Sunday, December 28, 2008


Week Seven was wonderful.  Christmas and family time.  Some of our favorite surprises where TOM's shoes  for Eliza and booties for me, knowing that two other people would also be receiving new shoes.  Yes, we had soccer - I am seeing a pattern.  We were all thinking that the next year would hold a even more wonderful gift....a new member(s) to the family.

Andrew left for Florida yesterday with one of his best friends-Robby (the handsome young man in the picture with Eliza).  I love that kid.  If he looks familiar it is because he and his sister found Cell Phones for Soldiers.  There are so many amazing kids out there.... I already miss the energy that Andrew brings to the family.  When he is around, the house is filled with big 16/17 year old, cleats galore, Axe (to disguise the sweat), and loud rough housing.  Needless to say, it is quiet and fresh smelling.  What am I going to do when he is at college?

We have been doing a lot of thinking and praying.  We are thinking about lifting the infant preference on our adoption preference.  We have been doing a lot of soul searching.  There seems to be a long list of people waiting for a baby and a long list of children waiting for families....The only thing holding us back at this point is the headache to change our documents, and a small amount of fear about attaching.  Any insight?  Post or email me.  We are open to learning.  

Friday, December 19, 2008

Messiah and Marshmallows

Week six finished.  Sometimes I wonder if counting makes it go slower.  I continue to count though, to share with our little one later.

Yesterday, in a mini-course at an area church we went over Handel's Messiah.  The music is beautiful, the history intriguing, and the relationship to scripture enlightening.  While, I was going to be crazy busy, I am so glad that I took the two hours to actually enjoy and appreciate the season.  I will not be able to listen to the Messiah without the new found appreciation.

What an incredible week it has been for Gladney families.  So many got through court on Wednesday.  There are a couple who did not, and I feel for them.  I can imagine how such disappointment must draw on their reserves.  

We are preparing for a big winter storm.  School has already been canceled for Andrew and the younger kids have an early release day.  We made marshmallows last night in preparation for hot chocolate today.  It is so easy and so good... so here goes.  

Marshmallows  (Ina Gartner)
3 pkgs gelatin
1 cup water (divided)
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1c light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla
confectioners sugar for dusting

Mix the gelatin and 1/2c cold water in large mixing bowl.  Let sit.  In a small saucepan, mix 1/2c water, sugar, salt, and corn syrup.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase temperature and cook until syrup reaches 240 degrees on candy thermometer.  Remove from heat.  With mixer on low speed add syrup to gelatin mixture until gelatin dissolves.  Increase speed to high and mix for 15 minutes until very thick.  Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Generously dust 8x12 in non-metal baking dish with confectioner's sugar.  Pour mixture over sugar.  Dust top with more confectioner's sugar.  Sit overnight, uncovered, until dried out.  Turn over the next morning and cut into squares.  You can also find fun things to dust with (crushed peppermint, coconut, sprinkles, shaved chocolate, etc).  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Week Five, Exams, Ornament Hospitals, and other Christmas happenings.

A busy week that flew by.  

I had my A&P exam and lab exam.  I am so glad it is over and that I did well.  Nursing school is more and more competitive so I need to do well.  

I am relieved to have it done, though.  I now can savor Christmas.  I did not want to decorate, read the stories, make the cookies and gingerbread houses until I could really enjoy it.  This weekend we will get the tree. (I know you are thinking she is so late....I am.  When I was a kid, I saved my favorite Halloween candy until the end...this too... I save my most favorite things to when there is nothing to detract, no obligations hanging over our head.  We will play our Christmas music, have eggnog, and decorate the tree.  One of the fun things that we do, is have an ornament hospital as we decorate.  Any ornaments that broke during the previous year or during unpacking go to the ornament hospital.  Someone triages them and someone else fixes them.  We staff the hospital with super glue, hooks, and various little items.  Occasionally there is no hope but most of the time...they make it to the tree.

As for week 5 being finished... time is passing without much angst.  I know that the holiday makes it so.  The excitement makes the holiday even more special.  So far, so good.  The past few weeks,  friends have passed court and are preparing for travel and another got her referral for a sweet little boy, others are waiting.  What an amazing process- watching families being made and growing.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Eliza!

The many faces of Eliza.  Happy 14th birthday.  Fourteen things I love about you! (And it was hard to limit the list:)
1. I love you for wanting nothing for your birthday but to sponsor a three year old named Temesgan from Ethiopia. (She found a sponsorship program through World Vision that allows her to write to him.)
2. I love that you want to go to John Hopkins to be a Pediatric Surgeon.
3. I love that you might be the goofiest 14 year old that I have ever known.
4. I love that you don't care if you are not the best dancer or singer but dance and sing anyway.
5. I love that you love the underdog.
6. I love that you love to read.
7. I love that you love your brothers.
8. I love that you have a heart for adoption even before your parents did.
9. I love that you choose Vivien Thomas as your person to research for your history project.  (if you don't know who he is look him up, I did...he is amazing.)
10. I love your heart shaped lips and face.
11.  I love that you love horses and dogs when all the other girls your age love shoes and purses.
12. I love that you want to go to Africa and work when you are older.
13. I love that you loan your older brother money to take his girlfriend out.
14. I love that I get to be your mom... what a privilege.  You have taught me so much.

Happy Birthday Eliza!  

Friday, December 5, 2008

Week Four

Week four down.  I have posted already about the sense of peace we have been able to maintain.  We are so excited about the family that passed court and the family that got their long awaited referral.  This family need to pass court to bring home their boy.  As these families are made, it gives us a sense of hope and anticipation. 

Since, I am using this as a journal of sorts...We had Andrew's soccer banquet, this week.  He was selected as Catholic Conference (Div.1) all-star for the second year.  He also was selected as a varsity team captain.  He is so flat line about it.  I love that about this boy.  If he had not made it, he would have been happy for his friend that did.  The challenge is to keep these athletes healthy and well balanced.  I think a baby in the house is in order.  That will keep him balanced :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Shots (part 1) - Check

We went yesterday to get our shots.  Jason and I need so many that they split it up between two visits. Now, to be fair, they added some that they thought we needed that are not Ethiopia specific... like the flu vaccine.  Little steps like this really make us feel like we are doing something towards the process.  Trust me, my arm is a reminder - it aches, today.  I have four more to go.  Jason has five more to go.  The kids are done, thankfully.

Various thoughts.  We lit the first advent candle on Sunday.  We talked about the symbolic significance of the first candle.  Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.  Mark 13:33 Preparing, being alert, being watchful.  The wise men and the shepherd men waited for a sign.  This Christmas we have a new found awareness of what the waiting for the wise men and the shepherd men felt like.  The underlying anticipation and excitement.  They did not know the date.  They did not know what the sign would be.  With the adoption, we do not know when the call will come.  We do not know when we will travel.  We must wait, watch, and prepare, knowing it will happen but resigning and enjoying the "not knowing" of the details.