Monday, April 30, 2007

We got it!

We received a counteroffer on the house last Thursday and accepted the counteroffer on Friday. So we only managed to lop $10K off of the price, but the seller is paying closing costs so it's all good. Our total comes out to $37.81/sq. foot. Not too bad. :) We have the inspection this Wednesday, so we'll see if it's in as good a shape as we think it is structurally. We're not closing until June 1, so we've got a little bit of time to finish up the loan paperwork and all of that. As I mentioned, we're not moving in for awhile so we don't have to deal with any of that just yet.

In other news, all of our dossier is in Ukraine and I believe the last few documents are being delivered to our facilitator today. Then it's more of the "wait-and-see" game for submission. Things are still pretty chaotic over there with the SDA so it's not clear when we'll be able to submit. We'll be sure to keep you posted.

Mark finished his last final last Friday so he is officially done with school! Their graduation isn't until May 18, so I don't think you can refer to him as "doctor" until then, but he's all done!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

News from the front

All of our dossier (updated documents, etc.) are now are on their way to/in Ukraine. We don't really have a timeline beyond this, but I will let you know as soon as it is submitted (or as soon as we need to redo more documents--hopefully not!!!).

I have lost 7 lbs since starting my aerobics class at work! I have almost reached my first goal. I set a few small goals for myself to get to my final goal. This first goal is the most exciting one for me, because it means I'm actually making progress. :) Don't worry--my weight loss goals are very healthly and well within the range I should be for my height and build. I actually started the aerobics class to improve my cardiovascular system. The weight loss is just a side benefit. In other words, I'm not dieting (written as I lick icing off of my fingers from a piece of cake). ;)

Mark has had several interviews (all in the St Louis area) and we are hoping for an offer very soon. There are a couple of jobs he is particularly interested in, so we are hoping those come through. :)

We put an offer on a house yesterday. Surprise! :) I had mentioned this house before, and we finally got our act together and put in an offer. We offered $15K less than the price it is listed for, so we'll see if it gets accepted. If it does, we've got a lot of work in store for us. :) It's located a few houses up from our current house, and it would be awhile (read: months) before we could move in since we need to remove the entire WALL of 12x12" mirrors in the living room. That's just the beginning. But we're pretty sure it's structurally sound. We're having an inspection anyway, of course, just to make sure we haven't missed anything major.

We are still in the situation I asked for prayers over, so prayers are still much appreciated. I wish I could share more details, and at some point I will be able to, but at this point there are a lot of unknowns and I am not comfortable putting too much on the blog. We've been keeping this very quiet and are waiting to see what God has for us in this area.

Obviously we've got lots going on, but the musical is over and graduation is in a few weeks, so with life settling down we had to find something new to use up our energy!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I would like to ask for your prayers for us. We have been presented with a situation that I am not able to give details for at this point, but please pray that we would have wisdom and that God would give us a definite answer. Don't worry, it's not anything bad--it's very good! We're just not sure at this point if this is what we need to do. Thanks, and I'll update you on this as soon as I can! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thoughts on a boy

The blackberry plants are definitely getting too big for the bathroom. They are running into me when I am trying to get into the shower. :) It's beautiful and sunny here, so tonight might be the night they make it into the ground. We've got a meeting with a mortgage broker regarding a house we might be interested in buying. We wouldn't move into it until after the adoption is complete due to it needing some work (exactly how much work is yet to be decided, and depends on how adventurous we're feeling when we discuss it) so we won't have to deal with any address changes mid-adoption. We're still waiting on our landlord's document so we can send it to join the rest of our dossier already waiting in Ukraine. :)

Last night the kids were all out in the street playing basketball and football with a couple of the dads in the neighborhood. One of the kids got mad and ended up going home because he couldn't control his temper (he was actually sent home by one of the dads). It is interesting to see how much anger so many of the kids have now. It makes me very sad. Childhood is supposed to be happy, yet there are child soldiers in many parts of the world, and horrible things happening to children all over the world. I pray for God's protection on all of the children, but I know He is not responsible for the evil in our world now. We are.

Monday, April 16, 2007

We made it!

We survived the weekend. I even managed to do a few loads of laundry along the way, and we threw in a trip to Alton, IL, for good measure (about 40 minutes away).

The musical went very well and we had a sold-out show on Saturday night. One more dress rehearsal and two more performances to go. It felt very weird last night not to be doing the show after six straight nights of it. I am happy to be back to our normal busy schedule for this week. And it is finally warming up again. We bought two blackberry plants at Lowe's a week ago as they were having a 75% off sale--how could we pass that up??--and then the weather promptly returned to winter. We've been growing blackberries in our bathroom for the past week. I had no idea you could actually do this, but since we bought them they have started blooming. This is pretty amazing considering the size of our bathroom and the lack of light. I've been watering them pretty much every day since they don't have much dirt to help hold the water in. I'm hoping to get those planted this week--I'm sure they would be happier in the ground than in our shower.

I've sent a document to our landlord to be signed and notarized, and I think we will wait to do all of the other notaries and apostilles until we get that document (the ones that had minor changes). We won't send the others until we have that one so we might as well wait. Hopefully we will get it in the next day or two.

Friday, April 13, 2007

So glad it's Friday!

The documents did not happen last night. We would have had to take another document to get apostilled after today anyway, so now we'll just take them all together.

I am ready for bed. That's sort of a problem as it's not anywhere near bedtime yet, and we have a lot to do before then. And it's supposed to snow. Those of you who know me (particularly those who knew me in college) will know that I tend to randomly change subjects when I'm tired. Sorry. Do your best to follow along, but it may not be easy. It's supposed to snow tomorrow morning. We don't even live in Michigan anymore! How are we getting snow in April?? It's going to make the run tomorrow morning and then the marathon on Sunday awfully cold, particularly for those of us who aren't running. ;)

I have been helping some with the costumes for the musical, and I was asked to help repair our canvas backdrop. Someone in the play had suggested fishing line, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't hold for the repair that needs to be done. So I did some research and found some repair tape that is designed for canvas. I've had a little difficulty finding said tape. REI and Bass Pro Shops only carry repair tape for nylon and ripstop (i.e., for backpacks and nylon tents). I did, however, find two stores that carry the tape I needed--EMS and Cabela's. EMS only has stores on the east coast, but Cabela's is throughout the midwest. Except for Missouri. Until today. Today, a brand new Cabela's opened less than 5 minutes from my work. I scooted over there at lunch, picked up my tape, and will be repairing the backdrop a couple of hours before the show. Hopefully, both Mark and I will get a nap in before the show--we could both definitely use it!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


That is exactly what I am. These dress rehearsals are killer--I simply can't survive on 6 hours of sleep for more than one or two nights. It would be one thing if we were able to go home and relax, but we go to rehearsal and actually have to focus. :) Due to the craziness I haven't done anything yet with the documents that need to be redone, but it should only take about 30 minutes to fix them. The tentative plan is to fix them tonight, and then take them to be apostilled tomorrow afternoon. I've got to pick Mark up downtown anyway since he'll be there picking up his marathon packet. So, yes, this weekend is opening night, volunteering at Read, Right, and Run Saturday morning (7 am!!), a wine tasting for the Perfectos, second night of the musical, and the marathon Sunday morning. Usually I'm looking forward to the weekend, but right now it doesn't sound any more restful than the week. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

And yet...again

Wow, there's a lot to cover since I last posted. Kostya received our documents last Thursday and promptly told me we had to redo some of them. Now, part of that is my fault. I knew we were going to have to redo our medicals, I simply didn't want to fight with it anymore. What I found out from Kostya, though, is that we can type up the form so that the doctor's office can't make any mistakes on it! The problems with both of our medicals were mistakes that had been covered with whiteout. Not acceptable to Ukraine, and in fact there have been several dossiers recently that have been rejected for this very reason. This is why we love Kostya, because he is very picky. :) The wonderful part of all of this is that our medicals are already redone!! We took them in on Friday and both of us were able to have them signed and notarized that day.

Saturday I spent most of the morning sewing for the upcoming musical, which was wonderful. Mark had choir rehearsal for Easter service in the morning. We ran errands and worked on the bed he is making for a friend's daughter in the afternoon and took a nice, long nap--particularly important since we started dress rehearsals this week. Sunday was a wonderful day of celebrating our risen Lord, and we finished it out with dinner with Micah and Tiffany.

As I mentioned, we started dress rehearsals yesterday. Last night we went from 6pm until nearly 11. Tonight, and every other night this week, we start at 7pm and go until we're finished--usually 11-11:30. This is a rough week for us sleep-wise, but it's also a lot of fun. The show opens this Friday night at 8pm. Let me know if you're in the area and want tickets. We have shows this Friday and Saturday at 8pm and next Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

The other adoption documents we need to redo are pretty straightforward, so we should have everything back to Ukraine within a couple of weeks. They're currently not accepting dossiers anyway (until at least April 16) but they are still processing dossiers that are already turned in--congratulations to B and S who have an appointment date!! :)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Signed, sealed, delivered

Our dossier has been delivered to our facilitator! This whole "sending of the dossier" thing is quite interesting. We shipped ours FedEx, which is who we used last time. We were told it would arrive by April 16. They got it there a week and a half early, so it only took 6 days (shipped from St Louis on Friday, arrived on Donetsk on Thursday). :) Kostya had said that if we mailed it by last Saturday he would have it by this Saturday, and he was certainly correct!

It's funny to track it online. According to the FedEx website, our dossier made it to Kyiv**, cleared processing (read: customs), and then traveled around Kyiv and was processed four more times. At 10:55am this morning it was cleared for international delivery (in Kyiv) and at 11:00am was delivered (in Donetsk). Donetsk and Kyiv are not close. :) Apparently FedEx does not have a way to update their systems once the document is in Ukraine--they can only list it as in Kyiv and either in processing or in transit until it is delivered. The first time we sent our dossier this freaked me out. I thought our dossier was stuck in customs and I had no idea how to save it. :) :) Kostya reassured me that this is just how FedEx lists their in-transit packages until they arrive at their destination.

I still don't have any idea when our dossier will be submitted, although it won't be until at least the end of this month, most likely later. Ukraine is in a bit of chaos, although we know that they are still giving out appointment dates. Currently it looks like the people who submitted at the end of February are receiving June appointment dates, so we don't anticipate traveling until August (very earliest, highly unlikely) to October. The nice thing is that traveling at that time would cut our airfare prices significantly. I would love to see Ukraine in autumn.

**I should probably mention that "Kiev" and "Kyiv" are the same place. "Kyiv" is actually a more appropriate English spelling, and the US government decided last year to use "Kyiv" instead of "Kiev" as the official spelling.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Good and not-so-good

Sorry, I'm a bit behind again. There was supposed to be a post this weekend letting you know that our dossier is on its way to Ukraine. It's actually already in Ukraine and we're waiting for it to be delivered to our facilitator. In the meantime, Ukraine is having some political issues (to say the least) and no one knows how this may affect adoptions. I think it's our fault--every time we send our dossier over there they shut down. ;) So we'll keep you posted as we know more.

This weekend my mom came to visit and we went to see "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (the musical). It was an interesting adaptation of the original movie with Steve Martin and Michael Caine, and it was fun, but I like the movie better. We managed to hit Bailey's Chocolate Bar too...yummy!! If you like chocolate, don't miss this place if you're in St Louis!

We also FINALLY made it to Mark's birthday surprise! I took him here. It was really cool and we got to hear the wolves howl. We want to go back during the day so we can see them as well.

And, as base ball (and baseball) gets going again, check out some video from Mark's game a few weeks ago. Yes, it was snowing, and yes, I was sitting outside watching the game. Don't ask about the ending to the video--the other team made this and I have no idea why it ends that way. You can see Mark at times 0:32-0:36, 2:06-2:13, and 2:34-2:37. I'm only visible at the very end--see if you can find me and my lavender hat. :) This isn't a phenomenal example of a vintage base ball game. There were a number of liberties taken due to the cold and it being a preseason warmup game (not much warming up happening), but they still played with no gloves and it couldn't have been above 35F. Brrr!