happenings around here

In case anyone is wondering…Pepper Poppy Campbell is doing well. Very loved. Hugged and carried far too often. She is one tolerant, laid back little cat.
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I prefer crafty magazines, the boys devour Lego magazines. You can’t even really call them magazines, they are more like catalogs. At first I didn’t get it. But in a way they are like craft magazines for the boys. They study kits and then build their own version.
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On the topic of magazines…FireCracker’s room is in the current version of Parents magazine. I look at that picture and think, “wow, I wish my daughter’s room looked like that” – because right now it is filled with boxes to move out to the studio. Not so cute or magazine worthy.
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The boys room is featured in a recent book by Andrew Weaving. Funny thing is…I look at those pictures and wish my boys’ room looked like that too. Currently the boys’ room is wall to wall twin beds. Really, there are about 6 inches between the three beds. I have to walk between them sideways! But the boys are happy. And I can always look at this book to remember the good ole’ days!
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Yesterday the lovely Emily of The Anderson Crew stopped by for lunch. I don’t even remember how we first ‘met’….but I am thankful we did. She has been such an encouragement to me and taught me so many things. I’m looking forward to having her within driving distance to maybe get to get some together ‘in real life’. It was shocking how quiet my house was – with 10 kids in it. My boys REALLY liked hers. Her kids are so sweet and were such fun to have in our home. And – I felt pretty honored to finally get to meet Emily in person. I would like to point out the kids in the photo below: Emily’s are all smiling so cutely, a couple of my kids weren’t so into the picture taking.
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Her youngest two didn’t make this picture…next time we’ll get her other two and my youngest daughter in the group shot!
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Speaking of my youngest daughter…how about an update? Last week was a little hard for me. It felt like little setback after little setback. Silly things like filling out visas too many times to count because I kept making mistakes. Showing up at the bank to get a certified check only to realize I lost my driver’s license. Getting to FedEx just after the last truck left, so a package got delayed. Just lots of little things that add up.

Another family, picking up their daughter, was able to visit the orphanage. They so graciously requested to take pictures of our Little One. I didn’t get my hopes up that they would be able to…but they did! And they got video to send us later. Priceless gift. We are forever grateful to this sweet family. Though I can’t put into words how incredible the gift of new pictures is to my family, they were also hard to see. She has teeth now. Her head was shaved again (it was shaved in February for lice/scabies prevention/treatment) and she just didn’t look very good. As a mom, I wish we’d get pictures of her with a smile and the look of being very well cared for. It is so hard to see pictures that I can’t see a light in her eyes. IT IS SO HARD.

So…I was very down about things over the weekend. I woke up Monday morning to find out her visa paperwork that we were waiting on was sent along. This was a very big step. Then yesterday we got word that all our stuff was dropped off to the appropriate government office…and will be picked up on July 24th. So what does that mean???

IT MEANS ON JULY 24TH WE BEGIN WAITING FOR OUR TRAVEL APPROVAL (TA)!!!

The travel approval takes 1-4 weeks and then we’ll leave 2-3 weeks after that….obviously we are hoping for a one week TA wait and then to hop on a plane as soon as possible.  The older boys will be going with us. We needed some updated travel shots. Since we were so brave, we got very special treats on the way home.
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So, around here I’ve got stuff to do. Number one on the list – make our 2011 family photo books! If I don’t get them done in the next two weeks, they’ll never happen. So I’m getting that done…then I will let myself start getting our travel stuff together. And then I am going to go get my daughter!

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