Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Today was a fairly productive day! It was my day off so I started out the morning with rowing class and strength training. Attempted to donate blood, but unfortunately my counts aren't up where they should be. That's really discouraging. I used to be able to give a triple donation of platelets. But, my hemoglobin and hematocrit haven't been good enough for me to donate in a long time. I was hoping that since I am almost 3 months post-surgery, things would improve. Oh, well.

Headed to the store and stocked up on a few things. Seriously, it has been a couple months since I have actually done a decent grocery shop. My cart was full and my bank account was a lot lighter. But, at least I got that accomplished.

Came home and started working on forms for our dossier. I've been feeling a little disorganized so I wanted to take the time to figure out exactly what we need. Started making notes, copying documents, printing the forms that need to be notarized. Went to the courthouse to get certified copies of our marriage certificate and proof of property ownership. This is where the "kindness" comes in. But first... talk about bad memory. I thought we had applied for our marriage license in this county. Nope... we applied for it in the county I used to live in. So, I will have to get our marriage certificate copies another day. Anyway... I went to the county assessor's office to get a certified copy of the deed to our house, as well as a specific form completed on the assessor's letterhead with specific information about the type of house that we have, lot size, etc. It also had to be notarized. The notary was on his way out the door headed for vacation just as I walked up to the desk. He was kind enough to stay late and notarize the documents that I needed. Of course, there is a charge for these items. For example, if I wanted just a regular copy (not certified), it would be $1. But, certified items are $15. As I asked for the documents, I explained that we were adopting and that there were very specific requirements from the Ukraine government for what we needed. And I had to ask for one of the forms to be completed a second time because the rubber stamp used to certify it didn't come through clearly. All of this was done cheerfully. When I had everything I needed, I asked how much I owed them. The gentleman said, "Don't worry about it. When you get your little one home, bring him/her into see us. That will be payment enough." How sweet is that??  So, thank you to the staff at our county courthouse who touched my heart today with their kindness and generosity!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

good weekend

Mark had to work an exta load again this week but got done friday morning at 4am.  We went to Stockton MN 4-wheeling Saturday. Sunday Mark went to Wanamingo and started his ultralight for the first time this year. He didn't fly but it ran well.  He also changed oil in the dirt-bike and golf cart.

Melanie spent Friday working, Sunday she mowed the lawn and weeded the garden. then we grilled some steaks and zucchini for supper.  it was a good weekend.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reminder of who is in control

I have to admit, I was feeling very frustrated and impatient yesterday. We received an email from our home study agency saying that our draft was #2 in line. The person who is responsible for editing the home study was going to be out of the office today and all of next week. She wasn't sure she would get our home study completed before she left yesterday. Grrr... doesn't "EVERYONE" know that we have a little one waiting for us on the other side of the world? Someone who needs to get home to their mommy and daddy. Shouldn't that be priority over everything else? This is going to delay our USCIS application by at least 2 weeks. I admit my thoughts were very, very selfish!!  When my exhausted hubby got home from work at about 3am this morning, I vented to him. He gently reminded me that everyone deserves time away from work. I tried telling myself that God's timing is perfect, that it isn't about me. I wasn't very successful.

Fast forward a few hours... I pulled into a parking spot at work this morning and realized that I didn't have my stethescope. UGH!!! I knew that I had taken it to the other nursing home that I cover yesterday afternoon so was pretty sure it was there or perhaps at  home in my gym bag. Now what? Maybe I could borrow one even though it probably wouldn't be as precise as the one I usually use. I sat down at my desk, started getting organized, and opened the drawer to put my purse away.

Can you guess what was in the drawer waiting for me? YEP! My stethescope. There is absolutely no way that it should have been there. I know that I was wearing it around my neck when I left the facility. But, God- who IS in control- put that stethescope in my drawer. So... if He is able to take care of my silly, little needs like that, shouldn't I trust that He WILL take care of our adoption?

Hmmm... that might be something for a Memorial Box. Do you know what that is? If not, click here to find out about it!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Can you say mud?

It's been a nice weekend. On Friday evening, we took a very special birthday girl out for dinner. Mary turned 13 and unfortunately, we weren't able to attend her birthday party. Instead, we took her to an awesome Japanese steakhouse where they cook at the table.  Mary is the granddaughter of our friends Dan and Sue. The picture is a little blurry, but the owner was singing Happy Birthday in Japanese to Mary.

On the drive home, the clouds were beautiful! They came in ahead of a massive storm - would have loved to caught the lightning on film, but will have to settle for this.

Saturday, we visited Grandma Hansen. She will turn 99 next month - it is always a gift to spend time with her. We also stopped in to see Mark's aunt Elaine. His cousin Karen and her husband were also visiting from Colorado so we took a few minutes to visit with them.

Hurried home to get to our county fair. We weren't quite as early as we would have liked so ended up in the front row of the grandstand where we were perfect targets for the flying mud. The rain held off until about 10 minutes after the derby finished, but we were still scoping out fair food so added a little rain to the mud. The pictures don't quite do justice to how messy I looked - lol!

Now we are off to pick up some pizza and have dinner with my (Melanie) parents. 
Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am sooo not a gardener! I would love to be one, but it just is not my idea of a great time to be out in the hot on my knees, pulling weeds, etc. I DO enjoy the results of having a garden, though. This spring, we planted a few things in our backyard: strawberries, acorn squash (my absolute favorite), cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, cantelope, and giant pumpkins. Everything has done well except the cucumbers (bummer) and it has been fun to check out the growing plants every day. Well, tonight I was peeking around at the blossoms and this is what I found!  I was so excited! And there are more on the way! I hope that my other veggies do as well! So, I am thankful for my little garden.

Checked in with our social worker today. She has her part of the home study done, just waiting for a couple of administrative things to be added, then our draft will be sent to us for review. We have to get copies of the pet vaccinations sent to them, but then it will be ready to send off for our immigration approval. One step closer to our little one(s)!! 

What's on your Thankful Thursday list?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can't believe it's been this long!

Time got away from me over the past week. I looked at the blog and realized that I hadn't updated since last Tuesday. Time to catch up!

Another week of orientation flew by. Passing my certification exam is just one of the steps to being able to work as a nurse practitioner. I'm waiting for my official notice in the mail. Then, have to apply with the state board of nursing for approval to practice. Also, I have to apply for a federal prescribing number. So... it will probably be several more weeks until I can actually function independently. But... at least I'm on my way.

I am forever an optimist that life will someday settle down. That someday never seems to come. No schoolwork to do, but other things seem to keep me just as busy. Where did I fit studying in? I suppose in some ways, I am trying to "catch up" on everything that took lower priority while I was in school.

Last weekend, we took Mark's "new" (old) skid loader to my parents' place. My dad is going to use it to clean out one of his cattle pens. Hmmm... think it may need to be cleaned up a little afterwards. Anyway, Mark was using our motorhome to pull the trailer since the skid loader weighs so much. Unfortunately, the motorhome's transmission decided it was time to spring a leak. And not just a little one! He was able to get it back to Denise and Guy's place (we were borrowing their trailer), thank goodness. What should have taken no more than a couple of hours took us 8!!! Looks like the motorhome won't be making it up to the cabin any time soon. :(  Hopefully, it's an easy fix since that is my shower when we are there.

Headed for the cities today to drop off the last of the necessary paperwork (or so I thought) for our home study. Got there and found out that they need proof of vaccinations for all the pets. Guess what I will be doing next Tuesday?? I had planned to take them in soon anyway, especially now that we have Dryfus but it wasn't at the top of my priority list. My priorities have just changed - lol!

As soon as our home study is complete, it will be sent to the USCIS with our application for approval to bring a child (or two) into the country. Once approved, we will receive an appointment for fingerprinting. In the meantime, we will start work on our dossier so that we can move as quickly as possible in getting that ready to send to Ukraine. I'm pretty sure the paperwork could be a full time job!  :~)  At least we are continuing to make progress.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Just a quick note to say that I took my certification exam this morning and passed!  Once I receive formal notification, I will apply for my advanced nursing practice license through the state. Then, I will be able to officially practice as an adult nurse practitioner. I will take the gerontologic NP exam in the near future, but want to just relax a little bit and enjoy. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive and encouraging. I wouldn't have made it without that - especially from Mark who has been very tolerant over the past 30 months - I know he will be glad to have his wife back again.  :)  Truly, God is the one who deserves the recognition for this - He is the reason for my success. And I am so thankful that He has called me to serve in this way - caring for the elderly population - I couldn't ask for a more wonderful opportunity!

I am also thankful to have this behind me - I have felt pulled in two directions lately. Studying and preparing for today's exam have weighed heavily on my mind. But, I have also felt the urgency of our adoption paperwork as well. Now, I will be able to focus on that and hopefully, keep things moving quickly!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th

We did a fish fry with Melanie's first in-laws and Karl, Rondie and Louie. Rondie is the twin sister of Bonnie (Melanie's first mother-in-law). Louie is Bobs brother. For those who don't know Bob was Melanie's first husband who died in a car accident.

We did fish,onion rings and thin potatoes in a huge frying pan, It turned out ok. Next time we will treat them to a stirfry


Friday, July 2, 2010

Home Study Visit Completed!

We spent several hours today with Judy, our social worker with Summit - the agency that is updating our home study. We had been anticipating at least one more visit with her. However, she is pretty sure that with today's time and our domestic home study, she will be able to put together everything for our international home study. Mark and I still have to pull together a little bit more paperwork, financial documents, letters of recommendation, physicals, etc - but we are hoping to everything sent by the end of next week. Judy will write up a draft of our home study and once it is finalized, the agency will get notarized copies ready. We will need to apply for an immigrant visa to bring our child into the US. We will also begin compiling all the documentation for our dossier which is basically our formal application to the Ukraine government requesting the referral of a child.

Things are moving - slowly, yes... it is not a quick process. I'd like to be on a plane tomorrow. But, one step at a time. YAY!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

More than anything today, I am thankful that tomorrow our home study agency social worker Judy will be coming to our home for a visit. I really had hoped that Becky (our domestic social worker) would be able to update our home study for international adoption - she has been so awesome to work with! But, there is a reason that God sent Judy to us as well. As soon as I got her information on Tuesday, I emailed her to set up our appointment. She responded Wednesday AM and said she could meet with us this Friday. As I shared, there is an urgency to get our paperwork completed as quickly as possible. So, it means a great deal that Judy is willing to spend Friday of a holiday weekend with us!

Of course, that brings us just a little closer in our adoption plans. I wish I could share with you all that is in our hearts right now. Not only is there urgency with our process, there is purpose. I think that some day, I  may need to take the time to sit down and write about our adoption story. Our journey has been more than a full circle - it has been a circle and a half. From the time we started talking about adoption, our path has turned 180 degrees three times. And here we are - eager to be taking the path we are currently on. Excited about the chance to bring home a little one from Eastern Europe. Knowing that God has our child(ren) in the palm of His hand right now - that He is caring for him/her/them until we can get there ourselves. I am thankful to be on this journey!

Some bloggy friends are in Ukraine right now, hoping to bring home 4 precious kiddos. Their trip has been difficult to say the least, but they got good news today and are now waiting for their court date to make their adoptions official. I'm so happy for them!

What are you thankful for today?