November 30, 2011

Cheaper flights!!!

I went on some recommendations of a travel agency and it looks like there are some better deals and that the twins flight will be half of what I thought! 

I'm heading to the bank right now to inquire about even a small loan or credit card.  Please pray!!!!  If anyone feels the pull to help, we remain extremely grateful...especially if we don't qualify for the loan now that I have tried so many avenues and all of the inquiries have hurt my credit (which has always been good) so it is frustrating! 

Continuing to try.........

Still trying....but not looking good....

Just a brief update....we are still trying to see if there is anything we can do to bring down the flight expenses but as it stands we are short of the funds for that. 

If we wait, we will likely have grants and fundraisers that will help and it will be no problem. 

But, then we, and more importantly, *they* will have more waiting.....

I will update the thermometer shortly.  I am so encouraged by all the outpouring of love and answer to prayers.  Maybe, even if we can't go, there was a reason for this push to get us ready both mentally and financially.

Thanks to all of you!!!!  I will update in a few hours when the final decision will be made.....

November 29, 2011

We're getting there!!!!

My husband just called and said that a family member was willing to loan $5,000!!!!

 And that coupled with the recent donations takes us to $5,325 to add to our thermometer!!!

I am so appreciative for kind and loving people that are acting on our Heavenly Father's behalf to help our family!

Thank you!!!!  I will update again soon!

Strength under pressure

I apologize for leaving everyone hanging but the information has been changing by the hour with a lot of unknowns. 

We are in a tight spot.....we had been under the understanding that we would not likely travel in early December and that we would more likely be traveling in January and would have more time to fundraise and/or get loans, grants etc.

We were completely unaware until yesterday that we could travel this soon! 

I could be holding our twins in six just makes me ache thinking about it......

So, we've been hustling and inquiring about whatever we could possibly do.....including loans to make that happen.

And we thought we had the solution, but this morning there were more complications and delays..... which would still render it impossible to go because we need to make our decision today and make the plane reservations to leave on Saturday.

*AND* moreover we found out that if we don't leave on Saturday that we will have to wait until February to travel.

 Two more months that they will wait.......two more months where anything could happen.  It is extremely hard.

To truly understand me,  I want you to imagine that two of your beloved children were in a country half way around the world from you.  Imagine what you would do to get to them......and you have a chance to hold them and love them by Monday, rather than waiting another two months with empty arms.......... and they with no family. 

I came close to folding again this morning from so much recent discouragement, but I prayed for strength and prayed for the ability to have better knowledge of what to do and how to get them home.  And, as I opened my eyes, I felt comforted.....and strong! 

I don't know if we can give the twins a family for Christmas......I don't know if they will experience the love of devoted parents by Monday but I will try and I will pray for continued revelation from our Heavenly Father to know His will. 

Today is the day that we have to decide......if anyone has thoughts or revelation or a desire to donate or help, you have no idea how much it would be appreciated.............

November 28, 2011


I knew it, I knew it!!!!! I had just read on a new and wonderful friend's blog Our Adoption Journey about the various scriptures and hymns that suggested that blessings were around the corner........and another wonderful friend and blogger who just recently adopted a beautiful daughter with Down Syndrome and is an amazing adovocate (so check out her blog) Our Journey to Anya had just written in my comments that the day I had yesterday often came prior to the travel date...............was she right or was she right?!?

How about a court date of..........

 December 4th!!!!!!!!!!!

That would mean that we would be leaving on Friday for the twin's country!   We don't know if/how we can pull this off but I will update the blog when I know more.

If you have ever considered helping us....even with the tiniest amount, we would appreciate it more now than ever before, please consider helping us get the twins home before Christmas!!! 

More soon..........

November 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Kate Margaret!

Have you ever felt like Satan has launched an all out attack on every front?  Well, if you will know exactly where I am at right now.....

Trials are hurtling towards our family from every side lately and many of them just aren't topics that I can discuss. 

They range from the minor and yet very annoying fact that we have a little creeper of the mouse or rat persuasion that chewed our dishwasher hose which resulted in a flooded kitchen and a couple of days of handwashing our large family's dishes.  Which, of course, results in lost time for us to do other figure out how in the world to raise the rest of the money that we need!

So, my wonderful but disgruntled husband was able to go into town and get the correct parts and fixed the dishwasher.  The dishwasher was fixed, the mouse bait was put out and all was well in our household, right?

Of course not!  The next day the *brand new* hose was chewed in about four places as well as the upper back corners of the actual dishwasher!  Mouse-2, Us-0

Hmmm, why did I say I wanted to live in the country and where are our cats?!? 

So after several more days of dishwashing by hand, I am thinking of a new plan:

Logical consequences, right?!?

Or instead of cats, maybe we need to get a new pet:

Sorry!  My girls did not like this picture at all either!  But, it is the way of the chain of life and a natural solution, right?

So, I mentioned that there was a range...and that the mouse and flooding and extra chores were the least and smallest of our problems or distress.  And, I meant it.....

Again, many of the issues are too personal to discuss but involve separation and loss and tests of faith. 

And today is the anniversary of our dear daughter's birth and death five years ago today.
 Happy Birthday Kate Margaret.......
We love you just as much today as we did then....and my arms ache for you still.  We love and miss you so much and promise to work hard to be reunited someday!

We have made a little more progress but I just can't emotionally do the Walk Across the World travel guide today. 

By midnight tonight, it will be a new day in the twin's country and any time after that we may hear about our court date.  Prayers welcomed......

November 25, 2011

A Terrible Dream!

Before I get into my terrible dream I want to show two new items that will be listed in our store-Walnut Grove Traditions

Both of these items are completely unique to our store:

It is the cutest little Polar Bear Bunting with original artwork from our daughter:

The great thing about baby buntings is that it makes it so much easier and faster to change their tiny bottoms!

We can customize it with Grandma's Polar Bear or Auntie's Polar Bear etc

This is the back side!  Lauren did a great job....doesn't get any cuter!  Well, except for the baby you put in it!  We will be listing it for $23.99

The other item is specific to adoption and is a great way to celebrate the day your child came home or your gotcha day.  On the front side is your child's picture surrounded by adoring angels. This is printed by a digital garment printer onto cloth:

On the back side is a poem that I have fallen in love with along with their name on top and "gotcha" date on the bottom:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life
But those who make their journey home
Across time & miles
Growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,
Are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us
By God's very own hands
-Kristi Larson

We can print most any custom ornaments this way with a different poem on the back side of your choosing so that we could include biological children as well.
These will be listed for $12.99

Email me if you are interested before I have had a chance to list them on our site at

Okay, on to my dream....I may not be alone in having nightmares after eating too much of the Thanksgiving feast and getting to bed late, but I am feeling the need to do something about this one....

I was with my two older daughters, Mary and Emily when we found out that the twins were coming home and we needed to go and meet them. 

I was so excited!!!  I told Mary to get our camera so we could take pictures of our first meeting....

When we got there we realized that the children were accompanied by the head of children's welfare from the twin's country and the children's caretaker.  I saw a glimpse of our little girl in the car but never did really see either one completely.....there was a brief discussion of needing to take pictures.

Then it was as though the scene changed to the morning of the following though I had been clubbed over the head and was waking up out of a confused stupor...and I became very concerned about what happened and where the time went.  I was laying on a couch's hideaway bed (which is strange because we don't have one!) 

I asked my daughters what happened, and about that time,  I saw our son (one of the twins) and he seemed very unhappy.  I was very upset and asked the girls where in the world he slept?!? 

But before they could answer, I realized that there were many children from the orphanage that were also upset, sitting on the floor.  I became more concerned as I didn't know whether anyone made them a place to sleep! 

About that time I saw the two women that were the officials from the twins country who had brought them.  They were walking down the stairs with very stern expressions on their face. 

My concern turned to panic when I asked the girls what room they had been given.  Emily told me that they had slept in the spare bedroom.  My body froze in terror as I asked if the spare bedroom had been cleaned out? (this room is currently being mainly used for storage)

Emily simply replied that she couldn't because there wasn't time! 

I woke up with the exclamation of, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" and having my heart racing out of my chest!

So, it is officially time to nest and be sure that we are ready to go.  Unless someone else has a different interpretation of the dream, which would allow me to procrastinate! LOL! 

 Fundraising News:
We have had one donation (thank you so much!!!!) towards the cookie basket (and also entered into the bigger prize of the Ipad 2 drawing, to be held a week before we travel )

We need 9 more in order to hold the cookie basket drawing.  And, trust me, you *want* this cookie basket!  It is a sweet reward for doing a good thing!

We are also continuing to make progress on our virtual Walk Across The World towards the twin's country!

We are now in ......Walden Colorado!!!!

It is a town of about 734 people and is the "Moose viewing capitol of Colorado!"

A lot of folks come here to hunt Elk which is likely where one of the main businesses in town got it's name:

Antler's Inn

And, they have a restaurant called The River Rock Cafe that looks cozy and beautiful:

I would love to try their Southern Style biscuits and makes me think of my grandma......

Here's to hoping that within the next post or two, we will be announcing our travel date!!!!!

November 24, 2011

A different kind of post....

This will be a very different post from me.  For one, I am sitting here in the quiet solitude of the morning with a chance to be still and ponder.  Well, in all honesty, it is never exactly silent here....I am listening to the crowing of roosters and the rain pouring on the roof.  And, I am loving it.  Even the roosters seem more subdued and melodic this morning.....

The main way that this post will be different is that it will be short! ;-) 

I have the opportunity to volunteer today with the Child Life program in our nearby hospital.  I truly debated whether or not I would do it since I knew that the times would overlap our extended family celebration. 

Then I realized that this year is so different for me.  I have experienced such a mental change about giving and receiving....and necessity.

 I saw this picture on Facebook:

It is a simple mix of two words and two pictures and yet it has stuck in my mind ever since I saw it. 

The typical and perhaps cliche thing to say would be to urge us all to be more thankful for what we have.

  But, that is not how I am feeling this morning.

I feel guilty.....I am not that particularly special....why should I have had a life with love and family and comfort?

Then I think....we are all children of God.....we are all wonderfully amazing people and we all should have love and family and comfort. 

But we don't.......

No solution will be offered because as much as I wish I had answers for many things in life....I don't.

But, I will urge all of you to truly and deeply pray this Thanksgiving and truly give, however and whatever you feel called to do.

Sending my love and thanks to all of you on this Thanksgiving!

November 22, 2011

Official referral received!!!!!!!!!!!

It's official!!!!!  
We are THRILLED and so excited!!!!!!!

Our son asked us what it meant that we "received the referral".  I explained that it meant that the government where the twins live, wrote us a letter with more information about them and asked us if we were interested in accepting the twins and going forward with the adoption.

Robertson replied, "Did you say YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!"

We did respond immediately that we were definitely still interested!
There isn't much more information that I can share but I did find out more information in regards to siblings that we did not know about before. 

Now we wait for the attorney to speak with the judge and set the court date.  We are on pins and needles waiting and we are struggling to do more fundraisers as quickly as we can.  We have yard sales and restaurant fundraisers we hope to do,  as well as new Christmas products on our website. And, after much prayer....we are continuing our blog and giveaway. 

We are sincerely hoping that all of you might be willing to share with others that we are still hosting
an Ipad 2 giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!

and we will have the drawing in the week prior to our travel.  The drawing may be held in a matter of a couple of weeks or up to a little over a month.  And, since our fundraising hasn't exactly gone as well as we were hoping, it means that your odds of winning the Ipad 2 are great!  ..........much better than almost any other contest you have probably ever entered!!!!

AND, I'm so thankful to a dear friend who owns a catering business and has agreed to donate to our giveaway!

(This is not a picture of the actual cookies for the basket)
She has agreed to donate a cookie basket!!!
I received one for my birthday and it was wonderful!!!  Well, that is, what small amount I was able to get, since everyone else had their hands on it!  The basket was decorated beautifully and the cookies were huge and tasted.....well, let's just say that I would have no will power whatsoever to deny one of her cookies!  We will ship it inside the USA wherever you wish, so this may be used as a Christmas or birthday present or just a fabulous treat for yourself!

How to enter: (pick *any* option to enter-you only have to do one!)
  1. Make a donation using the button to the right side of our blog(no donation is too small!)
  2. Walk and report some miles to add to the blog (see Walk Across The World)
  3. Pray for our family and email me
  4. Post our link to your FB page-let them know that they could win an Ipad 2 and cookie basket!
  5. Include a post on your blog about our giveaway
  6. Make a purchase at our store     
           We are adding Christmas items today!
The cookie basket drawing will be held a week from today if we get a minimum of 10 entries!  So your odds could potentially be 1 in 10!  Please help support our adoption....we have a long way to go and very little time!

How about our progress with the virtual Walk Across the World?
We did make it out of Utah and all the way to Craig, Colorado!
Craig Colorado has a population of approx 10,000 people and is a town of creativity and being able to think outside the box!  I have seriously been inspired by them to make lemonade out of is the story:

In 1999, the city of Craig Colorado realized that the trees in their city park were diseased and needed to be cut down.  So, what would the typical city do?  Pay large amounts of money for the trees (and stumps!) to be removed and then experience the ugly nothingness that is left behind.

What did the officials of Craig Colorado decide to do? 

A chainsaw festival where artists could come and transform stumps into art!  Check this is amazing!

Now that is some Chainsaw therapy!!!   Much better than mine (here) perhaps but....if you have a problem, breaking out the chainsaw might just be the solution! (Oh, with the disclaimer of not appropriate during fits of anger....)

Craig, Colorado is also home to The Wyman Living History Museum!

Here is Lou Wyman!
             "The museum opened in August of 2006. The Wyman family has gathered an absolutely unique collection from throughout the west and beyond, giving museum guests an experience spanning one hundred years of American life, ingenuity and advancement. We guarantee there will be something you’ve never seen before!"

There is a complete Colorado license plate collection and a premier chain saw collection! The chain saws range from 12 pounds to 200 pounds and blades that range from 1 to 5 feet long. 
There is a stuffed buffalo with a fun story that you will just have to visit their website to hear!  He also seems to provide a great bed for their resident cat!

                                    They even have a resident Elk named Clyde!


That's it for today!  Sorry for my lack of frequent blogs...I have less time than money and know....... 

November 17, 2011

Working, working, working....

I received an email today from our agency describing how to accept the official referral of our long awaited twins!  It could absolutely be any day is so exciting!!  I mentioned to a friend that it is starting to be like a dream and if you have been following our blog from the beginning (go here) you will know that this is going full circle, only this time I have changed the outcome.  I will *not* be walking away from them and this will not become a nightmare of regret and guilt. 

We are working at a feverish pace to try to pull it all together.  We are planning 1-2 more big yard sales and as many restaurant fundraisers as we can fit in and get permission to do.  We also still have a walkathon that will take place at BYU Hawaii at the end of the month. 

And, we will keep walking!  I will announce very soon the first weekly prize for next week but any donations received this week will count. :-) 

I'm thrilled to report that we have made more progress in our virtual  Walk Across the World!  We are continuing our walk to..........

.....a super fun location that is very close to the border of Colorado!

Vernal, Utah, the only town near the Dinosaur National Monument:

"As the heartland of "Dinosaurland," Vernal is home to the largest quarry of prehistoric Jurassic dinosaur bones. Dinosaur National Monument is located 20 minutes east of Vernal. Boutiques and shops are sprinkled with remnants of the long ago Jurassic inhabitants. Within Vernal, the Utah Field House of Natural History Museum State Park offers real-life replicas of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals."

They also have a huge T-Rex that they dress appropriately for the season:

And, last but not least they have the Vernal Community Holly Days Festival that they have entitled Fire, Frost, and Fantasy.  No joke, this looks like an amazing community event and I would *love* to be able to go!

Check out all of the fun events they are offering:
Professional Ice Sculpting
Camel Rides
Bubble Mania
Turkey Drawings and Prize Give-a-way
Pony Rides
Face Painting 
Swimming, Rock Wall and Obstacle Course
Clowns/Balloon Twisters 
Polar Express Children's Train Ride
Children's Police/Fire Pedal Cars
Ice Skating 
Movie Matinee - Sponsored by Vernal Theaters - Showing Muppet Christmas Carol.
Ice Cube Scramble - Sponsored by VTV Channel 6 -Coins & prizes! (children 12 & under )

Anadarko Fun House - Western Park Indoor Arena, 4:00pn to 8:00pm - Indoor family carnival - Rides, slides and fun! Free c
otton candy, churros (while supplies last) and more!
Face and Nail Painting  - 
Plasma Cars
Ground Force Go Carts 
Cotton Candy & Popcorn (free) -(while supplies last)Local Variety Talent Show  -  
Clown Hopper Children's RideWizzer Ride & Bell Ringer  - Vernal Chamber Parade of Lights -$600 in cash prizes to winning entries! 
Santa and Mrs. Claus - Sponsored by 105.5 KLCY -
Handbell Choir - Kingsbury Community Church
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides  -Sponsored by Ashley Regional - 
Incendiary Circus Fire Dancers
Roasting Chestnuts - Sponsored by Vernal Tree Board
Hot Chocolate/Marshmallow Roast
Christmas Karaoke - Sponsored by 105.5 KLCY
Fireworks DisplayPresented by Vernal City - Choreographed to Christmas Music. View from County Building front lawn area. Music will also be broadcast on local FM radio stations Channel X94 and 98.5 The Fox. 

Here is a little preview:

Next stop on our virtual Walk Across the World, should be onward to Colorado!!!!

November 16, 2011

Let's turkey trot on over to Eastern Europe!

I'm so excited to announce our new fundraiser ideas!  But first, a quick update on what is happening with our adoption...we are fully submitted and awaiting our court date!!!!! YAY!!!!

The only down side is that it is not looking too good for us to get the twins home prior to Christmas.  I had been hoping that we would have the possibility of staying there during Christmas if that meant that we could bring them home sooner but due to the courts and attorney etc being off for vacation, we are not allowed to be in country at that time.  So, we have been told that if we don't hear anything this week about our court date that it will be highly unlikely that we will travel prior to Christmas. 

That pushes our travel date out to January and I'm trying to stay positive and realize that is okay too because we will have more time to be ready.

So, I've been racking my brain, with what little brain cells I have left, to try and figure out how to breathe some new life into our Walk Across the World. 

My goal is still to have a fun fundraiser (pun intended!) that still contributes to family and friends connecting and spending time away from the materialism and craziness of the holidays. 

The added bonus to all of you that participate is that you can burn off some of these extra calories that you know you will be otherwise adding to your waistline or the derriere!

Here is the new plan:
1.  Every week we will have a prize to win!
2.  Donate $1 per mile that you plan to walk (or whatever amount works for you)
3.  Reap the far reaching benefits of time outside, having increased family or alone time, and health benefits of keeping off the extra holiday pounds!!!!

Remember that no donation is too small and if you only walk a mile that week, it is okay to donate $1. 
I am also completely flexible on the way that you get your miles in!  Some of you live in snowy weather and could ski or snowboard the miles away!

Or you could dance away the calories and the miles!

It is also okay to still get a sponsor for your walking.  I can almost guarantee you that you know someone who would love to see you get out and treat yourself to something mentally and physically healthy in order to help a good cause!

If you want to donate and just can't or don't want to walk...we will walk them off!  So, please, feel free to donate and get us out the door and walking!  If we can't possibly walk off all of the donated miles, I will post to the blog for some help in walking them off.  There were definitely some that walked diligently last month that were without a sponsor.  So, this can help us match those that want to walk with those that would rather just donate.

With every donation, no matter the amount, or by helping us walk off the donated will be entered in to win our weekly prize AND you will be entered into the bigger prize of the Ipad 2 drawing which will come just prior to our travel!  I will announce the date as soon as I know it.  It will be a very Merry after-Christmas present!!!

So where did our virtual walk end last month?  According to many sources, we were at the most picturesque hot springs that you will ever find!  It is called 5th Water Hot Springs located up the Diamond Fork Canyon in Utah and takes a bit of a hike to get to. 

Look at these pictures!!  It is no wonder we stayed here so long!!! :D

The only problem is that there is a warning here for families that we might want to consider:

It sounds as though nude bathers frequent the, maybe it is time for us to shield our eyes momentarily and keeping walking!

Use our cause as the motivation to get out there and pre-burn some calories so you can dive into Thanksgiving without guilt!

November 13, 2011

My Paper Pregnancy

My post today should explain my recent absence from the blog.  After all, you wouldn't expect someone to blog while they were in labor, right?  ;-) 

Forgive me, but since I worked as a childbirth educator for over 10 years...I have birth analogies for just about everything!  My poor husband rolls his eyes when I start in on the birth topic because he knows he had better settle in for the long haul. 
I have been very surprised to find that, for me, the adoption process and the pregnancy/birthing process are extremely similar.  Let me explain and compare:

Adoption-Involved brief conversations about the possibility of adopting in the future....far off future...and then had "the" dream.
Prior biological children-Involved brief conversations about the possibility of having another the future...then, discovering I was pregnant the same month. 

1st trimester:
Adoption-Deciding the same month that we would go forward!  Felt nervous, excited, and concerned about how it would impact the family.  Wondering and planning how we would make it all work.  Informing family and friends that we were "expecting". 
Biological-same as above!

2nd trimester:
Adoption-overall pleasant time of planning and dreaming.  Looking dreamy eyed at 3T sized clothing.  I bought these coordinating outfits which they have now likely outgrown:

Biological-Same as above except that I bought cute tiny newborn clothing

Outfits from Oilo...aren't they cute!?!
And, since my last baby was 10lbs 9oz, the newborn clothes were outgrown by the time of arrival.

3rd trimester:
Adoption-Everything gets a bit more uncomfortable and there is increased determination to have the paper pregnancy over with already!  There is increased impatience with the whole process and longing for the children.

Biological-Exact same emotions...without the paper.....

Then, what happens?  Going into labor, of course!

Early labor:
Adoption-The last piece of paperwork is done.  Everything is submitted.  A new excitement begins coupled with disbelief that the next step will be traveling to a completely foreign land and that this could possibly be the beginning of the end!!!
Biological-The last childbirth class and hospital tour is completed.  A new excitement begins coupled with disbelief that the next step will involve a whole new foreign experience of birthing this child and amazed that the end is finally near!!!

Active labor:
Adoption-Excited about the updates on progression-paperwork is going to the courts!  Excited and waiting to hear the numbers of the travel dates.  Feeling increasingly irritable and overwhelmed with what it will take to make it to the end.  Beginning to question whether or not it is possible to make it and wondering whether or not all of this was a good idea.  Thinking...what have I gotten myself into!!!
Biological-Excited about the updates of progression-cervical dilation is finally happening!  Excited and waiting to hear the number of 10 centimeters.  Feeling increasingly irritable and overwhelmed with what it will take to make it to the end.  Beginning to question whether or not it is possible to make it and wondering whether or not all of this was a good idea.  Thinking....what have I gotten myself into!!!

TRANSITION:  (Where I have been!)
Adoption-The hardest part of the process (I hope!)  So much work needs to be done in such a short time coupled with increased fear and stress with doubt... leading to being convinced that it just can't be done!  Reaching out to spouse, family, friends for support and then retreating and having unrealistic expectations of what they can do.  Emotions bouncing off the walls!
Biological-The hardest part of the process(*every* woman hopes it won't get any worse at this point!)  So much work (dilation) needs to be done in such a short time coupled with increased fear and stress with the doubt that this can be done and then deciding that it just can't be done!  Reaching out to support people in the hospital room and then retreating and having unrealistic expectations of what they can (or should!) do.  Emotions bouncing off the walls!!!

Adoption-Time to get down to business and get the work done.  Complete focus is centered on that one goal: Get the children home!
Biological-Time to get down to business and get the work done.  Complete focus is centered on that one goal: Get this baby out!

I just have to show a great "gotcha" day video to conclude this post....It is all so worth it!!!!

I'm back in for the finish....I think I am through with transition and heading towards the pushing phase.  Let's bring the twins home!  We are all going to start walking again and fundraising until we drop....thanks to all of you who have been patient with me.

If you are just starting the adoption process, know that you don't have to have a plus sign on a stick in order to go through pregnancy!