Saturday, February 26, 2011


You might have heard of a liger, a cross between a lion and a tiger, but I bet you have never heard of a leaver. We now have one hanging out in the little guy's room. Check it out.

JJ found this cute guy, who looks like a cross between a lion and a beaver, during a recent shopping trip/knee check-up. The knee check-up went just fine and the leaver makes a great addition to Baby Manning's room.

Saturday Song

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Progress in the toddler room

The embarrassing before picture. The room had become a general storage area.

Taped off and ready to paint. JJ still cannot kneel, so I cleaned while he taped. Then I did all the painting. Since we were only doing the bottom half of the walls it was impossible for him to help.

First coat of paint. It took three coats to get good coverage and a clean finish. This color is really electric lime. We are very happy with it. Usually we argue about paint colors, but we agreed on this one quickly.

Daddy shampooing the carpet. This is the end of Saturday's work.

Today we got a little more done. JJ put his crib together.

The end of day two. A painted wall and a crib in place. Yeah!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Waiting: Good or Bad?

We are trying to finish up our second dossier paperwork. We are waiting on our background check. The only other papers we are missing, I think, include our employment verification, copy of our I-171 and our medical form. We will most likely have to re-do some blood work. We had some testing done a year ago. The verdict is still out, but I think I can probably safely call the doctor and have the lab work rescheduled. We can always cancel if we get good news. So, we are close. I don't feel ready, but I suppose I never will. Oh, I am anxious to have our little guy home, but I am not ready actually. His room is a disaster. We don't have any real supplies, toys, clothes, or furniture. We don't have enough funds yet. We still have online classes and books to finish. I don't want things to slow down, but I do want to get more stuff done. This has become a time of wishing for more hours in the day. Things will happen though. People are planning baby showers. We will have at least one more big fundraiser. Tomorrow we have set aside the day to working in his room. I will have to take before and after pictures. Of course the before will be a little embarrassing. I think often of the first book I read. It talked rather in-depth about ways to use this time of waiting. I think we have our time full, but something that author said stood out to me. They encouraged using this time to work on yourself, not just your home. Spend more time with God, invest in relationships, learn a new skill. Why not? I absolutely want to be best mother I can be and I need more mercy and wisdom from God to achieve that. I need to hold on to the people around me. I'm certainly going to need them in the days ahead. I actually love learning. I know. I'm in a small group, but I want to spend my whole life learning. Maybe that's why I enjoy my job so much. Four year olds teach me more than I think I ever teach them. So bring on the waiting!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Random Thoughts

I don't think I ever shared about our day in Archangelsk. The day after we saw our little guy we got up early and flew back to Archangelsk. We had almost a full day, so we did some exploring. It was the first time during the trip that I felt like I was experiencing the country and not just sitting in an airplane/airport or hotel. It was -24 degrees Fahrenheit that day, but we made the best of it. We did some shopping. We took several pictures of the town. Statues seem to be very popular. We had pizza at a restaurant called Uno Momento. That is so odd. A pizzeria in Russia with a Spanish name. Anyway, we walked out on the frozen Dvina River. At supper time the hotel restaurant was hopping with some celebration so we had to eat upstairs in the Sky Bar. I found it interesting that it was really quiet and you were not allowed to smoke. It was a nice day.
Now for the random thoughts. I never ate anything in Russia that I didn't enjoy. I don't know how much of the food I ate was actually Russian cuisine, but it was all good. I had some fresh apple juice twice that was wonderful. I noticed that women wore high heeled boots and skirts despite the extremely cold weather. It was amazing to me, but I guess you have to keep on going. They were all so fashionable and pretty. I felt under dressed most of the time we were there. I have also never seen so many fur coats in all my life. JJ offered to buy me one, but it seemed unnecessary. Russian money is much prettier than American money. There was a Willow Tree figurine in the adoption officials office in Archangelsk. It made me feel much more at home. Of course so did Dr. Pepper from the supermarket in Moscow. I learned that they have machines to haul off the snow from the streets of Moscow so it can be melted in a special facility. Who knew a subway could be so beautiful. There are no subways in the panhandle of Texas, but I have rode a few and the subway in Moscow was so pretty and clean. The escalators made me nervous though. I made Natalia laugh because I told her I didn't like escalators in general and especially not really steep ones. I got my fill on escalators on the trip. I have this fear on being sucked in at the end. I know, it's ridiculous.
Well, we are working on our second dossier paperwork. I really wanted to be done this week, except for the background check and apostilles, but the weather and JJ's recovery threw me off schedule. Nothing feels quite right. I am happy to be back at home, working, going to church, seeing my family and friends, but I have this nagging knowledge that our lives are not quite the way they should be. We left our son in Russia and it is difficult to take at times. So, my last random thought of the day is Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee".