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Welcome to my family blog. I have been married to Mike for over half of my life. I love my Savior, Jesus. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to six terrific, interesting children. My 3 oldest were born to me in my younger years, while my 3 youngest were given to me by God in my older years. I am very blessed. ~Cheri

11.29.2009

Enjoying Friends

Our friends, Josh, Patrick, David, and Abby are visiting us for the week.  Everyone is having a great time.  Eva and Joy are having fun entertaining the guys.  Jack is glad to have his buddy, David, with him for over a week.  Seth is also enjoying being with the Godly young men.  Jordan always has a good time with Abby.  They've been good friends since 1997 when we moved to Illinois.  Unfortunately, Abby is leaving tomorrow to go back to NY.

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The guys enjoyed a good hike on Saturday.  The view was beautiful and the skies clear.  It was very windy once they got to the top.  Quite a different view from their hometown in Illinois.

11.28.2009

Visa

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I sent off for my Chinese Visa.  One more thing down.  I'm hoping and praying for the I800 provincial approval on Tuesday.  My immigration officer is out on Monday.


11.26.2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I always enjoy this holiday.  The food is great and it is just a fun family time.  As a child, Thanksgiving was a time when much of our families on both sides gathered together, seeing cousins we had not seen in a year or longer.  It was great eating all the food and not have to clean up the kitchen!  Eva remarked today right before our meal, "There is so much food!"  Many of you know Eva's fixation on food.  Joy picked through her meal, but asked for seconds of jello.  Figures.  Jack did not have a single piece of green food on his plate, but Jordan had a beautiful variety, as did Seth.  I feel like I will not need to eat for days.

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Gotta love the belly button!

11.22.2009

Little Critters

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This is what Jordan almost hit last night on her way home from work.  She had to slam on her breaks to avoid him.  We live somewhat in the country, so we often see smaller wild animals, deer, foxes and such.  Mike and the boys saw a bear hiking, and we've read about them being in yards or even walking into the local hospitals.  It makes me reconsider walking on our driveway (pretty long and circular) after dark.  Maybe I'll save it for the daylight hours from now on.

11.21.2009

Flying On My Mind

Since we received our LOA, I've started thinking about traveling.  Not just traveling, but traveling half-way around the world without my husband.  On all of our adoption trips, or anywhere for that matter, I've never traveled alone.  I'm not afraid of going by myself, Mike just makes it so much easier.  He takes such good care of us.  This time, though, he will be staying home with all of the children.  I know it won't be easy for either of us this time around.  I'll be the one having to calculate the exchange rate when I purchase something, exchange the money, deal with all of the adoption paperwork while having Ivy Xue with me, ordering meals, deciding what/where to eat.  Mike was always the one to head out on his own and gather our weekly supply of snacks and drinking water.  God knew what he was doing when He gave us Ivy Xue.  At least we will be in one city during the entire adoption.  No traveling to the airport and checking into another hotel during the middle of our adoption trip.

That being said....I was online checking out various Asian hotel/airline ticket places.  I came across this compilation of videos here.  The music is kind of noisy/obnoxious, but the video itself is rather disturbing, especially for someone about to embark on a trip on the other side of the world.


11.19.2009

Fingerprinted..Again

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You'd think after adopting before and being fingerprinted many times, that we would not have to do it again.  But, no, I woke up at 4:20 a.m., and we were out the door at 5:25 a.m. to be re-fingerprinted.  Our previous fingerprints expire in January and we know I won't be traveling to China before then.  I'm so thankful to get that out of the way. 

So, now we wait on our I800 provincial approval from Immigration.  Once that is done, our file will be sent to the National Visa Center, where Ivy Xue's information will be submitted.  After that, our papework will head to the Embassy in Guangzhou, China.  Once we receive our approval from the Embassy, our Article 5 will be issued and sent to the Adoption Center in Beijing.  Once they approve us to travel, they'll mail a letter to our agency letting us know we can make our travel plans.  It seems like so much, but we're hoping it is no more than 8 weeks.

11.18.2009

Eva-ism

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Eva:  When can I be a mom?
Me:  When you get older like Jordan or Mommy.  But first you need to find a man to marry who loves Jesus with all of his heart.
Eva:  How about Mr. Snyder? (He's a Godly married man, father of 5, and our dear friends)
Me:  You want to marry Mr. Snyder?
Eva:  I'll just marry Joy.

Priceless.


11.16.2009

Surprise, Surprise!

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After thinking there would be a significant delay in our LOA, our agency called to say it arrived today!  I'm stunned, but why should I be?  I prayed that it would come quickly, and God heard those quiet whispered prayers.

Just As I Expected


Not good news.  The CCAA has a reputation of taking a long time to issue LOA's if they have a question about a family's file.  Our file had questions because of our adoption (failed adoption) of Maggie back in May.  Our agency director explained everything to them.  Now, we just wait to see what happens.  We are LOI 8/24/2009.  Many, many families with later LOI's have received their LOA's already.  So, even though we are on day 84 of our wait, we aren't technically that late.  But, we realize that because of the questions asked, we may not see our LOA for a month or so.  It makes me very sad...sad for Ivy Xue.

11.13.2009

The Penny Drop

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When we were in China in May, Eva put a air-soft BB up her nose.  After some persuading, she blew it out, and all was well.  A couple of months later, Joy decided to shove a pea up her nose.  Again, the same result.  When Seth was 4 years old, he dropped a tiny pebble in his ear and had to have his ear flushed.  I have to admit that I stuck corn up my nose as a child.  I eventually sneezed it out after mom shook pepper in my face.

This leads me to our incident in Florida.  Eva was excited to find a penny on the floor of our condo.  She carried it around for a while.  Then it was almost bedtime and the girls were down in their sleeping bags watching Animal Planet.  When I went in to check on them, Eva was half way under the bed.  I pulled her out by her legs, startling her.  Apparently, she had the penny in her mouth at the time.  It fell into her throat and she started coughing and gagging.  I screamed for Mike.  Eva screamed.  What do I do?  I started to do the heimlich maneuver on her, but thought I shouldn't since she was crying and breathing.  We realized the penny was down for good.  We called the hospital and they said most children just pass it on through.  That was a relief to know.  I'm sure most parents have had this same experience at some time in their lives.  It was just very scary.  And, no, I did not check the potty daily looking for that penny.


11.12.2009

Our Trip

We recently returned from Florida after visiting with Martha for a few days.  We left last Friday night after Jack's championship soccer win.  It was quite chilly watching the game wrapped in a blanket.  We made it to South Carolina before stopping for the night.  By the time we reached our destination, it was over 80 degrees and sunny.  Aahh.  I'm happy to say that Martha seems to be doing fine.  She was much frailer and smaller from the last time we saw her 2 years ago.  Martha is currently in rehab and has PT twice a day.  She cannot return to her apartment until she can move around on her own.  She is so weak that I don't see that happening anytime soon.  She's anxious to leave.   She loved seeing everyone.  She was amazed at how much the children had changed, Seth especially.  He always seemed to be her favorite.  She also remarked at how beautiful Eva was, how handsome Jack had become, and how stubborn Joy was.  "Mike had seen better days" according to Martha.  She always had a knack for speaking her mind.  By our third visit, I think she was tired.  The children were a bit rowdy for her.  Between Jack and Seth whipping around her room in her wheelchair and the girls wanting to play in her handicapped potty chair, Martha had had enough.  We probably should have broken up our visits with just half of our family at a time.  We all had a great time, and we're praying about visiting in the springtime.
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We had a full day at the beach before the waters got choppy from tropical storm Ida.  The girls enjoyed their first beach experience and did much better than I expected.  Seth, Jack, and Mike made it to the beach the following day without us girls.  The winds were high and the sand blew pretty hard, so we decided to stay by the pool.

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Eva and her special sea urchin

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My handsome boys

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I love the delight on the girls' faces

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Every child needs to be buried in the sand.

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Doing his favorite thing.

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Yes, Joy's napping.

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Eating alligator

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80 Days Waiting for LOA

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And that's all I have to say about that.

11.04.2009

Martha

I met Martha at church 20 years ago when I was pregnant with Jordan.  She's such a sweet lady who loves the Lord with all of her heart.  We always stayed in contact with her throughout the years.  When we moved back to Virginia after living in Illinois for a few years, she was the first one to contact us.  We struck up a very strong relationship.  We would do most if not all of the work needed around her house.  Seth cut her grass every week.  We raked her leaves (40 lawn bags) every fall, and often we had to go back and rake again (thanks to 3 or more oak trees).

After we came home with Joy, Martha started getting ill often.  She moved to Florida with her daughter.  She recently fell and broke her hip.  Mike spoke with her a few weeks ago and she said, "I'd like to see you all one last time."  How do you reply to that?  She's almost 90, she's our dear friend, and we love her very much.  So, we're packing everyone up and heading to Florida to see Martha for a few days.  We are very blessed to be staying in Martha's son-in-law's condo for free.  Martha is in rehab for most of the day, so we will be visiting with her every evening.  During the day, the children will get to play at the beach.  Eva and Joy have never seen the ocean, so this will be an exciting first for them.

The hard part will be saying good-bye.  It is very likely that we may never see her again this side of heaven.  It will not be easy to hold back the tears.

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11.02.2009

70 Days

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When I was little, I always thought being 7 years old was getting big.  Six still seemed babyish, but 7, wow, that was getting up there.  It was the same with being in the 7th grade.  Somehow 7 made such a difference in my perspective of things.  Seven weeks pregnant, 17 weeks pregnant, 7th month of pregnancy, 7 years of marriage.  It was always a milestone I was glad to reach when I was "waiting" for something.  Now, we have waited 70 days for our LOA.  It feels so good to be "up there".  Does this mean I won't feel old until I am 70?
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