Friday, July 24, 2015

Great News on Fundraising!

Drum roll please....
We have only $710 left to raise of the $6,000 we needed for bringing our sweet girl, Kaylee, home from South Korea (only 71 puzzle pieces remain)!  So amazing and humbling, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Now onto where we are at in the process - I luckily follow a Facebook group that tracks everything in the adoption process in South Korea.  Unfortunately, it looks like we will not get to travel this year (we knew this might happen but I was hoping it wasn't the case).  As of now, our best guess for our first trip might be around February 2016.

So for now, we just pray and send care packages to our sweet baby girl.  She turns 2 August 5.  I did send her a birthday care package that was filled with snacks, a rain coat, cute kitty cat outfit, Lamby, a baby doll, etc (we can only send what fits in a gallon bag - and by now I have become an expert at packing a gallon bag, there's a science to it).  We also included a homemade card with our picture in it.  We just can't wait to get our sweet baby girl home.

We really appreciate is our agency in CO - AAC.  They have been wonderful about sending us updates and pictures almost monthly (which really helps with the huge wait).  I love the fact that they actually traveled in May to visit the kids and I got some precious precious videos of our sweet girl and tons of pictures.  Probably one of the sweetest things arrived the other day via e-mail - the outline of her little hand and foot (I know seems like nothing to most of you, but to me that just melted my heart).  Thanks so much for all the people working at AAC to help bring our baby home.  Hopefully Kaylee will be home soon!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Waiting on Korea

We have had some interesting road blocks along this journey this time, but the good news is that we finally got Kaylee's I-600A approved - Yippy, might have been a headache and a lot more paperwork, but we finally got the approval!!!  :-)
I know that to anyone not in the international Hague adoption process that means nothing, but in her journey that is a big deal (means she will automatically be a US Citizen when she steps on US soil)!  So exciting - now we wait on Korea to process her Exit Permit so we can then get a court date in Korea.

The process is so different this time around.  This time 2 trips and the initial trip will be before a Korean judge.  I pray everything from here on out goes very smooth.  We got some really sweet pics and videos from our placing agency this past month.  Was so cool to see her open one of our care packages and wearing clothing we have sent her!
The journey is becoming even more real - with my husband giving up his precious Honda Civic so we could get a Honda Odyssey and keep our other SUV so we have a backup family vehicle for 6!

Yes 6, that number scares me at times, but I just can't wait to hold my baby girl and I know with the Lord all will be good!  Not perfect - I know already with 5 we have up and down days, but the up outweighs the down and I wouldn't trade being mommy for anything.  Even on the hardest days when I'm having to explain to one of my kids why making bad choices is not the wisest thing, even when I'm tired, it is worth it!!!

Anyway, while we wait I have been busy fund raising and creating care packages.  So far we have sold t-shirts, had a Noonday sale, participated in a bake/craft sale for adoption in our community, and currently selling puzzle pieces ($10 a piece - your family's last name on the back of each piece purchased that will be displayed in her room - double sided glass and actual puzzle is below front pink area is actually her smiling sweet face, we just can't show it online until she is home).   Overall, we have raised appoximately $600 (which is awesome)!  If you would like to help bring Kaylee home, then please use the following link to contribute online - thanks so much for considering helping bring our sweet daughter home:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Exciting News...

We just thought Jacob was our last addition to our family... but I was wrong... :-)
Right when you think you have everything figured out, that's when exciting things happen.  As of Oct. of this past year we have a precious little girl waiting for us to bring her home from Korea.  Yes, we are going back to Korea - this time under the new adoption law, but so exciting.  God has blessed our family so much and I can't wait to hold my daughter for the first time hopefully this fall or winter!!!
Some would say, why continue to add to your family  It is hard to explain but when God moves in your heart to do something then as Nike says, "Just Do it!"  You won't regret following his lead - even though the road may not be easy, follow His will.
I cannot post pictures of our sweet daughter, but I will tell you she is a happy happy child.  Smiles all the time so we picked a fitting name for our angel - Kaylee (means Pure in Greek and Joy in Hebrew - she is Pure Joy).  Her name also honors my aunt who I never got to meet on my Mom's side and would only be 10 years older than me.  Her middle name will be Elizabeth, so Kaylee Elizabeth.
It is exciting and scary, but we couldn't be more joyful - yes, I am was almost out of children at home, but so exciting to get a blessing like Kaylee in our lives.  We can see God in every piece of Kaylee's story and our adoption and it is amazing!
Our kids are so excited too!!!  Rebekah can't wait to have a sister and is already telling me how to decorate their room - yes, they will share a room (Frozen theme).  Jacob and Mason are just excited to have another playmate.  So much to come, look forward to telling more of our story as we wait for Kaylee and become a family of 6. :-)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year!

Well, yes, I've been very very busy and just now feel like I have some time to blog again.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.  It has been crazy busy but fun around our house these days.  My husband got me a Korean cook book for Christmas since I really didn't want or need anything.  I am loving it!  So far I've made sweet rice balls, japchae, seasoned spinach, and seasoned zucchini.  Jacob has told me, "I'm the bestest cook ever."  Apparently I'm making my Korean dishes correctly with this cook book because I haven't always got that response for my Korean cooking from him.

For family and friends this year, we decided to make the majority of our Christmas gifts (items that were usable).  I was worried about the response, but everyone seem to really enjoy what was made for them.  Just a month before Christmas I had learned about making my own soaps and cleaners and really got caught up in finding the healthiest items to use for glass cleaner, soap, laundry detergent, floor cleaner, etc.  This lead me to creating some really cool cleaning products for just pennies.  My kids love the body wash I make out of honey and my husband loves the floor cleaner and glass cleaner.  My husband is so excited about the glass cleaner that he wants me to investigate selling some of these products (to see if we could actually make any money).  Guess that's my next big project!  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

New Years didn't go exactly as planned.  Jacob got a stomach bug that delayed out plans with another family in celebrating Korean New Year.  We just postponed our celebration by a few days.  It ended up being a very fun time that we all enjoyed!

Now to the present - all 3 kids are in school (boys 3 days a week and Rebekah going forward through her 1st grade year).  Winter break was a blast!  Our 2 oldest worked on getting their Junior Ranger Stones River Battlefield badge, Underground Railroad badge, and Fort Donelson badge - with final outcome a Junior Civil War Historian badge (they really enjoyed getting to learn more about history and it was a fun way for them to spend their time off).  I took the boys last week to the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson's home) for the 199 anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.  They had a great time!  Mason even got a picture made with Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachael.

With everyone being in school 3 days a week, I've been coming up projects that need to be completed around the house.  So far, I've repainted Rebekah's old desk to match her room and give her a personal space for doing her homework in the evenings (she gets so upset at the boys for being loud and gets so distracted by everything going on).  She loves her next desk and workspace (total cost for reworking the old table - $12).

Today I finally got the boys moved into a room with a bathroom.  I took the "playroom" and transformed it into their room.  They have more floor space and closet space.  The "playroom" can be put back out when needed (every toy has a place in the closet - making it easy for the boys to pick up their room when finished playing at the end of the day).  Was nice to not have to lock the closet and finally have a place for everything.  As Jacob said when he saw his new room, "you make me so happy" - aka I love my new room!  :-)

Next house project, convert their old room into a guest room (something we haven't had since moving here almost 4 years ago).  :-)

 Boy's new bedroom

Painting Rebekah's table

Mason with Andrew Jackson

Being Sworn in as a Junior Rangers

Fun on a snow day (I know - it's just a dusting)

 Sleeping with his toys from Santa

Me and my kids (I love being Mom)!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halloween and more...

Well, another holiday has come and gone and the kids are getting so big!  The boys really enjoyed being Power Rangers for Halloween (Mason red and Jacob blue) and my girl and I rocked the Little Mermaid costumes (which my kids thought was so silly that Mommy dressed up - Dad also had an Ironman shirt).  This year was really different!  A big storm came on Halloween which messed up trick-or-treating for alot of kids.  We decided to trick-or-treat at my aunt's house in Nashville and the local Publix grocery had a Halloween event that night (with each department having games and candy or even face painting - nice way to spend a very wet and stormy night).  We also went on the night our city said would be Halloween (which was the next night).  The kids had so much candy - grand total of 10 pounds all together.  Of course, who can eat that much candy so we decided to do the great candy buy back at a Pediatric dentist office (that is where they weight your candy and either pay you for the candy $1 a lb or give you a gift then ship the candy to the troops over seas for them to have a snack).  My oldest and youngest chose a very cute water bottle but my middle child picked the money ($2.50) so he could go put that with his piggy bank money and buy a toy he has wanted for so long (Big Bang Trigger Happy).  So a win win overall.  The kids did select a bag full of candy to keep that they will eat in probably until next year (you know, the good stuff - Kit Kat's, Reece's peanut butter cups, etc).  Overall, a very fun and memorable Halloween.  Now, bring on the turkey.  :-)

Water bottles from the Candy give away

 The small bags they selected for themselves

Big piles of candy (to take to Candy give away and keep)

 Trick-or-treating with friends

 Check out Jacob's face painting

Getting some blue paint

Her little butterfly face paint

My girl getting her face painted

Power Rangers doing some shopping

Me and the kids with my aunt
Power Rangers and Mermaid ready to trick-or-treat

My silly Mermaid

Nets at the zoo 

 Petting a Kangaroo

Kids with their pumpkin

Carving our 50 lb beast pumpkin 

 Getting the insides out of the pumpkin

 Time to punch glow holes

Saturday, September 7, 2013

School Life

Well, since my last post some things around here have changed (and this post should explain my absence from blogging).  We found out the day before Kindergarten/KR started that my middle son did not get into the KR program.  Since I did not have a deposit down anywhere in case he didn't get in (and nothing seemed to indicate he wouldn't get into the program), I felt really really depressed and sad, didn't know what I was going to do, but I did not want to send him to Kindergarten (he was not emotionally ready).  To make a long story short, I decided I would home school him this year and he can start Kindergarten next year.

Here is the cool thing.  I didn't want to do it, but God had other plans for me that were better.  I was planning on this year being 1 more year with Jacob and maybe taking some education to get me back on track to go into the work force in a few years.  Every school I called didn't have a spot for Mason or was super duper expensive.  As my husband said, stop fighting it and just home school him this year.

After lots of prayer, I decided if I was going to do this, then I was going to treat it just like a school environment (he needed help with structure and learning to raise his hand and sit still for 7+ hours a day with breaks in between).  I have a syllabus every day and have had some awesome church friends who home school help me by giving me books to copy, ideas, etc.  We started as soon as Kindergarten started (so we are almost 4 weeks in).  He didn't like having to sit for so long and would tire to begin with but he quickly learned to endure the work load (so check 1 on my list of success).  Jacob is also getting to learn with him, but he is not made to sit still as much, he is only 3 (so this is good for both boys on being with others in a classroom).  The next success took a little longer, but now he raises his hand when he wants to ask a question (success number 2).  He has also learned to use his inside voice more and rest on a nap mat (success 3 and 4).  Now we are working on not talking all the time (he is a chatter box, but it is getting better).  He has also started to talk to me about his day and what he did and wants to do (this has been a long time coming and I couldn't be a happier Mom).  It makes me smile that my son wants to interact with me and we can have a conversation.  I have loved seeing both boys learn from me and I get to see how they are growing and maturing.  It has given me the confidence to home school Jacob for preschool and KR for the next few years.  I believe Mason needed me as much as I needed him this year (this has been a special year so far and we are both learning so much).

My oldest child, Rebekah, is wanting to learn what Mason is learning (she didn't even know which state she lived in on a map).  This has encouraged me to do educationally fun activities on the weekends as a family.  So, we will probably take a trip to the local Frist art museum, Cheekwood, the symphony, local parks, etc.  All 3 kids are so eager to learn and it is fun to see that love for learning (it makes me smile).  Rebekah even spent her Saturday after cheerleading working on worksheets from Mason's work this week and wanted to learn more about frogs from the Internet (one of the books we read this week was Jump Frog Jump so the activities were around that book).

Also, we celebrated Jacob's gotcha day yesterday with some dear friends who have an adopted son who has the same gotcha day (he is from Russia).  Since her husband is part Korean, we celebrated with Korean food and cake (the kids loved it)!  Such a special day for our little guys and our families.  It is hard to believe it has been a year since Jacob became our son.  Happy gotcha day Jacob!!!  We love you!

Below are pictures of what has been going on around here (enjoy)...
Happy Gotcha Day! 

 All 3 Playing

 All 3 Learning Together

Brotherly Love  



1st Day of 1st Grade 

Happy 3rd Birthday Jacob! 

Our Home School Area 

Learning At Home 

Jacob's Reward From Chuckee Cheese 

Mason's First Field Trip (Helping Mommy Retreat Plan) 

Microwave Shopping 

Sense of Hearing Day

Monday, July 29, 2013

Birthdays and More

Since the last post, a lot has been going on.  July has been a very busy month.  We have had 4 birthdays during this month in our family.  Since this was Jacob's first birthday here in America, we didn't know what he would think about it.  Needless to say, he has loved it (especially cupcakes)!  Our little guy turned 3 this past Friday and we made sure celebrate all day long.  We went out and got a McDonald's Happy Meal for lunch, shopping for his present at Toys'rus, and finishing the day out with homemade chicken Japchae and a cupcake.  He also got to celebrate with his brother at Mema's earlier this month with a Super Hero theme (that he loved) and a Ice Cream party with his brother here at home with friends and family.  It was so cute when he woke up on his birthday and he told me he was 3 and showed me with his hand.  He also decided a few days ago to be potty trained (YIPPY)!!!  So far so good - no accidents for the past 4 days.  We also got both boys into their newly restored big boy beds (which use to be their Daddy's bunk beds) with their bedding from Aunt Amy.  They also got to help decorate the room and they love their new big boy bedroom!  So as school is approaching we are finishing out July with full speed ahead.   

All 3 kids helped sand and paint (they loved helping and did a great job) 

Painting (doing a good job kids)!

The boys' new beds and redesigned room

Trying on his Hanbok (fits really well now) 

Sprinkler Time at his birthday party 

Cars - his favorite kind of toys 

Happy Birthday Boys (my 5 and 3 year olds)!

 Loves the gift he got at ToysRus (Batmobile with Batman)

 Japchae (yum)

 Happy Birthday little guy

Enjoying cupcakes at a friend's party