next thing in line before I tackle something 6 or 12 months down the road. But I also really like to have my ducks in a row. I thrive on having things figured out. The process of adoption is so the opposite of the that. It's more like hurry, hurry (paperwork), then wait, wait (referral), then hurry, hurry to resolve every detail before you travel and arrive home with your sweet little bundle. Like with parenting, I'm learning to surrender and let things in the universe unfold as God intends, knowing they'll work out eventually. But it's hard...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Landing a big one

Spence and I took Caroline on a short canoe trip Sunday afternoon, her second. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and the water was smooth and clear, so we let her walk up and down the center of the canoe, while I steered and Spence fished. We stopped frequently so Caroline could "skip" rocks and look for crawdads.

About halfway through the float, we were feeling pretty proud that Caroline was doing so well, not fussing. We found an abandoned sand bucket on the bank and let C play with it while we floated. She'd fill it from the river and dump it in the boat. Spence suggested she fill it on one side of the boat and dump it out on the other side, instead of in the boat. That worked -- exactly once. When she went to dump it, she, the bucket and the water went end over end right into the river. She did a little somersault under the water and, like a champ, popped to the surface on her back. Before she really understood what happened, I grabbed the loop on her life jacket and plucked the little 25-pound fish out of the water. She cried for about 30 seconds, cuddled in my safe, dry lap for about 2 minutes and was back on her way again.

The rest of the trip she reminded herself repeatedly, "Car-line, be careful." She sat in the bow and helped Dad reel in some nice bass and a redeye or two, which would have made a tasty dinner. We threw them all back, except for one. She was a keeper.

On another happy note, another Bethany family received their referral of a pre-school boy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

50 Years!

On June 7, 1958, Conrad and Norma tied the knot.

On June 7, 2008, they celebrated 50 years with their family and friends. About 70 folks came to Roaring River valley, from as far away as Colorado and Washington D.C.

The happy couple got to show off their little girls.
And we made a valiant attempt to pose the immediate family for a group shot.

It was a fantastic weekend, catching up with relatives we don't get to see very often and celebrating an amazing milestone!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Two weeks, no word

It's been two weeks since our dossier was sent to Ethiopia. Our social worker said that updates on its progress (authentication, translation, registering, etc.) will be sporadic, so I'm trying to be patient and wait a little longer before I start peppering her with emails. I'll be relieved when it makes it through all the departments and ministries and is simply on a wait list for a referral. Hopefully that will happen within the next week.

Bethany Nashville will hold its quarterly international adoption support group meeting on July 7. I'm excited to learn about the progress of other families, meet some kids who've come home, and find out if any families have joined the Ethiopia program. So far, it's still just us.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mourning my long-gone favorites

I have so much to post -- about the anniversary party, our trip to Florida, my birthday present from my sweet husband -- but since getting back from vacation, I'm as scattered as hashbrowns at a Waffle House. So in the meantime, here's something to ponder (I know I'm about to date myself):

Do you ever wonder what happened to corn diggers and potato chipsters? If you're in your late 30s/early 40s, you probably took these in your school lunch every day. I did, and I'm seriously missing them. Chipsters were little yellow, tongue-shaped potato curls, light and airy as the commercials described them. Corn diggers were little square waffles-looking thingies, with two sides pinched together, that tasted like Bugles, only much better.
Nabisco claims demand was too low so they discontinued them both many years ago. I've not had a chip since that is as good as those.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Got sand?

We've learned a few things here in Daytona: sand is crunchy and not so good to drink, the waves are unpredictable but fun, and a nap is a welcome treat each day. Caroline's favorite thing to say in the house: go beach (formerly go river). Her favorite thing to say at the beach: lunch (or roni or pizza).
We went to the water park yesterday. C was too small for most everything. She liked to sit at the edge of the wave pool (not as cool as the real thing, though) and float "Lazy River" in her life jacket. Next year she can do the slides. Spence and I traded off on the slides -- they were fun!
For everyone back home, C has made strides in her manners, saying please and thank you (sometimes "thank you, ma'am" or "thank you sweetie"). We're proud.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Referrals for two families!

Two Bethany families received their referrals yesterday! One family is receiving a very young infant girl; the other a toddler boy. This is incredibly exciting for several reasons:

1. These referrals are the first for Bethany's new Ethiopian program.
2. They came much faster than expected -- as much as 6 months faster. These families and all of us who are following their journey are reeling at the wonderful news.
3. The referrals came from the new private orphanage with which Bethany just contracted and we are not far down the list (we're 8th on the list of families on the Bethany board).

Congratulations to Kelli and Beth (and Holly who accepted a COP referral a week or so ago), who will hopefully travel together this fall. We're so excited for you.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Leavin' on a jet plane*

On 6/6 (that's tomorrow), after 6 months and 6 days of thinking, writing, correcting, chasing, driving, notarizing, sealing and copying paperwork for our Ethiopian adoption, our dossier is finally heading to Ethiopia via DHL . It's heading to Africa along with several other dossiers (I'm not sure whose) and meeting up with 18 dossiers that are already in country.

I don't know what to say except: let the waiting begin! We'll get some sporadic updates along the way as our paperwork works its way through various departments and ministries.

I hope you'll stick with me. I'll try to keep the blog interesting as we wait to bring our little one home.

* I mean the John Denver version, even though I like PP&M and even though JD died in a plane crash. I've just been a John Denver fan since I was knee high to a grasshopper. In fact, I think I'll go pop in a CD now and get hopping on this great big party we're hosting Saturday. More on that later...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I'm a fan of It was on this site that I finally learned what a blog is. For at least a year, I just pretended to know. Even my husband who, bless his heart, needs help adding an attachment to an email caught on before I did:

Me: Whatcha doing?
Spence: Reading the Drudge Report.
Me: What's that?
Spence: It's a blog.

Well, that cleared things right up. I didn't even let on to him that I still had no idea what a blog was. Today, I not only know what a blog is, I'm actually a blogger. Well, sort of -- I have at least 8 readers.

Anyway, I was reading dooce this morning when my mind started wandering to the fact that... "this woman makes a living off this site. People like me support her. Well, not me exactly. The people who read her ads. Not me. I NEVER do that. I mean, who cares about stuff like..." and I casually look to the right and see this ad titled Print Your Blog. And I was like ooooohhh, I want to do that! What a great way to scrapbook for my new little one. And dadgumit if I didn't click the dang ad.

Apparently I'm not the rebel I thought I was. You're welcome, Heather.