Saturday, October 13, 2012

What a Year!

(**WARNING: This is probably the longest blog post you have ever read in your life!**)

Well, it has been almost an entire year since my last post, and what a year it has been! Whew! Can you hear me trying to catch my breath? Our life will always be a bit on the crazy side (thus the blog title), but this year took it to the extreme. Things are finally starting to feel a bit more settled now, though, and since my sister and her husband just returned back to Israel on their 5-year visa (*sniff*), it's time for me to start blogging again. (She's the only one I know for sure that reads this for updates, ha!) We'll see how my once-a-week-intentions fare this time around...

So what exactly made this year so crazy, you might be asking. Oh, where do I begin?....

October 2011
Last time I posted, Jim and I were ready to sail away on a 5-day cruise, leaving Jadon alone for the first time (with Grandma and Grandpa Sanders). Oh my goodness, that was wonderful!!! 
The rest and refreshment and reconnecting with each other was great, and Jadon did just fine with my parents, in spite of my dad being leveled by a once-in-a-decade flu and my mom working overtime all week. I don't know how they did it, but when we came to pick Jadon up, everyone was happy and healthy (if not a little exhausted!). 

The best part was hearing Jadon yell "Mommy! Daddy!" when he saw our [unexpected] car pull up, which was the first time he so clearly expressed recognition of us with the titles mommy and daddy (previously those words had been used interchangeably with other desired objects).

November/December 2011
Good thing we had that week of rest, because in November things started rolling. 
Jadon had his first gig as ring bearer (for the Sydney/Anthony Giannell wedding)...and despite a near meltdown seconds before his big moment, he did his job of being the cutest little guy ever perfectly, charming everyone on his walk down the aisle.

Then we were gearing up to leave on a mission trip to Mexico the weekend before Thanksgiving when the sky fell down--almost literally! I was working on our new book in our bedroom when I noticed the paint above our bed starting to bubble. 

That's weird, I thought, never having noticed that before. A couple of hours later, the bubble had expanded...and now it was leaking water droplets. 
Uh oh...our roof is leaking, I hypothesized, and started worrying about how much that was going to cost to fix. But then I was puzzled. It hadn't rained for a couple weeks. Why would the roof just be leaking now? Figuring we could just look into it later when Jim got home with Jadon after a church event, I went downstairs to try to focus on pounding out another chapter in our book. That proved futile when a few minutes later I was startled by a huge crash and ran upstairs to find this:

Turns out, it wasn't our roof that was leaking but rather one of our water pipes. Great. So we moved into our spare bedroom, shut off the water and planned to call a plumber the next day. No need to pay the exorbitant emergency rates when we would just be sleeping anyway. But even when you can postpone showering and use only bottled water to drink, you still have to go to the bathroom, and so to deal with toilet flushing, we turned on the water just long enough to fill some buckets for bucket flushing (very handy toilet phenomenon, by the way. If you don't know what I'm talking about, ask me later.) Jadon, of course, discovered that these buckets of water made for excellent swimming pools.

In our search for a quality plumber, a friend from church volunteered his handyman services for free, a price that's hard to beat! The only catch was we had to wait until he got home from his night classes. But delayed-free is still better than expensive, so we were glad to wait...especially since another leak developed during the day in the attic over the bathroom next to our bedroom. Shane Meyer was a life saver! He fixed both leaks, crawling through the cramped, nasty-insulation-filled attic, and even helped us clean up all the mess in our bedroom. 

Somehow through all of that we managed to get on our way to Mexico.

This was Jadon's first official mission trip...and first time out of the country! He even has his own passport now.

(This is the best shot I could get for Jadon's passport photo...At least for kids it only lasts 5 years, ha!)

The trip was great, we introduced many people to a life-changing personal relationship with Jesus, and Jadon did great and never got sick. Whew!

(Jadon LOVED all the Mexican doggies...much to my dismay!)

  (He also loved the ladies...who definitely loved him. What can I say, he's a great ministry tool, ha!)

(Of course, he also loved all the kids...especially when he could be in his favorite spot--the center of attention!)

(Jadon may have also discovered a new method of door-to-door evangelism: crawling under people's fences...)

(...and getting them to push him on their swing.)

(Not sure if that method would work for everyone, by the way. But it did open up some doors for him!)

We came home looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday and my family's visit...when we discovered our leak situation had worsened. When I went out to the garage to dump off our dirty laundry by the washer, water was dripping through the drywall ceiling. Then I went upstairs to our guest room and immediately my socks were drenched by the unexpectedly soaked carpet. Turns out that while we were gone, we had sprung another leak in the attic above that room. 
Completely at wit's end, I desperately called my dad, who was just driving back into cell phone range after a week-long hunting trip in Colorado. Whew! He detoured and instead of going home to his own bed and clean clothes, he arrived tired and dirty at our house the next day. Good thing we had running water and a nice bed for him…oh wait! No, we didn’t. Poor guy. I don't know what we would have done without him. He is Mr. Handy...and Mr. Calm, and his expertise was invaluable. 
That night I also called insurance to file a claim, which I'd never done before. Let me tell you, it's loads of fun!
Long story short, it turns out that we had rats in our attic who proceeded to chew 7 different pin-sized holes in our PVC-like water pipes which in turn caused water damage in every single room/area of our entire house. Great timing for a gut-job.
And "lucky" us, since it was 7 different holes, insurance counts that as 7 different claims, and with our intentionally-high-to-save-money $1,000 deductible a pop, things weren't looking so good...And then we discovered that 2 or more water-related claims in a 3-year period was grounds for insurance to drop us. Even better!
But before things could get any worse, God stepped in with some good news. It turns out that it was good for us to be gone on the mission trip, because the damage that was caused by that one leak could be linked to the majority of the damage incurred, so we only ended up claiming that one incident, which kept our insurance intact and ultimately paid for most of the repairs. Whew! 
However, since our brand of pipes (Quest) has been notoriously troublesome in our area, we decided to bite the bullet and repipe our entire house with copper, which let me tell you, is another big chunk of change!

My dad ended up spending 2 more weeks with us, and in all the chaos, he helped us with some DIY projects I'd always wanted to do but had never gotten around to, like wiring the front of our house for exterior lights and adding outlets under our eaves for Christmas lights. 
That's the one good thing about all the water damage--once you strip all the drywall out of many rooms, you have a lot of flexibility for those fun projects that would be too hard otherwise! 
Some of the bad things, though: moving an entire house full of belongings (who knew how much you can accumulate in 10 years!) from room to room to room to storage trailer to room to room to room.

 Any sense of organization that I ever struggled to maintain was completely decimated. A year later, I am just barely getting back to a place where I feel at least semi-organized again.
Another bad thing: forced home improvement causes a person like me to start wanting to change a whole slew of other things about my house again. Whereas I had finally come to a place of contentment with my house before, necessary repainting/ rebuilding/ reflooring/ etc. opened a whole new can of worms of projects I want to do now. I’ve had to intentionally avoid Pinterest and blogland to stifle these desires…but it’s not working! If only I didn't have a time-sucking toddler and a budget. *sigh*

Oh yeah, during this time, Jadon decided to see what would happen if he played drums on one of our windows with an ice cream scooper. 

Ka-ching! What's another $100 for a replacement pane of glass?! When you're spending thousands, that's just pocket change, ha! We immediately started teaching the no-drumming-in-the-house rule, and resorted to new distractions outside and in the garage:

Let me tell you, Jadon LOVES his tools, and to this day, "hammer" is one of his favorite words and favorite things to do! And he's pretty good at only doing it outside, whew! (even when I'm not looking)

Anyhow, our repairmen finished the basic drywall/carpeting/painting repairs the night before Christmas Eve, which made our house mostly livable and free from dust/ debris/ noise for the holidays. We enjoyed Jadon’s 2nd Christmas at home with my family first, and then around noon on Christmas day, flew up to Davis to spend a week with Jim’s family. Great times!
(You have no idea how hard I had to coax Jim to take this picture in matching pajamas!) (I think I may have told him no one would ever see it...but I can't remember that far back...) 

(Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo--awesome!)

Christmas Eve

Christmas morning

(The week after Christmas in Davis)

(New Year's Eve at Jadon's brother's house (we are great friends with Jadon's aunt and uncle, who adopted his older brother))

January 2012
During this whole time, we were still frantically working to finish book 3 of To Save a Life. The original goal had been a pre-Christmas release. Ha! Therefore, January became a frenzied race to the finish. I placed all our chaos on hold (as if that’s possible!) and wrote every spare second of the day…and night. To be honest, the month was pretty miserable. My brain hurt, the house was a nasty mess, and my juggling act was out of control. Oh, and Jadon learned how to climb out of his crib. Now, nothing could contain him.
(Jadon's first night in his toddler bed. Can you tell how much happier he is?!) (Now instead of crying in the middle of the night, he contentedly just crawled into bed with us without needing any help. To be honest, we were a lot happier, too!)

(Funny side note, this outfit of Jadon's inspired me for what Jake was wearing in Chapter 45, page 308 ...I guess you'll just have to read it now...heehee) 

February 2012
Somehow, we made it. The book manuscript went to the printer and I could turn my focus back on the house. We now had to move out of the downstairs of our house so that the wood floors (now soggy and fraught with mold) could be replaced. Party time for the kids in our youth group!

Our neighbor's daughter's boyfriend installs floors for a living, so he offered us a really good deal on new flooring, which at this point in our expenditures we welcomed whole-heartedly. Except he could only work weekends, and for some reason our project was slower than he anticipated, so that ended up taking a month. Imagine spending an entire winter month with an active toddler cramped into only the upstairs which is still in total disarray. Yeah, fun times. Thank goodness for places like Chuck E. Cheese’s and the San Diego Zoo and spurts of warm SoCal winter days and visits from Grandpa and chocolate...

Ultimately, it was totally worth it. I LOVE my new floors…and clearly Jadon does, too.

We intentionally got hand-scraped distressed finish so that all of Jadon’s activities will only add to the character, ha!

March 2012
And then our books arrived! YAY!!! Since Book 2 (Jake’s Choice) didn’t sell so well, our original publisher chose not to pursue the third book, but we had left the story hanging and wanted to finish it, so we chose to self-publish Book 3, All or Nothing. Self publishing is extremely easy these days with tons of options. After consulting with several people who know the business, we opted to pay up front to print 2,000 copies, which would enable us to break even by selling around 500-700, depending how many we could sell directly from our website vs. off of Amazon (which takes 55%, plus we still have to pay for shipping out of our own pocket—major ripoff!).
We don’t have any regrets about that choice, but let’s just say that an already packed garage from all of our house chaos has an extremely hard time fitting a whole truckload of books. And selling 500 books is not as easy as we thought. Ha! 

(Shameless plug…Buy your copy of All or Nothing now from and we’ll throw in a free copy of Jake’s Choice.) J

Oh yeah, sometime around the end of March, my sister Sarah and her husband Greg moved down to Oceanside from my parents’ house where they had been working as cooks/housekeepers for PG&E while they waited for their visa to be approved so they could move back to Israel. When it became clear that the visa wasn't coming anytime soon, they decided they’d rather be doing freelance filming and editing work than cleaning toilets, and so after crashing on our couch/floor for a couple weeks, they found an apartment about 15 minutes away from our house and signed a three-month lease until June, by which time their visa should be cleared. They immediately made themselves useful, offering free babysitting for Jadon. Jadon LOVES his Aunt Dawah and Uncle Ded, oh, and the pool at their apartment, too.

Oh, and because I had nothing else to do this month, I decided to throw a friend a lady-bug-themed baby shower...which I have to admit turned out pretty stinkin' cute!

April 2012
April came all too quickly, and brought along with it a year’s worth of cooking. Fortunately, my parents came down to help, along with Sarah and Greg. I think over a 2-week period, I put close to $3,000 worth of food and supplies on my credit card which barely fit into several truckloads. Costco and Smart & Final were definitely loving me!

First, there was the annual Passover Seder dinner that we host at church. This year attendance soared to well over 100 people…which is a lot of authentic Jewish cooking to do. I definitely need to work on some ideas on how to make that a little easier next year.

Then four days after all that cooking, we had our annual Spring Break GOAL mission trip for our youth, and I got to cook for around 80 people all week. Our wonderful friends Shawn and Rufina Walker let us use their AMAZING motor home, which was a total godsend!

After all that cooking, though, I didn’t want to step foot in a kitchen ever again!

Oh, and as if our lives weren’t already busy enough, the next weekend Jim and I did our first ever Ragnar, a 12-person, 2-day, 202-mile relay from Huntington Beach to Coronado Island. It was AWESOME…if not a little insane. We definitely want to do it again.
 (Our team name was "Renew Their Strength, based off of Isaiah 40:31, and we used the book Operation World to divide up all 210(?) countries in the world and pray for one of them each mile that we ran...Pretty cool!)

 (Van #1 BEFORE)
 (Van #2 AFTER)

 We endured all kinds of weather, from scorching heat (high 90's) to drizzling fog and chill (40's).

 In some ways, the night time was the most fun...well, maybe the most insane. But when you're giddy with endorphins, no sleep, and lots of friends, the two are strangely similar! I think this shot was taken around 1 am.

Our entire team joined our final runner to cross the finish line all together. What an accomplishment!
 Seconds after this photo was taken, we rushed back to the vans and sped home to make it back in time for our big special event weekend at church, surfer Bethany Hamilton's guest appearance. We were all beyond exhausted by this point, but shoot, if she can surf after losing her arm, what could we complain about!

May 2012
May begins a ridiculous stretch of celebrations for our family, starting with my birthday on Cinco de Mayo, then Mother’s Day the following weekend. Sarah and Greg watched Jadon so Jim and I could get away (we took advantage of their love of Jadon A LOT!).

Then Jadon was ring bearer for Heather and Andy Johnson’s wedding. This one was a little tougher because Jim performed this wedding so we weren’t sure how to double team our little man with a mind of his own. But it ended up working out great. I stayed at the back of the aisle until he spotted daddy standing up front with the groomsmen, which drew him forward…all the way up the stairs to the stage, where the groomsmen passed him down the line until I ran around and retrieved him. Jadon’s ringbearer sequel was a success! J

Also in May, we got a call one night from a student who usually tried to avoid Jim’s phone calls and attempts to hang out. After making some poor choices, he needed a place to stay for a month until he graduated and could move out to his parents’ who had just been transferred back east by the military. Jadon fell in love with Dante, and took every chance he could get to sneak into his room and sit on his bed and listen to his headphones. Dante was great with Jadon, and we are glad we got the opportunity finally to get to know him better. We are so proud of him that in spite of his previous decisions, he finished strong, and his graduation day was a happy celebration. After he left, Jadon would just wander into his room and ask “Don-TAY? Don-TAY?” I think this is the first time he really felt the sadness of loss.

Oh yeah, this is also the month Jadon discovered guns. I'm not sure exactly how he figured out what they were, since we don't really watch violent movies (after the fact, we watched Mission Impossible 3, which merely added fuel to the already blazing fire!). "Dun" and "bullets" are two of his other favorite words.
Jadon also discovered our old Razor scooters. Jim and I used to ride them around the neighborhood when we were dating and first married. (Neighbor kids actually used to knock on the door and ask me if Jim could come out and play, ha!) We figured Jadon would enjoy them someday, but never guessed it would be BEFORE his 2nd birthday!

June 2012
In June the celebrations continued. June 1st marked our 10-year anniversary. Can’t believe it’s been a decade already! Sarah and Greg volunteered to watch Jadon again, so we splurged and spent 2 (!) nights at Paradise Point, an island that feels like Hawaii down in San Diego.
June 8th was Jadon’s 2nd birthday. After his ridiculously large 1st birthday/adoption day celebration last year, we determined to make this one a little more low key. I still wouldn’t call it small, but it was tons of fun. We may not have a real pool (I’m actually working on Jim to cave on this J), but Jadon loves the water, loves swimming, loves bath time…so we filled up some little inflatable pools and had an awesome rubber ducky pool party.
(I just love this picture of one of Jadon's BFF's Molly basking in the sun!)
(Gotta love Costco's summer special locally baked and decorated beach themed cookies!)

(Beach themed party favors they could use at the party)

(In between all the swimming, we did a rubber ducky hunt--never guessed how popular that simple game would be!!! And Jim's contribution, water balloons. 1-5 year-olds aren't so keen on actual games with them, but they had a ton of fun throwing them at each other...and their parents!)
(Jadon got a ton of super awesome presents, but his favorite was probably the truck from Dawah and Ded. Definite score! I was pretty stoked to give him his own potty and potty Elmo...and two more potty seats for the other toilets in our house. He loves to sit on them, and even go pee, on his own timing, but we have yet to force the issue all the time...)

Then Jim’s parents celebrated their 40th anniversary, and we all went to Disneyland to commemorate the day. It just happened to be the opening day for the new CarsLand at California Adventure, which was crazy, but the only rides our kids were interested in were the little ones like the carousel and Dumbo, so we never really had any long lines.

Then came Father’s Day, which kind of got swallowed up by all the other hoopla (it didn’t help that Jim preached to the adult service that weekend, which makes for a very long Sunday!), but then we drove up to San Clemente where Jim’s parents rented a beach house for the week. It was great to spend all that time together. The house was SO cute, and had amazing views. My favorite part was watching the cousins interacting. Jadon and Kylie are great together, and they seem to enjoy it more the older they get. And Jadon really likes baby Evie.

We came back home on June 23, which was Jim’s 35th birthday, so we invited some friends over for a pizza and game night to celebrate, complete with a mud pie from Claim Jumpers. Mmmm-Mmmm!

On June 24, another student in our youth group came to us after church and asked if he could stay with us. Long story short, his mom was homeless and he didn’t have anywhere else to go. He had stayed with us for a month last summer, so this didn’t come as a huge surprise. A night turned into a week turned into a month, and while we worked with his mom to get her into a safe place, we started looking into more long-term solutions for Austin. After two months of exploring options, Austin officially became our foster son in August, and will be with us for at least 6 months, maybe longer. Just like Dante, Jadon immediately attached to Austin, and loves to chase him around the house yelling “A-tin! A-tin!” A lot of people say Austin and Jadon look like they could be brothers, which gets us a lot of interesting looks when we go out together as a family, ha!

Oh yeah, we also took Jadon to the Del Mar fair for the first time this month. He LOVED all the rides there! (Thanks to Costco for the value pack!)

(What a boring month, ha!)

July 2012
At the end of June, Sarah and Greg’s lease expired, so they moved out of their apartment in faith that their visa would come…but it didn’t. So they spent an extended time with Greg’s family in Texas and Oregon, and then Sarah and Jadon and I drove up to my parents’ house in Shaver Lake. Jadon had a ton of fun with “Dampa” and “Nama” and loved hiking...   
...riding grandpa's motorcycle ("mo-na-na")...
...riding in grandpa's dune buggy (yes, it's pink, because my parents got it when we were kids, and that's the color my sister and I picked to paint it. And now it's too sentimental for my dad to change it, ha!)...
...Cooking with Grandpa...
...driving grandpa's boat...

 ...catching (and eating) his first fish...


...swimming in the icy water...
...and roasting marshmallows.
Then we all drove down to Fresno together where my mom had shoulder surgery. The day before we went to StoryLand, a place we had visited decades ago when my sister and I were little. It seemed a lot cooler then, but Jadon liked it.

A few days after we returned, my college roommate Annie came for a visit from Taiwan. She and her husband had been visiting two years ago when we got the official call for Jadon. Fortunately nothing that exciting happened this time, but we did squeeze in a visit to the San Diego Zoo, and then a trip to Ikea to buy new beds for Jadon and Austin. Jadon was definitely ready to move from the toddler bed to a big boy bed, and Austin was ready to move from his mattress on the floor. Annie was a huge help occupying Jadon during the shopping trip (he’s not a huge fan of shopping, kind of like his father). And she also gave him a cute little dragon that he loves.

This month also marked a huge milestone for us in that we got a cable contract again for the first time since seven years ago, just in time for the Summer Olympics. Over the years we had definitely gotten used to not having it, and we would have never written 2 movies and 3 novels had we had it all along, but after much deliberation and discussion of time boundaries, we decided to go for it.
We were all SO excited for the Opening Ceremonies:

But clearly Jim's and Jadon's enthusiasm waned:
August 2012
August was a relatively “slow” month for us. We enjoyed New Song’s annual beach baptism, where Austin’s mom got baptized. Yay!

We finally got our taxes done (yes, from last year), which was a huge sign to me that my life was starting to creep back towards organization.

Oh, and we had our first visit to the ER. Jadon was playing with Jim on the couch and fell off and hit his ear just “right” on the edge of our ottoman/toy storage which just happened to be open so that Jadon could play with the toys, which left one edge of wood with a sharp-ish corner, and that’s where Jadon’s ear chose to land. It split the earlobe in half and blood flowed everywhere. But after a couple minutes of tears, Jadon was fine and kept telling us “’m otay.” He was such a brave little boy when the nurse had to clean out the wound and then the doctor glued it back together (thank goodness no stitches were necessary!). His little chin was quivering and his eyes looked at me with pain, but he didn’t shed any tears (I was a different story, ha!). He kept telling the nurse, “’nuff! ‘nuff!” and then when she asked him to count to ten, he quickly replied, “nine, ten! Nine, ten!” Such a funny guy. But then he got a huge otter pop (at midnight!), and he was a very happy camper.

September 2012
A few hours after our return from the ER, I started my month as a full time working mom. For the record, I am not cut out for it! I don’t know how you guys do it. Grocery shopping and laundry barely made their way into the fleeting waking hours, and forget about the rest of house cleaning.
Fortunately for me, Sarah and Greg still didn’t have their visas, and so they stayed with us for the first two weeks, watching Jadon by day and teaching their classes in Israel via Skype by night. Oh my goodness, I appreciate them so much. I don’t know how they did it!
My sister really wanted to go to the Del Mar horse races before they left, so one of their last weekends here we all went for Family Day. Horses are pretty majestic creatures to watch, but not being a gambler, just watching race after race was not all that exciting. But since it was Family Day, they had all kinds of free jumpies and horse rides and other activities for kids on the infield, which gave you a much closer view of the action anyways. Very fun. Jadon loved it, and even made his first bet on one of the races, thanks to Dawah and Ded. They asked him which horse he picked, and he said "nine" so they put $2 on #9...and lost. But at least it was a little more exciting to watch. Jim bet something like $100 bazillion dollars on another race, but he forgot to actually put the money officially down at the window. Good thing, 'cause that horse lost, too. Whew!
(Jadon definitely looked dapper in his little hat...which gave him plenty of the attention he loves everywhere we turned!)

(Jadon also loved his first opportunity to be a little jockey. It turns out #1 is his if that's a surprise, ha!)

Then the last two weeks of the month, my parents came down for Jadon duty. They are awesome, somehow managing to cook and clean on top of keeping up with my crazy son. My dad even washed most of my windows, including the ones in our garage door! And my mom figured out how to scrape off all the spray paint Jadon had marked our new wood floors with. What a blessing.
Jim’s parents also came down for a couple days, and it was nice to get to see them.
And then, all too soon, Sarah and Greg finally got their 5-year visa to Israel and flew to Jerusalem. While we are so happy that they are finally where they want to be and they finally have a stable place to call home, we totally miss them. A couple nights after they left, Jadon had a dream where he kept smiling and saying “Dawah.” It was sure a blessing to have them here for as long as we did. Too bad Star-Trek-ian teleporters don’t really exist.
(Right before they left, we all went to Claim Jumpers for dinner to celebrate Greg's and my dad's birthdays early.)

This month we also finally cut Jadon's hair after letting it grow out all summer. I wanted to see what kind of 'fro he could get, and he had a pretty cute one. I even bought some hair product for him recommended by a friend called Hawaiian Silky. Pretty good stuff, and it smelled great! But in the end, we think we like the clean cut look better. What do you think?

October 2012
And here we are, a year later.
To celebrate being done working and done with this crazy year, we planned a trip to Vegas, thanks to one of those time-share presentation bargains. 
This was our first vacation as a family, just Jim, Jadon, and I. Vegas isn’t exactly our favorite place, but three days there was perfect. Jadon loved the pool, although the one at our Marriott location was kind of boring compared to others. He also loved the water show at the Bellagio and the fire show at the Mirage...
(Here he is trying to take a movie of the water show on Jim's phone. The guy next to us was clearly impressed!)
...and the buffet at Treasure Island (they had cotton candy at the dessert station!)...
...and watching Finding Nemo 3D at the Orleans (Finding Nemo was his original favorite movie)...
...and winning a "baby Shrek" doll (Shrek 4 is his new favorite movie) at Circus Circus...
...and finding a drinking fountain that was just his size...
...and riding on all the escalators and motorized walkways (that was a new experience he was very  curious about!)...
...and riding the motorcycle in the arcade...
...and watching our friend Shawn Walker play paintball at the Riviera and running around the Miracle Mile Mall at Planet Hollywood and hanging out with friends Dale and Sherry Scott while mommy and daddy went to see a movie (Won’t Back Down was a great teacher flick, albeit quite anti-union. But as an 11-year veteran of the classroom who the union never stepped up to help in spite of my tenure, I wasn’t bothered!) 

(Driving there and back in our small car...without air conditioning!...was quite a feat, but we made it. Way to go my little15-year-old Saturn with over 200,000 miles!)
While we were living it up, our house was being tented for termites. Fun stuff! I never realized how much work that entailed. Plants had to be moved, cabinets opened, mattress pads removed, neighbors with pets warned, gas company shut-off and turn-on scheduled…and all of our food had to be double bagged in these special bags. It’s easy to complain, but we are clearly blessed: (especially considering how many people go hungry every day!)

And now we are back home and life is kind of back to normal…whatever that is. Playdates can resume. Dirty laundry has no more excuse. And maybe I’ll even decorate for fall this year (I haven’t decorated at all since we got Jadon!). And I still have that whole list of projects I’d like to do.

Oh yeah, and we just met with our social worker on Monday to reopen our adoption case. 

What exciting times lie ahead? Hopefully I’ll stay on top of this blog to keep you tuned in! J


  1. Holy Cow!! Love reading this and love you all!!! xoxo

  2. Goodness gracious!!!!! Loved reading this.

  3. Wow what a year!! I think it took me a few sittings to read this post:) Jadon is such a cutie- we miss you guys! And we've had a few mice in our house recently- not as bad as giant rats but still totally grosses me out!!