Tuesday, August 30, 2011


One of my beautiful daughters...

who was not very happy I made her wear those bibs. Isn't she cute?

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Helper

Kaitlyn helped skin peaches for canning the other night.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Kenton, Jamison, and Megan ran a 5K yesterday.

Turns out Jamison is no longer following in his Dad's footsteps. As Jamison hit the finish line someone asked him where he left his dad. His response was...

"In the dust!"

It will be a while till Kenton lives that one down. :-P

Jamison ran the 5K in 27:15. That's pretty good for a ten-year-old. It took Kenton (with Megan) 31:34. Kenton says he could have done it faster...but not faster than Jamison.

Milk Dud Report: We bought a large square baler. Now he's going to fix the large square baler. The trial run proves it needs some work. (For Dennis: a picture will follow soon. The knotter needs some adjustment.) The farmer in the dell is getting ready to spend big money...it's time to update. He's busy pricing structures, equipment, etc. (So sorry, robots! You're not cost effective for us.) Milk prices are great; keep drinking!

Friday, August 26, 2011

D DAY !!!

Dossier Done Day!!!

Obviously Duane wasn't as excited about a finished dossier as I was...however, he was a VERY good sport. :-) That particular envelope represents plenty of blood, sweat, tears, and tons of STRESS! Naturally my tendency to procrastinate only aggravates this situation. BUT...

It's DONE!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Hard to Believe...

That once upon a time these TWO families had infertility troubles.

Yep, that's how this friendship started.

It's always a treat when Paul and Saralee bring their crew our direction so we can catch up. Ou girls loved games, card tricks, and nail polish with Rebekah, Grace, and Abby and the boys had fun hanging out with Benjamin. It's fun to hear from couples whose children are approaching adulthood: What did you do right? What would you do differently? Any advice?

If anybody else would like to add, we'd LOVE to hear it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We started school today. One day down. One Hundred Seventy-nine days to go.

Turns out the decision to homeschool based on adoption travel was maybe not a necessary choice. Things are not going as planned. Looks like it may be next summer before we travel. Although, depending on the season that WE may become I. Now there's a short-term money saving proposition that could wind up with mom in a straight jacket and padded room.

Two words sum up my feelings on today and its news:

Bummer, Dude!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fun at the Lake

When we're in Minnesota we like to spend lots of time in the water...of course, part of this is because Mosquitoes don't bite underwater.

The kids were having a wonderful time catching frogs and minnows one cool day. Dad and Kenton gave them a thrill by seining a catch to add to their collection.
Waiting on the catch
Racing to get the most minnows
To the delight of the kids, some fish wound up in the catch. Megan grabbed this northern.

Megan, armed with a noodle, taking on the boys.

Preparing a minnow/frog habitat

Frogs in a bucket

Jaycie and Mandy

Dad and Jeff like a fire.

Jamison loved this little boat. It didn't take him long to get it figured out.

This is it. You are now safe from the dreaded "vacation slides".

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lake Superior Zoo

If you're expecting animal pics...sorry, the Lake Superior Zoo was not superior. Frankly, it was pretty lame. It had an impressive set of lions, a tiger, and fun sea lions...but unless you love turtles, lizards, birds, etc. it was disappointing.

Fortunately we brought our own fun zoo with us. Our animals were much more entertaining.

Grandma treated them to a train ride...and was the only adult willing to accompany them. Is she a good sport or what?

Her dad is saying, "DON'T GET ANY IDEAS!"

Guess who is the biggest drama queen in our family!

Short on animals but large on scenery was Lake Superior Zoo. If they'd just get their animals up to their landscaping it would be terrific. Did I mention they might want to shoot those fowl fowl known as geese?

Maryland is beautiful...but I'm not sure it tops Minnesota.

This is the let's get a cousin picture...pre-Dairy Queen promise. Cooperative bunch, eh?

It's amazing how a trip to DQ sweetens kids up.

I saved the best for last.

Do you think Kaitlyn is rushing the whole Prince Charming thing?

Okay, I lied. One more day of vacation pics coming. Sorry.

Lucas came home today. He'll probably be waking my sister up a lot from now on. That ought to be fun, eh?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The New Version of "Would You Like to See Slides of our Trip?"

Things that make our vacation special: (NO, mosquitoes do not appear on this list. I would be totally happy along with everyone else if Noah had left them off the ark.)

Relatives. Lots of relatives. My cousin Chris and his family were visiting from California. Alex, Nick, and Tommy were wonderful to my kids. Tommy helped Kaitlyn catch a fish. His fishing rod may never be the same, but she had a memorable time.
After supper, I saw Davis slip over to Alex, "Do you want to go fishing with me again?" Alex was an awfully good sport.
I could sure use an Alex and Nick living next door.
An impromptu mini-reunion meant I got to see some special people I haven't seen in a long time. Uncle Jim and Sheri were two.

These two sneaky cousins armed with water guns are after Uncle Dennis.

Does Uncle Dennis look a little damp? Jeff's grin makes me wonder if he put them up to this.

Looks like Uncle Dennis isn't the only one who got wet. : )

A bunch of the aunts and mom. (Notice that green plaid wallpaper? Mom has this thing for green plaid wallpaper. Twelve-step programs must be available somewhere for this addiction.)

This is my grandma's side of Crooked Lake. The kids enjoyed throwing rocks off the dock just like I did. Look at all that blue!

One HUGE highlight of this trip was seeing my new nephew Lucas. If all goes well tonight Kim and Joe will bring him home tomorrow! Remember he wasn't due until September 23!

Here's a little perspective. Honestly, my sister does not have gigantic hands. What a precious miracle. Thank you for all your prayers.

M&ms from Uncle Bob, root beer floats with Auntie Sandy, four-wheeler visits from Uncle Jack, and a bed turning with my Aunt Helen are usually regular events.

From the bed turning...
I THINK this is the quilt I want to make for #5. I need to go through my fabric stash and see what I can come up with. Kenton hates it but he's not making or using it, so tough. :P

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see bald eagles on Crooked Lake. This one had a nest across from my parents. At one point both of its young were flying with it.

My brother Steve and Kenton took a quick look at the miracle and hopped the bus to the airport before heading home.

Hey, just think, at least this way you can "watch" at your own speed or "head home" before the "show" was over.

Actually, one more day of this business, sorry. :P

Friday, August 19, 2011

USCIS Pittsburgh

We interrupt this regularly scheduled vacation broadcast to report that USCIS Pittsburgh is fabulous! Why did we have to wait till adoption #2 to confirm that Baltimore is the absolute bottom of the pit and Pittsburgh rocks?

I won't bore you with all the details except to say that NO ONE looked at us as potential terrorists, no one was rude to us, we were in an out on schedule with PLEASANT SMILES! Yes, 99% of the Baltimore USCIS office should be shipped via chain gang to Pittsburgh for courtesy lessons.

AND... we received word today that our adoption tax credit (applied for in March) will be sent to us in the next 6-8 weeks. Can we charge the IRS for interest?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Keeping the Tourists Away

We've just returned from our annual summer trip to the Northland. This year's unfortunate theme was mosquitoes. I'm sure that at some time while I was growing up there the mosquitoes were as voracious but I don't remember it. Some things one prefers not to recall. (Although I think wimps...uh, I mean, people from Maryland were certain that the year we got married in Minnesota was equally evil.)

Call it Cutters, Deep Woods Off, Avon Skin-So-Soft, Repel or
whatever contains high concentrations of whatever repels mosquitoes and I'll spray it on. My favorite perfume is Deep Woods Off, my favorite music is the sound of repellant being sprayed, and one of my favorite sights is zillions of dragonflies and bats at the smorgasbord. Are you getting our Minnesota theme yet? If you haven't already guessed it, the bugs were BAD.

Inspite of the bug problem, we had a good time at the lake.

Kaitlyn continues to adore her cousin Jaycie. I think this is partially attributable to Jaycie being a good sport about sharing her cell phone.

One highlight was that Megan
learned to water ski. Woohoo!

More to come...