Family Picture

Family Picture

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snow, glorious snow, Zingo and the food revolution!

We were hit hard with a huge snow storm that enabled us to have some good quality time.  It has enabled Brian to miss three days of work and me to miss one.  But, remember my previous post?  I promised not to grumble.  However, I was thrown a curve ball.  I tried to go to work on Thursday and seeing how bad the roads were, I turned around.  I got stuck  on our road(and for those that know our road, I'm sure you aren't surprised).  I had to take a long way home and do some serious praying to get home.  I did, finally, make it home and was very shaken.  I'm back to not liking snow very much! 

Before moving onto the next topic, I thought I'd insert a pic of Brian playing Zingo with all the boys(including R(2) who repeats "tish, tish, tish" (fish) over and over.  There's a fish piece.  A picture like this makes me want to have many kids with this man.  He adores his kids and is a great Dad!

Anyway, on to a slightly less mushy topic(It is the season for L-O-V-E afterall). 

Ever since C's issue with food and food dyes, I've been really interested in food.  What goes into a food, where does that come from, what do those ingredients do to our earth?  Questions, Questions and more Questions.  The answers are intriguing.  I also want to know when, at what point in our history, did someone decide that cheese had to be yellow?  What is SO wrong with white cheese?

That's another topic for another blog post. 

I am reader of another blog and she takes pictures of her son's lunch that she makes.  The lunches are full of great, interesting foods.  It has inspired me.  I am on a mission to get my kids to branch out and eat some other things besides bananas, grapes, peanut butter and jelly, peas, chicken nuggets, french fries. mac and cheese and pizza.  I'm sure I'm forgetting something else they eat, but it's not much.  And it drives me crazy.

So, I took a picture(taking after my brother) of the lunch I made them.  They have eaten the Ziti before and usually gag it down, but I put an omnious pepper on their plate.  I should have taken a picture of their faces. 

I am on a mission and it's just beginning.  Just wait and see what I have up my sleeve! 

Two summers ago we joined this CSA and got great locally grown fruits and vegetables.  I think we are going to join again as this new adventure gets underway.  Click here to find a local CSA.

And the sad thing is...I am such a picky eater and I severly dislike that about myself.  Maybe I can't change their pickyness, but I can try.

Here's a cute picture of R(2) wearing his Steelers for the big game next week.  Notice the orange dolphin on his arm.  Yes, he still has his beautiful curls. 

I hope everyone has a great week! 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Save the date!

We are holding a fundraiser night on March 10th from 5-8pm at Texas Roadhouse in Lancaster, pa. We get 10 percent from all the sales during that time. You have to present a flyer with your bill so that the 10 percent can be put towards the adoption. We will be there so I hope you can come out and have a great meal! Texas roadhouse is reasonably priced with all you can eat peanuts and awesome rolls.

I will attach the flyers when I get them but please save the date if you can make it.

Also, if you are looking for a great valentines day gift. has a wonderful LOVE print. Make sure to use our code word "china".

We sincerely appreciate your support!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Q & A with Steff and Brian

A few of you have asked us some questions so I thought I would answer some of the common questions:

1. Why did you choose adoption?- Brian and I have talked about adoption since before we were married.  Adoption has always been part of the our family plan.  About two years ago, we were very close to adopting a little girl from Russia.  We decided her needs were too great and we eventually decided to have another biological child.  We decided to re-evaluate when our youngest was year.  Well, since R(2) is now 20 months we felt comfortable moving forward with the adoption. 

2.  Why did you choose International Adoption instead of Domestic?- We choose International for MANY reasons.  We don't particular like the popularity contest associated with domestic adoption.  We also don't want an infant.  We wanted to be able to choose the gender.  We wanted to focus on special needs.  We felt led to China.  Brian and I believe that an orphan is an orphan is an orphan.  All orphans need homes no matter where they are from.

3. Why does it cost so much?  All adoptions(except Foster care) cost LOTS of money.  It isn't like I can shop around for the best price.  All adoptions, including domestic have fees associated with it.  So, please realize that the price is non-negotiable.  We feel like this is what we should be doing no matter the cost.  She will have special needs, she is institutionalized and may because of her special needs NEVER find a family.  If everyone who adopted choose not to because it cost a lot of money we wouldn't have any adoptions(except for the wealthy).  In our opinion, a price cannot be put on a child.  We have gotten a lot of negative feedback about the price and I just pray that those people understand that she is an orphan and it costs a lot.  In my opinion, it shouldn't cost that much, but it does and the situation is what is before us.  We are stepping out on faith in all areas of this adoption.  We believe that God has our daughter picked out in China and will provide for our/her needs. A breakdown of the costs: Home Study fees-2500(includes post-placement), Dossier(4500-including all the certifications), China Agency program fee and orphanage donation(12,000), Travel to/in China (6,000).  

4.  What is the process now? We are hopefully finishing up the homestudy at the end of March.  We will submit the Dossier to China in mid-June/July.  After that, it can take up to 6 months to be matched with a child. After matching takes another 4-5months to get all the paperwork done and travel.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Medical forms done!

One more step closer.  We now have our medical forms complete with notarization!  Taking things one day at a time.  Thanks for all your prayers.

Just for fun:  If you had three boys like mine named C, R(1), R(2) and they got to pick temporary tattoos, one picked a bubbly whale(like moby dick), one picked a killer whale, and one picked an orange dolphin.  Which tattoo did each of my children pick?  Feel free to leave a comment using the kids initials.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy Birthday Honey B

Happy Birthday Honey B.  We hope you are dancing with your family and Abigial today.  We miss you!


Steff, Brian, C and R(1 &2)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are you the type of person who eats a scone?

While making breakfast yesterday(homemade blueberry scones), I asked Brian the origin of the word 'scone' and from whom did 'scones' originate?  We both guessed British.  He followed up the comment with "only certain people eat scones".  So, I ask:  Are you the type of person who eats scones?  When prompted by personality tests to you score high in the scone category?  I just thought it was funny that he would group certain people into liking scones or not.  Anyway, the scones were good and all three boys (and Brian) ate them and asked for seconds.  So, I guess my family is the type of family that eats scones :) !

We've had a fun weekend full of family get togethers and quality family time.  I hope everyone else did.

Friday, January 14, 2011

5 Signs that your wife is sick(atleast in our house)

5. Brian has pizza for breakfast

4. C states he has no clean pants for the third day in a row

3.  Both C and R(1) say "pizza again?"

2. All 3 laundry bins are overflowing and almost covering the floors

1.  Thomas the train now lives in our fridge. 

Overall, Brian did a wonderful job taking care of everyone(including me).  So, I'm not complaining.  I am finally feeling better(and hope to stay that way for more than 2 days) and caught up on some things like laundry etc.  When I went to fix the boys breakfast this morning, I found Thomas parked in the fridge.  Funny things happen when Mom's not around :)

Just a reminder that we are still selling T-shirts(click on the side banner), paintings from (any painting, code word CHINA), and if you see us, we are selling sandwiches, pies, rolls, pretzels and cookie dough.  Please consider supporting us through this journey. 

Thank you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feeling ill again

I had really good intentions on enjoying this snow, no matter how annoying it was.  I, however, got sick.  I have been in bed all day yesterday and although I'm at work today, I still feel pretty awful.  I am hoping to feel better for our long weekend together.

I have a beautiful, notarized employment letter in my hands!  I want to put a security field around it to protect it.  One hurdle down, many to go. 

Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have to admit that I am more annoyed by snow then I should be.

It inconveniences me and what I have to get done.  It is really annoying.

But, in truth, it's just me being selfish.  I promise to enjoy the wonderful snow with the kids tomorrow, no matter how much it inconviences me.  I hope you do too(if you don't have any snow, enjoy something about your day).

We are still fundraising(see below, t-shirts-click on the banner to the right) and we appreciate your support!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Your Prayers Worked!!

God did it, He worked it out!  I don't have the official letter in my hand, but I have a sample letter verifying my employment and it's great!  Thank you to everyone who prayed. 

Employment Letter

Please pray for a change in heart from my employer.  They are refusing to write my employment letter how the Chinese want it and they are stating my job is temporary.  This could end our adoption journey for China, please pray.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Feeling better, but getting discouraged

We are all healthy!  Thank you for your prayers.

We have finished our safety enhancements to the house(smoke detectors on every level that are linked, safety strips on the stairs, lock for our medicine cabinet).  Now, we anxiously await our home study visit on the 21st.  Sometime in there we have to have ten hours of training. 

I'm starting to feel a bit discouraged with this process and we are only a month into it.  Pray for me, please.

For those of you on Facebook, check out the video I posted with R(2).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Feeling better, fingerprints and T-shirts

It seems we are all feeling a little better each day.  I hope the ones that were not sick don't catch anything now. 

We went today to be fingerprinted for our FBI check.  Conveniently two doors down, was a starbucks!  Hooray!  I love their salted caramel hot chocolate and since we are never near a starbucks, it was a special treat.

I added a new banner on the side of the blog that you can order some awesome t-shirts celebrating adoption.  We get a generous portion of the sale towards our adoption costs.  Please consider purchasing one.  Spring will be here before you know it. 

Here's a little picture to remind you of the good times of summer! R(2) at almost a year old!

Friday, January 7, 2011


So far, this season we have been pretty healthy.  We cringed of the stomach bug horrors.  We seemed to miss that bug(which I am grateful for).  We are being hit right now with sickness. Brian and I were both sick last night and now the kids seem to have a bug.  Luckily, we can rest all weekend and hopefully feel better by Monday.

A company that I ordered a bow from for a friend is having a 20% off sale on every bow.  Should I dare by some for my soon to be little girl?  I have told several people that she will have bows in her hair everyday until I get tired of it.  So, I better get stocking up.  I only have 11-15 months to gather all I need.  Anyone with extra girly bows send them my way!  Oh, and I know there is a possibility she won't keep them in but I'm going to try!

We hope everyone is feeling ok in your household...come on spring!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Homestudy application is done!!!

Thank you to everyone who is praying!  I shipped the completed homestudy application(about 100 pages) out today!  All of the forms came on time and the water test came back clear!  I am very happy to have this done.  We can now focus on some fundraising, and the Dossier.  The homestudy is by far complete, but most of the work on our ends is out of the way.  We still have to have atleast two more meetings with our social worker(one at the house) and 10 hours of training.  The meeting at the house is the biggie-and that is scheduled to take place Feb 21st.  Please keep that meeting in your prayers. 

I need a few people whom are willing to sell some fundraiser items.  In the next weeks we will be selling:
  • pretzel sandwiches (ham w/am cheese, turkey w/provolone), 3.50 each
  • pretzels (soft pretzel sticks(24 sticks) 12 dollars, authentic soft pretzels(12 pretzels included) 12 dollars, butter pretzels(8 pretzels included) 9 dollars, hand twisted pretzel rolls(5 sandwich rolls), 9 dollars) 
  • pies (apple caramel walnut, southern pecan, peach praline, apple, very berry), 12 dollars each
  • rolls (red velvet, pumpkin, chocolate peanut butter), 12 dollars each
  • cookie dough (Chunky Chocolate Chip, M&M, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, Sugar, Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chunks, White Chocolate Macadamia, Snicker-Doodle), 15 dollars each
Anyone hungry yet?

So, if you are interested in any of the items, they will be picked up and delivered between Feb 16-19(the sandwiches, obviously will be sooner).  If you are in the area(within an hour of Lancaster, PA) and will not being seeing Steff or Brian please feel free to email us( or write a comment to place your order. Money and orders are due Feb 1.   We will deliver the items.

If you are interested in helping us to sell the items at your place of employment, or just amongst family and friends, Brian and I would be grateful.  We can do the pickup, but you would have to distribute.  We would be willing to share some of the proceeds with you in exchange for your help. 

If you see Brian or Steff be expecting us to haggle you into buying something! 

As a reminder, you can still purchase a painting at code word:China and the proceeds will benefit the adoption.

Thanks again for all your support!

Oh and just in case you were wondering, he still has all of his hair!