Saturday, May 31, 2008

One year ago..............................

One year ago today was the first time I actually held Anaya in my arms! Wow, that was such an awesome day! However, it cannot compare to the awesome feeling of having her in my arms EVERY day! I can not even put into words, all of the things that have gone on over the last year, it was definitely the longest year of my life! Ever since the day we left Guatemala, it was as if a piece of ME was missing, and a tiny bit of HER was sitting on the bridge of my nose. As time passed, and things were moving along as planned, it was still easy to focus, and do my daily tasks, and live life. However, when we got stuck in the Mixco mess, and eventually EVERYONE else (that I knew) was getting their babies home, she began to be this big baby sitting on the bridge of my nose, if I could only take her off, and forget about how big she was getting, and how much I was missing. But I could not just forget, it made everything difficult to do. It affected everything, there were so many changes going on in our life at that time, so many emotions, so many big decisions! The last few months seem a bit like a blur now! I am so thankful to God for his comfot, and leading. I am thankful God led us here to her! I am ready to get home and begin our life as a family all under one roof, and my heart, and head back to "normal"(what ever that is!) Look how tiny she was, not that she is all that big now, but boy, has she grown!
Speaking of growing, look at this little piggy!
Easton and Anaya eating bagels!
Easton being a silly "monster", he was going around scaring his brothers, what a funny kid!
Today was a very long day, the boys went out for a swim, but it was drizzling, so it didn't last very long! It pretty much was dreary all day! We will try to get to town tomorrow, as we are running out of diapers. Yes, we were just at the store yesterday, however you can not buy diapers at that grocery store, diapers are at the pharmacy! (or la bodegona, however, I am trying not to go there with all 5 kids in tow, it is a such a zoo, and we are the animals they are staring at!)=)
Anyway, we are doing well, not much to report, except that the spider did not show it's ugly face again! Ryan says the picture made it look small, however I am not exaggerating, it was the size of my HAND! Not the body, but with the legs. The body was easily the size of a half dollar! The pictures were taken from a distance(of course!) Well, I just thought I would clarify that, because he was mocking me, and wondering why I didn't just kill it! HE would have been shocked by the size of that thing, yes he would have killed it, but I guarantee, he would have not done it with his bare hands like he usually does!!
On a funny note, I was reading one of the adoption forums, and there was a post about sweaty guatemalan kids!! There were a lot of parents out there who too, have a child with a sweaty head!! I found that to be reassuring, as she is amazingly sweaty when she drinks her bottle!
The boys are on the countdown to go home! We are hoping this week will bring us the good news we have been waiting for! Thanks for praying, we can't wait to get home, and see you all!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh My Word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somebody help me!! Why, did we have to see this now, why not when Ryan or my Dad was here? We freaked out, took the picture, went inside to get my phone and call the neighbor guy, and guess what ~ IT WAS GONE! ~ NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I HATE SPIDERS, I am a girly girl at heart, and yes, I can step up to the plate, and do ALMOST anything EXCEPT kill spiders!!! Especially ones that are as big as my hand!! I do not think I will sleep tonight, I hang my laundry out to dry, it could be anywhere! I am so freaked out right now! I had 2 huge fears about being here, mice,(or worse yet, rats) and having to kill spiders(now if it were a normal size spider, I know I could have handled it, but this thing was monstrous!!) I do not have a shoe here big enough for that one, and now he is still out there somewhere, on the loose! I had to reassure the kids, that he was too big to sneak into the house, but I am not sold on that myself! WOW, this is not good. We keep checking to see if we can find it, because while I NEVER want to see it again, I would rather KNOW it was dead. I will not enjoy my days here again, I will forever be on the look out for that thing!!! NASTY, FREAK ME OUT, HORRIFIC SPIDER!!!! PLEASE CURL UP AND DIE!!!! Mom you would have died!!

Okay, now on to the rest of our day, however this will bug me for a LONG time!

Me~ making a grocery list, and Anaya getting angry that we are not moving! She LOVES to be in the front pack and taking walks, but heaven forbid if I stop for a few minutes. I learned this the hard way at the bank! She did NOT like waiting in the long line!(nor did I!) At the grocery store too, she will try to pull everything off the shelves that are in reach! So I usually end up holding her hands and bouncing, and hoping the line moves fast!! Today we went to the grocery store that delivers! It is so wonderful, it is small, and doesn't have the best selection, however when milk, and juice only comes in 1 liter boxes,(we can go through one at each meal) I need to buy a bunch of them! That, and cereal, we go through one box (they are quite small) a day! It is so nice they deliver at no charge, and they won't even accept a tip! Then we went and got some banana bread. We bought an extra half loaf to give to the sweet little OLD beggar lady, you should have seen her face! The kids loved that!

My cool dudes!
I love it, she has no idea what to do with a race car, other than eat it, like she does with EVERYTHING else she finds on the floor ~ Yuckie!!
Easton, being my cheerful little helper! Whenever there is a diaper to be dumped, it is Easton who WANTS to dump it ~ the other boys try to stay FAR away from that task!!
Dylan helping with the dishes!
We had a good day today, right when we got back from our walk, around noon, it started raining, and has drizzled on and off since then! We made plans for Ryan to return on Tues. June 10. We decided that we didn't want Dylan to miss camp, so we bought tickets for the 4 boys to go back home on Friday the 13th of June(good thing we are not superstitious!) Hopefully, we can get our visa appointment for Wed. the 11th, (so if you could pray for that specifically, we'd sure appreciate it!) then pick up the visa on the 12th, and head for HOME on that Friday as a family!! But, we will wait and see how it all works out for sure! At least we know it is coming to an end soon!
Thanks for checking in on us, we love and miss you all! Especially the brave men in our lives, I wouldn't even expect my boys to kill this monster,(and they weren't about to, believe me, we are all a little rattled by this one!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 31....................................

Silly boys ~ ready for a swim!
Enjoying a beautiful day!
Dylan rocked Anaya while I made super, she was so tired tonight she fell asleep in his arms! She didn't sleep very long for her afternoon nap, so by about 5:30 she was shot!

Well, the day started out well, the boys and Anaya slept in till 7:15!! But then, it started to look like it was going to be a dreary rainy day! I must admit, the thought of us all stuck inside all day had me feeling a tad irritable! The boys seemed extra loud, and I told them they were ALL taking a nap!! (I think I needed it most!) so we ate lunch, and I had them all lay down by 1pm, I let Dylan sit on the couch and read, and the other 2 play a game in their bedroom, and I put Easton in his bed, and I went and did some checking online. Anaya had taken a morning nap, so she wasn't quite ready to go down yet! So at about 2 pm I put her down, and then the rest of them were up, even Easton!! I was NOT feeling rested! Then Ryan called, we talked to him for a minute, and then we realized it was looking very nice outside!! Thank you Lord! So I took them all to the pool(except Dylan, he wanted to Google Earth!! The kid has been very intrigued by that lately!!) Soon, Anaya woke up and we all were outside enjoying the beautiful day! The neighbors came out and we chatted for a while, and before I knew it, it was 5 pm, and time to go in and make super! I love it when the day improves greatly like it did today!! We picked up, did dishes, talked to Daddy again, and it was time for bed! Yay! another uneventful day here in Guatemala! Thank you God!!

Anaya being silly, and cracking herself up! and The 3 boys being silly!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WOW 30 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, I can't believe that we have been here with Anaya for 30 days now! Sometimes it seems like she has just been a part of the family for forever, and then other days, I am just brought to tears that I actually have her in my arms! She is such a joy to have around, and we are enjoying her very much!

This is Anaya's little friend Ana, she moved into the apartment across the lawn from us, and we have had a great time getting to know her, and her Mom. They too, are in the process of adoption, but they are stuck in the mess with PGN right now, so please pray for them!! Gretchen has been in Guatemala for 6 months now fostering Ana and her husband Charles comes out about once a month for a visit! They are so very nice, they invited us to go out to dinner with them tonight! So we got to eat at the Monoloco, and get to know them a little better! Thanks God, for friendly neighbors!! This is Easton getting ready for a swim! He actually went into the kiddie pool today, usually he will only go if Ryan or an adult goes with, Dylan did help him at first, but then he was fine to be in there alone. In fact, he prefers it alone, when the other 2 boys get in, they splash too much and he does NOT like to be splashed!! He is a funny little guy!
He is helpful too, always wanting to help "naya" do everything! Here, we are trying to get her to use her little legs! Not that I want her to walk, but she does need to know what to do with them!
Ahh snuggling in bed with the boys! They LOVE to "take care" of her while I tuck the other 2 in bed! She doesn't seem to mind! Love the silly hair from being stuck up all day!

We had another awesome day here, it is supposed to be rainy season, however God has been so kind as to let us have some very sunny, beautiful days!

Ryan called the lab this morning to check on the DNA, and they said they had no record of us!! But, they called back a bit later, and said the DNA had just arrived, and they were going to begin to process it today!! So that takes 4 business days, and we are looking at them shipping it out like Tuesday or Wednesday, they overnight it, so we are praying for PINK by Friday!! So please join us in prayer that this gets done asap!! And, that we will get a date for the following week! We know there are a lot of variables, and God knows how it will all play out, so we are resting in HIM! The lab will call us with a tracking number when it is shipped, so we will know when it gets to the US Embassy, then it is up to them to issue the pink (it is actually an email!) And, get this~I can NOT access that account from here! I have on occasion, but for whatever reason, I have not been able to the last few days! Talk about annoying! Poor Ryan will have to be constantly checking and letting me know! I am so thankful to be at this point, and will keep everyone posted once we hear any more!!

Oh and one more thing, they say there were 3 or 4 earthquakes here from Sat. to Tues. but, we didn't feel a thing! We were in bed all of the times, and apparently sleeping. The one was said to be a 5.3 on the Richter scale! Not sure if I am happy I missed it, or bummed, a little of both I guess!

Thanks for checking in, we love and miss you all!

Day 29.................................................

Dylan, after our long walk! And, at our condo helping Anaya walk! What a great help he is! And an awesome big brother!
MY version of swimming!
Spencer in mid-air! They were all doing belly flops! OUCH!
Anaya, and her baby sucking their thumbs!

This is Eastons version of "swimming," he likes to push the boys into the pool! As he said, he thinks he is a cool dude!! Too funny!

We had a wonderful day today! It was absolutely gorgeous, and we headed into town. We went to the Artisans market, and went shopping! The boys are becoming quite the little shoppers! Then we went to McDonalds, they had 2 double cheeseburger meals for 45 Q's! Wow that is like $5.00!! I love this Mc Donalds! Then it was on to Cafe Condessa, for their awesome Carmel latte!! (I sure am going to miss this place!) Then we headed for home. Dylan pushed the stroller the whole way, and that is no easy task! It is heavy, and hard to push on the ups and downs of the sidewalks and cobblestone streets, but he never complained! Then the boys went swimming a few times, and we watched a movie tonight! It was just what we needed, we had to get away from all of the pounding that was going on next door! We hope you have a great day! We love and miss you all, thanks for checking in!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 28.................................

Anaya getting a pedicure! Mommy needs one too! Jayden is in the background working hard doing the dishes! They have been so funny, as we do not buy paper plates here, and there is no dishwasher, they get the dishes done, and we get out snack, or the next meal and I hear,"Uh we JUST washed that!!" I think it is so funny! They are doing a great job helping out!

I sat Anaya in the grass, and she got very nervous, in goes the thumb, and the finger starts tapping! Silly girl!
The boys thought it would be fun to see their crocks (shoes) float! So, they put them in, but had to get their suits on and go for another swim to retrieve them! That's okay, it was a beautiful day! No rain at all today. It has been raining in the afternoons, and evenings.Pancakes, YUM!!
We had another uneventful day here(which is great!), except for the fact that the neighbors condo is being remodeled (or something) right now. We heard constant pounding ALL DAY LONG!! Whether we were outside, or inside, it was very annoying! At least they aren't working all night! I think that we may need to take a walk to town tomorrow!
The landscaping guy mowed today, and Dylan said "I love the smell of fresh cut grass, it reminds me of Grama's house!" Like we never mow!!;) Anyway, I have to admit, I thought the same thing, it smelled like summer, and in the summer we always go to Grama's pool and swim! We are pretty much done with all the schoolwork for the year!! So I guess it is officially SUMMER!! Although I told Dylan today, he had to do a report on the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day(I was curious!) He said, I think that on Memorial day we remember the people who died in war, and on Veterans day you remember the ones that lived! We looked it up, and he pretty much nailed it, so that was good enough for me!
Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 27..............................

We are going to have to do some readjusting when we get home!! They love to playing games on the computer. It is a nice way to pass time, they are pretty involved, as you can tell! They are doing math, and other learning activities, however it will NOT continue once we return home, but for now, they are enjoying it!

Anaya, brushing her teeth!! She gets the funniest look on her face when I do it, and then I let her chew on it for a while, and she loves it!!

Easton, and Spencer wearing the hats they found here in the condo! They are so silly!

Anaya crawling on all fours! She used to do this weird army crawl, and she is getting so amazingly fast on all fours, I can't believe the progress she has made over the last few weeks!
Sorry this video is not that great! But it finally worked to upload one, I may have to try to do some of the older ones I made!

Of course, Easton has to get in on the action! He is so funny, every time we do patty cake, or peek a boo, he has to show us that he can do it too!!

We are missing our daily walks, we may have to venture out to McDonalds soon!! Tomorrow is a holiday, so we are hoping that by Tues. our DNA will be at the lab. I will try to get some info on that in a couple days!

I started thinking of the strange things that I noticed here in Guatemala last night, when Dylan was up puking!! (not sure what his deal was, but he was fine after about 2 hours!) Anyway, I was up around 3 am, and was still hearing fireworks, or dynamite or some loud banging going on! I don't know what it is about fireworks, and dynamite, but they set them off at all hours of the day and night! I can't figure that out! I also don't know why all of the stores store milk(different kind than at home), margarine, and eggs on the shelf~not refrigerated! Sometimes you can buy a big box of Corn Flakes, with milk taped to it!! So weird! I used to freak out if the eggs were left out too long, and Ryan always said, "they are fine!" Well, I guess they are! Also, we see armed guards everywhere, several at every bank, jewelery store, museum, and even Coke trucks! What in the world? We saw an armed guard on top of a Coke delivery truck! Crazy sights like 3 or more people on a bicycle, whole entire families on a moped, and the ladies always sit side saddle! I do not know how they stay on, the cobble stone streets are so bumpy, and they drive by and smile at us, like we are the sight to behold!! I love Guatemala!

We hope you enjoy the holiday!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 26......................................

We went out for breakfast this morning, at the Porta Hotel Antigua. It was so good, but all the boys wanted off the huge buffet, was Fruit Loops! I think they each had like 5 bowls! Oh well, at least Ryan and I ate our fill!! It is such a beautiful hotel, we had someone take a family picture for us, however, our camera stinks, and it didn't turn out too well! Anyway, we had a great morning together! Funny story~ They eat some pretty weird things here for breakfast, one of them is a tamale(in a dark green leaf), and Jayden happened to see two of them(tamales) sitting on the table next to us, and started laughing, and said, "those people have food in their wallets!" After looking again, I guess it does look like that! He is so funny!

Then Ryan had to leave! Once again, there were tears shed, however, knowing the end is somewhat near(a few weeks yet!)I felt a ton better this time, than last! We are hoping that by the end of the first week in June, we will be PINK, and know when Ryan will return! Please pray with us that it goes fast and smooth! Dylan is signed up for camp the 3rd week in June, and we are not sure when our appointment will be, we are praying we will be done by then, but you just never know!

We just hung out the rest of the day, the boys went swimming, and we watched T.V. (most of it is in spanish, but they don't care!) Anaya is doing great! She is starting to actually crawl now instead of the crazy army crawl thing she used to do! She is getting into everything, as a 1yr old should, and we are truly enjoying her!

We got a call around 3 pm from Ryan saying he was still in Guatemala! He left around 9:45 am to get to the airport on time for his 12:45 flight. So I had him long gone in my head!! His plane was delayed until 5 pm!! Then he has to spend the night in Atlanta before getting home sometime tomorrow afternoon! We were so bummed, if only he could have spent more time with us! He called to have me try to get a hold of someone from church, he is supposed to be there and teach Sunday school tomorrow! He borrowed a cell at the airport to let me know! I sent several emails out, and have not heard if anyone got them! So, if someone from home reads this, and can tell everyone where Ryan is, I would appreciate it!

Thanks for praying for us! We really felt it today!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Day 25..............................

The sky was so clear today, we finally had a great view of the volcano!
The boys enjoying one last swim with Daddy! Except for Spencer, he got chilled!
My "non smokers" at the restaurant! I have never seen a sign say that before! Daddy treating the boys to popsicles! Then~he asked if I had wipes with, unfortunately the answer was no! What a mess!! But they enjoyed it!
Easton and Anaya listening to daddy read a book!
We stocked up on groceries, and are ready for an extended stay "all alone!" We sure did have fun with daddy here, and we REALLY do NOT want him to leave, but we know the end is near, and so we will "deal with it!" That has been our theme," we need to be flexible and deal with whatever comes our way. It will be okay!" Sometimes that is easier said than done, but all in all the kids have been great! We could not find a cheap enough flight, so Easton will be staying with me! Which is fine, I have the appointments completed, so I don't have to worry about dragging them all over, and we will just kick back and enjoy the rest of our days here! Please pray for us tomorrow, as it will be another day filled with tears! But, God is our refuge and strength, and in Him we will abide! Thanks for all of your words of encouragement, and checking in on us! We love and miss you all!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2nd DNA completed!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, today started out as the most stressful, frustrating day, I think I have ever had! It started out last night actually, I had a terrible dream that turned out to be oh so real! In my dream we waited all day and finally got a call that said our DNA was scheduled next Wed! I was crying and so upset!
Well, I woke up, and got ready right away, so that when we got the call to let us know of our appointment time, I would be ready! Well, at about 9:15 our landlady stopped by to see what time we were leaving (she schedules the driver) when we said we still hadn't heard anything, she said that they only take DNA until 11 or noon! So, we emailed our agency in Portland, and called the orphanage. We were told that we were NOT having DNA today, but that it was scheduled for next Tues!!! What? Portland told us today, and that they would let us know what time? Needless to say, we were not satisfied with that time frame, and when Ryan said "that is unacceptable" the lady said(after a LONG pause) "can you be here in an hour?" "She is on her way", he said! so we quickly called Nancy (life saving land lady) and she said "I will have someone there within 10 minutes!" I was so shook up, I was crying and shaking, I had no idea IF it would actually happen or not. Nancy came driving up to pick me up, she was still on her walk when I called, and took a tuk tuk back to her house, and decided to take me herself! We made great time to the city, and got to the orphanage, and Abel led us to the lab. We were in and out in under 1/2 hour! It is done!! Yea!! What a HUGE relief.
But, unfortunately, there is a down side to this day. Our agency sees us as the "bad guy's" we got a not very nice response via email, and long story ~ short, we found out that some terrible things have happened recently (babies taken out of the orphanage, and their adoptive parents told they could not have them!)
But, we were told NOTHING! All they had to do was let us know what was going on, but instead we hear conflicting reports on our situation, and then nothing, and we were upset. Now they make us sound as though we are selfish for being so forward as to ask that it be done today(like they said it would be.) If you know me, I am NOT someone who likes confrontation, and I hate that they have such a wrong view of us, but we had no idea what was going on, and I am sorry for what IS going on, but I still want to get my baby home! So, as excited as we are, I feel just awful about all that happened, and especially for all of the people involved in the mess of Guatemalan adoptions right now. I feel so extremely blessed to have gotten this far, and to see a light at the end of this tunnel. Please pray for all the families who are being affected by this.
Here are a few pictures of our day:

Anaya's first haircut!! I know, I know, she has very little hair, however there has been this one piece that I saw way back in the DVD's months ago, that has bugged me! So today, I finally cut it off! It looks, and feels so much better! Only her mother/hairdresser would know though!!

Here is the one piece that was WAY longer than the rest, it had to go!!
All of the boys, including Daddy, in the kiddie pool!
Eating out! I will miss all of the wonderful places to eat! This is the way to go, condo, pool, eating out, I love it! And I want to go home.... Why? Just kidding, yes I want to get home to be with all of you! But, I will definatlly miss Antigua!