Monday, April 28, 2008

Personal Boycott

United Airlines and US Airlines.

They are now charging up to $50 for a second suitcase. This is most definitely a charge for families, because we are the ones that need a second suitcase. I can't imagine being able to travel without a second suitcase when I am travelling by myself with Tate.

So, know you know. And knowing is half the battle. (GI Joe)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

1 1/2 is SUCH a great age...

...but so frustrating sometimes. Tate isn't very vocal yet (with words, he screams just fine), but he knows what he wants and tantrums when he can't express it. He's finally saying please, though, so I guess that's a bright spot.

He also hates any foreign object that is gooey or sticky on his hands or feet, so if something is there (oatmeal, booger, mud, etc) he comes up to me going "no no no no" and wants me to wipe it off. I'm teaching him how to wipe it off on his own shirt. Aren't I a great mom? He doesn't mind it if he's playing with it, but he hates it when he's done and wants the goo gone immediately. It's pretty funny.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and we really enjoyed it. I had started some pumpkins, sunflowers and peas in a little makeshift greenhouse thing in the house, and I got to transplant them all outside yesterday! I hope that we'll have a bunch of peas, because I LOVE them. Tate is even eating them now, a far cry from the pic here. He only likes them if they're frozen or if we are eating them, too. Hopefully my plants survive outdoors. If they do, we'll have pumpkins and peas coming out our ears. At least we'll be able to share! I planted the giant pumpkins, and this will be the first year that we've carved them, and I'm sure Tate will have a blast!
In adoption news, Mark and I are praying for a baby in early May. It's possible that I've already shared this, but I'm not going to look. May is a great time for us with our vacation plans, and with the majority of our family being teachers, everyone would be able to come up for a finalization party. It also works with our leave schedule (which we've had to fight for), and we just feel like it would be a great time. We are, of course, always wanting God's will, so while we are asking for a baby in May, we continually submit ourselves to his will, because his timing is perfect. I'm working on a comparison between adopting and pregnancy, and when the adoption is finalized I will probably post it...we'll see. Adoption is very different from pregnancy, and contrary to what some believe (me included at first), it's not the "easy" way, that's for sure!
I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. We've got to evaluate if we're heading to church today. Tate's got green snot rockets every time he sneezes, and I don't think many people would want us to share that so we may be streaming a sermon from Believers. At least we can pretend we're back there for 40 minutes or so. We really do miss the gang from there. Ok, before I get sentimental due to lack of sleep (Tate was up before 6, or something like that), I'm going to go. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oh, How I Love Him!

(I realize I am as pale as a ghost...give me a break, we live in Washington!)
It's only Wednesday and it's been a rough week for my love. He was late again yesterday (only 6:30ish this time) but we're on shore duty, it's supposed to be fun and easy! It sounds like they've finally decided on someone to put in the office, so we're relieved. If we were to be selected today for a baby, it would be really difficult because no one else could take over for Mark. We've got to get the new guy trained!
Tate's got a cold (yes, again) so that's a total bummer. I'm listening to him protest a nap while I type. Life's rough when you're 20 months old. Can I get an amen?
Anyway, back to my dear husband. He's been working so hard lately, and I am so proud of him. He's the office lead now, and is taking it seriously. He is the one to decide if a student is ready for the big PNEO exam (if you've known us for a while, it's the big engineering exam Mark took in July 2006. You get two chances to pass it, and if you don't, well, your done with your Naval Career). Anyway, it's a huge deal, and he is doing a great job preparing guys to take it and communicating with their CO's and letting them know what's up. Not to brag or anything, but
Bangor has the highest pass rate of all of them right now. I'm so proud of Mark for working so hard and doing such a fantastic job. He really is something else.
Well, I should go get something done. I need to work out, and the house could use some cleaning. I hope you're all having a wonderful day, and hopefully I'll have some adoption news to share soon!
Love always,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Happenings

I'm sitting here listening to Mark read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" to Tate. I'm so proud of Tate...he's learning so much. He can distinguish between the pig, moose and mouse in each of the three books, and he knows where most things are on the page, even if he can't say them. I'm just blown away by his little sponge mind. He's pretty intense when we read, he likes make sure he knows what everything is on each page before he turns to the next one.

I've been kind of discouraged about the adoption the last couple of days. It's so silly, we've only been waiting a month, but I want a baby so badly. It's hard to not be able to DO anything, but just sit and wait. I know that waiting is what we're supposed to be doing, and that we are right where God wants us, but it's hard sometimes. Also, things aren't coming together on the job front for Mark the way we'd like them to, so that's kind of difficult. There was a quote today in my Visioneering book that said basically, that God's visions for our lives are to bring glory to him. We can't bring glory to him while we're preoccupied with ourselves, so we need to seek him in order to be ready for the blessings. It's hard to give God the glory when everything is going well, the need to seek him isn't the same. So, I'm trying to grow and seek now, so that I have the faith and maturity to remember to give God glory for his work after Sam is here.

Well, the M's are playing so I'm going to go turn on the radio and listen. I hope you have a good night!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ugh! I say Ugh!

Happy Saturday! We've had a very busy week, but it's over and hopefully we can rejuvenate this weekend. I had my last week of Spanish classes this week, so there was a presentation for parents, two parties and a graduation. It was exhausting, but so rewarding. One of my little boys told his mom that he loves Spanish and can't wait for next year. It was nice to hear that...sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with 10 first graders.

Mark had a busy week, too. His office counterpart, Gregg is getting shipped to Djibouti, Africa in June, and Gregg's wife is having a baby this week, so life's been busy. Mark was at work until 9:00pm twice this week, and home after 6:00 most other nights. This may not be much for everyone else, but this is shore duty, and he's supposed to be home at a reasonable time every night. Also, when Mark showed up for TTF (his current command) there were 5 people in his office, and now there are 2. There was talk about not replacing Gregg while he's gone, but Mark met with his boss this week to explain that we are waiting for a baby, and it could happen anytime. If there isn't someone there to take his place after the baby is here, then they will have to shut down the office. It's really frustrating that there isn't at least one other person in there's not like it's a shock when someone leaves. It is the Navy, after all, and we have several years notice when we're getting out. You can't just give 2 weeks notice here. So, basically, their poor planning is really REALLY frustrating for us, but they should be getting someone else in the office soon. It was kind of funny, Mark's boss said at the meeting "well, we've asked and no one's volunteered, so..." and Mark's response was something like "yeah, I understand that, but I didn't volunteer to go to Iraq and be away from my family for 7 months, so if we could just pick someone, that'd be great."

In adoption news, there isn't really anything huge, but I definitely see God working. At my last class I was introduced to a woman who works at the school who started Kitsap Adoption Group, a support group for families in this area. Turns out there are a bunch of people who have adopted here, and the group is really active! I am excited to get involved, because I want and need the support of other people. This woman also is a long time member of the church we've been trying out, so I really believe that is God saying to us that he is in control, and this is all in his timing. I've needed that reminder this week. While it's nice to be waiting, it's also hard to feel like I can't do anything to hurry this time along. However, I was reading the book Visioneering by Andy Stanley, and it talks about how waiting is essential in God's plan for us. It was really encouraging to read, because of the difficulties of waiting.

In other non important, but fun info, I went to Value Village and got a couple books for Tate and Sam (.70 each!!) called "I'm a Big Brother", "Moses" (in Spanish), and "Adoption is for Always". I read the Big Brother book to Tate tonight and he pointed to the baby on every page, said "Bebe" and kissed it every time. It was so cute, he's going to be a great big brother. I know there will be issues, but I'm so happy that he's learning to be gentle with babies.

Well, I've got to go. The M's are on, and we're losing now, but b-RAD Wilkerson (who eats steak before every game) just got on base, so things may start to get interesting!

Love always,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Too Funny!

This was what happened at our play date today with Spencer. They were really playing catch, but Tate wasn't paying attention for this one, and I happened to catch it on the camera. SO FUNNY!! Just wanted to share today's highlight!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just a year ago

One year ago tomorrow, or 366 days (it's a leap year, remember?) ago, Mark started his journey to Iraq. It's hard to believe that it's been a year already. Goodness, what a year it's been!

When we got the orders, I wasn't sure how I was going to fill my time, but the Lord was faithful and it was filled by spending time with dear family and friends. I wasn't sure how I was going to raise Tate by myself, and again, the Lord was faithful in providing family and friends to meet our needs. I was unsure of just about everything, and the Lord was faithful in getting me through each and every day.

As I sit here, I can't help but think that I've traded in waiting for Mark's return for the waiting for our Sam. However, the Lord is being just as faithful now in providing peace and joy while we wait. We're not anxious, we're content in our waiting. I'm happy watching Tate, knowing that this time is time to cherish him, it's his only chance at being an only.

I'm so thankful for the opportunities that God brought us last year, even though it was the most difficult year of my life. I grew in faith, and with my greater faith has come confidence! I know that I am following Jesus' will for my life, and I am right where I'm supposed to be! If Mark hadn't gone to Iraq, we wouldn't be in our cold little beach house, we wouldn't be domestically adopting, and I wouldn't have had the chance to go to Central America. Even in the worst of times, God has a plan.

I guess that's all that's on my mind. I've been thinking about the fact that it's been a year since he left for the past couple of weeks, and I've had so many emotions and thoughts about it that it's hard to categorize all of them. It helps getting them out...maybe I'll sleep better tonight.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Prayer Request

Hey All,
If you could be praying for Mark and me, we really need it. There's an adoption situation we're praying about that is potentially risky and we need wisdom and discernment. I'll let you know the specifics when/if the timing is right.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Crisis Management

I was at my dear friend Gayle's house on Saturday night, and she was putting her son, Spencer to bed. Spencer is 2 weeks older than Tate, and they get along alright. Spencer is a bit of a bully these days, so we're working through that. Now that Tate says "NO" we're trying to channel that toward Spencer. Anyway, Spencer wasn't going to sleep and was just standing in his crib saying "mama, maaaaaamaaaaaa," and it was so cute. It got me to thinking. Tate doesn't stand in his crib and say "mama". Tate gets in his crib, and if he wants my attention he repeatedly says "UH OH" in a really loud voice. Does that mean my son thinks I only respond to, or respond best to crisis? Is my life completely run by the dramatic? I'm not sure...I guess it could be. He seems to be turning out just fine, though, so I'm not worried!

Well, I need to go finish cleaning the kitchen. We just took a break and Tate looked at his whole baby book. Every picture of him he said "baby". It's pretty cute. I am teaching him that we give babies kisses. I think he's going to do great with a brother or sister...on Sunday when I picked him up from the nursery he was pushing a doll around in a stroller. So cute!

Ok, off to clean. Have a wonderful day!


Monday, April 7, 2008

Opening Day Pics

We love Opening Day for the Mariners. It's a sign that Spring is here, and Summer is right around the corner. These are a couple of the pics from this year's opening day. The first is our annual pic in front of Safeco, the second is Mark explaining baseball to Tate (every time the pitcher threw the ball Tate would point and say "ball!"). It was way cute. The third is the M's catch phrase this year, and, I must say, it's a good one. Definitely a throwback from "Sodo Mojo" a couple of years ago (Sodo is short for "south of the dome", which is where Safeco was built), but I think it fits...way better than "you gotta love these guys" from a few years ago.

My boys are both wearing the hats I made them, and they look so cute. So, there you have it. Opening Day, 2008.

I hope your weekend was enjoyable. I was just praising God for the good news about Tricia (! Keep them in your prayers!

Have a wonderful day!


Friday, April 4, 2008

uh oh

Tate now says "no" and points his finger at the person he's saying no to.

I am guessing he got that from me...seeing that he was playing with the door to the wine cabinet yesterday while I was brushing my teeth, and I came out of the bathroom and pointed my toothbrush at him and said "Tate, no playing with the door. You know that." His response was to point his own finger at me and say "no" repeatedly. It's really cute the first time, but he's getting in trouble for it because he's not allowed to tell us no. We have managed to hold our laughs in until he's in time out (and out of ears reach), so that's good I guess.

Tate's buddy is coming over to play today, and sometimes he pulls Tate's hair, so we'll see if Tate busts out his finger wagging no. I hope he does. He needs to learn some type of self preservation.

I was going to pull the camera out of the truck and post some new pics of us at the M's games, but I forgot, and now Mark has the truck. I'll do it later. Here's one of Tate and Cameron bathing together a few weeks ago. I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Out like a Lamb?

I'm not so sure about that. On Monday, Mariners OPENING DAY, it was snowing, hailing and raining. Out like a lamb my butt.

We had a great time on Monday and Tuesday! All three of us went to Opening Day, and then Mark and I had a date day on Tuesday, aka Happy Felix Day (Felix Hernandez is the #2 pitcher for the M's and we both LOVE him. He's super fun to watch.) We had a great time hanging out in Redmond, then went to Pike Place and had some fish. It was a beautiful day and we so needed to have some time together.

Last week our adoption book was checked out for the first time, and we made it to the final round, but the birthmom chose someone else. We are ok with that. We feel peace that she chose the right family. It was agonizing waiting to hear if it was us or not because the baby is already born and in the hospital, so that was really hard. We definitely don't want to know if it's checked out in the future. It's too difficult to be on the roller coaster every time. We only want to know if we're in the last two being considered, or if we were chosen. We'll see if that's how it works.

Well, I need to go get Tate some food. I hope you're week is going well...I can't believe it's Thursday already!

Love you all,