Friday, July 5, 2013

Find Your Voice: Lesson One, Prompt Two: Storytelling Goals

Who knew actually putting words down on paper would be this tough?  I used to take pride in how easy I found writing to be.  I loved telling a story.  I still do, but now that it has been years since I have done so in a “workshop” or class environment, I think I have lost my nerve.  I journal in my scrapbooks and for Project Life, but it is just basic, one dimensional facts.  I want to push myself and make the story of my family more interesting.

I want this story to help tell future generations who we are at this moment in time.  This exact moment while we are waiting to meet our child(ren).  Since we will be older parents we may not be here, or if we are here, we may not remember the facts. Our scrapbooks and journals will be the documentation of who we are.

I want this to be real.  I do not want it to be sad, even though we have sad times.  I want the sad times to show why and how we grew from it.  How something sad can bring something so wonderful.  I want to tell how we came to our decisions.

I want our future children to know how happy we are, together.  How much we love eachother.  How we care for eachother.  We enjoy being together, doing things we love together.  Our scrapbooks already show this but I want to go further.  I want more of a story.

Future generations will already know we are a Godly house and family.  This can be expanded on and more of the WHY can be told. Our roles in the family are because of God.  This is and will be reflected more in the story of our lives.

Find Your Voice: Lesson One, Prompt One: Creative Base

Just a fun, simple, creative way to tell WHO I am at this moment.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Paper Lover's Studio Challenge

How can you not love a place called "Paper Lover's Studio"?  They are having a challenge this week where you are to create a scrapbook page without photos.  The point is to do more journaling to tell the story.  Well, I scrapbook like this so I am taking on the challenge with my own little spin.  I am going to do it SMASH style.  I simply found one of my favorite pieces of ephemera and journaled around it in the journal I am using for the Find Your Voice workshop.


Find Your Voice

Hey Y'all.  So sorry I have not been on for an update.  I have a lot to tell, but that is for another post.  I am jumping on today to let you know about an online work shop I have started called "Find Your Voice".  This is a free summer work shop that will hopefully get me to writing and blogging again. So if you see random posts from me about...well ME, this is why.  Some of the first lessons are discovereing who YOU are and becoming a better story teller.

This workshop is FREE and self come join us.  We are really learning to push ourselves but having a lot of fun, too.



Sunday, June 30, 2013

Chance to win a Silhouette Portrait  just follow this link for a chance to win an awesome cutting machine!!!!!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Foster Parents? Who, us?

In this journey to adoption many options come up.  One big and very tempting option is Fostering to Adopt.  Thru our research (on the web, of course) we have found this option very tempting.  The children need homes ASAP.  Before I get ahead of myself, I want to give a link so you can read more about the program.  I certainly am not qualified to explain this.  Please check out the Foster to Adopt program at

While looking at the different sites for foster to adopt programs we saw they have several info meetings around the city.  We chose to go to one ASAP in Dallas, Texas.  This meeting was held at and by Pathway Youth and family Services. 

There were quiet a few couples and single people there.  I know not all will continue with the fostering process, but I was impressed with the turn out on a random Thursday evening, right before a holiday.  Some of the attendees were just interested in fostering, some just in adoption....some, like us, were there to keep an open heart with the info we receive.  There were a few couples who had adopted in the past and are now looking to build their family thru this program.

We were told there are infants needing foster care, however, not all will be available for adoption.  The foster programs first priority is to reunite children with their parents.  If that is not possible, they want to place the children with family or friends of the family.  If all of these attempts are exhausted and the children are not to be reunited with mom or dad, family or friend...only then can the foster family try to adopt the child.  This can take up to 2 years, sometimes more.

In the meantime, the child can be taken from the foster home at any time.  We were told that the average foster family can have 7 children or more in their home before one stays forever.  I am all for reunification with bio parents or family.  I understand that is best if everything is "ok"...but I do not know if I can handle getting attached and having my hear broken 7+ times.  I would need to go in with the fact in mind that the child can leave at any minute, which is true for most of the placements.  I have taken care of others children and know I can do this...but I knew, without a dought, that the children I cared for (as a nanny, mainly) would be going back to mom or dad at the end of the day.  I do not want to go into being a foster parent and hold back on my love because of the fear of getting attached.  That is not fair to a child who may have been neglected or hurt...these children need love no matter what the circumstances. 

There is no question they would be VERY well cared for and have all of their needs met...andthere is no question if they would be well loved while (and after, from afar) being in our home. There is the selfish question of how I will feel when having to let them go.

I know God will see me thu this...but the unknown does scare me. We have a lot to pray and think about.  Our home is not ready for a home study so as we get everything in shape, we can take the time in figuring this out.  Since I will not be working if we decide to foster, I also want to work for awhile to save some money so when a child does come to live with us, we can have some extra for the fun things kids like to do.  This is not a decision to rush into...while our first placement might not be here for long, there is an off chance that she could be here forever and we want to be as ready as ....well are you ever really ready?  But we want to be our kind of ready.


Pre School Problems or Job Update

 I think I mentioned this in the update from earlier this month?  I got a job as a Pre School teacher.  I went for training and started a few weeks ago.  Well, things were not as rosey as I had hoped.  After hiring me for the three year old preschool room, they could not decide where they wanted me.  Because of all the confusion and being more irritated when I left everyday, I decided to continue looking for employment.  I really wish I was loving this job so much, at that time, and could be done with the job search...after all I only plan to work until the 2013 Winter Holidays. I was looking and surfing the net for other openings, still interested in a Preschool job, I ran across a listing for a nanny agency.  This reminded me how much I used to make as a nanny...and the need to save as much as possible took over.  I started calling and getting on the different  agency lists of available nannies.  If I get hired I would be able to save almost double from what I will save while working with the preschools. I always enjoyed being a nanny, esp for the toddlers.

Fast forward to now, having worked and floated all over the preschool...I am really enjoying the kids AND my co workers.  Everyone is very nice and helps one another out.  There are some challenges with my darling three year olds, but I am not with them every day so this is not their fault.  They seem to have different teachers all the time. I have also worked with the 2 year olds and OMG...I love them.  They are actually better behaved than the three year olds...LOL.  There is one little boy who is in a transition phase, he is about to be moved up to the 3 year old class, I they let him go in that class to  hang out every now and then....and he is BETTER behaved in the 2 year old room.  There is just something about THAT 3 year old room that brings out the naughties in a kid. 

So I am keeping an open mind with the preschool, getting to know the children whenever I am in their class.  However, because I had my doughts and started calling the nanny agencies, I am prepared to change jobs, as well.  I just can not forget the need for the money...and if I am not doing what I wanted to do, have a class of my own, I might as well go for the Benjamins.  I am not going to apologies for this because no adoption agency apologises for their fees...and THIS is the only reason I went back to work in the first place.

So in the meantime, I am having fun and facing the challenges as they come.


Happy Passover

I just love this time of year, Spring is starting to arrive and we have Passover and Easter...we are an equal opportunity household when it comes to holidays.

We celebrate Passover here in our home but on Easter Sunday we go to my sister's house for Easter, and for this year, my sister's birthday. 

Also, since I am working in a Preschool (did I tell y'all about that?) most of the children there are all about the Easter Bunny.  I just loved seeing them in their Easter colors for our Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday.  They made home made baskets earlier in the week and everything was so cute. David and I did the Sader on Monday.  Since I had to work that day, everything was pretty rushed.  Thank goodness David took the week off.  I am still getting used to working so my schedule and knowing how to work everything in has still not situated it's self.

We had the most yummie meal.  My favorite, ribeyes, mushrooms and onoins, cesar salad, and augratin potatoes with extra cheese.  Since I was loading for another round of HCG, I wanted everything extra fatty.  I went to bed that night FOOD DRUNK and woke up Tuesday with a food hangover.  LOL. 
We finished our meal with macaroons and ice cream. 
They look like meatballs but they are rocky road and red velvet flavored macaroons.
We hope everyone has a great week, whatever holiday you are celebrating!!!!




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Update on Life...TTC, Adoption, and just being the Girlie Girl Housewife

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!!!  It has been a very long time since I have posted.  I think I saw my last post was in Novemeber but several of the last ones were just give a way shares and photos.  Alot has been going on so I will try to give a very quick update.
First, and I really should have documented this a little better....but David and I were TTCing (trying to conceive).  We have been TTCing since we were married (ok...even before but we KNEW we were getting married and I wasn't getting any younger...LOL).  In August of last year we actually got medical help.  I was diagnosed with PCOS, something I knew I had from symptoms but the doctor actually confirmed this.  Now at first I thought, "now only if I had been diagnosed sooner"...but really?  She did nothing for this.  Just advised me on how losing weight would help, something we all know, right?  Anyway...I did like that this was confirmed and that I was not crazy or just self diagnosing.  I also got the "official" infertility diagnosis.  A couple is considered infertil if they have been TTCing for over a year or if over 35 (ME!!!!) for 6 months.  Well, we have been TTCing for about 4 years so....
Since we had this diagnosis, my doctor could actually start with the fertility meds.  Like everyone else, I started with Clomid.  She also prescribed Provera.  I will not go into the TMI of what these do, you can google it for LOTS of info.
To make a long story short, we did 3 rounds of Clomid between August 2012 and Febuary 2013.  I never ovulated, all I got was a big ole cyst that we are still treating.  Surgery was sugested, more on this later, but we opted for the "wait and see" approach.  I actually developed cysts in the other rounds, as well, but they were small and went away, in a few weeks, on their own.  Most women, from what I have researched, get these cysts at some point in their child baring years...but you never know about them because they go away.  The type of cyst I developed is called a "functional cyct".  The last round of Clomid, I developed one that grew very large.  I can not recall right off how big it was at my last sonogram.
I am going to back up a bit.  My last round of Clomid was a 150mg round.  I just KNEW this round was working.  I used OPKs (ovulation predictor kits) to test for ovulation (I never ovulated in the last year or more on my own or with the clomid rounds).  Everything pointed to ovulation (I can not recall the exact dates, but I think it was January 23/24), the OPK had a positive, my BBTs were SPOT ON, and the sono I had early in the week showed signs that it was to happen in the next few days (sono was on Monday...all signs pointed to ovulation on Wed/Thurs).  I had all the symptoms...we did all the "baby dancing" at the right times.  We did everything RIGHT.  And the next few weeks I thought "this is it"!!!!!  As the weeks went on I even had symptoms. At the time of what might have been implantation, I had spotting (which is a sign of the embryo implanting). I started taking HPTs (home preg tests) at the appopriate time and all were negative, but some do not see a positive until the period is missed.  The day came and went for TOM to show and nothing happened.  I called to get an appointment with my ob/gyn, as instructed, and was getting very excited.  Well come to find out I did not ovulate, the cyst was just growing.  What mind games our bodies can play.  All of these symptoms can happen when I cyst is getting larger, too.  This was very heartbreaking.  Not only was I NOT pregnant but I was looking at a surgery to remove the cyst and possibly my ovary.  I wanted a second opinion.
At this point, we decided to move on to a Reproductive Endocrynologist at a local fertility clinic.  REs are supposed to be better equipped at treating these cysts and since we would be having to move on to "the big dogs" for our next phase of the ferility treatments, we decided to seek an RE.  We chose Frisco Fertility Center and Dr. Havemann.  She looked absolutely amazing in her bio.  When I met her, my thoughts were confirmed.  She was very easy to talk to and gave me great hope.  She talked in "everyday" language that someone, without a medical degree, could understand.  She wrote everything down on paper and made a very understandable game plan.  She told me their thought, in regards to my cyst, was to "wait and see" if it can go down on it's own.  Not to jump to surgery.  She perscribed a month of birthcontrol.  Now this seems a bit counter productive when you are TTCing but with an ovarian cyst, this is actually a popular treatment.  This gives your body a rest and time for the cyst to go down on it's own.  Since I did 3 rounds of Clomid, she said we would also move on from that and explained all of the other options.  This was absolutly fine with me, I did not want to chance another cyst....but she explained that while Clomid can cause a cyst, it is not the only med that does.
Meanwhile, I had lots of bloodwork done, which again confirmed PCOS and David had a semen analysis.  I faxed his results to the Frisco Fertility Center and I waited about week or so to get a call back.  When I called in, the nurse could not find my file!!!  This is when this AMAZING doctor started going down hill.  Dr. Haveman finally called me back, herself...which was awesome considering most doctors leave this up to the nurse.  She explained that she had my file, that is why the nurse could not fins it.  She gave me my bloodtest results and asked for me to call her to discuss giveing me a prescripotion for my insulin resisitance (PCOS side effect) and to discuss the options in regard to the SA (semen analysis).  She was starting to redeem herself.
So I called her back.  This was Tuesday, March 4th.  I called back each day and left messages.  Today is March 17th and I have yet to hear back from her.  The excuse I get when I call in, is that she is opening up a new clinic and is busy with that.  Ok, that is fine....but WHY WAS SHE ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS WHEN SHE DID NOT HAVE TIME FOR US?????  She seems to be a good doctor when she has time.  Why ask me to call her back if she doesn't have time?  Can't she tell the receptionist to refer me to another doctor?????  When you are TTCing, timing is important.  Now, I know I am on birthcontrol right now, so at this time, timing is not that urgent...but will I get a call back when I need it when it IS URGENT????  We will be paying LOTS of money into this clinic when (IF!!!!) we move forward with them...and I expect LOTS of attention for me money.  I finally asked the receptionist if she was just too busy for new patients?  I explained that I felt very comfortable with Dr Havemann when I met her and liked this clinic....but to PLEASE let me know if I need to move on to another clinic who HAS TIME for me.  At this time I can STRONGLY NOT recommend this clinic or Dr Haveman.  She was so nice and patient but if she can not call me back...screw it, there are many MANY other fertility clinics in the DFW area that just might have time for me...Ok...enough on that....we are moving forward....
Ok so back to the SA....I am not going to give TMI out of my hubbies privacy but with the results and my severe problems with TTCing...we have decided to go in another direction.  If you have stayed with me this far, I think THIS is the most important part of my update. 

 We have decided to ADOPT!!!!!

I am so excited about this decision.  I have felt in my heart that God has wanted me to adopt all along.  I was a nanny for a family, back in college, that had adopted 2 children internationally.  I would never claim that this was my favorite family, the mom was self involved and the dad was a big dork who tried to make me feel so beneath him in intelligence.  The house was disgusting. The children were cool, for the most part...each had thier own issues but you can not hold these things against a child.  Anyway, I just got a strong need to pursue this when the time was right for me....and this feeling just never left me thru the next 19 years (give or take).  David and I had discussed adoption but he wanted to try to have one on our own, first.  It would be great if that happened but I just do not think it will.  Our last option with all of our issues would be IVF with ICSI....this is very invasive and does not have a very high chance of even working.  I do not think I can take more emotional roller coasters.  I know adoption has many emotional roller coasters but I have such a strong beleif that God wants us to do this...I have faith he will see me thru this journey. 
We just came to this descision early last week so we have no idea which direction we will go.  I am researching every option from domestic infant thru an agency, lawyer mediated, adoption from CPS, foster to adopt, etc.  It is all very overwhelming. 
It is also very expensive.  David's company has a great adoption benifit we are looking into, it is not much but every little bit helps.  There is a federal tax credit that will help, after the adoption is final (so we will need to cash upfront).  There are grants (lots of competition for these so we can not count on this) and loans (which would be partially paid back with the tax credit).  And the biggest help will be....are you ready for this???? 
The Girlie Girl Housewife has found a JOB!!!!  I have not started, yet, but I was hired to be a preschool teacher.  It is only part time but this will help so much.  The weirdest thing, well not really weird if you beleive in God's plan and have faith that he will see you thru all things, is that I do not remember applying for this job.  When Ms. Nicold (the director) called me, it was like out fo the blue.  I went online and searched for the listing and came up empty handed.  There was nothing showing in any of my "job search" accounts that I applied for this job or that there was alisting for this job.  It is like it was just sent to me.  We will sock every paycheck away into our adoption fund and we should be able to start the process in a little over a year, we hope.  That seems so far away.  We have lots to keep us busy, in the meantime.  We need to spruce up this house so it will pass a home study.  We have a place to repair in the ceiling of what will become the baby's room and we need to get a lock on my craft room door.  These are the BIG things, our home is clean and in pretty good shape (cosmetically there aree things I would like to change but this is not important).  We also need to continue getting in better shape so we can apply as a healthy couple...even if we are a bit older.  We will also be doing lots of fundraising.
To help raise money we are doing a few things...  besides me working as a preschool teacher during the week, I am searching for a weekend job.  I could kick myself for not following thru with a recent postion that I was asked to interview for.  It was as a weekend activity assistant for an assisted living community.  I needed something more in the week at that time but now I need weekends, too.  I did not want something that would take me away from home when David is here...weekends are our time together.  Well, this is only temporary so I can handle being away a few hours on the weekends.  We can handle this for the next two years if it means bringing Baby Powell home sooner.
Also, we will be having a garage sale.  I have sold most of my "good" things on eBay already but I have a few things packed away in the garage that will bring a dollar or two...and evey dollar helps.  We will finance this adoption dollar by dollar.  I will also be on the lookout for more Ebay things, as I have time. 
I am selling a few handmade  and vintage things on a facebook page "Girlie Girl's Notion Shop" (go to the PHOTOS section to see all the goodies...I am working on this so right now each photo album does not  have a name...I can not figure out how to fix it :(  I will also be reopening my Etsy shop, soon....but everything will also be on the facebook page to save on fees...remember every dollar counts and those fees add up.  I will post more about the actual adoption process in their own posts, and more about how we will be fundraising, too...these are too importatnt to just be burried in this long post.
On with the rest of the updates....
I stopped HCG back in August when we started with the feritility tratments....but I am thinking on starting another round after Passover / Easter.  I tried the Feritility Diet and all those carbs helped me to gain about 10 pounds.  So onto another Low Carb plan.  I do very well on these but then occasions happen and I give in to temptation...the back on Jan 2nd and lost the 10 I gained....Valentines Day....Purim....Weekends....I loose diring the week just to gain fast on the weekends or special I am holding steady but not going down.  I think this is why I need a round of HCG.  I have to stick to it for a minimum of 21 days, including weekends, to see the benifit.  It has enough strict guidlines that I should be able to loose a few.  Who knows, I always thing the next best thing will work better.  Since we are not on any meds for ferility I think this would be the best time to give it another go.....
Couponing has been at a standstill.  I did not need anything!!!!  Our pantry was full of things I was not supposed to be eating and I had no more room for new products.  Now our toilet paper and paper towel towers are getting low so I need to stock up on those.  Other things that are getting low are things we do not really need.  I will be trying to get a stock of baby things together in the near future, but I do not want to get too much of things we might not need for the age we might be bringing home or something the baby just might not like.  It is very hard to get back into couponing once you let it slide for awhile.  I was really rocking it last Spring and Summer...I even took daily CVS trips while we were at the beach for vacation last summer.
Household news is about the same.  The daily life of a housewife does not change much.  I still had my most favorite (insert sarcastic look) laundry days, I sitll had housework and homie hobbies...  My sewing machine is old and wonky so I did not do much sewing.  I did, however, get back into scrapbooking on steroids.  I shopped WAY too much for this hobby, as well.  This is being put to a STOP (again every dollar counts).  I have a few gift cards left from Christmas that can be used but I want to buy supplies that I can use to "make and sell" things.  I have so much in my craft room that I could craft for years and not make a dent. 
Speaking of memory keeping...I started Project Life this year.  I will do a seperate blog about that but I just have to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this.  I keep up with the memory keeping and still have time for other paper craft projects like cards and gifts.  I love sending cards to Tennesee to my cousins Brady and Brenden.  Brady is three and he even sent me a Valentine's card that he helped make.  Brenden is a little younger so he probably doesn't "get" it...but I can not leave him out.
I am so excited about my new job.  I have been wanting to try my hand at being a preschool teacher for so long.  I start training tomorrow....I will try to be better at updating and letting y'all know all about it.  I need to wrap this up as it is a very long post...but bare with me as I promote my fundraising efforts on my blog in the upcoming months.  I need to get the word out and promote my shops as much as possible. 
Thanks for reading my vevry long post...