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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Woohoo!

Remember that immigration paperwork we were worried about last week? Well, it arrived in the mail yesterday. It's so nice to have that hurdle out of the way.

Because of my poor computer being completely full, I spent HOURS last night backing up my pictures and files on CD/DVD. I thought I was fairly caught up, but I guess not! Also spent lots of time researching external hard drives, online storage options, etc.

Tomorrow is our big travel day. Camden and I are flying to Tulsa to be with Micah, Becky, and the boys for a couple of days. I'm very excited about it! Camden is thrilled to be going on an airplane. Of course, he's quite the seasoned traveler - Korea, Japan, France, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, but all before the age of 2 so he doesn't really remember it. Hopefully, all will go well. We bought him a Leapster and a Cars game which I plan to surprise him with when we board. I've also loaded up on candy and snacks to help keep us busy.

Here are 4 layouts I finished over the weekend. Some of them need a description so I'll describe each.

Camden's Korean name is KimMin Shik, and we've always talked to him about that trying to make sure he was familiar with it. Well, in his little toddler head Kim Min Shik became Chicken Nick and the nick name kinda stuck! Of course, now that he's older, he gets mad when we say Chicken Nick.
Pictures of all of us riding the train at the St. Louis Zoo - definitely Camden's favorite part of the trip.
I soooo should not be doing this, but I've gone back and picked out some of his baby pictures that I'm going to scrap (or rescrap). This picture is when he was 10 months old and obviously a little unhappy about whatever he was eating. Or, honestly, he was a bit OCD and could just be upset at the mess!
Picture of Camden right after he turned 2 - he had the "cheese" smile down already.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Camden

I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that at Camden's 4 year check-up Dr. Heil declared him healthy as a horse, full of energy, and a delight! But, of course, we knew all that! He is 39.5 inches tall and weighs 34.5 lbs. He is right at 40th percentile, so pretty much average! We just love our pediatrician! Not only is he very knowledgeable about international adoption, he's just a great doctor! Camden loves him and always interacts with him really well, which is surprising because Camden is pretty quiet around adults he doesn't know well. Of course, Camden's first year home we became close, personal friends with Dr. Heil since Camden was sick so often!

The weekend was pretty basic. Lots of just day-to-day life stuff happening, none of it particularly exciting! Camden is getting really good on his bicycle and cracks us up with all his make-believe stories. He is playing by himself really well these days. Well, either playing by himself or torturing poor Ruby into playing with him. She finally will have enough and will take off, but that just means he chases her!

We did get Camden's COC finished and in the mail in the nick of time - it was quite an adventure that involved 2 trips to the bank to our safety deposit box through a small-town parade and a post office that closed early because of the parade. Brian was not a happy camper, but it's done!

My computer has been having some weird issues, and I finally decided to check and see how much available space I had on my hard drive. Guess what? Absolutely none! I have filled up 144gB in a year's time. So now we're trying to find an EHD. Any good suggestions? I guess this means no more buying scrap supplies until I clean off some space.

Here are two pages that I finished this weekend. I've made the mistake of looking at old pictures and am feeling the need to rescrap some of his baby pics. This first page is not an old picture, though - it's from a couple of weeks ago. Look how long and tall he seems! The second page uses pictures from a trip to visit Grandma and Grandpa in October of 2004 so he was only 16 months old.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy Friday!

We've got a busy Friday planned. We're headed into Nashville for a family trip. I've got a hair appointment, Camden has his 4-year check-up, then we promised to either take him for ice cream or maybe to the park if he's good at the doctor. Then it's off to grocery store to shop for the week and to get passport pictures taken for Camden. Tonight is family night at VBS so we're headed there later on.

We have to get the passport pics taken because we're working on Camden's Certificate of Citizenship. It's just one final step in solidifying his U.S. citizenship. We technically do not have to do this, but there have been a couple of cases lately where an adopted child got into legal trouble and even though this is not supposed to be necessary because they didn't have a COC they were deported. Now, of course, we want to do everything possible that would prevent that. It's quite ridiculous because basically our government offices do not have interfacing systems and so while he's legal according to the social security administration, he is legal only as long as his passport does not expire according to USCIS. So, all that to say we're paying yet another exorbitant fee and filling out a ton of paperwork! Our deadline to get this done is tomorrow because the fees double as of July 29.


Here are several pages I worked on this week. Stay tuned for a youtube video sometime this weekend. Brian videoed Camden telling me about Bible School last night, and it's pretty funny (although a bit long!).



Thursday, July 26, 2007

Adoption Update

No one get excited - nothing earth shattering here! We've now been officially on the waiting list for 2.5 months. They originally quoted us a 6 month wait so we're almost halfway there. Our funds continue to come in, and we have been blessed by gifts from our wonderful family. We still have a ways to go, but the financial side of the process is going much better than we anticipated. I am quite concerned about some immigration paperwork that hasn't arrived. We were fingerprinted May 15 and still haven't received that paperwork. I'm hoping to talk to our caseworker today and maybe she will have some advice on how to find out if there's been a problem. You know we had serious mail issues during May and June so I'm concerned that the mail was returned to the government, which would NOT be a good thing! I feel pretty good about the wait so far. We've been in process for 8 months now and I will admit to starting to feel a little anxious as the time goes on. I think about our baby and wonder if she's been born yet and where she is and who is taking care of her, but I know it's all in God's timing!

Here is a page I finished up quickly last night. I love this picture of Camden!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday

You should just see how excited Camden is every night when he gets home from Bible School. He is loaded down with papers and crafts (and wired from the koolaid) and he tells me the Bible stories, which get a little mixed up in the translation, but it is so cute!

I walked with Mayme again last night - this time we went to her house. I have two words for you: big hills. I'm sore this morning!

When we first found out that Becky had breast cancer I don't think that any of us realized how it was going to affect all of us, but the doctors quickly discovered that the particular kind of cancer she has is generally caused by the breast cancer gene. After doing some family research, we discovered that a great aunt and second cousin had breast and ovarian cancer and had tested positive for the cancer gene. Because this was all on my dad's side, he was tested for the gene and yesterday we found out he tested positive. Now this doesn't mean too much for him, but what it means for me and my other sister Elizabeth is that we must be tested. There is a 50/50 chance it was passed to us. If we have the gene, then we have a very significant chance of developing cancer before the age of menopause. This is the kind of gene where you hear stories of women having preventative mastectomies and their ovaries removed. Now, I'm not sure I'm ready to go that far, but I do have an appointment with a breast specialist on August 8 who will take care of my genetic testing and may become my close personal friend in months to come. The good news is that a week after Becky's new chemo, she continues to do well. She had a couple of bad days with side effects, but in general it has been alot better than her other treatments.

I finished up HP last night, and it is so good!! Let me just warn you that once you reach a certain point in the book, there is no turning back - you will be UNABLE to put it down! So, I'm a little tired this morning since I stayed up late finishing it!

I finished up one page last night - Camden went fishing in May and had a blast. Unfortunately, he didn't catch fish, but Brian snapped this picture.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

VBS

One of our friend's churches is hosting VBS this week. They have a wonderful church and a huge VBS and have a ton of fun so we thought we'd send Camden this year, especially since our church just had a one-day carnival instead of the full week. Brian took Camden last night, and he had a blast!!

So, while Brian and Camden were at VBS, I walked with my friend Mayme. I think that neither of us wanted to do it, but we made ourselves and it was fun. So much easier to walk with a friend than by yourself or with a 4 year old! I've been thinking I'd like to get one of those jogging strollers so that I could take the baby walking when she arrives, but let's not get ahead of ourselves!

Here's one page I finished up last night. I am almost finished up with my 2005 pictures - this may be the last page. I'm so happy to be finished! I've already got 2004 finished and 2006 isn't far behind.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday

Our grand total from the yard sale is $820. We are thrilled with that and so grateful to our family and friends who helped out!

My house is a wreck and no laundry was finished this weekend because of the yard sale, but I did manage to read almost all of the new HP book. I plan to finish it up tonight (and then get to work on my house!). I spent any spare time reading so no new scrap pages today!


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Anticipation

Know what I'm sitting here looking at? The new Harry Potter book! I am so excited to read it, but honestly if it were up to me, I'd probably put it off just a bit because I sorta like the anticipation of knowing it's here, but not knowing what's going to happen. Is Harry going to live or die? But I know that if I don't start reading, I'll find out the answer either online or on TV because I'm sure it's going to to be everywhere! So, now I have a decision to make tonight - read HP or scrap.

I'm blogging from the front yard again. The weather has turned out to be PERFECT! If you can believe it, I needed a jacket this morning it was so cool. We're getting ready to start packing things up. I don't have a total amount yet, but we have done much better than I anticipated, and we've even met some really nice people. One lady noticed our adoption fundraiser sign and slipped in a $50 check in between the 2 dollar bills she had used to pay for her items. One of Brian's teen boys stopped by and told Brian he had some extra money laying around and wanted to donate it. Several church people stopped by and paid extra for their items, plus donating items to sell. So I would definitely call the sale a success. I'll post a total on Monday. The best news is that just now someone finally decided to take us up on the offer of a free kitten. Now we're back to just Ruby.



Friday, July 20, 2007

Yard Sale

I'm blogging today from my front yard. Our sale did not have a great start. We were planning to set up last night, but they were calling for thunderstorms so we put it off until this morning and started about 5 and finished up about noon. If you can't do the math - that's 7 hours worth of work!! It rained until about 11, so we spent lots of time putting out tarps, taking them down, drying things off, etc. Hopefully, it will be worth all the time spent. We'll see.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

SO EXCITED!!

Can you tell I'm yelling in excitement in my title? First, I get to leave work a little early today and finally use the gift certificate I received for Mother's Day. I'm going to the Decadence Day Spa for a Rocky Road Pedicure and a Spa Manicure. Sound fun?? They use chocolate in all their treatments, and the description for the pedicure mentioned marshmallows between my toes and a dish of Rocky Road ice cream. I can't wait!

But my main excitement is for a much bigger reason! Camden and I are going to Tulsa to see Becky and Micah and the boys. Someone had given them vouchers for 2 flights that had to be used by August 5, and Becky's doctor told her she couldn't travel so Becky emailed me yesterday asking if Camden and I could make the trip. I am just so excited! We haven't seen them since the first week of May and I wasn't sure when we would see them before Thanksgiving. We leave August 1 and will stay for 4 days. Becky has a chemo treatment that week, but we're hoping she'll still be feeling all right. The new treatments that she started this week don't seem to be affecting her as badly as the others. But even if she is sick, I will still be so glad to see her and I can just help out with the boys if that's what she needs. Just hope she's not planning on me cooking! LOL

One thing I'm not too excited about is the fact that it's 96 and so incredibly humid today! It is just miserable outside! It is supposed to cool off a bit for the weekend, so I'm glad for that.

We're having an adoption fundraiser yard sale Friday and Saturday so this is going to be a busy weekend! We've had a ton of people give us alot of stuff, plus we have plenty of things from when we moved so hopefully it will go well.

AHHH! I'm the only person on my floor today. Can it get any more boring around here?

Here are a couple of pages I finished up yesterday. The first one is a picture of Camden sleeping with his giraffe. Uncle Andy and Aunt Dodi gave him this giraffe right after he turned 2. He immediately named him Lazarus and it has been his best buddy ever since. I keep thinking he'll grow out of it, but not yet anyway!


This one is just nice and simple - a picture of Collette and I from her visit 2 weeks ago. She was a very dear friend to me when they lived here, and I still miss her friendship.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Noisy!!

I'm sitting here at my desk this morning (actually made it to work by 7:15) and there is a group of college kids (I'm assuming) on the street in front of my office screaming their heads off every time cars go by - which is like every millisecond. They're holding signs for a mayoral candidate, and of course they have the right to do that, but it is sooooo annoying!! Hopefully, they will not be here all day!

I went out to lunch with a friend yesterday and had a really good time with her. We always go to Qdoba, which is just about my favorite place to eat. Got home from work and had to wake Camden up - he had just crashed when they returned from their camping trip and had slept for hours! He had so much fun. I met a friend for a walk last night, which was really good. My feet hurt after we finished! Normally I have Camden with me when I walk, and his little legs just can't keep up so I generally slow down. It felt like much more of a workout to walk with an adult!

Here are a couple of pages.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Success

I think the camping trip was a success. They're not home yet, but I talked to Brian and Camden last night and again this morning. They've played hard, made chili for supper, pancakes and bacon for breakfast, got very little sleep because it was so hot - you know the drill. I'm sure I'll have pictures to post tomorrow.

Camden had his first fall from his big boy bike. Brian said he was going to fast, panicked and slammed on his breaks, which made him fly through the air and he skidded underneath our friend's jeep (thankfully parked and not moving!). He got up, brushed himself off, and said, "I'm pretty tough." Isn't that funny? I can almost guarantee if I would have been there, he would have cried, though. Sometimes it's all about how much sympathy you can get.

I'll be glad to have them home tonight. They were gone Friday night as well, and I just kinda got lonely. I used to love having time to myself because it was so rare (and I do still enjoy it), but this summer with Brian's slower schedule and as Camden gets older, they've been going off and doing lots of boy stuff and leaving me home alone, and I'm kinda ready for a little more family time and not just the boys headed off together.

Here are two pages from yesterday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy Monday

Well, as busy as the last few weeks at work have been, this week will make up for it because it is so slow! Everyone is gone to a convention, and I'm left alone in this big building with very few people! Kinda feels like I'm on vacation. I'm wearing casual clothes cause I can, blogging in the middle of the day cause I can, eating at my desk cause I can - well, you get the picture.

Brian is taking Camden camping today and tomorrow. He says it's for his birthday, but let's be honest here. It's more for Brian than Camden! There is nothing he likes better than to camp. (And there's nothing I like worse than to sleep outside in the heat with no access to a bathroom or shower)

Because my family will never believe I did this and because I promised my mom to post proof on my blog, Brian and I spent several hours in the kitchen "putting up" (I think this is the technical term) corn. Brian went to a farm and picked corn Saturday and then yesterday we shucked it, cut it off the cob, partially cooked it, then bagged it up to freeze. Now, I'm sure we'll enjoy it, but this is probably more corn than we'll ever eat and I'm not so sure it's worth the effort. And just in case you're wondering if I'm turning into a country girl, this should set your mind at rest - I stopped at Starbucks this morning for coffee and I'm going to a dayspa (using a gift certificate I got for Mother's Day) to get a manicure/pedicure this week.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Happy Birthday!

I cannot believe that my baby is 4! I know to some of you mothers out there with older children that doesn't seem old, but to me it seems very old! Camden turned 4 today, and he is just so big and grown up that I can hardly stand it!

We celebrated last night with Brian's parents and Michael and Liz and then just had a quiet lunch with birthday cake and ice cream this afternoon by ourselves. Camden thoroughly enjoyed being the center of attention (of course, when is he not?). He was thrilled with his new big-boy bicycle, but I think he was equally as thrilled with the new soccer ball and shin guards that Michael and Liz bought him (requirements for his new soccer team that starts in August). Kids are so funny!

Camden's birthday never goes by without my thinking of his birthparents and wondering where they are and what they're doing and wondering if they've thought of him today. And then I just feel overwhelmed with gratitude that somehow God saw fit to give him to us.

Here is a collection of pictures from the day as well as the big family picture that has become a tradition!


Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Friday!

So, today's going to be a good day. My house is clean, I plan to scrap, and Camden and I are having a little party tonight. Brian is going to be gone this evening so we're going to eat pizza, have ice cream and watch a movie. That's a really big party to him! We're also having a little birthday party for him tomorrow. His birthday is Sunday, but Sundays are just way too busy with church and Brian's responsibilities at church so Camden thinks his birthday is tomorrow. I had planned to just make him a cake this year, but he started begging for a Cars cake this week - he's got the whole thing planned out - where the cars sit and the flags, etc. It's so funny! If you can believe it, this is the first time he's really asked for something specific so a Cars cake it is. When we ask him what he wants for his birthday, he says, "a stick with a flag on it like I had at my old house that waves." No idea what that is, but we're going to try to find a flag! Brian and I cannot remember a toy or a flag that he's ever had!

Becky is feeling alot better today, and she got really great news from her MRI this week. Her tumor is less than half the size it originally was. I talked to her this morning, and she sounded good. She starts a new kind of chemotherapy (you should hear Camden say that word, by the way - so funny) next week, and the side effects are supposed to be a little bit easier to take, which is always a good thing!

Here are two pages I finished up yesterday on my day off! Oh, and we did go see Harry Potter and it was really good. I'm such a big Harry Potter fan anyway - love the books especially! I can't wait for the new book to arrive at my house next week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vacation

I decided yesterday to take an impromptu vacation day today. I've been saving all my days for when we're in Korea and I'm off for family leave, but after the last couple of weeks, I needed a day off! I've managed to convince Brian to brave the crowds and we're going to go see Harry Potter today, and I'm really excited about that!

If you're in a shopping mood, here are two collab kits I've been working with this week that I just love! The first is Little Darlin' by Jessica Bolton and Kresta Mettler. Oh, and by the way, Jessica asked me to be on her creative team and I am so excited! I love her designs!


French Countryside by Christina Renee and Shabby Princess is so beautiful and just full of unique elements.

And here is one page for today - with Sally (the other cat). Oh, and by the way, we discovered yesterday that "she" is a "he." So we might need a new name!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but work the last couple of weeks has been crazy busy and very frustrating! The busy part I don't mind. In fact, I love to be busy and get alot done. It makes me productive, and like it's worth it to be a working mom, but the frustrating part I don't like. I am NOT a miss deadlines kinda girl, but when you're relying on others, sometimes that happens, and I hate it! I won't say more than that since I know some work people read my blog, but it's been frustrating! But as of 8:44 this morning, the big project I was working on is complete and out of my hands!

I had a really nice surprise yesterday. My college best friend called. Now, we've been out of college for 10 years (I am sooo old!), and have not kept in touch very well. In fact, the last time I talked to her, her youngest baby was about to be born (she's 3.5 now) so it's been a while. In college, we were inseparable, and she played a huge part in my whole college experience. So it was nice to hear from her after so long. We both promised to try to keep in touch more.

A couple of things Camden is saying these days: 1) seriously, 2) that's for sure. It's so funny because they're not really 3 year old sayings! He also has been saying, "Ruby is the best cat I ever had, mommy" every time he sees her.

Oh, and speaking of cats, anyone want one?? We somehow ended up with two since another one was abandoned right after we took in Ruby. And it's not that they're alot of trouble and Camden loves them, but they are kinda annoying. Every time you walk outside, they swarm you because they think you're going to feed or play with them. I have no idea how many times I've tripped and almost fallen. I think we're stuck with them at this point, though. Camden named the black cat Sally (think the Cars movie).

I had every good intention of working out every day this week, but have worked through lunch the last two days and now I need to run a couple of errands today so things are not going well in the health department!

We got more paperwork from Camden's school this week. He starts K-4 in August, and I guess I didn't really realize how much like "school" it really is. I was thinking more along the lines of preschool. I'm almost having second thoughts about it. I am sure that he'll be fine, it just seems like I'm sending him to kindergarten a year early. He'll turn 4 and then two weeks later start school. I don't know - reading the paperwork just made me a little bit sad. It seems like too much too soon. He's just growing up so fast. He even has to wear a UNIFORM, which is almost a curse word to me:) .

Okay, think I'm finished rambling for now. Scroll down for lots of layouts!



Monday, July 09, 2007

Twice

So, two posts in one day for me! I got a call from my mom this evening - she is with Becky for the next couple of weeks to help her out with the boys during her chemotherapy - and Becky's having a rough day. I've spent the evening praying for her as I scrapped this page. I don't know why I do this, but it's happened several times in the last bit, but when I've been worried about her and how the cancer is making her ill, I've scrapped pictures with her in them. Somehow makes me feel a little bit closer to her, which is silly I know. Anyway, here's the page - and I know that it's a do-over, but I just was never satisfied with the first version.

Our Weekend

Hope you all enjoyed a little piece of Camden in yesterday’s post! He loves to sing these days! Now that Brian has figured out the YouTube thing, I’m sure we’ll be posting more of these.

Our weekend was good. Saturday we made a shopping trip looking for a birthday present for Camden. I think he tried out every bike in our county! Unfortunately, we need the 14 inch size, and they’re hard to find! I think he might end up with a Go, Diego, Go bike, which isn’t my favorite, but it’s the only 14 inch we can find! Brian and Camden spent several hours washing the cars on Saturday afternoon. Well, Camden spent several hours playing in the water and Brian spent several hours watching him pretend to wash the cars!

Sunday turned out to be a really good day. One of my very good friends showed up at church unexpectedly, and it was so good to see her and her kids. They moved far, far away a couple of years ago, and I had not seen her since. She came over for lunch, and we have a very nice couple of hours together!

Work has been C.R.A.Z.Y.! After today, things should be slowing down a bit. I actually thrive on the busy part, but what is frustrating is trying to make deadlines when you’re relying on other people to get their part done, and it just doesn’t happen!

Well, my lunch hour is over so my blog post must be finished!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Little Entertainment

Turn up the volume, sit back, and enjoy a little entertainment.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Uneventful

My blog post is the perfect title for my week! With the exception of really hard days at work this week and having July 4th off, not much is happening around here! I'd tell you how I'm living my regular Friday routine but it would bore me even to write it out so I'll just leave you with a couple of pages I've completed this week.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy July 4th

Happy July 4th! Ours was pretty uneventful! Camden spent the night at Gram and Gramp's house last night. Brian got up early, took off all the inside doors in our house so that we could sand, prime and paint them. They're all the cheap wooden doors (not the pretty ones with molding) so we're painting them white to match the trim. Since Brian, paint, and Melissa do not mix well at all, I pretty much had a quiet day to myself! I read, watched some TV, scrapped, and just generally lounged around. Then tonight we went to pick up Camden and had dinner there, came home, let Camden set off a few fireworks, and the day is over!


Monday, July 02, 2007

Monday

We attended our annual July 4th church picnic (well, technically the weekend before July 4th picnic) last night, and a fun time was had by all. The weather cooled down just a bit so it wasn't quite as miserable as it's been lately. This is the first year that we let Camden run with the big kids so he pretty much hit the ground running when we arrived and we saw him 4 hours later! And while I will admit that it was quite nice to not have to keep up with him and entertain him, it also made me a little bit sad because he's big enough to not need me! Oh, well - next year I should have a new little toddler in my arms! (and just think of the cute red, white, and blue outfits I can shop for!)
So, once again I'm saying it here, which technically means nothing since I can't seem to commit to it for longer than a couple of weeks, but trying to get back on track with this working out thing - starting with a family walk tonight. Elizabeth is out of town, so my Curves buddy isn't around, and I'm having trouble making myself go work out alone!
Elizabeth, mom and dad, and my grandparents are all in Oklahoma this week visiting Micah, Becky, and the boys, and I find myself sad we're not there too! I would just really like to see everyone and spend time together. Our July 4th plans are quite boring - we're having a work day around the house! We've got doors to paint (like all of them in our house!), a yard sale to get ready for, and a dresser to finish stripping so we can paint it white for the nursery. Last year Micah and Becky, William and Xavier, and Michael and Liz all came for the day and it was so nice to spend the day together. We are planning to go to my in-law's house for dinner, and that will be nice, but I find myself just really wishing to see my family.
Okay, here are a few more pages from the weekend. It felt like I didn't get much scrapping done, and to be honest I'm not happy with quite a few of these pages, but turns out I did crank out quite a few.


And. . .

. . . . they're multiplying! Hopefully, we don't become known as "the family with all the cats."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Scrapping News

This post is just going to be totally scrapping news (family, feel free to skip to the bottom for the pics if you want!).

My big news for the month is that Gina Miller and Traci Murphy have both asked me to scrap layouts for them this month, and I am soooo excited! It's pretty much a scrapper's dream to tell ya the truth! So, with that in mind, take a look at some of the pages I've been working on with their designs, and if you want, take a look at this blog. You just might see a familiar face or two!