Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Friends from around the world
Meet Virginia and Joey. These are our two Chinese exchange students.
We are hosting them in our home while they attend an English and music camp through our local university. We picked them up Saturday, and are just having so much fun! Maddy is attached at the hip already, and enjoying them constantly. They love her, and don't mind playing all of her games with her. They both speak great english and it has been fairly easy to communicate. We have learned a lot from them already, asked them many questions to understand the Chinese culture better. They also brought us some traditional Chinese souvenirs as gifts. They claim to teach us how to really use chopsticks before they leave!

It is truly wonderful to peek outside of America and learn about cultures and traditions from around the world. Listening to much of what they say really puts America to shame! We have wonderful freedoms here, that many countries do not have, and I am thankful. But, because of it we have really slid downwards as a society with our values. They do put us to shame with their respect for their parents and families, and how they honor their culture, and how education is so important. They also are a good reminder of our freedoms here in America. A good lesson for us all to learn. I just love having foreign students! What a fabulous opportunity- I recommend that everyone one should try at least once!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tiny Dancer

Maddy went to her very first dance class this week at our community center. The class is called Tiny Dancers. They were tiny, and adorable and definitely dancing. The funny part is that I don't know what I expected out of a class for 2 and 3 year olds, but it's basically a free for all run around to the Wiggles music, with occasionally them paying attention to the teacher! NOT exactly what I thought of for dance lessons. I will say however, that the parents sitting in the folding chairs in the back of the room, madly flashing cameras at every adorable second--That we were suitably entertained! :)
Their teacher is very sweet and patient, and did actually manage to get about 75% listening to her. Maddy, of course:) listened, and tried to be attached at the hip to the teacher, as you can see above. A little teacher's pet. BUT she was listening! The teacher did manage to get the kids into a ballet first position and to do some jump with a fancy ballet name. I'm not sure how much she will really learn from this class, in particular, as it is an introductory for the little ones. But I do know that she just LOVED it, didn't want it to end and cannot wait for this weeks class. We will be off to get her Official ballerina slippers tomorrow, and what a treat that will be, she is quite excited! :) And unfortunately for all of us entertained parents, the class is closed to parents for the rest of its term, as not to distract our children. I hope we at least get to see them once more at the end in March, to see if they really did learn anything! This is Maddy's very first "class" or lesson, for anything, so this is quite fun for me and oh yeah, for her too! :)

Friday, January 19, 2007

So, I'm Pregnant.
It came as a bit of a surprise to us that I was actually preggers! We found out on Christmas morning at about 5 am. I had "known" for over a week, you know that deep down hunch, that something was different, something is going on, and sure feels a lot like being pregnant. I had questioned myself over and over, thinking I was just nuts, reading too much into the littlest symptoms. I knew over the holiday weekend I had plans for champagne and a Christmas cocktail or two, I don't drink often so I felt apprehensive thinking the big "what if". I told Zach my hunch, whom was instantly excited and offers to run down to the store that night to get a pregnancy test! I told him to just calm down, I haven't "skipped a cycle" yet, so this is all based on a hunch. He didn't care one bit, my hunch was enough and he took off to the store. I guess he had no shame whatsoever going into the pregnancy test isle and searching for the right one and purchasing it. He even consulted with an employee to get the right one! :) Whatta man, huh! The one I took that night showed negative, but the package did say that this test won't work if you're testing too early, meaning, if you haven't skipped a cycle yet. I felt a little like," oh that would've been fun,too bad, then ok, few, relief, I don't think I'm really ready".
The next day was Christmas eve, I was tired, nauseas, had a tender top half, and the smell of dinner in the oven, and the heat of the kitchen while cooking almost caused me to pass out. This just wasn't right. Laying in bed that night I tossed and turned, thinking through the scenarios, so at almost 5:00 am I had had it, and got up to take the second test that came in the box. Zach heard me up, and had his own hunch telling him he knew exactly what I was doing in there. This time it showed positive instantly! I almost passed out! I opened the door to Zach standing there, waiting, and I just said "Merry Christmas!?" and handed him the test results. He was soooo excited and high fiving me, I hugged him, then went instantly to tears! "Oh, what did we do, can I do this? I'm scared! how did this happen :), how can I love anything else as much as I love Madalyne!" Whew, a pregnant woman's emotions started right there, and they haven't let up just yet!
We had a lot of fun telling the family on Christmas day, the Grandma's were teary eyed and stoked and the Uncle is planning all sorts of boy toys to purchase, and the Grandpa's were proud, and the Auntie said, she knew it just knew it, it was time. The new sister is beyond excited, she tells everyone she meets, that we're having a boy or girl, whatever she decides for the day, and that we're naming it Kelsey. ( which we are not, but that's the name she's decided on, not sure how we'll explain that one to her when it comes right down to it, maybe get her a special doll to name that when the baby is born?) What is truly amazing is that the beginning of the week I had started to get my "hunches", Maddy one evening starts poking at my belly button. I asked what she was doing, and she very simply stated, " I'm trying to see the baby inside." I shot a, what the heck glance over to Zach who agreed, " what - the ?!" We joked it off then, I was just baffled on how did she know the whole baby in the belly details, or? does she really have some divine connection, or was it a fluke? Amazing story that we will always tell!

Since then I've had 2 raging awful flu's , one with a high fever. Lot's of morning sickness, crankiness, fatigue and quite a lot of other fun symptoms! You're supposed to be full of joy right now, and every day you just get beat down, it's been tough. I know it will end, and Maddy and Zach have been so sweet and understanding and helpful so far.

Here's another part of the story. Me getting pregnant is supposed to be very difficult. I have endometriosis ( basically extra tissue growing inside my body caused by the uterine cells, it is painful, but also carries with it very high statistics of the inability to concieve) . I have had one surgery for it already to clean it up a bit, and my Doctor told me then, that she wasn't sure about my chances of ever getting pregnant. She had found a lot of tissue around my fallopian tubes.
Well, apparently that's not a problem for me! Maddy was a whoopsy surprise, and now number two seems to be as well. We had decided in early December that we were ready to have another child this next year, assumably adoption. We have always wanted to adopt, we thought that would be our next step. But here we are, God decided for us what we were having and when! My due date at this point looks to be September 6th or 7th. Be prepared as a blog reader for lots of belly shots, and baby updating! Only 33weeks to go?!:)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Okay, Drum roll please.............>>>>>>


A bun in the oven,

In a family way,

Baby on Board,


I am 7 weeks Pregnant!
( and already huge!!)
....more details to come, but this is the real reason I haven't been on the computer lately.


This is an exciting morning, the sun is back and there is not a cloud in the sky. Woo- Hoo! I'm happier, and more energetic and ready to go out for a walk, to soak up just a bit of sunshine. Amazing how much we can be affected emotionally isn't it? Definitely gonna have to check out how much one of those sun lamps for your home costs! I'm realizing this winter how much I'm really "seasonally affected". I'd really like to think I'm stronger than that, and that my happiness isn't based on such things. But boy it sure does the mind good.....

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The snow that came to stay.....

What a cute family!
Thrilled with even small victories!

Swingin' cutie!
The valley in the Northwest that I live in, rarely sees snow! It is quite exciting when we do get a little, and that doesn't even happen every year. But this year we've gotten snow several times. The snow from last week just refuses to go away. It just turned into ice and hasn't left. If it wasn't in the teens during the days and dreary and foggy, you could at least go out and do something. But this, just loses its charm after a couple of days. Ok, so I know, I'm being whimpy, BUT I didn't move to Minnesota for a reason. AND I did grow up in Southern California. I love it when the snow makes everything white and beautiful, then the sunshine comes out and its a winter wonderland! But this is not it this week, and quite frankly I'm ready for spring now. These pictures were our attempt this weekend to at least get out of the house for a little bit, AND I was shocked to see that there were 2 other families at the park too. All the kids in snow suits and boots and hats and gloves. It was very adorable! AND freezing, well actually it was about 20 degrees. Needless to say, we didn't stay long at the park!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Oregon trying to prove global warming to be wrong!


The beauty of snow!

Maddy's very first snowman, I mean snowgirl!

Two Pina Colada's anyone?

We've been waiting since yesterday morning for the snow to stick here on the valley floor. It snowed all day, and every child in the county was praying for it to stay. They got their wish this morning as we woke to 3 to 4 inches (depending on where you stuck the measuring stick). We were really excited to run out and play. Actually, Zach just mumbled around the house saying, " You're too excited for this early in the morning; no, don't go wake Maddy yet; and being a grown up stinks, we still have to go to work." (I did manage a snowball or 2 at him as he cleaned off his car!) The dog just paced and whined wanting to go out and eat the snow and play in the snow! He was worse than Maddy! I had my fun, and got my pictures but little Maddy refuses to stop and come in. I actually had to force her to come in. Her little hands and nose were just frozen and she began to cry because her fingers hurt, yet she didn't want to stop to come in and warm up. For those not from around here, know that this is a big deal for us, it doesn't happen every year, so we're really excited when it comes to stay. Every school in the county was closed today. It was adorable to hear the voices and giggles of children playing in the snow echoing around the neighborhood this morning. I now will go back to warming Maddy's hands, making hot chocolate and being snuggly!

Monday, January 08, 2007

The first spot of color among many dark days....

The morning rose with sunshine showering down upon us! Lately it is only the rain we meet with every day. The warmth that the sunshine brings is nothing less than inspiring! I think my heart beats a little faster and my energy swells inside me.....what can I do to be outside today? Should I clean, should I create, should I play? So many options when the sun is out. I knew the answer right away---FLOWERS--I NEED FLOWERS! I took my time planting the season's first pansies and primroses. Now they are there to welcome me at my front porch with their bright smiles. Reminding me on the dark days, that the peace the sun brings me will be back again soon!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Inspired by Michaelangelo today.......

I've been promising Maddy for months that I would finish her mural. Today I completed the "princess-esque" barn, complete with glitter. The barn cat sits contentendly to keep her crown from slipping, but I, have many more creatures to paint!

Friday, January 05, 2007

My Bible verse for this season:
"Peace I leave with you: My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid."
Love, Jesus (John 14:27)
It's often very hard for me to believe it, but I'm going to post it all over my house today and read it over and over until maybe I 'll get it, deep down, the peace that passes ALL understanding of mine.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Maddy's "wishing star"

Maddy has been very sweet while mommy has been sick 2 weeks in a row! Today she played dress up, it was sooooo cute, she hasn't done that in quite some time. She came out and told me that this was her "wishing star"! I never called it that, I don't know where she came up with it, but it was just darling. She waved her wand and wished me to get all better, I love her so, she's what I've always wished for that's for sure!
( I'm not sure the dog shares that same sentiment, as he wore a lot of necklaces today, and then even sported this princess crown for a bit, clearly you can see that he his thrilled!)