Waking up to good news

The Ethiopian courts reopened early.  They were supposed to open October 9, but we got word this morning that they opened yesterday.  Hopefully this gets things moving again.

Thanks so much for the positive comments yesterday, they were very nice to wake up to.

On a random Ethiopian note, here is a link to an article on Lucy.

Keep Hoping

Matt and I are still slowly preparing.  It is not so easy for us to keep preparing when we don’t know when Tom and Jerry will be here.  Sometimes it feels like it will never happen and you just shouldn’t bother reading a book on attachment, or prepare the nursery, or even think about child proofing.

Christine recently shared this post with me and the last paragraph really spoke to me at a time when I really needed to hear it.

Do not give up. Lay your all on the table. Everything is worth it. They are already yours, you have just not found each other yet. Keep hoping, keep praying, keep investing…they are coming. Be ready.

I had recently come to the realization that I had lost my hope that this would happen.  I had stopped day dreaming about what it would be like to take Tom and Jerry to the park or the zoo or to watch them play with their dad.  I started to pour all my focus to anything but being a mother or adoption.  I just stopped.  I didn’t want to prepare anymore, I didn’t want to dream anymore.

After a nice long talk with Matt last night and reading that post this morning I am feeling a renewed spirit.  I will allow myself to day dream again, read some books, prepare the nursery, and maybe even childproof the house.  I have hope again.  

Friday Update – 9/26/08

Adoption:  There were no referrals this week.  The courts reopen October 9 and hopefully things pick up then!

Running:  I walked a lot again this week, hopefully next week I feel up to running.

Push-ups:  I so wanted to keep up with the push-ups this week, but I had a clicking pain in my right shoulder (probably from all the lifting I did on Monday and Tuesday) so I took a couple of nights off from the push-ups, but Matt kept up on his.  He is getting pretty buff!  

Gardening:  The tire gardens are full of dirt and ready to plant!  I just want to get a little fence up to keep the dogs away from the gardens, then the real fun begins.  I did plant a few other things this week.  (Well Matt did the hard work of digging the hole for me.)

Pomegranate Tree

Artichoke Plant

Gerber Daisies, because a girl has to have some flowers

My seedlings

Carter keeping the seedlings company

My New Toy

My Solar Oven finally arrived this week.  I figured since we lived in one of the sunniest places on the planet we should put all that sunshine to good use.  So, now the sun dries my clothes, makes my garden grow, and cooks my food.  

I put it to use the very next day to make of all things cookies.  Yes Matt asked me if I would make him cookies in the solar oven.

I made basic chocolate chip and they turned out just fine.  I think they are a little crunchier than from the oven, but they taste the same.  It was so nice not heating up the kitchen to make cookies.  It is a slightly longer process because I cannot fit very many cookies in the oven and it takes an hour and a half to bake.  I just kept the dough in the fridge and made it a day long project.  I even left the cookies in the “oven” and ran some errands.

I was making this pie last night which uses butternut squash and sweet potatoes and both had to be pre-cooked.  I put them in the solar oven in the morning and was able to make the pie by the afternoon.  They smelt so good and were cooked perfectly.

I didn’t actually bake the pie in the solar oven because the instructions discuss making cookies and cakes but not pies and I didn’t feel like doing any research yesterday, so I used the oven to finish the pie.

It gets topped off with marshmallows:

I forgot to take a picture of the pie before the neighbors and us dug in:

It was yummy!

The solar oven can be used similarly to a slow cooker and I will soon be making some meals in it.  It is so nice to be able to cook without using electricity.  

Solar cooking is similar to slow cooking. Slow cooking retains flavor, moisture and nutrients and makes meats tender. Recent studies indicate that foods cooked at moderate temperatures may be healthier.  Solar cooked food is succulent, moist and delicious.

You can learn more about Solar Ovens here.

One Year

Last year on this day Matt and I filled out our application to begin the adoption process. At the time the whole process from start to finish was taking less than a year and we thought we would be parents by now or very close to the one year mark. It is becoming apparent to us that is no longer going to happen. The fact is with international adoption you have to be willing to accept the changes, because there are always changes, in the process, in the timelines, in your agency, with government rules. So, for now we are rolling with it, staying patient most days, and more positive than negative feelings. We know one day we will hold Tom and Jerry in our arms and the wait will melt away. We happily await the day our family is complete.

Planting Time

Dill, Peas, Green Leaf Lettuce, Lettuce, Green Onions, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Rue (herb to keep cats out of certain areas)

Cauliflower, Turnips, Broccoli Raab, Riverside and Valencia Onions, Swiss Chard, Kale, Radishes

I still have some more planting to do and hopefully will get these seeds started by the end of the week.

(I set up my seed photo-shoot and the boys thought they should help)

Two pics from this weekend:

Matt sawing my tire garden

Me watering the stuff we put in the beds to compost. We put down a layer of cardboard to kill the grass, then we had a ton of tree branches to get rid of (from our tree that was hit hard by the last couple of storms we had), and thought we should just compost it in the gardens. We are now adding manure and compost to fill up the bins.

Friday Update – 9/19/08 (late edition)

Adoption Update: No referrals this week. I am really needing to see some siblings referred so I can feel some movement.

Push-ups: We started back on our push-up program this week! We had to start over at week two, but I don’t care, I am just glad we did them.

Running: I did not run this week, but I did start walking again and the weather was much more tolerable.


I started some of my seeds early this week:

Matt and I started working on the new garden beds today:

It was getting a little warm out so we had to come in and cool off for a while and we’ll head back out this evening to hopefully get some more work done.

A big thanks to my cute hubby! You have done so much hard work for me this week and it is very much appreciated.

So Tired!

. . . and a little sore this morning.  Why you ask? (okay you might not be asking but I am going to tell you anyway)

Yesterday morning I was walking Taffi and minding my own business when I noticed that someone had dumped a tractor tire in the field near our house.  I thought to myself I must tell Matt, because believe it or not we had just discussed tractor tires this weekend.  I know we are weird.  Anyway I decided we must have said tire.  I figured it would make a nice sandbox or garden.

Matt came home last night and asked why I hadn’t brought the tire home.  Ummm because it is a large tire and I thought it would be fun easier to do together.  I had to remind him we needed to do this before the sun went down as it was in the middle of the desert.  He was still being slow because he thought how long could it take to bring home this little tire, yes apparently in his head it wasn’t all that big.

Here is Matt standing next to the tire:

For those of you who don’t know my husband is over six feet, so it is a decent size tire and I couldn’t even lift it by myself.

Lucky us when we got there we spotted two more smaller tractor tires and decided to take one of those home too.  Here is me with my tire:

It took as around 30 minutes to roll the dang things home!  I dropped mine way too many times (believe it or not they didn’t roll all that well).  Matt managed to keep his upright the whole time, he must be super strong.

In the end we decided to use the tires as gardens.  I checked and it is a safe use for gardens, at least according to the internet.  We were planning on building raised bed gardens this weekend out of wood and now we will have less to buy.

For anyone interested in the Maricopa area there is still one of the smaller tires left.  I will gladly show you where it is if you are interested, but I will not roll it anywhere.  Okay I might, it was a really good workout.

Here is a picture of how dirty I got rolling the tire home, for some reason Matt wasn’t nearly as dirty:

Friday Update – 9/12/08


Adoption Update: Our agency had five referrals this week, four infant boys and one infant girl, a sibling group of a girl and a boy ages 5 and 7 was also placed off of the waiting children’s list.  Congratulations to all the happy families!  The families waiting the longest right now are the ones waiting on referrals of young sibling sets.  Overall I am still doing fairly well with the wait and fully expect to be waiting into the new year.  In fact, I have always had a very specific date in my mind for our referral date ever since we sent our dossier to Ethiopia, but I didn’t even pick it in our Guess the Referral game because I wanted my referral sooner.  The date that has always been in my mind is February 23, 2009.  So if anyone wants in on the referral game and trusts my instinct, have at it!

I also met a fellow Inskeep this week through the blogging world who is also adopting through CHI.  They are still in the paper-chase phase, hopefully soon to be in the waiting stage.

In the meantime I have been doing some shopping for Tom and Jerry, mostly on etsy.com.  I love that place!  (side note, my friend Sandi just started her very own etsy store, so go check it out)  Here are some of my more recent buys:


Clock for the nursery:

Some embroidered diapers:

For some reason this one is my favorite, it makes me smile every time:

Running and Push-Up Updates:  Yep still not much happening in the exercise department, but Matt and I did discuss why we thought neither of us felt like working out.  It is HOT and we are sick of the heat!  For those of you who don’t know Arizona summers can be a little long and wearing, like long winters are to some of you.  This end of this week we finally started seeing temps in the 70s again!  Albeit only in the early mornings, but hey it is a start.  So I think exercising will pick back up, even though I am sure September has one more heat wave for us, it always does.

Gardening:  My little garden is still going strong and there is okra galore!  I need to do some more pickling.  I am also starting to get a few more tomatoes and it looks like I will have some jalapenos before long.


This week also marked the seventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.  My dad participated in the memorial held here in Maricopa.  (he is the one in the front of the group of bagpipers) 

Alone time in the kitchen

So while Matt was gone on his epic trip, I had some down time to spend in the kitchen.  I decided to try out a few new recipes while he was gone and was happy with everything I tried.



The Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins.  Very yummy muffins, but not the awesome-est I have ever had.  I do suspect the blueberries I had could be to blame, they weren’t very “blueberry,” kwim?

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread.  This was a big hit with my neighbors, some friends, and even nine month old Ethan.


Marinated Eggplant with Capers and Mint.  Eggplant is not one of my favorites but we get quite a bit from the farm so I am always looking for new recipes.  This one wasn’t too bad, probably the best eggplant recipe I have tried where it wasn’t completed smothered in some sort of cheese.  (cheese makes everything yummy!)


Okay this is actually the second time I have made this recipe, the cookies are so yummy.  It is actually a vegan recipe, but since I am not a vegan I did use regular white chocolate chips the first time and butterscotch chocolate chips the second time.  I also substituted the egg replacer powder with 1/4 cup of apple sauce.  Mmmm these cookies are good, I think I need to go eat one right now.


(Sorry no picture on this next one.)  Grilled cheese with Fontina Cheese, Fig Jam (good thing I made that a couple months ago), and arugula.  I think regular old grilled cheese might be ruined for me now.  I really liked this recipe.

Actually it wasn’t really alone time, Tank was always nearby waiting for me to drop something.  Someone knows his mom is a very messy cook.


I'm back from my first epic mountain bike trip

So I have never really gone on any big epic, multi day biking trips. Earlier this summer, a good friend invited me along with some other guys for a trip. I waffled back and forth about going for a while, but I decided it was a trip of a lifetime. 

And it was an amazing trip. 
So me, and 4 other guys headed off in a suburban and a 30′ camper. The Agenda: Biking in Moab Utah, and then over to the Durango Colorado area.

We left on Labor day, for a planned 9 – 10 hour drive to Moab. About an hour away from Moab, we had a minor engine issue. The tensioner pulley seized.

Here is the awesome parts of this break down. 1. we were on the top of a hill. 2. at the bottom of the 1 mile hill, a small town called Monticielo. 3. At the bottom of the hill, just inside town, an RV park, and a NAPA auto parts. Man were we lucky. we had to stay the night and wait for napa to open at 8am. The local sherif even escorted us to the napa. small towns rock. 


9am, we are off to Moab. 

we get in, set up camp, and we head to slick rock trail by 11am. Slick rock is a different kind of trail. in fact, its almost one solid rock, with a white dotted line indicating where the trail should be. 45 – 60 degree slopes are pretty normal. The tires grip the rock like you wouldn’t believe. It was pretty intense. 


Unfortunetly, one of our riders strained a muscle in his back before we even got to the trail. so it was just four of us riding the 12 mile trail. It was toasty, and I was a bit dehydrated, but an awesome trail regardless. 

Wednesday we tried to ride another trail, but it was more sand than any of us liked. 6 miles of super fine beach sand, we had enough, and it was time to head back, and break down. Off to durango. Our camp site was rough. 10 miles north of durnago, backing up to the Animas river.

Thursday was a killer ride. We drove up behind Purgatory Ski Resort, and rode Hermosa trail. This is a 20 mile trail, dropping from 11,000 feet, to 8,500. a great ride. 


We ended up having to ride from the bottom of the trail, 9 miles on the road back uphill to camp. 30 miles on the saddle was tiring. 

Friday we took it easy, rode our bikes around town. Durango is a way cool town. Lots of cyclists, great shops, bike shops, and good food & beer on every corner. 

Saturday we drove up halfway to Silverton to ride the Colorado Trail. We headed west from Molas Pass. Starting our ride at 11,000 feet elevation was tough on my 1,200 feet lungs. The views on the other hand, were amazing.  



Sundays trip home was uneventful, and we made it home in great time. I think the 7 days with the boys and bikes was great. But its always good to be home. 


the rest of the photos can be seen here 



Bill and Sandi got their referral today!  (Go here for more info.)


Sandi and I met online when we both had first begun our adoption journeys.  We chat a few times a week about pretty much everything, she has even taught me how to knit and given me tips on becoming a parent (always willing to answer my silly questions).  I am so very excited for her and Bill and I know without a doubt they are ready to bring their boy home!

Friday Update – 9/5/08

Adoption Update: Our agency didn’t have any referrals this week, it has been since the week of 7/11/08 since the last set of referrals and probably none for the next couple of weeks.

Running and Push-Up Updates:  Same as last week.

Gardening:  I still have a ton of basil and didn’t want to dry it all to preserve.  A friend recently had asked me if I was going to make pesto with all that basil, I had never eaten (to the best of my recollection), let alone made it.  I found out it was pretty easy to make and I could freeze it for future use.  I tried this recipe and this recipe.  I made my pesto, froze most of it and then made myself this pasta:

It was pretty yummy!  I didn’t use cherry tomatoes because I had some full size ones from the garden to use and I forgot the peas, I don’t think they would have made a difference though.


I went to walk out the front door yesterday and about walked into a spiderweb that covered the top half of my door with a big fat spider sitting in the middle.  I had just been through the night before and there was no spider, but we did have a ton of bugs which were attracted to the porch light, so the spider was just being smart as to where to build her web, of course it ended up being a fatal choice.



She was pretty ugly and gave me quite a fright!