Wednesday, April 28, 2010

10am Update


At 9:45 am we got our long awaited travel call.

Praise the Lord!

9:30am Update

No call yet....

Our stomachs are in knots.

We are still hopeful for good news today.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Please TC Tomorrow!

We called DC today and our P3 has been returned and our little guy has his VI scheduled. Everything should be done so we should be cleared to travel! We hope our phone rings tomorrow morning with good news that we have TC. I can't wait to hold my son and be a mommy!

Chairs Recovered

Just when we thought we couldn't fit any more projects in...we did. This past weekend we recovered our 8 chairs. Somehow I forgot to take pictures while we took apart the original covers. Bummer, because that was the real challenge since there were tons of staples!
Dad was a crucial helper on the project. Although Mom, Grammy and I also helped him.
Travis and Grandad were watching the Blazer game and during commercial breaks and at the end of the game I convinced him to help with the project.
Dad in action with the staple gun.
Eventually, we started to make quicker progress.
Here is a finished product. I think they look great! These will be much better covers than the light cloth we had before.
The scraps from the old covers and the extra pieces of the new covers in the garbage.
Grammy helped with the chair recovering project but she also did a couple other little projects in our home.

Thanks everyone for all your help! We love our family.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stocking the Freezer

Some of the things on my list this past weekend were a few grocery items that I needed in order to stock the freezer.

On Monday morning I made a double batch of meatloaf. Here is the recipe I used.

Dan Willis’ Balsamic Meatloaf

3 T olive oil

1 large zucchini, finely diced 2 pounds ground beef

1 red bell pepper, finely diced 1 C bread crumbs

1 yellow pepper, finely diced ½ C grated Parmesan cheese

5 cloves garlic, pressed or 1 cup ketchup, divided

smashed to a paste ¼ C plus 2 T balsamic vinegar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 T finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 425o F.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs and thyme in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, 2 TB of the balsamic vinegar, and the cooled vegetables, and mix until just combined.

Mold the meatloaf in a glass pan. (This recipe could ruin a metal pan.) Line with aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Whisk together the remaining ketchup and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.

Spoon some of the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1.25 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with remaining ketchup/balsamic mixture.

On Tuesday morning I made spaghetti sauce. Here is the recipe I used.

Spaghetti Sauce

4 (14oz) cans diced tomatoes-crush with hand blender

4 (15oz) cans tomato sauce

4 (6oz) cans tomato paste

2 bay leaves

1 t salt

¾ t pepper

1 T dried oregano-crush in hand or with mortar and pestle

3 T dried parsley-crush in hand or with mortar and pestle

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

Saute’ onion and garlic in olive oil. Cook all ingredients in a crock-pot all day.

On Wednesday morning I cooked ground beef, added chopped vegetables, and taco seasoning.

We now have a stocked freezer. Come on travel call!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Embassy Appearance

We found out this morning that Isaiah has made his Embassy Appearance (EA). DC can see his picture! Many families get a travel call just a few days after EA. I hope we will be in Korea soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Special Saturday Project

One of the items on my To-Do List was to install our carseat!
The carseat was pretty easy to install. I can't wait for Isaiah to ride in his carseat... soon!

Weekend To-Do List

On Friday evening before going to bed I made a HUGE To-Do List! Unfortunately I didn't take a before picture. But, here is an after picture.
Wow, I got tons done this weekend. All but two things got crossed off my list! I am so getting ready to go to Korea.

Friday Night Fun

Friday evening my sister, Travis, and I went to Fowler Middle School's performance of The Real Inspector Hound (my brother in-law was the director) The students did a great job!
The Real Inspector Hound is a one-act play by Tom Stoppard. The plot follows two theater critics named Moon and Birdboot who are watching a ludicrous setup of a country house murder mystery, in the style of a whodunit. By chance, they become involved in the action causing a series of events that parallel the play they are watching.

After the show we swung by Safeway to get some ice cream. While we were there my sister found diapers on a really good sale AND she remembered that cereal was on sale. Here is a picture of our EXCITEMENT about good deals!
After sales and coupons we got the boxes of cereal for $1.50!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Recipe

I found a new recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins on a blog titled For the Love of Cooking.

* 1 3/4 cup flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup of vanilla yogurt
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 large, very ripe bananas
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a muffin tray with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, white sugar and brown sugar until well combined. In another bowl, mix the egg, oil, yogurt, vanilla and mushed bananas until mixed thoroughly. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients without over mixing. Add the chocolate chips and fold them into the batter. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown and a tester inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Cool on a rack then serve with butter. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sample of Pororo cartons that Isaiah LOVES!

Meet the characters in this fun music video. It doesn't have any English subtitles, but it is so cute it doesn't matter that I can't understand what they are saying.

Here is a short story video I found that has English subtitles included so we can know what we are watching!

Happy 16 Month Birthday!

I called DC yesterday. I had to wait on hold for 10-15 minutes just to find out nothing has happened. No Embassy Appearance (they can't see him picture yet), No returned Packet 3, and No Visa Interview schedule yet. I knew it could be too early to call so I wasn't hugely disappointed. I probably won't call DC again until later this week or early next week.

Today, on his 16 month birthday we got an email with a Progress Report attached. This is our first one! A Progress Report is when a social worker (in Korea, not our local ones) goes to the foster families home and observes/interviews the family. Then we get a detailed report of the visit. Here is a copy of some things we learned about Han-gyeol...

Walks holding on to furniture. Walks well without support. Sits down if the foster mother helps him put on shoes. Throws a toy he is playing with. Uses both hands well. Opens a drawer and takes things out. Likes motion or sound-making toys. If his name is called or he hears something, he turns head and looks at you or it. Shakes his body like he dances when he is happy or music comes from TV. Closely watches TV cartoons (titled PORORO) and nursery programs.

Here is a picture from ( of Pororo the Little Penguin and his friends.

Here are a few more things we learned about Han-gyeol...

Plays pat-a-cake. Makes similar sounds of um-ma and a-bba. Understands simple sentences adults say. If not allowed to do, he stops doing and looks at you. Has well-digested bowel movements twice daily. Takes 240cc of milk based formula four times daily and 200ml of fresh milk twice daily. Eats 2 or 3 spoonfuls of rice mixed with bean paste soup or beef stew (not seasoned with much salt). For side dishes, eats tofu, egg, cheese, and fried potato. If fed sliced bananas, apples, strawberries, and tangerines. Enjoys yogurt, soft cookies, and baby food. Sleeps throughout the night from 10:30 pm until 7:00 am. Sleeps rolling over. During sleep, goes to a cool place and kicks his covers off. Sleeps much better if it is quiet and dark. Naps for one hour twice in the afternoon if it is quiet. Doesn’t fuss when sleepy. Sleeps well if the foster mother hugs and pats him. Has four upper and four lower teeth. The foster mother brushes his teeth. Doesn’t enjoy bath time; since he fusses when his clothes are taken off, he needs to be soothed; however, he appears refreshed and quiets down when his clothes are put on. Is a bit shy with strangers but easily warms up to them. Enjoys outdoor activities. Loves to be hugged or carried on the foster mother’s back. When looking into a mirror, smiles and wants to touch it. If the foster family comes home, he welcomes them.

I love my little guy more and more each day! I am praying we get to travel soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Beco Baby Carrier

This weekend I bought a beco baby carrier. I am so excited to be able to use it with Isaiah and other future babies. I had a quick trial run with my nephew and he liked it pretty well and I really like how comfortable the carrier felt.


  • newborn to toddler (7-45 lbs/3.5 - 20 kg)
  • front and back carry
  • easy On and OFF features
  • high quality tested materials
  • machine washable
  • DVD instructions included
  • made in USA and China


  • body 13" wide x 16" tall
  • shoulder straps 23" (can be adjusted up to 22" LONGER for a total of 45")
  • waist belt 28"(size 0) can be adjusted up to 57"
  • weight capacity of the carrier: 7-45 lbs
  • weight of the carrier: 1.8 lbs

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Story Time

About a week ago one evening I headed upstairs to go to bed. I knew Travis was going to be coming upstairs to go to bed too just a few minutes behind me. For some reason on this particular night I noticed how dark it was at the top of the stair landing and I decide to crouch down and TRY to scare Travis when he came up to bed. We don't normally do silly things like this to each other, but for some reason it sounded like a fun ATTEMPT. Well to my surprise it worked... I totally scared him! He even feel down at the top of the landing. He was fine and totally over it quickly and we went to bed. I thought it was funny that he ACTUALLY got scared. Normally when I try to annoy him or tickle him it never works.

Well last night Travis went upstairs first and then I was followed soon after. Now realize Travis never mentioned getting back at me. He typically isn't like that.. well guess what... Travis yelled AH! when I got to the top of the stairs. It totally scared me. I screamed and started crying immediately. After he hugged me and I calmed down we were able to go to bed. We laughed and said we were glad we got that out of your system before Isaiah comes home. As our reactions would have totally woke him up.

Oh the joys of being married and having silly moments together. What a great reminder of how much I love my husband!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Coloring Easter Eggs

Here is the table all set up to color Easter eggs. Notice the box of Frosted Mini Wheats... that was Campbell's cereal snack.
There is a fine art to decorating Easter eggs!
Happy boy eating his snack.
Pops made an egg in honor of Isaiah. Mommy and Daddy are coming soon baby boy!
I tried to help Campbell color an egg... he just wanted to stick his hand in the food coloring water.
We were trying to get him to hold the egg, but he thought it was a ball so kept passing it to his mommy. Silly boy!

What happens after EP approval...

Steps that need to occur before our baby is ready to travel. All of these steps are estimated to take about one month. We are hoping to travel in early May!

Travel Certificate- Holt Korea will apply to the Ministry of Foreign affairs for the travel certificate after the EP has been approved. This typically takes about a week to gain the approval.

Visa Physical Exam- This is done by an outside Doctor and has to be done after the EP and travel certificate have been issued.

P3-The packet that Holt-Korea submits into the Embassy for the one way travel visa. This packet contains; I600, I864, birth/marriage/divorce certificates of adoptive parents, 1040, W2, legal document of child, vaccination certificate, visa physical examination, medical acceptance letter (if needed), photo of child and IR4. This takes 5-8 business days to be approved.

VI- Visa Interview-The foster families now have to physically take the children down to the Embassy for a visa interview. This happens after the paperwork has been submitted into the Embassy.

Final steps to prepare for travel- a pre-flight report is given to all families and contains important information such as eating, sleeping and other things to help with the transition.

Friday, April 02, 2010

No April Foolin AROUND!


Statements about Me...

1. I like having a clean house. I feel stressed when the house isn't clean.

2. I don't especially love the act of house cleaning.

3. I tend to clean house to reduce my stress.

4. Even though I don't love the act of cleaning, I still do it. My favorite house chore is laundry. My least favorite is cleaning bathrooms and refrigerators.

5. I do a lot of surface upkeep cleaning, but I am not as good at regular deep cleaning. My mom is much better at regular deep cleaning than me.

To be honest the whole lack of EP approval and worry that the ministry might be closed has created some stress for me. Yesterday I broke down and did my two least favorite cleaning chores. I deep cleaned my refrigerator and part of our bathroom (I still have the floors and shower to finish).

Did doing these cleaning projects make me feel better? Not really, but I am enjoying that things are clean in my house.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


On 3/30/2010 we heard of a rumor that perhaps the ministry (place where EP's are approved) may be closed for the month of April. There is speculation that nothing will happen in April (no EP's submitted or approved) because they are hiring and training new staff. My heart sank when I heard of this rumor. Please God let it be a rumor. Please let Isaiah get his EP approval in the month of April! I can't imagine waiting another whole month where NOTHING will happen. We are ready to start our lives as parents and have our little guy home.


We found out that the group submitted for EP on 1/25 (not us) just got approved on 3/29/2010. That means we are NEXT! Our EP was submitted on 1/29 and we are stilling waiting for approval. Pray for good news and that we too will have EP approval soon!