"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Cottage Weekend

 We were able to get to the cottage again this weekend.  Brian and Steph and kids, Steph's sister and my sister and families were there also.  The kids had a great time playing outside.  When I say kids I mean 11 kids.  We're always way out numbered when we're there!  The crazy thing is if you fast forward six months there will be 3 more!  My sister and Steph's sister are both pregnant and of course we'll have S!  After playing outside they did the typical...big girls gave the little girls make-overs, they made up a dance, they gave everyone a show, and the boys watched TV and rolled their eyes:)  Actually, the boys got up and did the wave for us to get a little taste of the spotlight!  After that all the girls went in the bedroom and watched home videos of previous cottage weekends.  Nothing like making memories and watching them!   
Wendy(Steph's sister), Me, Steph, Emily

On Sunday morning my sister and I went over to my Grandma's house for a visit.  She lives just about 10 minutes away from our cottage.  She is 87, and sharp as a tack, but her body is ailing.  We want her to be safe, so recently the decision was made to move her into an assisted living facility.  Of course that is a very difficult thing for her as she loves her house and her things.  She spent the morning showing Emily and I all of her little "nifties".  Each one has a story and a memory connected to it.  A few things Emily and I really love, because they are also our memories.  When we showed an interest in something you could see the relief in her.  She was just so happy to think that her stuff could stay in the family and be treasured by someone else.  Now don't get me wrong, there's a lot of junk!  But sometimes things are not just about their monetary value.  Have you ever fell in love with something because of it's story?  I've never had any interest in nesting dolls, but wouldn't you know they're my new favorite thing!  I love the idea of 30 years from now MY grandchild spying an odd piece, that doesn't quite fit in my house, and them asking "Why do you have THIS?".  And I will say, "Let me tell you about my Grandma Jackie..."      

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dance Mom!

For those of you that don't know me that well, I'm a total dance mom.  Yes, I am that mom that lives through her daughter(my daughter lives a charmed life, who wouldn't want to live through her?).  Tonight her dance company had their first performance of the year.  They do a lot community shows and this was the first time they performed these particular dances.  They were awesome!  I love, love, love, it!  Thankfully Adrienne does too!  Here are a few(bad) pics!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pictures of S's room!

As promised here is a picture of S's painted room.  There aren't any pictures hung or window treatments up, but they will come!  You can at least get the idea... 
I guess I should address the twin bed.  Yes, that is a twin bed for a 20 lb. two year old.  I have thought about this long and hard and weighed the options.  When we started this I wanted a 3-5 yr old.  Mark wanted a baby.  We settled on 2 1/2-4 1/2 for our referral age.  I thought, "Surely they will send me a 4 yr old.  Who wants those children?".  They told me you could get a referral slightly outside your age range.  I thought, "Even better!  They will give me a 5 yr old!".  Nope, I'm getting a 2 yr. old.  Who would have thought!!!  Which brings me to the fact that I am completely unprepared for a "baby".  I debated on putting a crib back up, or maybe a toddler bed.  I decided to stick with the bed and use side rails(not shown here).  I know I'm bringing home a baby, but 6 months later she will be turning 3!  It's an awkward time.  If it seems wrong and she doesn't do well we'll throw a toddler bed up!   
 Other good progress...our FBI clearances came today!  One more loose end tied up.  And just for laughs...Mark took Alexa to the Auto Show last night.  When I asked what her favorite car was she said, "I like the smartest car!".  AKA-Smart car. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Painting and Paperwork

Today I painted S's room.  Tomorrow it will be dry and I'll be able to set it up.  I was feeling pressure to get this done because I really thought she would be home by the beginning of March.  I should know by now not to get my hopes up for anything to move that quickly.  I got an email from my agency tonight letting me know what paperwork is missing or needs to be redone(I'm so sick of paperwork!).  That prompted a phone call and a conversation about where we stand.  Turns out there are 4 families that traveled before us waiting for their court dates because of the holiday backup.  So, best guess is court the middle of March and home the middle of April.  Not only is that longer than I can stand to wait, but it puts us traveling smack dab in the middle of my sister having her baby and Adrienne traveling to LA for dance.  Not that either of those things require my presence, but it puts a strain on the childcare options and I just don't like the thought of not seeing Adrienne off and home.  I'm having visions of Adrienne flying in at the same time as us and my sister picking all of us up at the airport with her new baby.  Imagine us both meeting our new nieces at the airport!  I know that's probably a little far fetched, but stranger things have happened...    

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where does the time go?

I couldn't tell you what I've been busy with, but I haven't had time to post in awhile!  Back to work. school, dance, and gymnastics which pretty much consumes every waking minute!  Last week Adrienne had her second choir concert.  Her and her friend Jordan both had solos and did great!  I was so proud of them! 
We were able to get away to our cottage for one night this weekend.  It was a quick trip, but we had lots of fun planned.  Each girl invited a friend and we were going to go snow tubing.  Unfortunately Lexi got sick:(  We had to cancel on her friend, but still went.  Anne and Rick came and Emily and the girls.  Lexi's enthusiasm waxed and wained but she had a good time.  The kids went sledding at the cottage, and Adrienne and Jordan gave the the little ones make overs!  So cute.  My mom and dad came out in the evening and brought dinner, and we played cards.  The next day my sister took Lexi home because the big girls were dying to go snow tubing and she just wasn't 100%.  It is so fun!  Good exercise too!
Jordan, Adrienne, Lexi




Ahhhh, the life.  Lord help us when this one is a teenager...

Anne's idea of heaven...a little girl on her lap.

The tubers!  Yes, I tubed too but someone has to take the pictures!

All this fun had S on everyone's mind.  It's hard not to think of her and how she will fit into a family weekend like this.  Every experience seems like a missed opportunity to me.  She could be learning what it's like to be a Culley!  I just can't wait for her to know this new life she's entering!  On that note, Thursday I sent all my paperwork out.  Nothing on my plate right now.  My homestudy is being updated as we speak.  I just can't wait to know what our court date is.  I am more than anxious!  Tomorrow I am painting her bedroom.  I'll post pictures when it's done! 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Merry Christmas S!

Today is Christmas in Russia.  I'm not sure if they do anything in the orphanages for the holiday, but I hope S is at least picking up on some of the festive feeling.  How fun it will be next year to introduce her to the holidays!  For now, Merry (last) Christmas (intstitutionalized) Sweet S!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy 2011!  It boggles my mind to think of all the wonderful things 2011 has in store for us.  We will be bringing S home to be in our forever family, my sister will be having her 3rd baby, and we continue to be blessed with health.  I'm not much for resolutions(no offense to those who made them!), but my Starbucks habit might be out of control.  I'm not promising anything, but I may cut back a tiny bit!  To ring in the New Year we went bowling with our friends Jeff and Barb and several of their friends.  Easy group to get along with and a kid for every age group!  The girls both had a great time.     

On the 2nd we had our annual Christmas with the Klimeks.  Nan and Eric hosted and had an awesome brunch.  It was great to see them, but too short!  Everyone had to go back to work and school the next day so we couldn't stay late.  The kids all got pillow pets from the grandparents.  Great for EVERY age!  
I have no idea why the Grandpa's are in this picture!

As far as adoption news goes, we're just compiling all our paperwork so we can be ready when Russia starts back up after their holiday.  It is such a pain!  Most of the paperwork is re-do's and just time consuming!  It is all worth it to bring S home:)