Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!



Brecken got these awesome Hulk boxing gloves for his birthday! They are so fun and they don't seem to hurt if the kids "accidentally" box each other. Cards are done (except I somehow ordered 50 less than last year so we will return to the full list next year)! Gifts are done (a few still need wrapped and I didn't find the bike ramp we wanted for Breck but that may be a good thing -- we don't have great health insurance)! We visited Santa today-- I almost forgot to do that! He even coaxed Kait onto his lap-- she didn't want to tell him what she wanted since she "knows he isn't real". You should have seen her eyes when he started guessing what was on her list (he's obviously talked to a few 8 y/o girls). She was pretty awe struck afterward which was so cute! So I'm off to start making some food and help the kids wrap some of their gifts
God Bless~ laura

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Details

Kev and I went for our first round of travel shots yesterday. Not terrible but man I hate shots! No problem with starting IV's/ drawing blood/ giving shots back in the ICU days but when a needle is coming at me-- I almost pass out! Luckily Kevin was there to talk me through it & remind me to breathe. Bella was there giggling at the Goofy bandaids they used so that helped too.
Last night we got our official referral packet. We finished the papers up this am and overnighted them back to CHI. We now wait for a court date which is when the adoption will be official. We will hopefully be able to travel about 3 weeks after the court date. We should know when the court date is within the next month. All that said, we are hoping that we will travel in late March but we will just have to wait to see if it all works out like that.
As we were sitting and looking at Taye's picture and talking about his life,Bella reminded me that even though we are sad that Taye is not being taken care of by a mommy and daddy, "it's okay mommy, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are with him and angels are watching him too" then I really cried :) Man, what would I do with out my kids to keep me on track!-- Liv, I know you can relate (with the phone and all)
So that is all I know right now. This stuff has pretty much consumed me for the last week and a half-- I have a stack of Christmas cards waiting to be finished but I'm having trouble focusing on that. Maybe I'll do them tonight-- I still have a few days right?
laura

Monday, December 15, 2008

REFERRAL!

When we were least expecting it... the call came. Monday I was praying that God would bring someone to reach out to into our lives that day. We are so blessed and I know that there are so many hurting people, even in our community. In my prayer I added that God would help me recognize this person as sometimes his plans are not ours. I then went to check our messages and had one from our social worker.. odd.. they usually email. When we connected she said that she wanted to see if we wanted a child up to 24 mo or if we really wanted to stay under 12 (we were approved for 0-24 but had preference as 0-12) . Kevin and I had actually recently discussed this and I told her that we were open for up to 24 mo. She said she was just checking and hung up. She then called back 20 min later and had Kevin on the phone. Wow.. we had been waiting 5 mo so we had not even begun to think that we might be getting a call soon. Then things took a different route. She told us about this little guy... found by police, abandoned near a church, they said his birthday was march 27th 2007.. obviously a guess. However, b/c of some concerning info on his Dr. eval she did not want us to see pictures until we had consulted a adoption Dr. This was not really at all what I had expected. Our minds went to worst case scenarios.. the difficulties that could show up from starvation, neglect. We waited anxiously for the report from the Dr (Dr. Keck / Riley) at the same time wondering what we were waiting for, would we actually say no? During the week I can look back and see how Satan loves to work.... messing with communication.. Kevin and I are almost always on the same page but suddenly we were misreading and misunderstanding each other. Fear.. the longer we waited the more I thought about the needs he could have and worried whether we would be able to meet those deep needs. Pride..the kids are so great (so far:)) what if this totally messed up our family. God is so good and the waiting time was not wasted. He clearly spoke to Kevin and I that this is his plan for our family, his grace is sufficient, and all things are for his glory. Finally on Sat Kevin and I were able to talk openly to one another and realized we were on the same page all along. We had received a partial report from the Dr. on Fri. She had some of the same concerns that we did and wanted more info. While we are still getting that info so that we will be better prepared, we called and left a msg that we wanted to move forward with the referral and were dying to see pictures. We received the pics this morning.. amazing! He is beautiful!!! We are praying that God will lead us each step of the way and are so excited.

We have changed our original name plans and decided to chose and Ethiopian name since names are very important in their culture. The name we have chosen for our precious boy is Taye Kevin (Taye meaning --you have been seen).

Wow, what a day :)
laura

Sunday, December 14, 2008

i've missed blogging!

We combed Bella's hair all out and got this great 'fro! We are thinking the she and her little brother may have similar hair!:)

After taking a break from blogging I have decided that I miss it and the great info you can share!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Precious Children!

Here is a link to a video that helps to describe life for some in Ethiopia! What a contrast to our life! At the grocery store this morning I had my choice of any type of food that I wanted. I was annoyed that they didn't have the type of peaches that our family prefers! It is so sad to see these but good for me to be aware. I have been given so much! How am I using the blessing that we have?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7444998.stm

laura

Monday, June 16, 2008

They're Off!

I have seen pictures off this on other people's blogs and thought that they were so cool and wondered if my folder full of papers would ever look like this. These are all the forms that the Sec. of State certified. They all were sent to our agency last Thurs. Our birth and marriage cert. will hopefully be following close behind! They are checking the papers over and when everything is there, the packet will go to DC. Eeeeks, it's getting closer to Ethiopia! :)
laura

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Am I an idiot?

I got the mail last night and yippeee! the I -171H form had arrived! I proceeded to change my plans around for the day to get a couple last minute things around and then to head down to Indy after the kid's soccer camp to get everything certified. While the kids were at camp, Bella and I made stops, getting passport photos, the bank to get one more form notarized, ect... Each stop Bella would say "is this where I am going to get my baby brother?" I had made my first mistake, telling her that we were going to be working on some things so that we could get our baby. I kept trying to explain that it would be a long time until we got our baby. A couple stops later she asked how long we had been in the car and if it had been a long time yet? Too sweet! I think she kind of gets it now but I'm still not sure.
Mistake # 2 Man I am so frustrated! I think everyone who is completing this process says this at some time or another (or maybe several). I am such an idiot! They called me up to the desk at the State Dept after waiting to get everything certified. She said that they did everything (which is great)except 3 documents. Our birth certificates and marriage license. These weren't notarized in IN and so they have to be cert. in the same state that they were notarized in-- DUH! So I have been sitting on these for months and could have already had that done! We could have mailed everything off this afternoon-- arrrrgh. okay enough I just need to get this taken care of asap and we will be good to go. I feel like I am always saying there is one more thing.. will there be one more thing after this?

On a brighter note-- we stopped by the Children's Museum for a couple hours after we got done. The kids had a great time and they were so good at the State Dept. (much to the secretary's surprise-- she wasn't excited to see all of us or all of our papers!)! Then we zoomed to VBS which was a blast!
laura

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Brecken's Turn-- Thanks Aunt Sara!

Brecken with cousins Avery and Finley
At the Newport Aquarium

Lance and Brett "helping" Breck mulch the newly terraced hill
The summer is off to a great start! This is especially true for Brecken. This kid was not an easy toddler. His communication skills were poor, he had various stomach issues, and always seemed to have some kind of issue. Kevin and I were just talking about how well he has done this last year! Suddenly he is the "easy"one of the crew. He is pretty much excited about everything, loves to help with anything you ask - and rarely stops talking. We had some guys here for a few days working in our yard. (some of the reason we chose to implement this part of the "master landscaping plan" this year is b/c of his new confidence in bike riding-- he thought the hill was a great place to practice some trail riding. The tree roots sometimes got in the way when He was flying down the hill-- he says that he didn't cry -- while he was in the air! Of course he wouldn't tell us where the scrapes had come from until later) Breck was amazing, running and working the whole time! His opinion was that they were helping him with spreading mulch.
Then he was able to go to stay with his cousins by himself for a couple days. He loved it and came home thinking that they are better than ever (esp Aunt Sara who "doesn't have any bad rules")! It is so fun to hear him tell about what they did while he was there! The girls and I loved coming to get him and hanging out and visiting the aquarium! Thanks you guys!
Adoption update-- 4 wks since our fingerprinting appt-- no form in the mail yet-- hopefully soon
laura

Monday, June 2, 2008

"Make New Friends But Keep the Old"


Don and Bella hamming it up!
I just love old friends that you can always connect with! Even if it has been months since you talked, it's like you see each other all the time! Your conversations can go straight to the serious stuff! Don and Jackie moved away about a year and a half ago. We have missed them a lot! Saturday night we met them for dinner at Red Seven and then walked around downtown a little bit. It was so great to see them and I love how they always are so great with our kids. Bella didn't know about them at first but thought that Don was great by the end! We love you guys!
laura

oh-- for those of you who live near Lafayette, I would highly recommend that restaurant! Every time that we have been there our food has been great and the atmosphere is really fun (more contemporary than most other places here)-- they also have outdoor dinig which was perfect on Saturday night! lasagna there is my favorite!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Adrian and Bella taking an Ice Cream Break
As noted on earlier posts, I love to try to help my kids make healthy choices with "sometimes" food once and a while. Well since Sunday I need to say that they have had an ice cream cone every day with TWO on Tuesday. Needless to say they are loving "almost summertime!" Sunday the Schafers were here and that was the kid's dessert. Monday I let them finish the ice cream after dinner. Tuesday we went to McDonald's to get cones. They had received coupons in Sunday School as an object lesson of God's free gift to us. I loved the concept and wanted to use them while the idea was fresh in their mind. Then we went to Francesville and met Grandma at the drive-in. What kind of mom would (or could)say no to a great- aunt and great- grandma offering to buy them a treat? Today our neighbor asked us to walk to the ice cream store down the street-- we're trying to walk more places and get to know our neighbors better soo.... we went.
Tomorrow is Kaitlin's last day of 2nd grade. We praise God for the great transition from homechooling to a Christian School! She loves it so much she is a little sad to be out for the summer. If we are already having this much fun (and eating that many treats) I can't imagine what the summer has in store!
laura

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Monsterocity!

Hallie with Sweet little Macy

Well we broke down a few weeks ago and purchased a big, bright blue padded trampoline. These things are not pretty! After thinking and thinking about how to disguise it we gave in and just put it up down in the meadow. I can see it pretty well from the house but it is not right out of the back window. Luckily my sister Hallie and her little girl Macy were visiting for a few days and Hallie helped Kevin put it up while I got to watch Macy. A great trade off if you ask me! Anyway this is to report that 2 weeks later the thing has already paid for itself in entertainment! The kids are out there everyday jumping and playing on it (along with a bunch of other kids). Seeing them have so much fun on it and the fact that they haven't been getting out all the other toys for me to clean up has been great!

Adoption update-- 2 weeks ago was our fingerprinting appt so we probably have a couple more weeks to wait for the form we need from CIS. In the meantime there I received a couple more forms to do and we really need to finish our training video and online tests. Sometimes it seems so distant but this week our agency gave out 7 referrals! We have friend who have recently brought a little girl home from Ethiopia-- seeing the end of all this makes it so worth it! This morning we were having brunch on the deck (a Schieber family Memorial Day tradition that is being carried on in Lafayette). Looking around at our children all sitting in regular chairs feeding themselves was so fun. They had been able to play while Kevin and I took turns going for a run and getting a few things done. When I thought about it, I know that I would not be enjoying this stage with our children nearly as much if I didn't know that we were going to be getting another baby to love!
laura

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Beautiful Bride

Kevin with his sister Betsy (don't you think that they look a lot alike?!)
Brecken, Marlee, and Bella (they had to wait to play until after the ceremony!)

Kevin and Brecken playing croquet while waiting for the family pics


Betsy's dress was gorgeous!
Kevin's sister Betsy got married to Ryan Riley and Saturday! Sorry for all the pictures but the wedding was so fun! The cool thing is that, as you can see, the kids had a great time too! What a great couple!
As I was getting ready to post these pictures, I was checking some other sites and came across this article that really struck me in its contrast to our lives. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beautiful/hamlin.html I don't want to detract from the joy of the wedding but I can't help thinking about the stark differences that these Ethiopian girls face. They are beautiful, maybe excited to be married, looking forward to having a family but have such hardships. The article tell about a PBS special that was on last week but is still great for raising awareness.
God Bless!
laura



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh the French...

My Grandma listening to Bella "read" her a story on Mother's Day

I went to a great cooking class tonight-- Celebration of the French Empire. The girl teaching the class is from France and here while her husband is doing his post- doc work at Purdue. We were having a great conversation about how in general our culture in America is to rush and not celebrate food and conversation as much. I was thinking again about how thankful I am that Kevin and I both come from families where our moms made great food and it was fun to eat dinner together and talk with our families (well most of the time:)) I know that was what they saw modeled to them from their moms.
It is so easy for me to rush through everything. Always thinking about the next chore that I need to do. Even though I really enjoy most aspects of my day (none of our kids wear diapers), I sometimes don't take time to really enjoy any of the things that I am doing. That seems like a pathetic way to live. I'm not exactly sure how to solve this? Schedule fewer things? Lower expectations? Write "Enjoy yourself" on my "to-do" list? I don't know but I pray that I can be willing to make the necessary choices to pass on to our children a high value on time spent with people we love!
Happy Mothers to our Moms and all those great moms out there that are such an encouragement to me!
laura

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Kait's Dance Recital

Bella, Kaitlin, Maddie, and Brecken



video

Saturday was Kaitlin's 6th dance recital. It was her 1st year to dance at the YWCA and we loved it, the recital was great. I tried to post a video clip that I took during her rehearsal the day before. We were really proud of how hard she worked this year-- a huge change from previous years! She practiced almost every day even when she was tired or not feeling the greatest. Kait turned 8 on Monday. Wow!

Side note-- Last week a friend and I had a garage sale at her house. I ran out to check some other sales while we were waiting for people to buy our junk and scored these like-new Converse shoes for Brecken for $2. He is wearing them in the picture. Fun stuff!

laura

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Highlights and Lowlights

The most amazing man in the world
Kait and Ash at the PYG dinner

my new bed :)


Nope, this post is not about hair!:) I did use to undergo that process for my hair but even though I liked the look, I HATED sitting there for that long and I didn't really enjoy paying for it either. Anyway, that is another topic(unless anyone has a great suggestion for cheap, fast highlights that look awesome).

This week was one that had some ups and downs. A couple of the highlights are pictured, my wonderful husband threw me an amazing 30th birthday!!!(Apr 16th) One of my presents was a bed that I have been wanting. It arrived this week and he put together all 14 pieces! Luckily the delivery men were the ones who both spent 1/2 hour taking off all the packaging.

The group of college girls that I meet with came over for dinner and we made watches. I think everyone had fun and that made me really happy. I love these girls and want them to know how much we care about them! College is really great but not always the easiest time in life (I don't wish I was back!) and we totally want to encourage and support them!

Our fingerprinting appt came in the mail and so we will go to Indy on Mon. May 12th for that ! Yeah!
Today, when we were at Great Harvest Bread after the soccer game (a great Sat. tradition) I finally found the bread that I am going to get from now on. The search all started when a friend mentioned that high fructose corn syrup could be a bad thing. After looking into it I have tried to make sure that the foods we eat on a regular basis do not have it in them. Two things that we consume very regularly are wheat bread and pb. We currently have 3 different brands of natural pb in our cupboard and no one is impressed so we will continue to work on that. However, this morning when talking to my new friend Jane at the bread store, she told me that they only use 5 ingredients in their wheat bread and do not use HFCS. Yeah-- this is great! She gave me the scoop on how to best store it and all that so no more reading labels in vain at the grocery store!

On a sad note, my great uncle Harvey died this week. Since my grandfather died when I was 3 and Harvey and Fannie lived within walking distance from us, we were very close to them! My brother actually had Uncle Harvey(in his 90's) as his best man in their wedding 2 years ago. These relationships are such a stabilizing part of our life. People who have known us since we were babies, know our strengths and weaknesses, and usually know just what we need to hear (often-- don't stay away too long!). We will miss him and it is a great reminder to treasure the time we do have with those that may not be here much longer!
laura

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Soccer Mom



I had to post these pictures-- what a great day to sit out on the side of the field and talk to other parents! This is the kid's 2nd practice, they had to work hard but they love it. Brecken is so funny. He is playing on the 6&7y/o team (mainly for my convenience). He is so competitive and has figured out that he thinks he is the 4th best on the team. Kaitlin informed him that everybody is good at different things and was completely annoyed that he was ranking her as lower than himself. The backseat conversations are great!
Also: Adoption Correction! We did have a couple other things happen last week! We expanded our age range up to 24 months and we received 3 notarized, approved copies of our homestudy on the 15th! Our SW has been great to work with!!!
laura

Monday, April 21, 2008

Where To Get Great Food!

Youngjin and Brecken playing with a little cat toy.
Last Thurs. we had dinner at the home of some friends of ours from South Korea. They are a really sweet couple that have had some huge adjustments! It has been so fun to get to know them and the kids love them. Here Hyojin is playing Polly Pockets with Bella. It is still interesting to me that there are so many great experiences to have, in our hometown, but sometimes it is hard to even get out of the house or think that we have time, how many opportunities we miss I am sure! I'm glad we didn't miss this one, thanks to the Weigands for encouraging us to get involved with this friendship program!

Here is the table they had prepared for us! The food was amazing!!! They were so generous and it is really fun to observe the differences in our cultures but see how when it is all said, how very similar we are!
Adoption update: there is nothing new. We are waiting on our fingerprinting appt. and then I71H
I faxed all of my other papers to get checked over, I was really annoyed that I had copied and pasted a notary thing with 2007 on it to 3 letters that I wrote. Those will have to be corrected and re- notarized(I don't know if that is a word). Anyway, those kind of things always drive me crazy and realize what a perfectionist I am but are pretty easy to fix.
laura

Sunday, April 13, 2008

You Just Never Know!

Kevin and Kait with crickets
Brecken helping plant flowers

Kaitlin is our precious second grader. Once she outgrew colic we have pretty much thought that every age is "the best". It has been really fun to watch her grow and the thing I love about this age is how unpredictable she is. Now this could seem like a bad thing, but the times that she is driving us crazy, I know she will snap out of it really soon. The last couple of days have been no exception. Friday afternoon was nice enough to get outside to do some things. Like any good mom would, once I went out I realized that the kids should be outside getting fresh air and helping me (even though that can be interesting) instead of playing computer games. After coaxing them out-- they were "almost to the next level" of course, they started helping me plant some stuff. I sent Kait to the front to plant some flowers in a couple pots saying she could do whatever she wanted with them. After about 15 min. I went around to check on her and was very surprised to find that she was doing a great job and singing at the top of her lungs. She proceeded to inform me that she had named all of the flowers. A names in one pot, C names in the other. The complainer was completely vanished.

Saturday morning the surprises continue while she is checking out the newspaper. When she realized that Saturday was the "Bug Bowl" at Purdue she insisted she wanted to go even though it was rainy and cold. The reason she was so excited to go? She wanted to eat chocolate covered crickets! Luckily, Bella needed a nap in the afternoon and Kevin got home just in time to take Kait and Brecken over and try this new delicacy. They both swallowed them but I don't think they really want them again.

Fun Stuff!

laura




Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Hair ?!


I thought that after some kind of serious posts, I needed something fun. My friend Liv had a post with her adorable son wearing a similar hairstyle, placed while the dads were babysitting I think. It made me want to look for some pictures that I had as well. This thing has a life of it's own! It has been used as a joke, in Christmas pictures, to scare people, and in the pictured situation-- in celebration of a big event at Kevin's office-- he is holding a cherry pie-- can anyone guess who he is pretending to be? If you think Kevin is all business-- hee hee-- this shows the true story!

Have a wonderful day!

laura

Monday, April 7, 2008

Yeah- I came up for air!

I'm so gald to be back to checking blogs and taking time to think about my day! There is something really great about staying on touch with people you care about this way! I have missed it!

The last couple of weeks I have been really trying to get everything that I had any control over with the adoption process done. It seems like this in addition to being a mom and wife and other random things- the latest and most fun being "florist" for Betsy's wedding- have taken up all of my time. I am happy to report that I am done with the things that I can do. The sad part is that in the whole scheme of things it seems like that is not actually a very large part of the whole process. Oh well, it is definitely a feeling of accomplishment. Collecting the various papers that we need has actually been really fun. I got to go places that I don't ever visit, like the police dept., and everyone has been so great! I realized even more that we live in a really neat community-- people seem really happy to help you!

At this point our home study report is being reviewed by our adoption agency and we will hopefully have it to send to Immigration Services soon. We will then a couple more things to do and the dossier will be ready ( a month or two). Sometimes with all the "tasks" to do it seems like I forget what they are for-- a precious life and a part of our family! We are so thankful for this calling and although I am not nuturing this child as during a pregnacy, there is something really sweet about knowing you are working for them and having to-do list with "For Baby Jack" at the top -- I think I will miss that during the wait!
laura

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hosanna, Hosanna



Here is Isabella on Palm Sunday making sure she is ready to go into church for the Easter Program. She looked so sweet in a dress that Mom G had made for Kaitlin. Even better though was her little voice singing about being sad that Jesus died and then being so excited to sing Alive, Alive. Kids at Easter are just the best (not only because of the adorable clothes, but I do love that too).


As the Holy Week started I had good intentions of spending some extra time reflecting on Christ's sacrifice and doing some activities with the kids to help them think about it as well. Oh how quickly I get distracted by all the things that come up! It is so discouraging sometimes!


We finally recieved our packet of info from our agency-- wow, there is a lot of paper work! I'm really glad to get started on it and have something tangible to do to move the process along. I am going to try really hard not to complain about it! I can't help but wonder though if people who are famous that adopt have to do all this stuff :) Oh well I'm sure that it "builds character."

According to 2 Peter1:5-8 by adding to faith virtue-knowledge-temperance-PATIENCE-godliness-brotherly kindness- charity my life will be FRUITFUL in the knowledge of Jesus Christ! and that is what we want!

laura

Saturday, March 15, 2008

We had our Homestudy!

Yeah, we are started with a major step in the adoption process! We had our homestudy done yesterday afternoon. It went great-- the woman who did it was wonderful to work with. It is really interesting to go through that many questions about yourself, your past, what you think about various things. I don't usually spend a lot of time reflecting so it was kind of a fun experience once I settled in. When it was the kids turn to talk they were all really excited! It was so fun to hear them tell someone else about what they were thinking! Once we were done we were both a little bit fried but really excited! Now we wait about a month to get the final product from the social worker. Then that will be sent to the agency. In the meantime there is plenty of paperwork to do!
laura

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring is Coming and Answered Prayers!


I was thinking today about the number of things that happen that we take for granted. First, there is the new life that comes from what appears dead-- Brecken has announced that these small purple flowers we have are almost ready to be picked for me. Soon the ground will be absolutely blanketed with these cool little flowers but for now one or two are so exciting. Other than the coming of spring though, there are the little prayers that I pray and then over time almost forget. One of those prayers that I was reminded of today was prayed about 1.5 years ago. I felt that Kaitlin really didn't have a lot of friends that she could just play with whenever. Well in the picture there are two of the answers to a mom's wish that her daughter could know the fun of a playdate that is not planned by your parents, a fight that you work out on your own the next day over the fence, friends with whom to share all the snacks your mom will give you and then go to their house and see what their mom will give you. I am so thankful that God provides people in our children's lives to help them grow and mature. These little neighbor girls are some of those people! They also help this mom to learn a little more patience but I'm sure I will touch on that over the summer. For now I'm really glad to see them back over here to make mud pies with Kait!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Here We Go!


Well, I think that we will officially join the world of blogging and stop just reading our friend's blogs (and people that we don't even really know). I love reading blogs. I also love the idea of journaling but I never actually do it and can barely even get pictures into scrapbooks. I am hoping that this will help to me to keep some type of record of our life for a while. After reading an article about "momnesia" I am convinced that I will not remember everything that I want to remember about this amazing stage in life. We are so blessed with three awesome children and just recieved our email today that we are officially accepted into the Ethiopian adoption program through Children's Hope! We have our home study scheduled for Friday so things are moving along. This all comes after much prayer. We are over the moon excited about adding a little boy to our family and trying to keep in mind that this will all happen in God's time. Here is one of the pictures we took of ourselves to send with our application. I think we look pretty excited!(we didn't want to wait to have someone actually take a good one for us). laura