Monday, August 27, 2007

It's all preparation (day 9)

We just keep making ourselves busier and busier, but I think it's preparation for having kids when we will be running after them all of the time!

Band last week was a lot of fun. There's a new director this year and he's got a lot of energy! We'll have two concerts this semester and some of the music is pretty challenging. It's great to be playing regularly again. :)

This past weekend my mom came up. We told her she was welcome to come as long as she brought work clothes. ;) I'm not sure she's going to be coming up again anytime soon. :) :) :) Friday night we went to Fritanga, the Nicaraguan restuarant close to us. It was very yummy--the fried plantains were excellent! Saturday we put Mom to work...first the paneling, then pulling the carpet out of the stairwell (that didn't go over so well), then removing tile in the bathroom. I was in the stairwell at that point, but apparently she had a pretty good time tearing off the tile. Mark said he kept hearing her laughing. It is an awful lot of fun to do demolition. We also found a new treasure, but I won't spoil the surprise--I'll take a picture and post it. Then you can bid for it. ;) We also found lots more things that caused all 3 of us to say "that's interesting..." I took one picture before the camera batteries died, so hopefully I can get over there soon and show some updates. It's looking worse and worse every day. And that makes me happy. :) I know it will get much worse before it gets better.

Monday, August 20, 2007

In the middle of somewhere (day 5)

Because I think the people of Martinsburg, MO, (pop. 246) might be offended if I called it "nowhere". ;) Yesterday the Perfectos played base ball at the Martinsburg annual picnic. It was a lot of fun and the heat has finally broken a bit so it was great weather to watch a game. This was the first time anyone from Martinsburg has played vintage base ball as far as I know, and it was a lot of fun for everyone involved.

We think we've finalized plans for the house as best as possible. The house is so narrow there are really only so many options. Now comes the really hard part of deciding on finishes. It's really a huge process since we need to decide what we're doing with lighting in order for the electrical to be run. But we don't know what we want to do with lighting because we haven't decided what we're doing with everything else yet--cabinets, etc. We're aiming for a more historical look, so we're not planning on track or can lighting at this point. But we've got enormous ceilings so do we do wall sconces...chandeliers...hanging lights?? Decisions, decisions.

We attended the orientation session for our Crown Financial class last night. It seems like it will be very informative. Last night was just the intro, so we talked about class format and our homework assignment before the first actual class which isn't until after Labor Day.

And for anyone curious about the title, day 5 is referring to the 5th business day of our 20+ business day wait to hear from the SDA. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ahh, the serenity...

This week is pretty quiet for us, other than the submission and my birthday, and getting new brakes on the car (the current ones have 120K miles on them!) and meeting with the architect tomorrow. :) Band and orchestra start up in the next couple of weeks. I was commenting to Mark last night that we should go swing dancing at Casa Loma on Friday nights (I meant occasionally, not every week). His reply: "Why, we don't have enough nights booked yet?" :) We're also joining a Crown Financial class** at church, as well as our normal life group so we do have quite a few nights booked.

We do like to stay busy. I think we'll be pretty busy as soon as we have this meeting with the architect. Once we get our plans finalized we can get our building permit and then the demolition really begins! I'm excited about the possibilities with the new house. I've already located a custom cabinet builder. Unfortunately, he happens to be located in Georgia, but his cabinetry is beautiful! Right, Tonya? ;) We don't currently have a budget per se for the house, but I think we're going to have to come up with one pretty soon because I could make this a very expensive house. Don't get me wrong--I'm not the only one. Mark's got his eyes on reproduction hardware and register covers. :) :) :) I'm anxious to get as much work done on the house as possible before we go to Ukraine. I'd like to have the interior ready to finish before we leave, i.e., all the walls will be drywalled, mudded, and taped, and plumbing and electrical finished. Walls painted would be even better, but that sounds awfully ambitious with the amount of work we have to do before then.

**I was googling Crown Financial ministries and came across some interesting comments on the web. It will be interesting to see what we think of this class. It's apparently pretty targeted towards people with a high debt load and trouble managing their finances. That, thankfully, is not something we struggle with, and not because we make lots of money. We have been tithing since we were married, and we are both frugal people so we tend to be fairly careful about the way we spend our money with lots of discussions, thought, and planning. I'll keep you posted on the class.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy birthday to me!!!!

We are submitted!! :) :) :)

And yes, today is my birthday. I'm hoping we'll have another (actually two!) big birthday presents on Mark's birthday in December! I emailed Kostya late yesterday and he had actually gone to email me after the SDA appointment and realized he didn't have my email address with him. He said he was glad I emailed since he knew I would die if I had to wait for news until he got home on Wednesday. ;)

The SDA had some questions for Kostya regarding our dossier when he submitted it, including (to quote Kostya) "why the heck is the Highway Patrol the state background clearance check?" LOL That's a very good question, and I have no idea. But it sounds like the SDA was just curious, not saying it was a problem.

Now is the big waiting game. The SDA has 20 business days to review our dossier and accept or reject it. However, in reality it's been taking a little longer than that sometimes. The SDA told Kostya to check back in a month, so we definitely won't hear anything before then. So if you're only reading this for adoption info, check back mid-September. It's probably going to be lots of house stuff until then. ;) I have now given myself leave to begin making packing lists--and we both love lists, so this will be a lot of fun. :) :) Since we've been to Ukraine before we know what to expect in terms of living conditions and cultural differences, and I think that will make things easier. It also helps that we're both pretty low-maintenance people. We're okay with only taking a few changes of clothing.

Yippee! We're making progress!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

No news

I apologize to those of you who have been checking the blog regularly today--I can assure you that I have been checking my email just as often! :) :) I haven't heard anything from Kostya, which I am hoping is a good sign that everything went as planned. I know he's super busy with a few different families who are currently in Ukraine and he's been traveling all over the country working with them. I'm hoping he opted to sleep instead of send me an email. ;)

I'll post as soon as I hear anything!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I'm trying hard not to be on pins and needles

Really, I keep waiting for a notification that Ukraine has shut down again. We've been close to submitting before, and something has always happened. And there are always (unfounded) rumors flying around the internet as to things that might be happening.

Wednesday night we went to a planning meeting for a new alternative service at our church. They've been trying to get this going for a few years, and we've been looking forward to it. We're not sure how involved we'll be if the adoption goes through, but we're providing a little bit of an "older" voice in the planning process (most of the impetus is the 20-somethings in the church, and we've been lumped in as the "30-somethings, 40-somethings, and 50-somethings". Apparently once you hit 30 you might as well be retired. ;) )

Yesterday was "Bring Your Kids to Work Day" and I, being the public servant that I am, volunteered for the ice cream social. :) :) :) The kids were sooo cute--I just wanted to hug them all. We had about 160 kids here and it looked like they had a great time. Of course I was passing out ice cream so they were all pretty happy about that.

Tonight is our last Muny performance and we'll be watching "Les Miserables". We've both seen it before but it's one of our favorites. Next year, however, we are getting front row seats (preferably in the cheapest section). We're only the third row back in our section (that being the said cheapest section), but we've had tall people sitting in front of us all season. The one exception was the last show ("Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat") and as it turns out that was the perfect show to have an uninhibited view since so much is happening on the stage all of the time.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm sleepy!

Last night Mark and I watched a movie that started around 9pm. This is unusual for us, especially since it was a weeknight, but it was a special occasion. Our neighborhood held an outdoor movie night last night in the church/school parking lot and showed "Happy Feet". Fun movie and always fun hanging out with the neighbors. I think adults were outnumbered by kids about 3:1--and we didn't even bring any! Great messages in the movie, although Mark thought it got a little slow towards the end. That probably had something to do with it being past 10 pm. ;) And of course today I have a 1.5 hour meeting followed by a half hour meeting. Looks like I'll be drinking some coffee this morning!

Our dossier did not get submitted Monday, but it appears that we are first in line to submit next week (Aug 13)! There are still a lot of things that can go wrong between now and then, and we've had enough disappointments through this whole process that I'm not getting my hopes up too high. I refer to it as being "cautiously optimistic". :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

It has to happen to someone

I'm not going to go into all of the details, but of our own choosing we were considering submitting our dossier a few weeks later than scheduled. In order for that to work we needed to update a few documents. We've been praying that God would make it clear when He wants us to submit--the earlier date or the later date. I kept feeling like we were really supposed to submit at the earliest possible opportunity, but I wasn't convinced that that wasn't just my anxious spirit. ;)

We updated our medicals and everything went fine with those. Mark got a letter of employment from the hospital so we could submit that as well as a homestudy addendum (stating his new income) on the later date. Yesterday, Mark took the medicals and one employment letter to be apostilled, and I was to send off the other employment letter to our SW. However, I realized when I got to work that I didn't have any stamps so I would have to wait until I got home to mail it. Mark got a call from the apostilling office that the documents were done, but when he went to pick them up they were unable to apostille his employment letter. The notary's stamp had the wrong commission expiration date on it! This has basically ensured that we have to submit on the earlier date, or not submit until sometime much later. There are more details to this story that I can't share publicly, but I would definitely ask for prayers that our dossier will be submitted either Monday, August 6, or Monday, August 13.

I have been feeling more and more agitated about going to get our children--anxious isn't the right word, as I'm not worried at all, just feeling like we need to go get them soon. I don't know what's going on, but I've been praying for them a lot lately. If you feel inclined, you are always welcome to pray for our children. Specifics that I pray for are their health and well-being while we are apart, that they have someone to love them, hug them, and snuggle them until we get there, that they have someone there to show them God's love, and that God would be working now to knit our hearts and theirs together to become a family at the time He designates.