Sunday, August 31, 2008

All the HAPPY, HAPPY animals!

The fleas here this year have been AWFUL! We have spread granuals in the yard, bombed and sprayed inside and under the house, washed animals in flea soap, put flea collars on (the fleas seem to just laugh at these this year), washed bedding, ect. Nothing seems to work. The poor dogs have scratched and scratched to the point I'm suprised they have any hair or sanity left. So, last night was yet another installment of wash the pets and bedding at our house. There is a definite routine to this:

* Clean out the sink
* Get everything together (flea soap, towels, ect.)
* Do your very best not to even mention the B word (bath) or even really look like that's what your getting ready for.
* Sit down on the couch and look like your not up to anything.
* Call Vegas to come over and get petted (Because he's usually the one that runs and hides)
* Give up trying to get Vegas to come out from under the couch.
* Go get Cecil who has enacted his emergency response plan and gotten into the bathtub in the front bathroom like he's waiting out a tornado.
* Put Cecil in the sink.
* One of us starts washing Cecil while the other has to fish Vegas out from under whatever he has barracaded himself under.
* Wash Vegas
* Dry both dogs and let them loose.
* Wait 15 minutes and open a can of tuna to lure the cat out of wherever he goes when it's bathtime.
* Wash cat as he does his whole pitifull moaning thing.
* Dry cat.
* Put away soap
* Put all pet bedding and drying towels in the washer on HOT with lots of soap.
* Scrub out sink and surrounding counters with comet.
* Fill sink with hot water and bleach, cause no one wants dirty dog butt residue in their sink.
* Apply peroxide and ointment to scratches on arms.
* Empty the bleach water the next morning.
(We wash the pets in the big sink in the kitchen due to back problems)

Kitty loves his bath. Don't let that face or the pityful meowing fool you.

Clean sink! Yeah!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Annie, Annie. Are you OK?

We all went up to visit with Annie this Saturday. Her parents had emailed us and were concerned about her well-being. Glen texts Annie about every other day but that certainly doesn't give you the same information about how someone is doing as does a face to face conversation. She is doing great. Making friends and learning about college life.

Annie and Brandon in Annie's dorm room. Behind us is her roommates side of the room the .....Uuuuhhhhmmm "neat" side of the room. :)

This was one of the many signs that were posted in the hallway of her dorm.

Annie looking busy at her computer.

Annie and Brandon at Chili's. We all went out and had lunch while we interrogated, I mean visited Annie. She probably did feel like she was being questioned but we are just interested in how she is doing and what is going on with school. After lunch it was off to Wal Mart to pick up some little stuff that she needed and snacks for her room. We were glad to have everyone together for a couple of hours and have some fun and we are happy to report that Annie is doing well.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Black gold, Texas tea.....Ok it's really horse poo!

We went to our friends house this morning to pick up some "black gold" to help amend the garden soil for next years crops. The soil where we plant our vegetables leaves alot to be desired but we have been adding different things over the years to try and make it better. Our friends Leigh and Ken have several beautiful horses that create a LARGE amount of poo. While we were there we got to pet the horses and watch one of them get new shoes put on.

This little one is the newest arrival of the group, 3 months old. Leigh said he was a suprise. The horse in the background that Leigh is holding onto is the one that got new shoes today. While we were there Ken let the horses out of their stalls and they all ran by us on their way out to the pasture.

This of course is the "business end" where our great manure for the garden came from. Thank you horse booty. Thank you Ken and Leigh.

Glen's truck full of poo.
Glen got all of the poo spread out over the garden area and in the garden boxes.

Lori's mom gave her a packet of seeds from the flowers that grew in Lori's grandmothers yard. This is what grew from those seeds. Absolutely beautiful and we think about grandma everytime we look at them. Lori and I both sure do miss her.

This is sweet potato vine. If you have a bare spot in your yard and would like to fill it during the summer, this is your plant. All of this is from one little sprout. It is very aggressive and will cover a huge area if you just let it go. First frost though will kill it deader than a doornail but it's pretty for now.

We saw this car in the parking lot of a gas station where we were airing up the truck tires to counteract the weight from all the horse poo. It is filled to the brim with TRASH. There is only enough room for the driver to fit in the car. We were amazed. I think there may be some hoarding issues here. The smell is probably pretty interesting too. Especially since it has been hot and humid for months here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to school for Brandon

Brandon starts a new program this year. He will only have one class at the high school that he goes to everyday. Then he will go on Monday and Wednesday, just in the mornings, to a computer driven school. The rest of the time he will be at home doing his school work over the computer. He has wanted to do this for a couple of years now, but he is not self motivated, so Lori and I kept him in traditional high school. We will see how he does in this first semester. If he does good then great, this is just what he needed and he can stay with the program, but if he is just at home sleeping all day, goofing off on the computer all night then it’s back to the high school for all day schooling. Brandon is a great kid, that has opportunities and
the potential to have an exciting and easy life. Good luck Boo!

Monday, August 18, 2008

President Clinton Library

Lori and I went to the President Clinton library in Little Rock, Arkansas for his (Clintons) birthday for two reasons: it was free admission to the library on his birthday, and we have never been. So what the heck, when we got there much to our surprise they were giving away free cake and a watermelon to boot. We toured the library and looked at all the things that went on during his presidency. One of the most amazing things I saw that day was not the replica of the oval office. It was this guy; I don’t remember his name but I was very impressed with him so I had to get a photo with him to remember him by. We went into a round room to watch a short movie and he came in and started speaking and using sign language at the same time because there was a deaf couple in the theater. I sat in awe as he signed away telling us about the library and why Clinton picked that spot for it. He was very nice to talk with after the movie had ended and was happy to let Lori take our photo. I may try to get his name so I can write the library and tell them how nice he was to us and what an asset to the library he truly is.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I’m a potato farmer!

Well maybe not yet but for my first year I think I did pretty well.
We grow sweet potatoes, Yukon gold’s, and the purple one I can’t remember what they are called. We took the ones in the pan and got some rosemary from the garden and backed them in the oven yum! The best part I didn’t have to dig them up I just pulled the hey back and there they were on top of the ground. The sweet potatoes did grow down into the ground though. I do need to add a lot of organic material to the soil this winter to soften it up. We are also thinking about getting 2-3 small bantam chickens for eggs/ fertilizer/ bug eating.
I need to look into City chickens a little more.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A New Life for Annie

After a 25 hour flight from China Annie arrived back in Arkansas safe and sound
Thursday, well really Friday it was after midnight by the time we got home. She didn’t miss any of her flights, got all her luggage, and didn’t even get air sick this time. She has come along way since the photo below was taken in August 2007.

We let her get over the jetlag on Friday then Saturday we took her to Wal-Mart to get her the supplies she needed for her new life at UCA. I was able to get her a small dorm refrigerator for her dorm room so she can keep some yogurt, cold drinks, some milk for cereal, and orange juice for breakfast. They have a cafeteria at UCA but it is not open yet so we also set her up with some food so she can have it now and when it is shut down from time to time.

Sunday we packed the truck to the roof and headed off, hoping to be able to move Annie things into her dorm room before the brunch they had set up for all the new international students at 11:00.

No such luck we were the first ones there, so we took photos of some of the buildings.

Can you spot Annie in-between the two signs in the front of the building, this campus huge this is a dorm?

After brunch it was time to check in, Annie being the kind hearted person she is helped some different groups of the new students from China who were confused about how to fill out there paper work.

And finally at around 2:30 we got Annie’s Dorm room key and moved her on in. there were a couple of students already living in the Dorm Annie is in but the bulk of them don’t move in until the 17th, I was really impressed with the way all the student were trying to help each other out, I think Annie is going to get a great education at UCA this year. When I left I reminded her that I have a phone and she has a phone and Lori and I will always be here for her.

We love you and are proud of you.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I-171-H update

From what I have heard in the last couple of days USCIS is now requiring families to do an update on there I-171-H with there local office before they go to China if they get a referral for SN child, We just got I-171-H last week and I was so happy. Now I don't know what to think. What a ride this adoption has become,
form Frustrated to Happy and back to Frustrated all in one week.
Have to see how it plays out.

Off to the airport for Annie

Annie Comes in tonight She will be wiped out from her long Flight from Beijing to Here. She can rest tomorrow, because after this weekend she will be a Collage student.

A whole new life for Annie is about to unfold.


Silent Tears By Kay Bratt

Silent Tears
A Journey of hope in a Chinese orphanage
By Kay Bratt
You can order Signed Copy of Silent Tears $19.96 Free shipping within USA/Canada. directly from her here at her blog.

I Came across this book the other day Silent Tears by Kay Bratt and knew I needed to get it.
I have gotten to page 199 out of 427 and it has been a wonderful read so far. It will truly give you a sense of what our sons and daughters may have faced though there first months, or years of there lives in the orphanages. The four years that are covers in the book may not be true of what go’s on in all orphanages but as I read through the book, it has conjured up many images from photos, and You Tube videos I have seen over the years of the inner working of the orphanages. I have seen so many babies come home with the back of there heads flat form lying in there cribs on boards for hours and hours. Our Norahs will be 7-36 months old when we get a referal for her this book will give me a deeper understanding of why her little personality is the way it is and to help her and us to try to overcome and thrive in spite of the time she spent at the SWI. We so look forward to the day we can bring our daughter home no matter how good or bad her SWI is it is not her home she just has to survive it to get to us.

I have no drought that some of you are blessed with children today because of the four years of work this woman and her fellow volunteers put in at the orphanage.