Tuesday, May 29, 2007


This weekend we went down to my mom's house to help fix her fence. In the very bad ice storms last winter, several of her trees (or pieces of trees) fell and knocked out sections of her fence. She hired a guy to fix it who started fixing it and hasn't been able to complete it. So we went down this weekend and fixed it with my sister and her boyfriend. We also moved my sister's stuff out of storage, visited with family, and ate at all of the places on our list. :) We were there less than 48 hours but we got so much accomplished. I should have taken pics of the finished fence--it made her yard look so nice!

We have officially started the house planning. Yesterday we bought appliances for the first time ever. When we bought our house in Michigan the appliances were included and we sold it the same way. So we are now the proud owners of a refrigerator and range! We got an amazing deal on the refrigerator--it was supposed to be almost $700, and we got it for under $400. It's exactly what we were looking for--even Energy Star compliant. The stove matches and was also on sale for the holiday weekend. Gotta love Lowe's. ;) We are also (tonight) going to be the recipients of a beautiful clothes dryer. We are being given a dryer by someone in our church who no longer needs it, and it is a very new fancy-schmancy one with lots of dials and buttons. I'm going to be afraid to use it! But I am very grateful that they thought of us. God is truly providing in wonderful ways for this new house.

Yesterday we had dinner with Scott and Heather. They will be moving to Las Vegas shortly courtesy of the Air Force and we aren't following them this time! We met Scott and Heather in Michigan and have had the joy of watching them go from a couple to a couple with two adorable girls. We are going to miss them a lot, but are hoping we can catch a few cheap flights out to Vegas to visit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

He is still working

Sometimes I forget why we are adopting from Ukraine, and I get frustrated with the process and the waiting and everything. And then God sends me a reminder...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Mark O, DPT!!!

It's official! On Friday, Mark graduated with his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. We are now the Drs. O. :) I can imagine there are many people who never expected this from either of us, much less both!

This weekend was wonderful with lots of family in town. Graduation was on Friday, and the PT ceremony was really nice with excellent speakers. We had a small graduation party on Saturday morning and then our families were able to watch Mark play base ball in the afternoon.

In regards to jobs, Mark has had a few offers, but so far none of them have been quite right for a variety of reasons. He has another one that he is considering, so I will keep you posted. And yes, all of them are in the St Louis area. ;) We can't really leave until the adoption is complete, or we'll need to redo everything again.

In other exciting news, we have friends leaving this Friday to pick up their new son from China!! We are so excited for them and looking forward to meeting J.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tomorrow is relative

Okay, I know it's past "tomorrow". :)

San Francisco was wonderful, as was the toxicology course that I took. I was a little unsure how good it would be since I don't have a background in toxicology, but it turned out to be perfect. Even better was the mini-vacation we got to have in the evenings. We went to pretty much all of the standard tourist destinations and we were able to have lunch and dinner together every day. We went to Chinatown Thursday for lunch and Fisherman's Wharf for dinner. We saw the resident sea lions (really loud and pretty stinky) and wandered the little shops, and then walked over to Ghirardelli Square and had a couple of sundaes. Yum!! Friday we got public transportation day passes which included the cable cars. We rode up and down the hills, hanging off of the side of the cable cars--really! It was so much fun!! If you're on the side of the cable car that passes the other cable cars you have to pay attention or you'll hit the other car when it passes by. We also saw the "Crookedest Street", walked out on the pier and watched people crabbing for their dinner (or maybe someone else's dinner), and took a spur-of-the-moment sunset bay cruise. We had figured out that we weren't going to be able to go to Alcatraz since there weren't any tour times that worked with my schedule. As we were wandering down Fisherman's Wharf on Friday evening, we passed a boat that was offering sunset bay cruises for $10/person. We figured we didn't have much to lose, so we did it. It was fantastic!! We went under the Golden Gate bridge and around Alcatraz. The pilot did a full audio commentary of everything we were passing, so although we didn't go on the island we did see the buildings up close. I'd definitely like to do an island tour at some point, but this was a great introduction. The pilot and boat we were on do fishing tours during the day and then the sunset cruise in the evening. I would highly recommend them for either one! Saturday morning before we left we went to Coit Tower and then wandered down Embarcadero to the large farmer's market, and I do mean large. Cooking demonstrations, free (chocolate!!) samples...it was great. I'm looking forward to visiting San Francisco again sometime.

In adoption news, our facilitator has all of our documents and all of them appear to be correct. Hooray! However, we are currently #90 in line. Let me explain that a little bit. The facilitators have set up a line outside the SDA for submissions. We are #90 in the line for submissions of US dossiers, which only occur on Mondays. Each Monday, the SDA accepts between 5-7 dossiers, which puts us at most likely submitting sometime in late July, early August. The current trend is about 3 months between submission and traveling, so the earliest we would currently be traveling is about November. There is a small chance that our facilitator would be able to swap places with another facilitator who does not have a dossier ready when it is his turn to submit, but that is a small chance and we don't really know how likely that is. Right now all we can do is wait. We're getting pretty good at that.

Oh, and we've joined a summer community band. Can't have any extra free time... ;)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I left my heart...

...in San Francisco... Well, not really, but I did like it an awful lot. Enough that I told Mark I want to retire there, on a boat so we can travel wherever we want but be docked in SF.

Last Wednesday, we had the house inspection in the morning, I dropped Mark off at the airport, spent a few hours at work, and then drove myself to the airport. I attended a course on toxicology in San Francisco, and although Mark was able to come, we paid for him separately since work was covering my costs and we didn't fly together. After flying a few different airlines, I have to say my favorite is still Southwest. Great fares and a really fun airline to fly. Plus they seem to be on-time more often and have fewer problems than a lot of the other airlines. Like the one I just flew on...that delayed us because the plane we were supposed to be getting on couldn't get to the gate since there was something sitting on the ground in the way. Bizarre.

I'll share more about SF and some updates on the adoption tomorrow. I just wanted to let everyone know we're still alive! :)