So proud of myself

Okay I don’t blame you if you think I am a big dork for posting this post, but I was seriously proud of my accomplishment this morning. First thing this morning I got out my recipes and made my grocery list for the week, so I could go grocery shopping before it was crowded out (not what I am proud of I am getting there). I arrived at the grocery store and went to get my list out, but it wasn’t there, oh man I thought I was in deep trouble, but decided to shop anyway. I frustratedly walked through the grocery trying desperately to remember what I needed and hoping I wouldn’t have to come back again. When I got home I anxiously got out my list to see what I missed. Are you ready for this? Only one item, green onions! Now that is impressive if you ask me. I didn’t even buy anything that wasn’t on my list. It is the little things that make me happy! Okay I am done being a dork for now.

Adoption Update

We really don’t have much to update everyone, but wanted to keep everyone in the loop. CIS has had our home study for about two weeks now, so we should have our I-171H in the next month. This weekend we took our last required class, it was a first time parents class. Today we organized our documents for our dossier to insure we were ready for when our I-171H arrives and we can get our dossier off quickly. It was a good thing too, I realized our home study agency forgot to sign one page of a document, and we were missing another form that we should have done by now. We also learned last week that the popularity of adopting from Ethiopia is growing and wait times for referrals are now three to nine months from the date your dossier arrives in Ethiopia. We suspected that this might happen, as it was a new program when we started, and assumed it would grow in popularity. We hope to bring Tom and Jerry home by the end of the year.

Warming up your car

With the cold New England winter weather about to swoop down on us, I have a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why, you ask? Because every winter when my boyfriend and I get into my car, I start it, then I put the car in gear after about 30 seconds and drive off. This drives my boyfriend nuts, and I have to hear about “how bad it is for my car” to put it into Drive before it warms up. He will start his car and sit there for a good five to 10 minutes before he shifts into Drive. My question is this: Am I really doing harm to my car by not letting the engine run for 10 minutes? If not, how can I prove this to him? I found an article in The New York Times a couple of years ago that stated that nothing is gained by sitting in a freezing-cold car while the motor is running before you shift into Drive. He thinks that the reporter at the Times didn’t know what he was talking about. But he just might listen to you if you say it’s OK. Please help! It’s cold here in Boston! — Lisa

RAY: How do you prove it to him, Lisa? Hand him this column and ask him to read the following aloud:

TOM: Dear Lisa’s Boyfriend: You have your head so far up your tailpipe on this one, it may be coming out your air intake.

RAY: How’s that, Lisa? Will that do it? You’re absolutely right, as is the reporter from The New York Times. On modern, fuel-injected cars — basically anything made in the past 20 years — you’re not helping the car at all by warming it up for five or 10 minutes.

TOM: On older, carbureted cars, that kind of extended warm-up can actually cause damage to the engine by diluting the oil with excess fuel. So it’s even worse if you have a really old heap.

RAY: But with modern cars, all you’re doing with a long warm-up is wasting gas, increasing pollution, raising the temperature of the planet and making yourself 10 minutes late for your chiropractic appointment. The proper procedure is to start the car. If it starts and keeps running, put it in Drive and go. Go gently (don’t back out of your driveway and floor it right onto a highway entrance ramp), because you’ll be warming it up during your first few minutes of driving, but DO drive it.

TOM: If it’s bitterly cold out, like 10 or 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you can let it warm up for a minute or two to allow the oil to thin out a bit and circulate completely. But other than that, if it runs, driving it gently is the best way to warm it up.

RAY: So tell your boyfriend he not only needs to get off your case about this, but he needs to stop warming up the car himself.

TOM: AND, to make up for all the misplaced grief he’s given you over the years, he needs to start going to bed 10 minutes before you do, to warm up the bed for you on cold winter nights. That’s a warm-up activity he can do that’s actually useful!

Matt Kicked out of the house

Is what Stephanie wanted to post. But It was a mutual decision.

So some of you may know Our Design firm has been getting busier and busier. Lots of new projects, great clients, and so on. We have out grown the concept of working in Matt & Stephanie’s house. I’m excited, but I think Stephanie may be more excited.

So as we are growing in staff members, More space is needed. Today was a long day as we have moved to some great offices.

Check out the pics.
(click for larger image)

The Lobby


The Conference room


Matts Office


Other offices are not ready yet. but will look the same.

2008 Goals

Matt and I have never really made New Year’s Resolutions. Recently while reading another blog I realized why we don’t do resolutions. We are both goal oriented people.

Concrete goals don’t evaporate in the face of adversity, hardship or laziness. Resolutions are broken — and usually abandoned — with one misstep; goals are such a long journey that bad footwork days are to be expected. There have been goals that have taken several years to accomplish but that have been achieved over time.

Continue reading “2008 Goals”

Random Stuff

Jackson looking quite perturbed at the most recent business figures. Who needs an accountant when you have a cat?

One of my favorite Christmas gifts.

I never had the privilege of using a food processor before and I am in love! I asked for it in hopes of making baby food, but last night I had to give it a try. I chopped up an onion and graded a block of cheese. It was super quiet and fast, and not nearly as whiney as the hubby! (Actually Matt can be very helpful in the kitchen, so I shouldn’t complain about him.)

My mom got braces today. I am totally shocked! I am also probably spilling the beans for her, but she should know I blog about almost everything. She is discovering the joys of what you can eat with braces and the lovely soreness that you usually have for about a week after each appointment.

Merry Christmas!

So some of you are thinking has Stephanie lost her mind? It is way past Christmas, plus she has already done a Merry Christmas post.

No, I have not lost my mind. Today, January 7, is the day they celebrate Christmas in Ethiopia. I hope to celebrate it next year with Tom and Jerry and a traditional Ethiopian feast of Injera and Dora Wat, and maybe with some fellow Ethiopian adopters.

Here is a little info on Christmas in Ethiopia and some more here.

Another Step Completed

We finished our dvd course this afternoon and past all of our tests! It was supposed to take a week to find out the results of our last tests, but we found out the same day we took it. Thank goodness too because I was fretting over my answers to some of the questions.

We Are Certified!!!

We are certified to adopt by Pinal County! I was starting to get a little frustrated as it had been almost a month since we submitted our home study for approval. They actually certified us on Christmas Eve, but didn’t notify us until today. I guess they didn’t understand how patiently I was waiting for this. The next step is for our certified home study to go to Citizenship and Immigration Services to get our I-171-H (we are basically asking for pre-approval for our children’s visas to come home – at least that is how I understand it). I heard from another couple that this part of the process should take about 4-6 weeks. We have a lot of paperwork to gather in that time and we need to finish our 10 hour dvd course. After all of our papers are gathered and we have received our I-171-H we will be getting them certified by the Secretary of State in Arizona. After that our dossier has to be authenticated by the U.S. Department of State and the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Then our dossier is off to Ethiopia! I am just excited we got this step completed, it was weird being on hold for a month.