Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One of My Favorite Days of the Year!

I love April Fool's Day! I've always liked playing harmless jokes on people like calling my parents from college after only being there 10 days and telling them I was quitting and they needed to come get me right then! .......... Oh wait, that was for real, and my Dad came down the next weekend to drive me home where they promptly put me in counseling. But that's another story.

Other than that, I've given them some scares that weren't real, like the time I told them I was pregnant (when I was still single), or the time I told them the tattoo I was sporting was real (it wasn't). Of course, being a prankster means that eventually you have jokes played on you as well. Like on our wedding night when some of my "friends" (and I use that term loosely), got into our room and pranked away. Guess I kind of deserved those soaked towels, missing sheets and light bulbs, the box spring placed on top of the mattress, and the alarm clock going off at 3am. The saying, "What comes around goes around" became very real to me that night!

Now that I have children, I can bring April Fool's Day to a whole new fun-loving level. I wanted to share some of the pranks I've pulled on them in the past and give you a pre-view of what I'll be doing tomorrow. My kids too have sometimes gotten into the act. Last year they put a rubber-band on the sprayer-thingie at the sink and I got soaked. ha ha ha I got them even better, though, which you'll see towards the end of this post.

Here are some of the meal pranks I've used in the past that were a huge hit! All of these can be found on the Family Fun website if you want the recipes, etc. This was one of the first meals I made and it consisted of: Cocoa Krispie meat loaf, Starburst green beans, and vanilla ice cream w/caramel sauce mashed potatoes. The fun part about this meal was that my niece ,Jessica, and nephew, Adam, were over for dinner so I got to fool 5 unsuspecting kids!!! Boy was I in my element that night!

Here are the sweet, unsuspecting cherubs gathering around the table, kind of moaning about the fact that they have to eat meatloaf and green beans. tee hee hee. This meal is very convincing looking so you can see that no one is really "figuring it out" yet. Of course they were kind of young and easily fooled ( I LOVED THAT AGE!)--evil grin.

Adam, the oldest, and wisest, finally figured out that they were getting April Fooled and gave me that "Oh, Aunt Kristin you're so funny" grin. SUCCESS!!!

Two years ago, I served spaghetti made out of icing, malted milk ball meatballs, and strawberry "tomato" sauce. For "dessert" they got meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato icing. yum!

Once again, I called the kiddos to the table (of course they're a little more suspicious since they're aware of my affection for April Fool's Day). Josi points out that something looks a little strange about her spaghetti.

Michael (who is a total sweat-ball from playing outside), decides to "test" his food to see if anything is perhaps moving or alive in there? He is my sweet-tooth kid so these April Fool's meals are his favorite meals of the year!!!

Allen, who went through a hippie phase 2 years ago, is giving me that same "Mom, you're so weird" grin. But I know that he knows that he got Fooled once again! ha ha ha-evil laugh!

So, last year I decided to trip them up and do their April Fool's Meal for breakfast. I made marshmallow eggs with dried apricot yolks. I made regular toast on the side, so they truly had NO IDEA the eggs were a yolk...I mean a joke. Corny Laugh.

Again, Michael is opting for the "Let me just touch this to see if I can figure out what she's feeding us this year" strategy.

Allen decides, since he's the oldest, that he won't be fooled and opts for Michael's strategy as well.

Josi is the only smart one who decides to just dig in and enjoy the treat! "Wow, Mom! My eggs are really stretchy!"

Remember I told you about the soaking I received last year? Well, later in the day, I decided to give my kids Oreos with toothpaste in the middle to pay them back. Here were their reactions:
"Hmm...kind of minty...are these those new kind of Oreos Mom?" (He really did ask me that and proceeded to eat the rest of it). Gag!

"Cool and minty, not too bad." But still looking for something crawling in it. (That boy just doesn't trust me for some reason!)

"Ewwww! Gross!!! What are you trying to do, kill us???" That's my smart girl!
So, what's on the menu for tomorrow? For lunch, my children will be served grilled cheese sandwiches made out of pound cake and icing tinted a nice cheesy yellow color. I may just serve strawberry "tomato" soup as a side dish as well. :) I'll post pictures as the dastardly plot unfolds.
What will you be doing to celebrate April Fool's Day??? I'd love to add more pranks to my repertoire!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quick Adoption Update

Our dossier arrived in Kyev last Friday after we were told it would arrive on Wednesday (sigh). Seems it was held up in customs in Kyev for some reason. Anyway, we had hoped for our translator to have our paperwork ready to submit this coming Thursday, April 1st (they only submit on Thursdays), but because of the delay, it may not be until next Thursday, April 8th that we'll actually be submitted.

At first I was very disappointed since we've worked so hard to get things done as quickly as possible, but then I realized that having an extra week to get things ready to
1) be away from home for 3 weeks,
2) get the girls' room ready, and
3)get a few more weeks of homeschooling under our belts might not be a bad thing.

The biggest disapointment (other than waiting an extra week to meet Nadia), is that we were hoping to cross paths with a few amazing blogger friends while we're over there. Not sure if that will happen if we're delayed a week. Fortunately, one will be moving to VA which is only 21/2hrs. away, and the other one lives in Ohio which is another road trip we'd love to take to meet their families and new girls from Nadia's country!!!

I know God will work it out for us to spend time with these families either across the ocean or in the good old U.S. of A. We're in the home stretch now and getting even more excited to go meet our daughter and bring her back where she belongs!!!

8:15pm--Just received an e-mail that there will be NO dossier submissions until April 15th. We don't know why at this point but it's very disappointing news. Please pray for whatever possible "issue" that's causing this shut-down to be resolved quickly. We aren't the first ones in the adoption world to be caught up in delays beyond our control and we won't be the last...but it's still a big, fat, BUMMER!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Will She Like Hockey???

We love hockey! Our family has a mini-season ticket plan for the Carolina Hurricanes and it is one of our favorite family outings!!! The Hurricanes have brought professional hockey to a market that isn't quite known for ice hockey and we're sure glad they did!!! But the question is.......... Will Nadia like hockey?
Will she get as excited as we do when the arena is filling up and the players are warming up before the game begins?

Will she clap as we win a face-off against a tough opponent?

Will she cover her ears when the goal horn announces a Hurricanes' Goal (like her sister does) or will she jump up and down and whoop and holler like the rest of us do???

Will she be able to hang in there to see the 'Canes win when it goes into shoot-outs like it did last night? (YES!!! We really did beat the #1 team in the NHL last night--sorry Alex O.)

Will she sit on her Daddy's lap, like Josi did, for the first season until she gets used to all of the sights and sounds? I know Daddy will love the snuggle time like he did with Josi. :)

I'm sure she'll eventually want to sit with her brothers and sister and her cousins Jessica & Adam and Aunt Stephanie & Uncle Hugh (not pictured) who attend the games with us. Jessica even brought over her cute little Hurricane's Cheerleader outfit for Nadia that she used to wear when she was Nadia's age. Thanks Jessica!

We've talked a lot lately about whether Nadia will like going to hockey games and as you can see, Josi is giving 2 thumbs up that she'll definitely enjoy being a part of these special family outings!

So, we'll make sure she's decked out, bundled up, and ready to go for her first hockey game come October!!! And then we'll see if she likes hockey or not. GO CANES!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


After 2 months, 11 days, and 16hrs. of compiling our dossier to adopt Nadia, it is now on its way to Eastern Europe! I can't tell you what a relief it was to hand this package over to this sweet UPS lady and have her share in my excitement (she LOVED seeing the picture of Nadia) as we take this HUGE GIANT STEP toward our daughter!!!


(Credit for the clever dossier nickname goes to Lisa Peele-"Loving Alina")

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Friends

Last Friday night I had the chance to meet some new friends who all live in the Raleigh area and who all have adopted (or are about to) from the same country Nadia is in through Reece's Rainbow http://www.reecesrainbow.org/ . Three of the women have already been there and back with their new children. It was a lot of fun to hear some of their stories about crazy cab rides, yummy food, mini-skirts and high heels, not so appealing bathroom facilities, and the wonderful people they met in and out of the orphanages. I'm more excited than ever to go get Nadia although I think I need to spiff up my wardrobe (including a new pair of stilettos-grin). I'm humbled by how God has provided this instant "Eastern European Adoption Group" with so many of us living so close to each other. There were even a few moms missing!

Allow me to introduce you to my new friends. Martha is the gal in the front left of the picture and she brought a little girl named Laurel home last summer.

Next to her is Lydia who is my stateside coordinator with Reece's Rainbow. Her job has been to check and re-check all of my forms and to put up with my somewhat...ahem...persistent personality. She adopted Mira last summer also.

On my direct left is Jennifer who has just started the process to bring Milana home. Milana and Nadia will only be 3 months apart and we only live 6 blocks away from each other. How cool is that for Nadia to have a built-in playmate/best friend from her home country!!! Only God!!!

Next to Jennifer is another Jennifer who needs to have her own reality show. She and her husband already had about 13 or more kids before they went to Eastern Europe to get 3 little ones last year!!! They fell in love with 3 more while over there so they're in process to go back and get them!

I'm already blessed with an extremely supportive group of friends and family, so making new friends is God's way of adding yummy icing on an already rich and delicious cake. Thank you!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Picture Of Nadia!!!

Just got this picture of Nadia TODAY!!! One of our facilitators, Serge, is over in Nadia's orphanage helping another family bring home their daughter, Svetlana, and was able to take updated photos of a lot of the Reece's Rainbow Kids. This picture makes me smile because it looks like she has about 5 layers of clothing on which we found out is the norm in her country. In fact, if we take her outside (over there) with less than a few layers, we would be looked down on as being bad parents. The same rule applies in the summer months as well. Very interesting! Either way, we're thrilled to see our daughter looking healthy and quite well fed! :) Can't wait to get her home so she can maybe move around a little bit without all of those clothes on!!! I'm sweating just looking at her! ha ha ha LOVE THAT FACE!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fingerprint Day!!!

After days of running out to this only to come back empty-handed...

...we finally got this yesterday!!!

So we showed up here at 8am this morning...

...in order to get these recorded for our final approval to adopt Nadia!
We're almost there sweet girl!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Please Consider Helping a Friend!

If you remember back on a previous post, I had the opportunity to meet a blog friend, Adeye, out in Colorado. She is just weeks away from heading to Eastern Europe to bring home her 2 newest daughters, Hailee and Harper, and is holding an e-bay auction to raise funds for this last leg of their adoption journey. Please click on her blog address on my blog list side bar (No Greater Joy Mom) to check out the auction items and hopefully bid on something. Every little bit helps!!!

Oh, by the way. If you're going to bid on the autographed Sarah Palin book, be ready for some competition!! tee hee


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Adoption Olympics

In light of the recent Olympic Games, a good friend of mine, Sue, suggested I do a post about how adopting is like the Olympics. She should know because she and her husband Steve, have adopted 5 domestically. One of my other good friends, Lisa, has adopted 2 internationally. So, I've been able to see first-hand from those 2 families the effort that goes into competing in The Adoption Olympics.

But until we entered the games, I had no idea how grueling it could be. We don't get to spend 4yrs. "training" for our events; we simply qualify by having a heart for orphans and obeying the calling God has spoken into our lives. The great part about that is that The Adoption Olympics are open to a wide variety of participants unlike the Olympics that only allow the top 1% of athletes to qualify. I thank God that from the beginning of His Creation that He's been willing to allow us out-of-shape, non-cream of the crop type people to be used by Him in some of the most amazing, "Give God the Glory" types of life events.

So, since the Olympics we just watched on TV gave medals to the participants in certain events, I'd like to give out some as well, although there are MANY, many events not represented in this post!!

We'll start with the Bronze Medal. This medal is being awarded in the "Patience With Lines and other Red Tape Delays" event. I can't give myself more than a bronze in this category because I found myself muttering in the lines and thinking not-so-life-giving thoughts whenever someone else's mistakes caused delays in completing forms. I know there are a lot of you out there who would win the Gold medal in this event so I will humbly allow your anthem to be played at the medal ceremony. :)

I'm awarding myself the Silver Medal in the "Parallel Parking While Taking Forms Downtown" event. I've proven that I can park my extended length Expedition...

...into spots no larger than this one. I even did it once in the rain!!! (Almost gave myself the Gold for that one but that prize is being reserved for the next event so read on!)

Anyone in the adoption world knows that the Gold Medal has to be given to ALL of us in the "Paperwork Completion" event. ( I've said it from the beginning that if we had to go through this much paperwork just to birth a baby...there would be no orphans!) So, let's mount the platform together and accept our "crown" that we will one day lay at our Father's Feet, and join each other in singing whatever hymn, song, or prayer that has helped get you to this point. (Mine would be a medley of "It's me, it's me, it's me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer!", 'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus", and "The Chicken Dance"--yes, they will be playing this in heaven. ha ha)
By the way, this beautiful display of apostilled documents is still 10 (yes I said 10) documents short of what will eventually become our dossier!!! Like I said...grueling!!! What other events would you add to the Games???