Friday, October 31, 2008

I think she really loves me...

Shhhhhh...It's me... Blake...I thought I would hijack a post to tell you how incredible my wife is. This morning I went to Menard's to buy insulation for our new garage thinking this was going to be my job for the rest of the day. BUT everything changed with one question when I got home.

Christine: "Blake, is there anything you want me to get done today?"

Blake: (OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS! milliseconds pass; my thoughts: Can I really ask her?; no this is your job; but she asked me; OK,take the chance.) "Well, how would you like to install the insulation in the garage?"

Christine: (Delay) "Sure... if you show me what to do."

Blake: (Never spoke ... This is the best day of my life!!! I hate insulation! Wait! Am I taking advantage of my wife. No! She ASKED me. She said YES. Guilt gone.)

She spent all day hanging insulation in the garage. By the end of the day she has insulation cough, achy arms but was glistening from head to toe (literally from the fiberglass) and even had a smile on her face. Best of all my entire garage had insulation and I didn't have to touch it.

BABE...YOU ROCK...well actually that's next weeks job!

I love you!

P.S. I didn't even get a picture to post...that's why I'm not the blogger:)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The White Mountains of NH...

Blake and I 'escaped' a couple of days to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was a kind-of-planned and kind-of-last-minute decision which we TOTALLY, ABSOLUTELY enjoyed. At one point during the weekend we mentioned how it would be easy to say, "This is just the trip we NEEDED" but we decided instead that the trip was in reality an amazing gift from our Saviour.
BELOW (left to right): outside our room at the Kearsarge Inn in the little town of North Conway, resting on some of the MANY rocks we traversed on our way to the peak, sunset picture while walking to dinner.
It was 'peak season' in the lower elevations and a bit 'past peak' in the higher elevations but all in all, the sights were far above what we had hoped for/anticipated. Magnificant! Incredible! Breathtaking! A camera lens can by no means capture the vastness, the expansive vistas that were simply EVERYWHERE but here's an attempt to share some of the sights. Did you realize, fellow MidWesteners, just how flat our part of the country is?!?

Below you can see the color changes from higher to lower elevations. We found it humorous that the brochure for this trail indicated it was for those with 'obediant children and/or pets only...' :)
You would not guess my husband is afraid of heights based on the second picture. I think he was momentarily mesmorized by the view and forgot his fear.
We did LOTS of hiking. And...while I would love to share with you the specific trails we traversed...well...that's simply NOT going to be possible. The truth of the matter is that there were times when we were not certain just exactly where we were OR where we were headed. My fearless husband was not the least bit concerned...the same could not be said of his wife :)Thanks to advance research, our meals were somewhat adventurous & mostly quite delicious. Our mornings started with fresh scones from the bakery next door which we 'nibbled' while sipping coffee/hot
chocolate on the wrap-around porch at the Inn.
The Flatbread Co. offered an entirely organic menu consisting of salads & pizza only. The 'secret' salad ingredient was arame, a Japanese seaweed, which was quite bland-tasting but supposedly packed with nutrients (interesting). The atmosphere was very earthy, very eclectic and quite different than our typical MidWest dining.

This picture (to the right) was taken at one of our favorites of the weekend, The Thompson House Eatery located in Jackson. While my dinner consisted of delicious crab cakes & wild rice, Blake's entree was amazing. Called 'The Outer Banks' it consisted of salmon, shrimp, scallops and Atlantic mussels sauteed with asparagus and mushrooms in a fresh tomato, sherry and dill broth served on baby spinach with wild rice & scallion custard garnished with crab meat aioli. Wow!

We even visited one resturant TWICE b/c the cooking was of the down-home variety; it was a little place just a block from our inn called The Stairway. I am hoping to duplicate the apple & cheddar omlet myself -- yummy!

So, that pretty much covers the highlights of the past several days. The majesty of our God was so very evident as we soaked in His artistry within the trees and mountains and streams...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Down on the Farm...

It's harvesttime; one of my favorite times of the year! IF we had a prenuptial, it would without a doubt include a clause requiring an annual trek downstate during the months of September or October :)

That said, we did spend this past weekend at my parent's farm. I was mainly responsible for driving the tractor & auger-wagon between the combine and the grain truck, a task that allowed me to give rides to nieces, nephews and cousins who wanted to 'join in the fun' on the farm. My trooper-of-a-husband took a break for dislodging the sidewalk in front of my parent's house to harvest a couple rounds of corn, his first attempt at driving a combine (see below, the blurry image inside the cab, Blake and my dad).

Here are some random shots from the weekend; our 'photoshoots' while waiting between wagon loads. (first picture): Matthew, my cousin. (second & third): Kara, my niece, who provided UNLIMITED poses for the camera. At one point she confidently proclaimed, "Oh, my mother will LOVE these pictures. I just KNOW." (fourth): Ethan, my nephew, who would choose being on the farm (with grandpa) over being in school...any day of the week!

This last picture is random; an abandomed corncrib which I passed during my drive home thru the countryside yesterday afternoon. I simply HAD to pull over & capture the tranquility of the image before heading back into the hustle-and-bustle of the suburbs.

The GOOD and the Not-So-Good...

The best word to describe the last week or so of our adoption journey? Tumultuous.

Last week we received details that our (Alexander) Tamirat is a busy, happy and growing little boy who loves his nannies. WoW! News like that does a mama's heart GOOD! Additionally, due to the delays we've experienced, our agency was able to secure some photographs from the orphanage staff and so we have new images of our little guy which we can share with those we see in person (but unfortunately not on any public forum). Cuteness, I tell you!

This afternoon we received an updated health report. Within the last 30 days, our little guy lost half a NOT be alarmed, he's got some chubbiness to spare! :) He's grown over 2-inches in length. He is on-the-charts for both measurements which is really GOOD for an infant growing up at an orphanage. Good! Good! Good!

And then, earlier this week, we received our court date assignment (GOOD). BUT it is not until November 11th (not-so-good). While I realize the date is only 5-weeks away, based on preliminary projections from our agency we had expected a court date assignment for sometime this week, next week at the VERY latest. For some reason (unknown to us) there is only one judge currently hearing cases & the ET courts will be slow-moving for the next several weeks. Fierce disappointment as this delay greatly diminishes our chances of having Alexander home with us before the Christmas holiday.

The GOOD and the not-so-good. Circumstances change. God does not. He is good ALL THE TIME. "...He works all things together for good..." and we are instructed to "...give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever..."