Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Lemonade

Shortly after my last post my life was changed forever....

(Go and read this post here so that you will know what lemonade means.)
The story is INCREDIBLY long and I have been going on just a few hours of sleep since Thursday so the long story will have to wait.
Our son, Camden Kiner, was born November 26th at around 10pm. He was 7lbs 6oz. We had no idea he was coming.

We found out he was born Thanksgiving morning while I was on my Turkey Trot, with Jessica and Cynthia running right beside me. Aric got the call that a baby was born in South Carolina and sent Mike Sampson out to find me. When he told me what was going on an emotion bigger than I have ever experienced came over me. I knew instantly in my heart he was ours. The rest of the day is a blur. We were planning on hosting Thanksgiving at our house. The poor Romney's and Stockman's came over and had to fend for themselves. Aric did manage to fry the turkey with the help of Ryan while I was pretty much on the phone or on the computer filling out paper work. I did the work of two weeks in a day. By 5:15 the next morning we were on our way to get our baby.
There have been so many miracles along the way I don't think I could post them all. We are still experiencing them. We met our courageous birthmom who is truly one of the most amazing people I have ever met. Our meeting is too sacred to even write about.
At 2pm this afternoon our precious son was put in our arms. Aric and I keep fighting over him. The Lord has held our hands through this whole experience and continues to sustain us through the prayers and faith of our dear family and friends. Things are still far from being final we still have to wait for the courts to give us permission to leave the state. They have some strict laws about inter racial and out of state adoptions so we are asking for our friends and family to join us in a special fast tomorrow. We are praying that the courts will move quickly and that we be able to get home next Saturday to be reunited with the girls and finally be home again. We feel so blessed, there are no words to express the depth of our gratitude for this amazing experience. Thank you all for your love and support. Believe it or not this is the short version. I will post again with updates soon. Oh and can I just say I love Charleston, South Carolina....the most incredible place to take pictures!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Before our festivities begin, I wanted to make sure that I get this post out there to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to our dear family and friends who live so far away. As we take time to remember our blessings today we will be counting you among them.
My blessings are too many to count and too many to acknowledge in a post. But at the very top of my list are these:
My Savior, Jesus Christ.
My knowledge that God has a plan for me and for each and everyone of us.
My family, there's lots of you and you know who you are.
My friends, I have been blessed with friends who are so dear that they are family to me.
This country, for the freedoms that I enjoy. For the gift to be able to raise my children in peace and for them to have a bright future.
There are many, many more. But no room to write them all.
So Happy Thanksgiving to all of my peeps out there. I hope you have a yummy feast. I will post about our festivities later. For now I've got to go run...literally...I'm running in the Turkey Trot race. Gots to burn those calories before I eat them!
Yesterday Eden's Kindergarten class had a Thanksgiving feast. She insisted that she be dressed as a pilgrim. Problem is we have no pilgrim costumes, so this is what we came up with.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You know I did it...

...of course I saw Twilight opening weekend! Remember this is the girl that read the first three books in a week that would be around 1700 pages my friends! (My kids were at my moms that week. ) 

And then went and got the last book at midnight the day it was released.
It took me about five days to read Breaking Dawn because my kids were around and I couldn't lock myself in my room to read uninterrupted. So needless to say I have been very much anticipating this movie. And let me tell did not disappoint, well maybe the acting did but still, I was thoroughly entertained!

I went with my sister and some of my other Twilight fanatic friends. We went yesterday we weren't crazy enough to do the midnight showing. I have school age kids! There was no way I could have done that and still gotten my kids to school on time the next morning. So I did the responsible thing and went on Saturday.


My review...

I was not a fan of Robert Pattison as Edward...until I saw the movie. He definitely got cuter as the movie went on.

Bella was good, a little too much sighing and heavy breathing for me, but then again I've never been in love with a vampire so maybe that was right on.

L.O.V.E.D  Alice and Emmett, I thought Jasper was great comic relief. Rosalie...not my favorite.
I was also impressed with the "other" vampires, they were very well cast. James and Victoria were very much what I imagined, Laurant wasn't anything I expected but I really liked him.

The music...totally disappointed. In fact I have made my own playlist. I changed my playlist on my blog for this post. So if you want to hear some of  my picks check out the songs below. The song "Asleep" by The Smiths is the song I would hear whenever the book talked about the song Edward wrote for  Bella. Not so much the words just the piano.

Overall I thought they did a great job cramming a lot of story in a two hour movie. I missed the relationship development between Edward and Bella that happens in the book. That is why their connection is so deep. Obviously two hours is not enough time to really get into that but I'm so glad I got to read about it in the book.

So I give this movie almost two thumbs up...the music thing is my only real hang up.

I didn't mind sharing the theater with teeny boppers, and surprisingly there weren't that many. Seeing them did get me thinking. I'm trying to decide if it's a good thing that they think that guys like Edward really exist. Because if they did, those girls wouldn't let a boy treat them like crap or be fooled into thinking that lust is love. On the other don't want these girls raising the bar so high that they won't be able know a good guy when they see one.

All I have to say is that I found a keeper, I'm glad he's not Edward. I really think that after awhile I would get annoyed by the constant hovering. Don't get me wrong I like having Aric's attention, but I do think Edward sort of overdoes it and like I said before having to live with that all the time could get annoying.

I really liked this movie and I can't wait for New Moon/Eclipse. I'm really hoping they do them together because New Moon didn't do that much for me until the last few chapters.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Husband...

I was tagged by my friend Ky to do a "husband tag". This tag couldn't have come at a better time... I need blogging material. I was also tagged by Leah F. but I'm saving that tag because I am in a rut so I will do that one in a couple of days.
This is Aric, my husband.
5  things Aric loves to do...
1.   Play PS2 Football. We have strict rules about his playing so it doesn't happen as often as he would like.                          
2.   Play football with his friends even when it's like 10 degrees outside. In fact he is playing right now, at least it's indoors tonight.
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3.   Watch football...NFL, arena,college, high school...
4.   Go to concerts. We both love to do this, if only we had the same taste in music.
5.   Go out on dates with me.

5  things on his "to do" list...
Aric doesn't have a "to do" list for himself, but I have one for him.
1.   Hang up Christmas lights.
2.   Clean the master bathroom.
3.   Bring his clean shirts up from the laundry room and hang them nicely in the closet.
4.   Clean up his desk.
5.   Finish cleaning up the's almost done!

5  of his favorite foods...
1.   Spaghetti, but the girls and I don't like it so he makes it for himself.
2.   Steak....medium please.
3.   Crem Brule...another thing I don't make, thank heaven's we have a friend that does. (Ashley)
4.   Cocoa Puffs.
5.   BBQ Ribs. He got the secret recipe from my step dad, Joe, and then he and his buddy, Mike, have perfected the cooking process.



5 things people don't know about him...
1.   He knows every stat, on every player, in every sport. It's pretty amazing.
2.   He likes to create recipes. He makes a mean tomato soup.
3.   He has an addiction to neck ties.
4.   He has a collection of silly t-shirts that is worthy of its own post.
5.   Mullets make him laugh...especially little kid mullets.

5 things he doesn't like....
1.   When people say they are going to do something then don't follow through.
2.   Cleaning bathrooms...basically any household chore.
3.   Putting up Christmas lights. Heights.
4.   When men get hair plugs.
5.   the Indigo Girls brings out the worst in him.

So there you have it. I changed the format a little to make sure I highlighted who Aric really is.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Shout- Out!

This is a birthday shout out to my "spunkalicious" Tia Ana and my "sweetalicious" friend Ky.

First Tia...

(I'm having some technical difficulties, so I can't put some of my favorite old pictures up...I'll have to save them for next year.)


My Tia Ana is my mom's youngest sister. She has always been a huge part of my life. Heavenly Father put her in my life knowing that someday she would save it. She has always been there for me... through college days and boyfriend drama, to putting me back together when my world came crashing down.  She was there when Aric and I met, and has seen me through every joy and every crisis that life has brought me.

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She is always tons of fun.



When she comes to visit, it is always about the girls. Every free moment is devoted to them. She and my uncle have made great sacrifices for her to come and visit. Her nieces are her "practice grandchildren" and she takes her role very seriously.

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She comes bearing gifts galore and my girls soak up all the "brown sugar" they can.


Happy Birthday Tia Ana!

I thank God that you were born. Your life has been an example and a great blessing to me. We are sending lots and lots of brown sugar your way! We love You!


Now Ky...

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Here's to you my sweet friend!


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Nearly twenty years later we are still a part of each others lives. I was always the loud and crazy one, she was always the reserved sweet one. I will cherish our memories and I will ALWAYS love my sweet friend Kylene.

*I lost touch with Ky for a couple of years and we found each other again through blogging. Click here to read the post I did when I was trying to find her.


So here's my "Happy Birthday" shout out to these two fabulous women that have blessed my life....can I get HOLLA!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Highlights from the past couple of weeks

The past few weeks have been unusually busy. I've been helping my sister with some of her home improvement projects, and I forgot to take pictures...too bad. But things are looking good!
Last week I had to make a quick trip home for a funeral a dear family friend. She was my friend Melissa's mom and one of my youth leaders growing up. She battled cancer for many years. Her funeral was beautiful and it gave me a chance to reunite with many dear friends that I hadn't seen for years. In her passing she gave us a gift of renewing many friendships. I was able to reunite with one of my partners in crime growing up...Liza. For posterity's sake I will not post all of the trouble we got ourselves into. But I love her and I am so excited to be in touch again.

So this picture is like the worst quality ever I had to steal it off of her facebook because she still hasn't e-mailed me a copy of it.

Since there was no school on Veteran's Day, I let Maya and Eden have two of their favorite friends over for a VERY LONG play date. Maya and Elsa have been friends since they were two and Eden and Kate have been buddies since they were born.

Here they are dressed up as fairies...


On Wednesday I was able to go with Maya and her third grade class to see Peter Pan that a local children's theater put on. Edee tagged along too and we had a great time.


On Saturday we took the girls to see High School Musical 3. Aric is such a good sport. I'm pretty sure he was the only dad there. It was so fun to watch the girls faces during the movie. When Gabrielle and Troy finally kissed I thought Maya was going to die of embarrassment. Eden just covered her eyes and giggled. For paybacks Aric expects me to refer to him as "Wildcat" from now on.
(Look closely and you can see Eden's awesome outfit she picked out for the movie, aren't you lovin' those cheetah leggings. What you can't see is her black dress, hot pink cardigan, and those leggings were capri length so she wore black tights under them and then she wore her matching cheetah shoes. She and Maya both Sharpay would put it.... FABULOUS!)

And the biggest highlight of this week was FINALLY getting up on parent profiles. It is the number one adoption website out there. It took quite a bit of work to get all the paper work together and get all of our information and pictures up, but it is done.  It felt good to actually do something that could, hopefully, get us closer to finding our baby. This waiting business is not good for someone who lacks patience the way I do. Keep your eyes and ears open, who knows, maybe one of faithful readers, is the link to finding our little guy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bathroom Remodel

So the bathroom has been functional since Halloween. Meaning the toilet and the sink worked. But I wouldn't call it finished until I put the finishing touches on it.
So...close your eyes...well actually open them and click here to remember what it looked like...
Okay, now...are you ready?....

Let the OHHHHing and AHHHHing begin. 

I still have some touch up painting to do so don't look too closely.

We are big believers in recycling, so yes, that is a Fred Meyer sack lining the garbage can.

My wall is not crooked...the photographer is, and is too lazy to retake the picture so it looks straight.
It's hard to truly capture the colors, but I love them. I am so pleased with how it turned out. I am mostly pleased with how Aric and I did this all by ourselves. Unless you count the guys on the DoItYourself web site who were so helpful. Oh and our good friends the Hansen's who own every random tool known to man and were very gracious in letting us borrow them at  anytime of day or night.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen...our new bathroom.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thirty Two + One = Me

So last week I officially turned thirty three. I like my thirties so it really doesn't bother me. I had a great birthday.


My mom and grandma happened to be here on my birthday so I went out to lunch with them and Aric tagged along too. My Tia Ana did a tribute to me on her blog, click here to read it.



Aric and Eden made me cupcakes.



The girls made me some awesome cards and they also got me a new Red Sox hat and some new pajama's.



The day was filled with family and friends calling, e-mailing (thanks Kara) and dropping off gifts. Honestly I have the best friends ever. They took me out last night for a birthday dinner. My sister even got to come. She also made me birthday brownies on Saturday. It was like the birthday that wouldn't end....and I'm not complaining.


How can anyone be sad about getting older when you have people give you stuff and buy you meals.  I say bring on the birthdays!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I have been tagged by my friend Jenny. the sixth picture from the sixth folder in your picture files. Tell the story behind it.

So here it is...


These are my Young Women. I work with them at church. I am one of their leaders. We have a program called Personal Progress which is similar to the Boy Scout program. They work on goals that help them develop life skills and strengthen their relationship with God. After they complete all of the requirements they receive their Young Womanhood Medallion that is equivalent to an Eagle Scout.

We have a special night dedicated to them and some of the things they have accomplished over the year. This year I had the bright idea of teaching the girls how to sew. So I found a relatively easy pattern and we helped the girls make these darling skirts. It was a lot of work but well worth it. Aren't they so cute!

Now I'm supposed to tag six more I tag Amy Samps, my Tia Ana, my east coast buddy Liz, Meghann, Leah F, and my partner in adoption drama Erin.

Thursday, November 6, 2008



Last Sunday my little nephew Max Evan was blessed. In my church it is very similar to a christening.


I love how my family supports each other at such events. This was just a portion of our big family. Whoever could make it was there.

Growing up it was getting up early to go watch my brothers wrestle all day. As we got older there were tennis matches, choir and band concerts, football games, school plays, and graduations. Now as grown ups it's baptisms and baby blessings. I love it!



I just love this little guy. I know he was meant to come to our family at this time. I so hope that my little guy will come soon so that Max has a buddy to grow up with. With all the girls in our family he is totally outnumbered. He will need a buddy to play cars with and wrestle with. Dress ups just aren't gonna cut it.

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Maya and Eden just love little Max. We are all about nick names in our family and Eden decided that "Maxy" was to girlish so she calls him Max-o.


During the meeting Maya was busy drawing one-eyed monsters. So this is her after church showing me the picture while Eden acted like a one-eyed monster. Papa Joe doesn't look too scared.


I am so glad that we have family that lives close enough that they can make these special occasions. It makes them even that more special. I'm still basking in the togetherness of Maya's baptism. To those of you who weren't here...yeah Tia Ana, I'm talking about you and the were definitely missed. But don't worry I gave Max lots of extra kisses just for you! 



And a very special acknowledgment to my ever funny husband, Aric. Who no matter what, can find some way to be obnoxious and make us all laugh....even at a baby blessing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rockin' the Vote


(Eden took this picture of me turning in our ballots)

I'm a voter. I believe every vote counts. Maybe it's because I held an office from the time I was in fifth grade. I had to campaign. I had to make signs. I had to give speeches. And once I won the vote, I took my job seriously. I got to learn from a young age what it meant to be a leader. I got to make a plan a see it through. I loved it. While planning proms, blood drives and homecoming week, I learned about budgets, sponsors, time lines, and delegating. And I got to experience the sweet taste of a successful event. I really felt like I made a difference.

So now I'm a grown up and I vote for real people and I vote on real issues...I take it very seriously. These are some highlights from this election year...

It was a great opportunity to teach my children about our country and our government. My kids actually watched most of the republican convention with me and asked questions that I was able answer in a way that they could understand.

Conversations with friends who understand the importance of being educated on the issues. Thankfully all of my close friends share my same values and we supported the same people and stood on the same side of major issues.

Teaching my kids that just because someone has bad ideas doesn't make them a bad person.

Teaching my kids the history of voting in our country and why it is so important to vote, even if your person doesn't win.

Teaching my children about freedom and why our country is so special.

The bottom line is that I got to share this with my children. They are now old enough to have concerns and ask questions.

It's an exciting time to be alive. Although scary sometimes, I really do find comfort in knowing that God is really in charge. Men can think they are in charge and continue to try to screw things up but He will ultimately always be running the show.

I realized that exercising my right to vote gives me a chance to stand up for what I know is right...

Life is sacred...only God has the right to take it.

Marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God. Men can try and change it and may even get away with it on this earth. But ultimately God will accept only what He has ordained.

Living within our means is a commandment...maybe not one of the ten, but still a commandment. We need to encourage our government to do the same and not support more programs that aren't necessary that will only get us in more debt.

The list goes on but I think I've made my point.

So tonight I will pray for our new president, that he will not screw things up more than they already are. That he will listen to sound advice and keep our country safe. That he will find a better way to get our economy back on track and that he may find a way to ease the suffering of those struggling to survive in our beloved country.


*After we realized Obama had won Maya asked "So now are we going to go into a great deposit?" Obviously she meant depression...her friend at school had said if Obama won that's what would happen. So we got to have a little lesson on that...oh please let us not enter into another great deposit, I don't want to know how worse it can get.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I love Halloween. If I wasn't in a hurry I would post our past Halloween get ups. I'll save it for next year. Here is what my Halloween was like this year...

In the morning, after Maya was off too school, I had lots of time to get pictures of Eden before kindergarten...

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But none of Maya...sorry My Pie.

A fun lunch to celebrate my dear friend Meghann's birthday.


The poor girl was born on Halloween and rarely gets to actually celebrate her birthday on her birthday because of all of the holiday hoopla. So this year we had about an hour to celebrate before school parties started. Notice how I'm the ONLY one dressed up! SERIOUSLY why does that always happen to me! Next year I want to see some more festiveness. I've got some costumes to spare so there will no excuse for lame everyday get up next Halloween.


Then off to Maya's party. I got roped into being room mom...again.


So we had the doughnut on a string game for the third year in a row. What can I cracks me up!


Once I knew Maya's party was going well I snuck off to Eden's party. Here she is with her fun teacher Mrs. Martins.


Eden was so happy to see "Flicka" her horse. She couldn't take her on the bus with her because "the bus driver would not like having a horse on his bus."


After partying hard, we relaxed for a couple of hours. Then we were off to hit the streets...This is what we saw most of the night...


Eden dragging poor Flicka and trying to keep up with Maya. She refused to let us carry her horse. She said that she wanted the people to see Flicka.

After about an hour, their buckets were full and heavy, Maya's handle seriously broke off.


Time to go home.

We had a fun night with the girls. But what would Halloween night be like without some scary movies. So we had our favorite scary movie friends, the Sampsons, over and got freaked out by "The Grudge" and then laughed through "The Gravedancers".

So that was our Halloween. I didn't get a picture of all of us together. In fact I just realized I didn't get a picture of Aric at all! He was a football player. Not as fun as Napoleon Dynamite like he was last year but still a costume. Here is a picture of his football hand that made it's way into a picture.