Tuesday, November 28, 2006


God is definitely preparing us to return to Ukraine, which is a bit ironic seeing how long it's taking us to get there. :) In Ukraine, it is considered very inappropriate to set your Bible on the floor. Last night we were at Bible study, and Mark had set his Bible on the floor of the living room next to where he was sitting. I was holding mine in my lap, because every time I set it on the floor I remember Ukraine, and lately those remembrances are coming back more and more strongly. ;) Mark set his down, then turned to me and said "It feels weird setting my Bible on the floor--it reminds me of Ukraine." And he finally had to lean over and pick it up because it was bothering him. :) :) We both miss Ukraine so much and are so anxious to go back. Every day it seems there are more things that bring Ukraine to mind, even smells and sounds.

We have a fingerprinting appt this Friday for our FBI prints (part of the I600A application for our 171H approval). Not much else is happening adoption-wise, although we both need to redo our medical forms. That is definitely the most painful part of the adoption process, and it has nothing to do with shots. Ukraine requires the med form to be filled out very specifically, and it can be very difficult to convince people to do it one specific way, especially when to them it appears to be essentially the same thing between the way they do it and the way we want it done. So prayers for time to do the appts and that they would go smoothly would be great. :)

In other news, we are considering buying a house. It is right up the street from us and needs some work. We would like to buy it and live in our current rental house while we fix it up. We've pretty much decided that we're going to make an offer on it (way lower than what they're asking) but we still need to get financing. That's not a problem, we just haven't looked into it yet. We're not exactly jumping into this house--more easing ourselves in. :) There's currently a tenant in the house, and we don't want to kick anyone out before Christmas. We've been talking about what to do with this family--they have children with medical needs and I'm sure they don't have a lot of income. But the house needs more work than can be done with people living in it. If we buy the house, we can do some of the work with them there, but we are hoping that after the holidays that we would be able to help them find some housing and help them move. So there have been a lot of factors to consider with this house, including the tenants, rehabbing costs, etc. Consequently we've been taking our time making a decision. ;) I think if we are able to get good financing and they accept our really low offer we'll know it's a good decision. We're letting God take care of all of the details with this. :)

Friday, November 17, 2006

How easily it goes...

We have officially reapplied for our I171H (US approval to bring a foreign orphan here) and gave them all of our documents plus a hefty chunk of change. Actually, if it had all been change, there's no way we could have picked it up...it's that hefty. :) Filing the I600A (the form you file to get the 171H) is the second most expensive part of our adoption, not including travel. Having to do it twice is not so much fun, but you do what you have to do. :) The funny part was this conversation:

Me: "Do you know about how long it's taking to process these?"
BCIS guy: "Well, we put a priority on these, so I'd say about 10 weeks."

I had the hardest time not laughing. That's a priority?? Two and a half months?!?! I'd hate to see what happens if they're running slow. :)

But the good thing is that we were able to submit, which we thought might be a problem since our old one hasn't expired yet. If it really takes 10 weeks we can expect our new approval the week our old one expires. How's that for timing??

Friday, November 10, 2006

New carry-on rules for Europe

Not pertinent to most of you, but I know a few who'll be interested. :)

New carry-on rules for Europe

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fun times

We had a great time this weekend with J and J from Kansas City! It's great to have friends who can drop by and hang out, even if it's not for very long. I hope we convinced them that despite St Louis' recent media coverage (that would refer to the most dangerous city coverage, not the World Series coverage) that this is truly a great city. We had a fun dinner Friday night and then went to the Arch, Blueberry Hill, and the Science Center on Saturday. There's a lot more we want to show them (especially the City Museum!) so we're hoping they can come back soon. Hopefully we didn't wear them out on their weekend getaway to relax. :)

Mark has started singing with the choir at church, but tonight instead of going to rehearsal I'm stealing him away to go to a Blues game! Periodically at work they offer up tickets to local events. Yesterday they offered up St Louis Blues (hockey) tickets for tonight and I was one of the winners of the drawing, so we'll be in one of the club suites tonight. It's nice to get spoiled every once in a while, especially since we could never actually afford these seats. :)

Election day...well, it's probably not in my best interests to discuss it on the blog, but I will say a special CONGRATULATIONS to my dad who won his election! He has held his position since 1973 (before I was born!), and if I calculated correctly this is his 10th election (I may be off by one). Congratulations, Dad! :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

What kind of pie are you?

I had to post this after taking the quiz through Katie's blog. This description of me made me laugh, and I'm sure Mark will totally agree with it!

You Are Cherry Pie

You're the perfect combo of innocent and sexy
Those who like you enjoy a contradiction

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Changes to the blog

As some of you may have noticed, the blog looks a little different. I transferred it over to the new (beta) Blogger. Had a few moments of panic when I did so, since I couldn't remember exactly how everything looked. It's still not quite right, but I'm getting there. For those of you that may switch, may I suggest printing out a page from your blog so you'll know what it looked like when you're trying to set everything back up?

I can now have links to other blogs (I could before, but not in a way I liked) so I may be requesting permission from some of you to post the link to your blog. I know some people prefer to keep their blogs for family and friends only, and I don't want to invade anyone's privacy. If I already know your blog gets linked to, I probably won't ask, so if your link is up there and you want it off, just let me know. :)

I'm so excited that we have company coming this weekend! J (aka Jimmy Fast) and his wife are coming over this weekend from Kansas City. They'll only be here for a short time, but we've already got dinner plans for Friday night and I'm thinking a trip to the Science Center might be fun. On the other hand, there's always the City Museum which is not at all what you are picturing. Check out the website if you don't believe me. :) One of the great things about St Louis is that there is always something to do, and so much of it is free! (That's the part I really like.) I'm going to have to make a separate post of free things to do in St Louis.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another week

And yet another week has passed. :) I'm trying to be more diligent about posting here, and quite often I think of things I want to post, but somehow I never make time to get them on here. So an update from the Midwest:

The St Louis Cardinals won the World Series on Friday night. We live down in the city, and it actually wasn't crazy at all (that seems to be the recurring question). Saturday was crazy for us but it had nothing to do with baseball. We had an early morning vet run due to a really bad flea season here. Our poor dogs have been itching for over a month and we just thought it was an allergy to something in the yard--they couldn't possibly have fleas since they're on flea medicine. Turns out that's not so true.
Then Mark headed for some demolition at a local community center that's being rehabbed and I went to a double baby shower for some friends from church. Mark picked me up from the shower and we got some supplies to finish the games he was making for our Harvest Party at church.
In the evening we went to a Halloween party which was a blast. Lots of little kids speaking other languages. :) The party was put on by WUSPA, an organization for spouses and partners of Wash U people, and it's a lot of international faculty and students (i.e., we're pretty sure we were the only US-born adults there, and we were definitely the only ones who only speak one language fluently). This was the first event we've been able to go to and I'm already looking forward to the Thanksgiving party in a few weeks.
Sunday afternoon we went to a local pumpkin patch and picked some pumpkins to carve. Consequently, Monday night we had a carving party at our friend Julia's, who fixed some delicious curry followed by spice cake. Yum!

Last night was a lot of fun. We always stay in our neighborhood to pass out candy to all of "our" kids, and there are a lot of them! Their costumes were so cute and it was so much fun to get to see all of them. During the summer the kids are always out playing in the street, but with it getting colder and dark so early we don't see as much of them. They give us so much delight and we love to love them. Many of them run up to us to give us hugs when we get home from work. They don't know how much of a blessing they are to us. :)