Sunday, June 17, 2007
Little Bit Of Life
Thought it was about time to give updates.

First and foremost, my Mom's cancer treatment has been unremarkable. She has completed her 6 weeks of chemo & radiation (worked everyday through it all might I add!), and has been an inspiration to her doctors. She never lost her hair nor was too terribly sick. She started getting a little sore from the radiation towards the end of treatment, and continues to hurt in that area. When she went for her visit to her surgeon, he was amazed! In his words, " he has never seen anything like it in all his years of practice". Her large tumor has shrunk to the size of a small ulcer!!! She's scheduled for surgery on July 11th and they will know then if her colostomy bag will be permanent or temporary. Either way, the cancer soon will be gone!

Rock Farms is growing everyday. Our ol' 49ers (chickens) are no longer babies and soon will need to separate the roosters from the hens. The young roosters are so cute in developing their crow! The pigs are now hogs! Two of them are so big they just enjoy rolling in the mud. Our rooster, Mr. Sunshine, is no more. Something (fox, hawk, stray cat) obviously got him while we were away camping. To be honest, it's been kind of hard to wake up each morning without hearing him crow. And Zoe is just the cutest and friendliest puppy!! She is already loving the farming life.

Our fruit trees are growing! Maybe in a couple of years we'll have apples, peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, nectarines, pears, and pecans! We've also just set out some blueberry bushes, blackberry vines (the thornless, tame variety), and muscadine vines. We're hoping to add grape vines in the Fall. Last week we planted our pumpkin patch. I really hope they turn out well.

The kids are now on their 3rd week of the new daycare and seem to be adjusting very well!! It is so much easier on me too! We get home a 1/2 hour earlier and I'm saving 30 miles a day!! We're off to the lake again for a few days of camping next week - yippee!! Then, my new little niece should make her arrival on 07/07/07 and Mama's surgery on 07/11/07 - should be 2 lucky days, huh?

BTW - I'm trying to stick with song titles for my posts. We'll see how many I can come up with!

Hope everyone is having a great Summer!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007
Life Ain't Always Beautiful . . .
But it's a beatiful ride. I just couldn't help to think of the whole adoption process when I heard this song on the radio. It must be Moon phase or something because Kate and Lauren both posted along the same lines this week.

Adoption is hard - no sugar coating it. In no way, shape, or form can anyone compare it to pregnancy. Yes, I know - I've never got to experience that wonderful world of pregnancy - glowing, happy, hair and nails growing long, everyone oohing and ahhing over you, getting monthly updates of how you are progressing, and KNOWING THAT IN 9 MONTHS YOUR CHILD WILL ACTUALLY BE IN YOUR ARMS!!! Uggh!!

In the Adoption World, many of us have already been down the fertility world of poking and proding and money pit before someone hits us over the head and tells us of the wonderful world of adoption. Then we attend a seminar, fall in love with the idea that there IS A CHILD FOR US somewhere out there! We're ready to leave on a jet plane soon after the seminar is over to find our child, only to realize that we first have to be APPROVED!! Now, how many people in this world become pregnant every day without an approval? Just isn't fair. Then we have to be fingerprinted and APPROVED by the government of not one country, but two countries if we are adopting internationally. But oh no, it does not dare end there. Then we fill out countless stacks of paper work (sometimes the same ones over and over and over). Then we wait.

If we are lucky enough, the stork arrives and delivers us our referral. Yes, that wonderful phone call or email with unbelievable news of a baby, toddler, child that is waiting for us. Then a picture/video arrives along with scary medicals to make a decision - yes or no. For us, it was no question. We knew that God had his hand in this, and we would let him guide us down this blind road ahead.

Next, we're off on a flight around the world to a far away land to meet our little prince and princess. Now, you might consider this the "beautiful ride" of this journey - if you were not the ones to have to hand your babies back over to the "Big House" caretakers (and your princess saying, "Daddy" for the first time as you are handing her over doesn't help the tears from falling) then practically be shoved back onto a crop duster of a plane and fly back home, not know or having any idea of when you would be returning. Yes, my friend, this would be the biggest "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" part of the story!!

Needless to say 7 months of waiting, crying, redoing paperwork, and writting down daily notes to my kids on the other side of the world was not therapy enough. Looking back I think I was just in survival mode.

Fast forward through the 2nd trip, court, flying home with 2 toddlers, and 18 months later - the whole journey was a BEAUTIFUL RIDE! I could not have even imagined that I would have ever taken this ride 10 years ago when I was first going through my infertility tests. Yet, Life has a funny way of knocking you down and picking you back up.

To ALL of those in this journey or thinking about starting this journey:
It is not easy, but it is ohh so well worth the ride. I know of several dear friends that are waiting, and have been waiting for a long time. Please know that your journey will have a happy ending!!!


I wanted to write this yesterday since it was 20 years ago yesterday that a great man said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,". I truly believe that Ronald Reagan played a great role in opening the world of Russian adoption by trying to bring peace to this fighting world with these words.


As a side note, did anyone read the report on MSN yesterday about how women are flying to South Africa to seek fertility treatments? Does anyone else see a crock as to why doctors here in the USA are charging $12K for 1 IVF treatment (just the treatment), and for $6400 you can buy your airfare, hotel, and IVF treatment in South Africa??? Just ain't right!!!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
How To Order Bows
I've been asked how one can order Loop~D~Loop hair bows. Right now, I have been selling more than I can make - so I haven't quite made it to Ebay yet. And, I'm so not savvy enough to create my own website, so I'm working with what I know.

If you look at the Flickr box to the right, you will see a collection of bows that I have made for Rhyne and others. I'm trying to keep that box updated, but I did forget to snap a picture of the cupcake/birthday bows. If you'd like to see one, check out
Cupcake's bow. This is a medium bow.

Medium bows/Piggies measure approx. 3" +/-

Double loop bows measure approx. 4" +/-

Starburst bows (dbl bows w/extra ribbon in X shape) measures appx 4 1/2" - 5" +/-

How To Order

• Please

e-mail me with your order.

• Indicate the name of the bow(s) that you wish to order or the corresponding letter.
Bows can be placed on medium (2") or large (2 3/4" - recommended for Starburst bows) French clips. Piggies are attached to small clips (1 1/2") unless otherwise specified. Clippies are on alligator clips.

Ribbon colors and button centers may differ from the pictures depending on availability.

• If you do not see the color bow that you would like, please let me know the color (s) that you are looking for. I do have a color chart of the solid color grosgrain ribbons that I can e-mail you.

• If you are looking to match a particular outfit, it helps if you will e-mail me a picture of the outfit.

• All bows can be made with or without button centers. If the bows are not pictured with a button center, please add $1.00 to the price.

• Birthday bows are available to coordinate with that special birthday outfit, with a cupcake button center.


• Payment is due when the order is placed. Once you place an order, I will send you a PayPal Invoice. Money orders are accepted as well.

• Bows are shipped via USPS. Please contact me to determine the shipping/handling fee.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
It's In The Bag
How boring my life must have been before kids! For example, let's look at yesterday's exciting event.

Tuesday is dance day for Rhyne at school. So, every Tuesday morning in addition to the kid's regular school bags, I also have to remember to grab Rhyne's backpack with her dance clothes. No problem, I'm actually trying to plan ahead, so the bags were packed and placed in the car the night before.

The exciting part did not pop up until I went to pick the kids up from school. I grab all of the bags, juice cups, and their art work from their classroom, and then went to the TV room to hurdle Rhyne and Jake out to car (yes, trying to get two 3 year olds down the hall, out the door, and into the car is literally like hurdling cattle). The teacher just so happened to mention to me that I may want to check the front zipper pocket of Rhyne's dance bag. Now, anyone with a toddler can only imagine what would be waiting for me inside that front pocket. To my embarrassment, it was a pair of my PANTIES!! How on earth did that happen?? My head was spinning, my face turned red, and I was looking for the nearest exit (an even thinking about crawling under the toddler table there in the classroom)!! The teacher then said that when she pulled Rhyne's dance clothes out of her bag, the panties just flopped out too. Luckily, I regained my composure, mustered up the courage to speak, and replied, "You just never know what my kids will put in their bags!".

Thank goodness the kids must have sensed my embarrassment and were perfect angels walking to the car. After I got in the car, I got to thinking. I don't remember packing Rhyne's dance bag, so that left the trusty husband. The pink-fleshy colored panties are the same color as the dance clothes, and they were all in the dryer together. So, I'm sure he just grabbed up all the silky pink colored items that resembled her dance clothes and packed them in her backpack. I still wouldn't put anything past Rhyne. She is way too smart and clever, and this would be right up her alley to tuck things into a hiding spot.

Luckily, they were not thongs or granny panties, they did not have any holes, and they were clean!!

On a barnyard side note ~ the day would not be complete without complete without something happening on the farm. We now have a new black lab/retriever puppy, Zoe (cute, cute, cute!). Zoe like to lay on the back porch, where it just so happens Mr. Sunshine, the rooster, likes to sleep while perched up on the porch rail. Last night I went to put Zoe some dry food in her aluminum pan, which was sitting almost beneath Mr. Sunshine. You can imagine the wake up call Mr. Sunshine got when the food hit the pan! He cut a perfect back-flip off the porch and landed on his feet - great landing! It took him about 10 minutes to realize where he was and regain his wits about him. He then let me know that he did not appreciate me interrupting his sleep and began talking back to me - crowing for about 30 minutes. Too funny!
Friday, April 20, 2007
Loop~D~Loop Bows
I've been trying to get this together for awhile now, but I am starting my little hair bow venture. I've been overly obsessed with making Rhyne hair bows to match her outfits. As my good friend "S" says, "No bow, no go" (as in - you are not leaving the house without a hair bow).

Anyway, I've been selling a few, and hope to get enough made up to put out on Ebay next month. There's a lot of trial and error (the "errors" are the ones I let Rhyne wear to school in case she looses them or gets them dirty!).

Just thought I'd share a few pictures of the bows with my friends here, since if FINALLY figured Flickr out!! This is going to be a much easier way to post pictures!!!

Check out the Flickr box of pictures over in the sidebar above the Blogroll.

Saturday, April 14, 2007
Very Cool Invitations!
Check out Jake's birthday invitations! Very Cool! My good friend, Carla, is a wiz at creating cool invitations and other cards! I've place her website over under the Links field - Jade Creaton.

I also had Rhyne's invites printed by Carla last year and they turned out just as wonderful! I was running behind ordering Jake's invites this year, and Carla now has a "print at home" feature (or in my case, I sent them to Walgreens to print). Also, you are helping a Mom to stay at home with her children. Go check her great ideas out!
I've been waiting to write this post until all family members knew the situation, and did not read it here on the blog.

On March 5th, I took my Mom for a routine colonoscopy. During her recovery, her gastroenterologist came in to tell us there was bad news. They found a cancerous tumor and diagnosed here with colorectal cancer. Talk about a kick in your gut feeling. That just came out from left field. Luckily, the best colorectal surgeon for our area was also at the surgery center with another patient and saw the tumor first hand and had a biopsy done.

One week later, we met with the surgeon. He may be the best in town, but he lacks the warm fuzzy bedside manor. My brother went with us for this visit, and I swear I thought he was going to pass out. On one side of me was my Mom, shaking. On the other side was my brother with beads of sweat on his forehead and looking white as ghost fixing to pass out. The news wasn't the best - the tumor is large and in the rectal area. Apparently, the lower the tumor does not mean the better the situation. Because of it's location, he recommended chemotherapy and radiation for 6 weeks to try and shrink the tumor before surgery. This gives us a better chance to save her rectum so she will not have to wear a colostomy bag the rest of her live. She will have to wear a temporary bag for 8 weeks post surgery to give the area time to heal.

Since March, we have visited oncologist and radiation therapist. She's had 3 CAT scans, 1 ultrasound, and had her port put in for her chemo treatments. One good thing, is that she has qualified for a cancer study. She will have radiation treatments 5 days a week for 6 weeks. She will go for a 1 hour chemo treatment on Mondays, and wear a continuous pump with a different chemo treatment for 5 days at home for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, they will re-evaluate her tumor to see if it has shrunk small enough to remove without having to take out too much of her rectal area. Another good thing, is that it does not look like it has spread to her lymph nodes or through the colon wall.

The one thing is that there's a 50% chance my brother or myself will develop colorectal cancer since it is hereditary. I will need to schedule a colonoscopy within the next year for a screening of polyps, and my brother will need one in 5 years. If you stay on top of your screenings, this cancer is highly preventable. Please if you have a family history of colorectal cancer or if you are over the age of 50, please talk to your physician about scheduling a screening.

In the meantime, the chemo and radiation treatments will start this Monday 4/16. Times are going to be rough and trying. My Mom lives alone so I will be helping her as much as possible so she can stay in her own home - you know how when you feel bad "there's no place like home".
Today we are going to try on wigs and get that out of the way while she is still feeling good. We've been told that she may not loose her hair, but it will get very thin. The other side effect will be massive diarrhea. The nurse said that it would not be uncommon to take up to 14 Imodium a day (sorry to gross anyone out).

Please keep my Mom in your prayers that everything will turn out the way it should.
Rock Farm
Sorry for the absence of posting, but a lot has been going on. I'll explain in the next post.

In the meantime, the farm is growing. We're still trying to come up with a cute-catchy name, but for now, we're calling it Rock Farm. Oh, for so many reasons! One, there are tons of rock here. If we had been smart, we would have started a rock quarrey and become millionaires. However, as it is, dear hubby has worked several years to move the rock from one side of the property to the other side, trying to level out the farm. The second reason is that we just got 50 baby chicks 2 weeks ago - 25 white leghorns and 25 barred rock - hense the name Rock Farm.

I think at last count we now have, 4 pigs, 6 guineas, 1 game rooster, 1 bantam chicken, 49 baby chicks (1 did not survive), and 2 cats. Our dog (our first adopted family member) of 12 years, is no longer with us. He did live out his final years as a farm dog and loved every minute of it!

We are now looking to add 2 puppies to the family, and trying to find them before Jake's birthday next week. Can you believe he will be 3? We have been so blessed to have our children in our lives!! My heart is going out to all of those waiting to bring their children home and all the turmoil going on in Russia over the accrediation situation.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Update on Covering The World Project
The Covering The World project has been a success! So far, we have sent over 9 dozen hats to Russia!!

Granny has just finished 2 dozen of hats that are ready to be shipped. If anyone is adopting from Russia (or any other country where children are in need of hats), and would like a dozen of hats for part of their orphanage donation, please e-mail me. There's no cost involved, and I'll take care of shipping.

If anyone is new, and does not know the history behind the hats, please see Covering The World Project under the September Archives.