Friday, January 18, 2013

Gifts Galore

Isn't this the greatest picture?  It's my great niece, Elli, with my Ellie, which is kind of funny, in and of itself.  Elli is just "Elli" (although I have a memory of trying to convince her mother to name her "Eleanor" when she was carrying her) and my Ellie is an "Eleanor," of course - because I'm old-fashioned and like traditional names, I guess.  Both girls are in the process of being adopted.  Paul's folks are adopting 8 year old Elli and her younger brother, Zach.  I think I heard they have an adoption date of Feb. 19.  We're still waiting for our adoption date!  But  since the appeals process is finished, I do now have the freedom to post pics of girls on the internet, my adoption worker told me.  So, I am!  This week I made a 111 picture album on Facebook of all the pics of the girls I couldn't share the last 6 months.  That was fun, although time-intensive.

I had a couple of different blessings this week that are related to the girls.  I ended up going to lunch with my new-ish friend, Kerri, on Monday.  She is actually a pastor's wife in W. Des Moines.  We were in PS-MAPP classes together and while we talked briefly in class, it really wasn't until I found her on Facebook that we got to know eachother.  And now, we really know each other!  We sat out at the Jordan Creek food court for 3 1/2 hours talking Monday.  I had no clue that much time had elapsed until we left and I saw that it was almost 5 pm!  She and her husband are going down the same path we are (potential adoption) and she had some questions.  What's really unique is that last spring it looked like her family was going to be adopting our girls, along with some of their siblings.  But then it didn't work out and we got called instead.  I had been "attracted" to Kerri and her husband in class because it didn't take long to figure out that they were fellow Believers.  What a small, small world it is sometimes.  Lizzie still talks about going swimming with "Miss Kerri" - something that happened before we knew her.

I took Lizzie in for a hair consultation yesterday with Sarah.  I'm making lots of progress with figuring out styling, but her hair still needs some help.  Sarah has some ideas and we're going back next week for a cut and some sort of chemical relaxer to make it easier.  I asked Sarah how much this would cost so I could budget it in, but she wants to give it to me.  She has already given us so much for the girls!

And speaking of giving, my friend Julie is starting her own photography business.  She's been taking classes and is quite talented, I think.  She asked me this week if she could do family photos for us - for free because of the adoption.  I would just buy a memory card for her camera and then I could print what I needed.  We're going to do both indoor and outdoor shots.  I've always loved the outdoor family photo shoots I see friends post on FB, but have always assumed something like that would cost way more than going to Portrait Innovations so I've never pursued arranging anything like that for us.  So I think I know what I'm doing for next year's Christmas cards!

I found a new therapist this week for Lizzie.  Actually, Sarah told me about her - she practices just 3 doors down from Sarah's shop in Indianola.  I talked with her yesterday and we're going to give it a shot.  If it's not a good fit she said she wouldn't be offended if I dropped her.  Now I just need to call the old therapist and fire her - ugh.  I also have to track down our adoption worker and get her to sign the paperwork for the therapy.  That may be tricky since she's a pretty busy lady.

I went to the dr. again this week.  He says I have lost more weight since I was there last month (ok, only a pound, but it's still a loss).  He's also concerned because my white blood count is down.  I have no idea what that could mean.  So, I am waiting to hear from his nurse who was supposed to be setting up a sinus x-ray for me.  He promised me that "we'll figure out what's going on!"  I sure hope so.  I had to give more blood this time, too, and this nurse was not very good at it.  Boy, did that one burn.  Two days later and my arm is still throbbing!

Sam is bugging us for a cell phone.  I think that is so funny.  This has been going on for awhile; he renewed his efforts this week.  I have tried to explain to him that his brothers were teens and we only bought their phones out of sheer necessity (just Will and David, though), but he's not buying it.  He needs a cell phone and the sooner, the better, in his opinion!

Will and David went to Winter Melt-Down up at camp last weekend.  I tried to convince Ben to go but when he found out that he'd have to be outside for some of the time, he declined.  That's my boy!  I'm not one for the great outdoors, either.  They had a really good time.  I guess Will gave another guy a concussion while there.  He wasn't a student, but  a youth leader from a Des Moines church, I guess.  I felt so terrible, but that's what happens when you get a bunch of guys playing floor hockey or whatever it was they were doing.  I guess Will chucked him right into the  cement wall and he had to go to the hospital.  But he came back, so I guess all is ok.  If he had been an actual student, I think I would have tried to track him down to check with his parents to make sure he was ok.  Will does tend to be a bit aggressive in his playtime.

Our friend, Jason, is now the activities director up at camp.  He got it in his head to tease Will and a girl from our youth group all weekend long.  Somehow he got ahold of pictures of the two of them, flashed them on the screen in the chapel, and got all the attendees to start teasing them about their "couple" status.  Poor, poor Will...

The kids had to give testimonies on Sun. night about their camp experience.  David was already shaking by lunchtime, he was so nervous.  I suggested to him that he try to imagine the audience in their underwear.  He then wailed, "That'll just make me feel worse, Mom!"  But he did fine.  Will shone - he's the oldest in the entire youth group now since the two other seniors that were there left.  He had a great testimony.  Afterwards, at least two different people said to me, "That's a fine boy you've got there, Sarah!"  Yeah, I know!

Just yesterday I found Will reading a book about abortion and our culture of death.  He's not a huge reader, so I was curious why he was reading.  He explained that he had borrowed the book from a friend because in his Developmental Psych class they are going to be studying the subject of abortion.  He said he wanted to be ready to be able to stand up and "defend the babies."  Ahh - so proud.  If you want to read some other thoughts of his, here is his latest blog post.  I was quite impressed - and I probably would still feel that way, even I hadn't given birth to him!

But then, there are other moments that make you realize you still have so, so far yet to go with your kids...

 Sunday night I was registering Will for our state's homeschool graduation ceremony (it's June 1 - you're all invited, by the way).  We had to fill in what we'd like on the diploma and how we'd like his name announced.  Well, Will informed me that he wanted just "Will Heywood" on his diploma and for the announcement.  I told him no way.  He has a fine name and we're using the whole thing.  He was not happy about that.  Paul told him he needed to "grow up."  I then felt compelled to remind him about my very painful c-section that allowed him to enter this world.  I thought about telling him about the bloody nipples, too, but decided to save that for next time...There is nothing wrong with the name, "Walter."  I love that name and had specific reasons for choosing it.  And then, we have to choose a name for our homeschool that they'll print on the actual diploma.  We never had a name - we just homeschooled.  Will seriously wanted us to call it the "Heywood School of Awesomeness" and tried cajoling me into using that for the longest time.  He was serious!  I'm still rolling my eyeballs over that one.  You think they are so grown-up and then they suddenly revert back to being about 10 years old again...

Well, I need to keep moving.  We've been watching some friends' 13 yr old son for the past few days while his sisters have surgery in IA city.  He's David's age (actually a couple of months older) but plays better with Sam.  It's been an interesting few days!  I've got a lot to get accomplished today, though, so I need to get off my comfy bed and actually go do it.

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