Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hi Everyone!

It's me, Baby Girl.

My mom is too busy tonight watching American Idol folding laundry, grading papers and other noble causes to blog, but I had some free time and I thought she'd want you all to know that tomorrow is a big day on the Ark.

It's my re-adoption hearing. That means tomorrow mom will dress me up in something really scratchy, put shiny shoes on my feet and attempt to coerce my hair into some form of hair "pretty" so that people don't think I'm a boy.

As if all the pink she puts me in doesn't do it.

So, I'm off to bed now to prepare for a busy day tomorrow. I'll try to remind mom to snap a picture or two...and if she doesn't get around to uploading all the pictures on her camera sometime soon, I just may take matters into my own hands. ;-)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Home For Good

I am happy to report that Baby Girl came through her surgery yesterday with flying colors! She was supposed to stay at the hospital until at least 3 or 4 in the afternoon (and possibly overnight!), but by the time she had been out of recovery and in the room for an hour and a half, she had managed to drink two full sippy cups and remove her own IV!

At that point, the hospital staff decided it was time to send us home. ;-)

With no arguments from anyone.

And, in even better news, her endoscope was totally clear, which means that she had a totally normal upper airway and throat...and showed no evidence of the condition which she had been diagnosed with in Ethiopia. It either resolved or was never there in the first place.

By the time she came home and took a good, long nap, she woke up well-rested and into as much mischief as is her status quo.

In case you were wondering, yesterday was also the day we received the results of the MRI (done both with and without contrast) because her soft spot was still open at 18 months. In a completely perfect ending to an already perfect day, her MRI was absolutely, 100%, thoroughly N-O-R-M-A-L!

Praise God!

And thank you, for all of your prayers and support! We had a wonderful surprise at the hospital, when the husband of a friend from our parish strolled his friendly face into Baby Girl's room as her anesthesiologist!

They say the Devil is in the details, but yesterday God was right there...two steps ahead of him.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Phillipians 4:13

(tweaked for my purposes)

I can handle one more hospital visit, IV stick, multiple doctors and nurses and one more procedure through Christ who strengthens me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Home For Now

Well, we (Baby Girl and I...okay, mostly I) made it through the MRI.

Now we're just waiting for results. Hopefully soon.

The staff was wonderful---even though it took the pediatric anesthesiologist three tries before his nurse got the IV started on the fourth try. Thank goodness for nurses!

Naomi and Candace were so happy to see her when we got home that before I knew what was happening they were all sharing a celebratory bag of Cheetos!

Thanks for your prayers. We'll continue to need them as the rest of the week unfolds.

Hospital Bound

I guess I didn't get to those Easter pictures. Bad blogger, I am. But real life prevailed.

We're leaving this morning for Baby Girl's first procedure--the MRI with sedation. Pray for a successful procedure, for wise and caring staff and, of course, for good results!

I'll update later.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Scheduling Surgery

I hope everyone had a very blessed, joyous Easter. I have many pictures from our Triduum and Easter celebration, but I have yet to transfer them from my camera to the computer. Eventually, I'll get them up here.

We had a lovely Easter. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed a cozy little brunch for about 30! We also had our annual Easter egg hunt. This is the 5th year we've hosted Easter and it is amazing how many new faces have joined our family since we first began!

My third quarter grade reports are due to Kolbe and the entire house is on Spring Break this week so we're trying to plan some fun activities. Soccer (for the big girls) and track (for The Boy) started last week and we have games/meets this weekend. Besides all of the excitement, we've been back and forth for a few doctor appointments for Baby Girl.

She'll be having surgery next Thursday (keep her--and all of us in your prayers please!) to remove her adenoids, scope her throat and re-check the tube placement in her ears. She'll also be undergoing an MRI of her head as at her 18 month appointment it was noted that her soft spot (the one on top) wasn't yet closed. Apparently, this is not completely uncommon. Other people have shared stories with me that their children (some even older than 18 months) have soft spots that hadn't closed yet either. The only difference being in their situations, they could tell how the pregnancy progressed or whether the labor and delivery was complicated or not. Unfortunately, we don't know any of those details, leaving us with the MRI as our only "good option". The good news is we'll find out if there is any cause for the soft spot being open or if, perhaps, there is nothing wrong and we possibly had been given poor birthdate information. Needless to say, she must be sedated for the test, which is next Tuesday.

The good news in all of this is that my mom is coming to spend the week with us! Yeah, mom! (Remember Renee's mom post?!? So true!)

Hopefully, I'll be back soon to post those pictures!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New and Improved Adoption Website

Although they formerly offered facts about adoption, the US State Department now offers a comprehensive website listing information regarding individual country programs, news and statistics, Hague Convention updates, links to all the US government adoption paperwork and much more--including a new blog!

If you are considering adoption but don't know where to begin, this would be a great place to start!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Movie Review: Come What May

Set against the beautiful, lush backdrop of Patrick Henry College in Virginia, Come What May is a movie with a message. Modeling the success of such films as Fireproof and Facing the Giants, Advent Film Group offers Come What May as their debut project.
Not afraid to walk the talk of their own message to "Do The Right Thing" even when it may mean the difference between success and failure, Come What May crafts its plot around one of the most controversial issues of our time--abortion.
Based on a real experience in the Moot Court debates, the story combines a strong, Christian message of choosing virtue over popular opinion with courtroom drama.
At just over ninety minutes, the film length did not deter my younger daughters (ages 10 and 11) who joined our family (minus the 10 and under crowd) we previewed the movie together. Even though the movie tackled a tough topic, the film was done tastefully and at no time were there any inappropriate moments that I felt concerned about my pre-teen daughters seeing. In fact, the integrity and virtue of the female lead, Rachel, was encouraging to see in a contemporary movie.
The story's plot, albeit a bit transparent, served its purpose in sending a greater message. Throughout the film, there were moments when the acting seemed a little wooden, but certainly not enough to detract from the story line. And given the fact that the cast was a group of 40 home-schooled students (which I didn't realize until the credits began to roll), it was quite impressive.
The only moment where the film missed its mark, was when one of the characters tearfully reveals a painful secret about an abortion. In that scene, and as a movie aiming to portray a strong pro-life message, the reaction from the other characters should have been more charitable. One flaw of the pro-life movement is to become so attentive to the life and rights of the unborn baby that the woman's needs are overlooked. If we're going to say we stand for life--we need to stand for all life--including that of a woman who needs support and encouragement and the reminder that God loves her, too.
By and large, however, Come What May is like a seasoned trial lawyer, delivering a solid closing argument to close its case:

“My father was right. If you don’t believe your wife is precious, you won’t cherish her. If you don’t believe love is best when it’s pure and new, you won’t wait patiently for it. If you don’t believe the baby in the womb is the living handiwork of God, you’ll do nothing to protect it. What do you believe?”
-Caleb Hogan (played by Austin Kearney) in “Come What May”

You can view the trailer below:

For Their Home Journals

A perfect lesson for any day, but a great one the day before coloring Easter eggs.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Strawberry Dreamin'

Hooray! Hooray! Gooseberry Patch has a new cookbook out---Summer in The Country. These are some of my favorite cookbooks. The recipes are so delicious and the illustrations are charming. This month they are offering a Fresh Strawberry Shortcake recipe for FREE!

We'll definitely be saving this recipe for this year's strawberry picking adventure!

Free Divine Mercy Materials

Prior to Lent this year, I was mulling about with ideas for enhancing our daily prayer life aboard the Ark. There were a few prayers I really loved, but had not committed to memory. We have a pretty solid weekly scripture memorization routine, but I was hoping to add to it.

The Divine Mercy is such a powerful prayer with such amazing promises
, it seemed a perfect fit for us. Plus, the girls (even the little ones) love the tactile sense of smooth rosary beads between their fingers. And even the smallest ones can stay attentive during this much-briefer-than-the-rosary prayer.

And, since we are often on the go during the apres-school hours, it is a blessing (and a convenience!) that Relevant Radio prays the Divine Mercy every day at 3pm! We are gearing up to begin the Divine Mercy Novena this Friday and I was thrilled to hear that Relevant Radio was giving away a FREE packet of information to help people countdown to Easter and to Divine Mercy Sunday.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I Won't If You Won't

There goes my post about jet plane ownership.

Easter Logic

Two ladies, dressed to the hilt in their Easter finery, were making slow progress in the crowd trying to get into the entrance to the church...

Finally one of them burst out impatiently, "Now wouldn't you think that these people who do nothing but go to Church Sunday after Sunday would stay home at Easter and leave room for the rest of us."

While this is all in good humor, there is a shred of truth to this little anecdote.

And it doesn't only come from the Creasters. There is impatience on both sides when churches are standing room only on these highest of holy days.

Rather than heeding the advice of the woman in the story and staying home this Easter, why not plan to leave a few minutes early for church? Then you'll be comfortably settled in when the not-so-frequent-fliers arrive. And better able to extend a welcoming hand to the new faces around you. Who knows, the impression you leave may be the only impression that person has of what a "Christian" looks (and more importantly, acts) like over the course of an entire year.

"Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary use words." -- St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, April 06, 2009

Before or After?

For my next Catholic Company review, I chose to read the book about the stories behind the movie Bella.

But, although I know the movie's premise, I have yet to watch it.

Note to self: subject for another post---how to squeeze in watching a feature length film when the oldest kid heads to bed at nine and you can't make it up past 10...

So, to those of you who have seen it...do I pull an all-nighter and try to see the movie first, or should I just go ahead and read the book before the movie?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Geography and the Ark

We spent the better part of the day yesterday in downtown Chicago. Unbeknownst to either the Captain or myself, The Boy had achieved the highest score in his school during an oral geography bee; which earned him a chance to take a written test which would determine the top 100 students in the state (grades 4-8).

Wouldn't you know if that Boy didn't just score in the top 100! We always knew his eerily strange knack for remembering and navigating to places wasn't just a quirky inherited postal gene, but a bona fide skill. This award did wonders for solidifying his family nickname of "On-Star."

Having not studied for either test (how do you study for a test you don't know you're taking?) he decided to stick with his healthy ambivalence for test taking and not crack open atlas one for the competition.

So, yesterday we headed down to the Field Museum for the Illinois State National Geography Bee. The winner would score an all-expenses paid trip to the National Geography Bee in Washington, D.C. and $100 (I'll let you guess which was more enticing to The Boy).

We declined the invitation to spend the night before the Bee downtown for fear that it would be one giant Krelboyne-fest. And based on the atlas toting youth who had decided to study for the Bee, it seems our suspicions were well-founded. But pocket protectors and coke-bottle glasses aside, it was a very nice, well-organized competition. The Boy did well, but didn't make it into the final round, which in the end was probably okay. I don't know that he would have known what to do with the overly emotional moderator when she announced between tears and sighs the winners.

Besides, I'm not sure that our nation's capital is quite ready for a visit from The Ark.

Want to see how much you know about Geography? Try some of the sample questions here or take the daily quiz here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Fast Fixin' Friday

We've had a fun-but busy-day today. I hope to post the details over the weekend. And return a few phone calls I want to make. (Looking in your direction, Cath). Hence a quick meal was deemed the order of the day for dinner--and being a Lenten Friday--meatless. Rifling through my recipe cards, I pulled out a recipe that is short on work, but long on taste: homemade (and I use the word loosely, but I invite you all to take a mallet to my head if I ever find myself with so much time on my hands that I debate the term homemade vs. from scratch vs. any other unmentioned meal etiology) quiche.

Without further ado, the quiche.

Preheat oven to 375 F

1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/2c. -1c. shredded cheese
1/2c.-1c. vegetables or meats
dash red pepper
2-4 eggs
1 frozen (for those homemade purists, I invite you to make your own--and then, perhaps, make one for me) pie crust

Mix all ingredients, pour into the pie crust. Bake until golden brown on top-about 30-45 minutes.

Let cool before cutting.