Sunday, November 13, 2011

Princess Luciana came to visit

"She is kind and loves her family.  She also likes to listen to Bob Dylan.  She loves vegetables and dancing.  Her mother is a queen.  She would like you to put purple eye shadow on her and lots of mascara now..."
-straight from her highnesses mouth

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jessie, Gnomeo and Juliet

Prettiest Jessie this side of Toy Story

If you haven't seen Gnomeo and Juliet, PLEASE DO!!

Yes, Tim let us put lipstick on his cheeks!


Winnie's first blow dry took 2.5 hours and two people at the beauty school...she LOVES IT!!! We will be getting a standing appointment!

Wow, we haven't posted in a REALLY long time.  We are still alive and kickin', just super busy.  Had a great time at a halloween party tonight.  More later...

Love, Gnomeo and Juliet

Friday, September 2, 2011


Ok, so the second time around sure does take longer :)  We neglected to catch an expired notary, and neglected to get something notarized all together...
Last week we spent a good 20 hours running downtown between the clerk of courts and the Secretary of State's office.  It's all well worth the effort, even the parking ticket.  Winnie made several comments about all the driving around, "Did you have to do ALL this stuff for me too?"  That just made us smile.  Her fancy outfits with dress shoes really "wowed" customers and staff at the places we had to go.  She received many compliments on her hair, clothes, and manners!

Our official request is for a boy or girl 0-3 years old.  We are so excited to welcome our second child into the family. 

Many people have asked why the process has slowed down so much.  (We are looking at another year wait or longer for our child).  The Ethiopian government has officially cut down the amount of paperwork it is processing by 90%.  They were processing up to 50 papers per day and now they are saying that they will process 5 per day.  There are some agencies that have closed down all together.  Each child must have "official" paperwork in order.  Imagine some of these remote villages without access to the basics coming up with official paperwork!  The need is great, but most of these orphans will not be eligible for adoption.  My heart aches for these children.  I am reminded that God sees these little ones, and He cares. 
Click HERE to read about the work that a couple we know are doing in Ethiopia.  I was brought to tears as I read the story of Birtukan.  Scroll through the stories on the home page and see what kinds of things ordinary people like you and I can do!!  It is amazing. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

1st Day of K!

Today was the day!!  Good news, Winnie is learning to read really well.  Bad news, she read that her teacher's name was "Cathy," and now she is having a really hard time calling her "Mrs. Miller." 

She has had this outfit picked out for months and knew she wanted pigtails.  Her socks are frilly yellow bees, She is the girliest, fanciest of girls!!

She went down the firepole at school and cut her finger.  So the first day was a nurses office day.  She admits that she cried, "I want my mommy" to the nurse... which secretly made me feel good and well attached.

Her teachers are visiting every child's home.  We were first in line, so they came and hung out with us tonight.  It has been a full, happy day.

Here's some photo's...

Felicia lives down the street and attended pre-k with Winnie.  They are in the same K class!  Yippee.

The happy cheauffeur and breakfast chef

Walking in.  So grown up

Dotly's home

Saturday, August 27, 2011

found this in my door...

Tonight, Winnie was with her Gigi while I went to a fundraiser dinner.  She got very frustrated with her hair before she left, and told me she wished she had a mother that didn't comb her hair so much.  ouch.  I acknowledged the fact that she was angry and perhaps a bit tired, but it wasn't ok to say hurtful things that she didn't mean.  When we parted, she had forgotten the whole thing and was blowing me kisses from the car.  Tonight, hours later, I came home to find this note wedged in my door.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1 1/2 years as a family = fair photos

I love how life comes together in little circles.  I started life as a "fair-goer," my grandma got me going on giant ice tea and steak-on-a-stick before I could walk.  Some of my best memories of summer were conquering the yellow slide and kicking back and watching folks from the Sky-ride (two Ohio State Fair staple attractions)... not to mention the giant butter cow!  Back in the 80's there were also camel rides, and my Nina insisted upon Molly and I riding every time.  Great fun!

The fair doesn't seem quite as glamorous to me these days... BUT IT DOES TO WINNIE!!  I love taking her to eat the food, walk the asphalt, and have Smokey the bear call out "Hi, to my friend Winnie."  Sure, your feet hurt at the end of the night and you're broke, but that never stopped my grandma from 30 years of fair going fun.

Rachel Baransi is amazing.  We met her last year on vacation, and she claims Winnie is one of her best friends.  The feeling is mutual.  Her photography captures individual stories.  I have been a facebook stalker of RachelJoyPhotography for quite some time, and I was so happy when she came to the fair to take our photos.

Thanks Rachel!  Here's a preview, if you want more, go to RachelJoyPhotography and "like" her on facebook.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Braid undo-ing blues


I got a little cutie,
Winnie is her name
da-da-da-da-da DA
we spent a pretty penny
braids and beads were to blame
da-da-da-da-da-da DA
we were singin' their praises
for 2 weeks with no pickin'
da-da-da-da-da DA
Then came that fateful day
you could hear screamin' and kickin'
da-da-da-da-da DA
got the tweezers, got the comb
got stiff backs and fingers too
da-da-da-da-da DA
four hours and counting
got the "braid un-doing blues"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dad Love

There is NO project too big or task too small for dad! 

He's not afraid to do Winnie's hair or paint her nails.  He feels quite comfortable behind a bobcat.  He can tell you the name of every tree and plant in the forest.  He makes up great stories about the chipmunk family robinson's adventures... WE LOVE YOU DAD!
Love, Winnie and Mommy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Thanks to Lisa for the birthday teepee!
She slept in it on her birthday, hey... whatever the birthday girl wants
Gigi took her to get her hair braided and beaded... 4 hours later, mom is broke and putting the beads in :)
Her pick for birthday dinner was tacos and a tiara

Thanks Gigi for the big squirt gun things, she got me good while we were gardening today

A special sparkly cake

Fun at the Westerville Rec center pool

Miss Winnie is 6!  She is a very energetic, playful, happy girl.  She is starting to read and has lost two teeth (the third is coming, and it's a FRONT tooth!).  On her birthday, she said, "ok, I'm six now.  When can we get brother or sister?  You said when I was six we could get them."  Patience my pet!!  I shouldn't have made such a statement, given the slow down in adoptions right now.  In the last week, all the alphabet sounds have come together, and she is starting to read!  She is interested in the Holy Spirit this week, and has been praying that the Holy Spirit would help her to make good decisions :)  The only foods she doesn't like are mushrooms and salad... she will eat the salad, but fake gags.  She has decided to call my dad "poppy".  She would really like to have bunk beds someday.  She wears a size 13 shoe!!  She is VERY excited to go to all day Kindergarten next year.  Everyday credit card junk mail makes her extremely happy.  She's a little nervous to try the two wheeler, and prefers the small bike that looks like the one clowns use.  She likes to play Barbie games online.  Her purse had $5 in it, and she decided to stand behind me in line at the grocery store today and buy the applesauce with her own money... having her own receipt thrilled her!

We sneak in her room at night and still stare at her.  This has been going on for a year and a half, but it never ceases to amaze us... she is ours!  She is so wonderful!  and she's getting so BIG!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Few Well Deserved THANKS!

I met Elizabeth before Winnie came home.  She helps lead a group at our church called CHOSEN FOR LOVE.  C4L is a group of people meeting once a month to explore adoption and foster care topics, answering questions and sharing resources for those just starting the journey, and bringing resources to the table for the ever changing needs of parents.  She is one of those people that just makes your day better when you see them.  She encourages me at the times when I most need it or feel the most lacking :) as a parent or person in general.  Last Saturday, Elizabeth opened her home for a fundraiser.  She makes a fine quiche, a proper cup of tea (she'll tell you it's due to growing up in New Zealand), and a warm welcome.  I owe her a huge THANK YOU for a very successful fundraiser!

I had not met Katie, the 31 rep, before our brunch.  She generously gave all her commission for the party to our adoption.  She spent ALL day setting up, selling, tallying orders... and had a HUGE smile on her face.  We earned quite a bit of money for our adoption, thanks to Katie's generosity.  She made our party a lot of fun, and her products are really neat too.  A purse party would be an understatement, as most people got lunch totes, beach bags, laundry bags, and really cool customized cards.  Our party is closed now, but you can still visit her web site at

Thank you to everyone who came and gave so generously.  I think she even asked customers to round up for our adoption... wow! Thank you!

I can't wait to tell our son or daughter about this someday..."you were loved so much before you even came, why some friends even threw a 31 party in your honor..."

Thursday, May 26, 2011


This describes more than just my age!  This saturday, my good friend Elizabeth is throwing a 31 party as a fund raiser for our adoption.  All the proceeds from this fun brunch go towards our second adoption.  If you aren't familiar with 31 products click here (or if you are and want to make an online purchase.) 

On the adoption front, we get our final USCIS finger prints tomorrow.  Then, hopefully, our paperwork will be done and off to Ethiopia in the next few weeks!  Which means a REALLY big check is due in a few weeks too. 

So, please let me know if you are interested in coming to the 31 party and have an great long weekend!!
p.s. in one week I will be mama to a 6 year old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

spam mail + trash = tears

Once again I couldn't stop laughing tonight while my daughter wailed.  I mean crocodile tears... and snot, scaring the neighbors.  I had to go in the other room and recover, change the grin to a grimace, and walk back into the kitchen.  What caused our beautiful daughter to weep?

 I had thrown away the spam mail credit card application that she had been working on before dinner.  That's right, the 24% interest chase card letter that I tore up and put in the recycle... tormented and made weeping for over 1/2 of an hour.  At that point, I decided we should not go for a walk.  We climbed the stairs and made an early bedtime.  When we prayed, she had nothing she could think of to be thankful for, in fact the tears showed up again about the application...(I'm laughing right now!)begrudgingly she thanked God for hanging with Gigi and asked God to bring her a brother and sister.  Then, LIGHTS OUT!!! 

ahhh, and that is why I have a blog entry in before 8:30pm!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

funny winnie

I have to cover up my smiles when Winnie's being serious ALL THE TIME!  Sometimes she catches me, gives me a stearn look, and asks me not to laugh at her, "that's not nice mom".  How can I not smile and laugh when she floats into the kitchen and says,
"Precious mama.  You are beautiful, I mean gorgeous, and you are a great dancer." This being said while I am not looking beautiful, scrubbing tons of dishes, and sort of grumpy.  Hugs me, then floats away.

Next chuckle, she motions me to come over to the window and see one of the wild rabbits in our yard.  She says, "Mom!! I've got the best idea ever!  I am going to catch and KILL two rabbits for dad's birthday.  Will you help me?  We can cook them for him, and he will be sooooo happy.  DON'T tell dad!! This has to be a secret!"  A little background, Tim favorite dish is rabbit and white beans.

We were getting ready for Disney, and We were telling Winnie about all the Disney characters she might meet.  Winnie thinks real hard and says, "Am I going to get to meet Bob Dylan?"

Everyday, we I make up elaborate stories to tell her.  I have some pretty stinkin' good endings, and I am pretty proud of myself.  Winnie will say, "that's it?  geesh, that was pretty short." 

Tonight, we were discussing heaven.  Grandma Nina has just gone to heaven, and we were discussing what it would be like.  I told her that there are no bed times there.  You can play as long as you like, and dance, and be right next to Jesus.  Winnie said, "and Eat?" my response, "sure."  Winnie, "can you eat right after you finish lunch? and then keep eating until your belly pops?"  "I guess, but I don't know why you would, that sounds painful," I say.  She replies, "not to me.  I could just eat and eat and eat."  So, we are STILL working on the portion control thing, and I snuck a piece of coconut cream pie from my moms house while she wasn't looking.  I'm sitting here eating it while I type.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life, death and inbetween

My grandma is dying.  It's been a rough few weeks caring for her and making some hard transitions.  She's been a big part of my life for the last...31+ years.  On top of this, we've had a garage sale, a car wreck that totaled our 6 day old car, a few trips to the ER, working extra and a little worrying over my dad's upcoming major surgery in Florida (where none of my relatives live)!  Never a dull moment, although it doesn't sound half bad to have a few days full of "dull moments."

I was able to sit with my Nina for a few hours today and read to her from the book of Psalms.  I was doing this for her benefit, I thought, until I read this...
"He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.  Praise the Lord" Psalms 113:9

What a reminder!  After all, I am a blessed woman!  I had to read it again... and again.  In that moment, full of sadness and reflection on the life that I am about to lose, I was reminded of the gift I have been given to be a mother... and maybe a grandma someday too.  In fact, I might be laying in this same way with my granddaughter at my side, reading to me.  I can't imagine a better way to transition into heaven.  It brought me peace even though I initially was looking for a way to comfort her.  That's just how He works...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Garage sale glory

Yes, in one day we raised approximately $1,100 for our second adoption.  It still seems a little surreal since we have quite a bit of merchandise left.  We had friends bringing car loads of sale items, sorting and pricing, and helping the day of the sale.  Not to mention, many of our friends bought items just to be nice...
Thank you so much for all the support!  Winnie's snack shack was a huge success.  She ran out of cupcakes half way through the sale partly due to her strapping appetite and the freedom she felt as we were running around helping people and haggling prices. 

In general, people were really supportive, rounding up the prices and passing along good wishes for the adoption.  Yes, we had a few craig's listers who wanted half the sale for $2, but I had some firm helpers and I learned from them :)  The strangest reaction was from a lady who was visibly distraught that the adoption was for a human and not for cats.  She spent several minutes sharing about the plight of the orphaned cat, trying to persuade me to adopt cats...  She was in luck, we had several nice cat products that she was able to snatch up!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mickey and the Gang

 Jasmine, Jasmine and Aladdin
 A lot of glitter and glitz at the bippity boppity boutique
 Ahhh, She's been wanting long hair for a VERY long time
 Goofy got a hug at Animal Kingdom
The newest member of the round up gang
 A little magic
 Finally seeing the castle!! So exciting
 A passerby swore we were spelling it wrong.  OH-IO
 Tiana was just coming out and walked right up to Winnie.  She pulled her to the front of the line and gave her a balloon frog.  Probably one of my most magical moments!!
 Shake a tail feather!
 This was my mom's idea, I swear
 3-d movies
 Tim was pretty sure Pocahontas was not Native American, but she was pretty and sweet
 Best food in East Africa sold bad coffee and packaged danishes, so we thought we should take a photo
 Winnie and Gigi at the "gun show"

We got the chance to visit Disney World last week.  We fought the crowds, rode the rides, and wore fanny packs.  It was a much needed break from our hectic schedules.  Winnie reminded me to tell my co-workers that I would not be coming in to work for a WHOLE WEEK!!  Rest assured Miss Winnie, I scheduled my vacation time long ago.  What surprised me was that we would get to the parks and after about an hour, she wanted to go back to the hotel and swim!  The girl is a fish.  She LOVES to swim.  She made a few new friends and a lot of memories.
Here are a few of the FAQ:
What was your favorite part- "the pool"
Who is your favorite princess- response depends on the day "aurora, cinderella, or Tiana"
Who did you dress up like- "Jasmine, and I had long hair"
What was your favorite ride- "splash mountain and thunder mountain"
favorite roommate- Gigi (she only has one)