Friday, January 28, 2011

We have SO much to share! To start with our DTE is 1/21/11 for those of you who don't know what a DTE is, it stands for Date To Ethiopia and refers to the date that our Dossier left the United States and traveled to Ethiopia! It was fun to get up every morning and fire up the laptop first thing to see where it was, we went from Virginia to New Jersey, then New Jersey to Kolen Germany, from Kolen to Frankfurt then off to Paris and then Dabai and finally to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It took from the 21st to the 27th to make the long journey and I have so much relief to know that it is now safe and sound to its destination!

The next step is to wait for an official court date, our agency is hopeful that we will be in Ethiopia meeting the kids by the second week of March but then again I know our agency has many, many families waiting for court dates and with one of the judges being out for maternity leave and rumors that the other asked for a break from adoption cases in February I have fear that March might just turn into April. I have 100% faith in God's perfect timing but this is where I also believe in the power of prayer so my PRAYER REQUEST is to please pray for the families waiting for court dates and the children they have waiting in Ethiopia, pray for the court system and the judges and that cases move along swiftly with no glitches or hold ups.

Now then we all know that I'm a planner so sitting around with no court date is killing me! I have gained weight, over analyzed our packing list and yes I have even
re-inventoried our already packed bags, made adjustments and repacked them! We are so lucky to have our friend Kelli making the trip with us and with each airline ticket purchased we get two 50lbs bags and a 15 lbs carry on! Having knowledge of a family who had ALL of their checked items lost and ended up in Ethiopia for a week with just their carry-on's, I have packed all of our MUST haves into our backpacks. How I managed to get a week worth of MUST haves into a backpack for each of us is a miracle in it's self for which I'm grateful! That leaves all of our would VERY much like to have items stuffed into a suitcase and 5 suit cases at 50lbs each full of donations for the orphanages and gifts from other families in our agency that we get to hand to their children! How exciting is that!! Now then I did not include Kelli's suitcase use into my equation so I'm sure that will give us even more donation room! God is so good!!

This is Kelli and I!!

I'll let you in on a little secret, my husband is SCARED, SCARED, SCARED to death of needles! He hates shots and it's been mine and Maddie's secret all week that on Daddy's day off we were going to the Pullman Travel Clinic to receive all of our immunizations for the trip. Three hours, 8 shots and 9 prescriptions later we are ready for Africa!

Remember PRAYERS FOR COURT IN ETHIOPIA so we can put all of Craig's panic and pain to good use and get over there to meet our kids!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Levi, Madison and Mallory

Monday, January 24, 2011


If I had to choose one word to describe my oldest child it would be COMPLEX, she is a bundle of beauty, talent and chaos all rolled into one. From her birth she has been my challenge, not because she is typically naughty but because of her COMPLEXITY which is of course hard to put into words.

In the morning she's like a fire breathing dragon, angry and unhappy, but with a little love and snuggles (and not turning the lights on ) she mellows out into a sweet simple smile with tired eyes, but never turn your back on the dragon, one wrong look, word or gesture and you get burned.

She is a hoarder and stingy with the most crazy of things like the old mail I throw into the garbage that she pulls out because she might be able to create something with it ( not kidding we had to take her bed frame away because we pulled out 42 lbs of papers shoved under her bed ) but her generosity is astonishing like last night at Chuck E. Cheese using her tickets to get her little brother a better prize. Her COMPLEX mind has no need for society's rules of what is important or what she is in titled to and I love that.

Her favorite outfit is her pink Carhart overalls with matching jacket paired with her camo mud boots yet at the same time underneath it is a classy and well thought out ensemble down to matching socks and panties. You just cant be more COMPLEX than that!

Her mind works so different than mine, we sat working on a simple math word problem and despite me trying for over an hour to teach her how to break it down and answer it she didn't understand but not kidding 10 minuets with her dad and changing it to a COMPLEX algebra equation she not only answered it but used the same formula to answer the next four word problems on her own.

From a very young age she has displayed amazing creativity in her art work and her thought process, she has also shown to be quite the business gal trying to sell us her drawings and paintings from age 3 on. Her price started at about 0.10 cents and just went up from there. She is a hard worker and loves the reward of cash but almost never spends it on herself.

She can see threw people and get a good look at their intentions, I don't care how good of an actor you are Maddie can see past it, by the sound of my voice, look in my eye, or music on the radio she knows whats going on with me and calls me on it, at the same time she blocks almost everyone from seeing her. You have to really know Maddie to get down to the root of whats bothering her, it may seem simple like a fight with her sister but in the end what was a simple remark meant to only wound her for a moment breaks her heart indefinitely. "My heart hurts Mommy" and as her mom I sometimes find it hard to help heal those COMPLEX injuries.

She is loyal like I have never seen any other child, I have personally watched her be tormented by peers as she stood by another and the pride mixed with heart ache that I felt left my stomach twisted. When we talked about it later her simple response to the cruel action of those other children "It doesn't matter Mommy because she needed a friend today and I can forgive those other kids but not me if I had left her alone" A simple concept but COMPLEX to put into action.

My sweet daughter you have a unique look at life and I pray you don't loose it as you grow and this world tries to change you. I'm so excited that you will be with Mommy and Daddy as we meet Sada and Rozalene for the first time and you can see with your own little eyes the world they are leaving and the love they are joining. I love you, my little Maddie.

A quick 30 things about you.....

1. You just turned 9

2. Your playing 3rd grade basketball

3. You love Top Ramen

4. You have a passion for horses

5. You sing on the youth worship team

6. You can already drive and operate Papa's tractor

7. Your pretty grumpy in the mornings

8. You dislike chocolate

9. You want to be a doctor in Ethiopia when you grow up
10. Your favorite jeans are purple
11. You steal all the covers at night
12. Your big chore at home is laundry helper
13. Your favorite song changes ALL the time
14. You eat too much to only have a Happy Meal anymore
15. Your favorite drink is Sprite
16. You have dinner at Poppy and Granddaddy's every Monday and Tuesday night
17. You have a pet cat Sasha
18. You steal treasures from Mommy that you think I won't miss like fingernail clippers
19. You love to play games
20. When you pack a suitcase it's full of everything but clothing
21. Your favorite stuffy is Rabbi your little white rabbit
22. You use more hot water than ANYONE else in the family during bath time
23. Your mud boots are more worn out than Mommy's
24. You like to do whats right and are WAY too hard on yourself when you make a mistake
25. You are bossy and headstrong
26. You want to play guitar
27. You have an eye for photography
28. You make a funny picture grin making it hard to capture your true smile
29. You see the world a very black and white/ right or wrong with no wiggle room
30. You have an amazing heart full of love

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

30 Random things about me....

I'm taking my lead from a women I admire, Liz Horn. She posted 30 things about herself on her own blog at and I found the post delightful. It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery, I hope so. The 30 things I post will be all random, and defiantly NOT thought out, just whatever comes to mind, so here goes.

1. This adoption has hands down been the hardest thing I have EVER done thus far in my life! I have SMILED more, PRAYED more, CRIED more, and REJOICED more than I could have ever thought possible, with that being said this adoption has hands down also been the biggest BLESSING!!

2. I love my family with a fury in my heart that would scare any beast but with the tenderness of the softest touch. My husband and children fill my life with love, joy and laundry!

3. My new hair cut and color is way CUTE but if my husband had his way I would be a platinum blond. UGH on me, but stinkin cute on other people!

4. I prefer wine to beer thanks to my brother and sister in law taking me wine tasting a few years back, Cheers to them! I'm also enjoying a glass now, so I guess that explains why it comes to mind.

5. I cry during movies, all movies from drama to cartoons (Yes Toy Story 3 got me. Admit it you cried, didn't you.) but don't tend to cry often with major emotional events. I'm truly curious to see how my emotions hold up when I get to finally hold S and R in my arms for the first time.

6.I love my footie jammies, you know the kind that two year old's wear. The best is when you warm them in the dryer first! TOASTY!

7. I have given up my passion for saving pound puppies and have matured to helping to save lives. Weather it is threw you and your family personally adopting, supporting another family who is adopting or sponsoring families in need it is a GREAT BIG WORLD out there and God has given each of us gifts and talents that can be used to help save another.

8.My favorite device is my Ipad! LOVE LOVE LOVE it! but some close seconds are my cell phone, Ipod, Nikon D5000 camera and Sony bloggie. Fun fact about me: I am technology challenged so I find it funny that I love my gadgets so much!

9. My favorite color is RED. It is strong, powerful and hot but also the color of love and HIV awareness. If you don't know the TRUTH or even if you think you do, take a moment and learn more at and then share it.

10.I am a SERIAL KILLER of plants and fish,WOW it feels good to get that off my chest. I wish it wasn't so but the bottom line is that I can't keep either alive despite my best efforts. Oh sure, I may make it a few months but nothing long term. My poor husband is on his own when it comes to gardening and lawn work and I have attended far too many fishy toilet funerals.

11. My husband and I have been married 11 years this Saturday and I love and adore him now more than ever. Fun Fact about me: When we were in H.S. I looked his phone number up in the telephone directory, called him and said "Craig, this is Caylene. Jamie is here at my house accusing me of liking Little John so I'm calling you in front of her to tell you I have a crush on you." He has been mine ever since so a great big THANK YOU to Jamie.

12. Snoopy was my first dog or child depending on how you look at things. He was a beautiful Beagle and died last December at age 13. Loosing him still makes me cry and I'm pretty sure I will NEVER own another beagle because none could compare.

13. I love cute SHOES!!! All shapes, all colors, heels are great because I'm SHORT but flats work too. FYI: I'm a size 7-7.5 but fully believe and live by the motto that what size shoe I wear depends on how bad I want to wear them.

14.I can't spell, trying to play Scrabble SUCKS! I have dyslexia and all I can say is thank goodness for spell check and calculators!

15. I enjoy reading but rarely have time. My favorite stories are those unpublished by my friend Chere and when those show up in the mail I make time. They are creative and dazzling just like her. I have complete faith that one day she will be published but until then I hope that she continues to honor me with her words.

16. I really REALLY really miss having my nails done. I'm a cosmetologist for goodness sake! It's feels like I'm breaking a secret code, big hair, fake nails and a great dye job!

17.I love to rearrange the furniture in our home. I do it ALL the time but for some reason I always feel this great need to do it as we are cleaning for company. My husband dislikes that about me very very much.

18.No matter what, when I put something, "In a safe place" I can NEVER EVER find it when I need it. Drives me crazy!!!

19. Going to Ethiopia will be the first time I get to use my passport. We are super excited to be taking our oldest daughter MADISON on the first trip, and in an effort to be 100% honest I'm going to publicly admit that I'm all packed and ready to go even though it looks like it will be early March before we go to court.

20.I greatly dislike MUD even though thunder, lighting and strong winds are my favorite weather. I love it when the power goes out and you hear complete silence, but nothing beats curling up on the couch with the kids, a blanket and a flashlight armed with one of each of their favorite books as we wait for the power to return.

21.LEOPARD is my favorite print. It's wild and fun, not to mention one of the new neutrals in fashion and decorating and lets not forget that it looks fabulous paired with red! I own leopard print heels, flats, purses (yes more than one) blanket, ring, earrings, sweater, manicure kit, toothbrush, travel make-up bag and flat iron case as well as some of my un-mentionables.

22.My best friend is AMAZING! She is a firecracker and God has BIG plans for her. My only hope is to be pulled along as I grasp tight to her shirt tails. It has been 14 years since I called anyone my best girl friend because the shoes were far to big to fill but God knew I needed her and so I count my blessings that I get to share my life with her.

23.I found a white eyebrow hair as I was waxing my eyebrows last week. Yes, it was devastating to me. I know not why I fear gray because that's what dye is for but UGH really my eyebrows! Maybe this all comes from turning 30 this last July, getting my first ever cavity x 4 AND admitting to myself that it just might be time for glasses.

24. I try and live by "SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE" it can be hard and sometimes as I deny myself something that I would otherwise indulge myself like my NAILS but it makes my heart feel good and I get a positive feeling of pride. I hope that this is a way of life that I can teach my children.

25. My favorite food is FRIED OKRA. Oh my, if you were to add to that sweet tea, a chicken fried steak, mash potatoes and a soft light dinner roll then we would be talking about my favorite meal and the best COMFORT FOOD ever! Hum, kinda makes me hungry.

26. By the way I'm from the south. Yep you would have never guessed it with all the Texas slang I use like KINDA, FIXIN, and Y'ALL. If I had a custom license plate it would be this: GRITS It stands for girls raised in the south. When I'm tired, upset or been on the phone with my family there my accent comes out strong.

27. No jokes but I'm the goat barn lady. I run the goat barn for our county fair and when I began this task 2 years ago I knew almost nothing about goats. I still don't know much but more than I once did. I love to see the kids succeed and learn the responsibility of caring for their animal. Ask me sometime about the goat suicide we had on our own farm, its a sad but funny story.

28.I love to plan parties! Big THEMED over the top parties. any occasion, any reason, I don't care, its just plain fun!

29. I hate to do dishes. My poor, poor husband. We made a deal when we were fist married that I would cook and he would do the kitchen clean up, I'm pretty sure he now regrets making this arrangement because I'm a MESSY MESSY cook but it sure tastes good. I don't dare ask Craig how he feels about our 11 year agreement because I don't want to make any revisions to the arrangement.

30. My favorite song is SMILE by Charlie Chaplin. It hold some extra special memories for me and not a day goes by that I don't sing it at least once. Some times I shout it, other times I hum it but one thing is for sure it is the first song ANY of my children ever heard and with out a doubt it will be the first song I sing to S and R!