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Tuesday, November 29, 2005
It's snowing, It's snowing!!
Referring to the previous post there are some things that are not so great about Washington. Yes, I will admit it. In our neck of the woods we rarely get snow in the winter. It is so bad that last year the ski areas didn't really open. Sad but true.
However, I am proud to announce that it is currently snowing at my house. Of course in the 5 minutes since it started it has gone from really wet slush to huge flakes to nearly sticking back to really wet slush. Even so, I am running around like a child on Christmas with joy!! I love snow.
I love snowball fights, snowmen, the quietness that comes with a snowfall and the sound snow makes when you walk on it. When we get more than an inch I make Derek take a walk outside with me.
The snow is so cool that I had to open the living room curtain all the way and put on some Christmas music. I am simply pathetic!!!
Will you all remind me of this moment when we are in Khabarovsk in the dead of winter and I am frozen solid. Of course the Russians will probably think I am nuts for throwing snowballs at my husband as we walk down the street. Do you think they will deem me crazy for making a snowman outside of the hotel?

Ok, now it is raining again. Joyous moment over. Back to cold and wet.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Why Washington is the best state ever!!
Derek and I occasionally participate in a message board for other Eastern European adoptions. It is known as FRUA. Every Friday everyone posts on a thread called "Friday Silliness". Due to the extended wait times, most parents decided that we needed a little humor in our lives. Hence Friday Silliness. This week we extended Friday Silliness to "Holiday Silliness". We recently posted Jeff Foxworthy's "You know you are from the Northwest when". This got us thinking... you know, the best stuff comes from Washington! So here is my list of things that originated in Washington that make it great. I dare you to post a comment telling me why your state is better than Washington. Come on... I dare you!!

1. Starbucks
2. Microsoft
3. Boeing
4. Costco
5. Taco Del Mar
6. Dick's Drive-In
7. Tim's Cascade Potato Chips
8. REI
9. Eddie Bauer
11. UPS (The big brown truck, not the school. Although the school is pretty cool too.)
12. Almond Roca
13. Pike's Place Market
14. Microbrews (ok, they didn't actually start in WA, but we started that trend)
15. Grunge music (I know this is passe, but you can't argue with old Pearl Jam)
16. Dale Chihuly Glass

So lets hear it. Why is your state better than ours?


* The original list of Why Washington is the Greatest state was created totally out of my head. No internet intervention here people. With a little creative searching I am going to expand on the list.

** Although Starbucks may have been a rip-off of a California based company, the original is still at Pike's Place Market. I can also say that coffee from this Starbucks is much better than any other Starbucks I have been to.

*** Similarily, Microsoft is based in Redmond, but as many of you know Bill's Windows program is clearly an Apple rip off.

Here are a few other Seattle firsts/ originals/ greats:

J.P. Patches
The first espresso cart
The Space Needle
The Monorail (please don't judge us by the fact that the 2 trains crashed together this weekend)
Muzak (ok, so elevator music isn't that great, but I bet you didn't know it was from Seattle!)
The Wave (not started in the Kingdome like most think, rather started at Husky Stadium)
First US Team to ever win the Stanley Cup (the Seattle Metropolitains beat the Montreal Canadians in 1917)

I should stop right there since the hockey card trumps all other cards, but just to drive home my point here are a few more.

The classic Happy face
The first Hydroplane boat
World's first gas station
More glass blowing studios than anywhere else in the US
Seattle International Film festival is the largest in the country
Largest % of Library card holders (We are not only artsy, we are smart too)
Largest WiFi network in the world is at the Microsoft Headquarters
Pacific Northwest Ballet has the hightst per capita dance attendance in the US (and I have a friend who plays in their orchestra)
Northgate mall is the first covered shopping mall

Ok, I think that helps up my status.

Bring it on!!!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I want to wish all of you a blessed Thanksgiving. I know that in our house we have much to be thankful for. We have a home, food to eat, each other and a whole group of family and friends who love and support us very much. I also want to say thank you to everyone who asks, "Any news on Sasha yet?" I may look irritated, disgusted or sad when you ask, but really I know you ask because you care. I get asked nearly everyday. So that tells you how many people care for this little boy. He is so loved even before he has had the chance to meet all of you.

On to my Thanksgiving so far. Our turkey is currently cooking, and, unlike Rhonda, my house was full of smoke. I think it must be my oven. I probably should try cleaning it. We are expecting a very small group. Just Derek and I and D's parents. His sis G goes to California every year to be with his other sis L and her family. We miss her, but it is her chance to be cool auntie G.

I want to wish my good friend Danielle a very happy birthday!! She turns the big 3-0 today. We had a grand celebration last night. Very fun!

Well blessings to you all and Happy Turkey Day!!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving
We hope that everyone has a safe and blessed thanksgiving. Even though our son isn't home yet, I feel that we have so much to be thankful for this year. I am especially grateful for the love and support from all our family and friends throughout this roller-coaster ride. I truly don't know how we would have gotten this far without all of you. As a Thanksgiving treat, I will post some more of my twisted sense of humor...(stop groaning, Lisa) Last time it was 'cheesy' pick-up lines, this time in the spirit of the season it's turkey pick-up lines!

And one more for good measure....

Sunday, November 20, 2005
Other stuff
Since there really isn't any concrete news on the adoption front I figured I would blog about the other stuff going on. Mostly I sit on the sofa and surf the internet about additional adoption news. Sad really, but it is true.
Well, the major news in our house is that on Wednesday the 9th I had surgery. Now most of our blog followers are our family members and most of you already knew this little tidbit. For those of you not "in the know" that is the excitement. I happened to find out that I had a significant uterine fibroid and endometriosis. Fun stuff. It actually answered some huge questions we had. Like, "why can't we get pregnant?"
So week before last I spent 3 fun filled days in the hospital. This is the first time I had ever been hospitalized, and I am here to tell you I don't wish to go back any time soon. I had to share a room with another person, the food was terrible and the nurses were slow. Of course the exception was the nursing student (yes, nursing student) that was there to wait on me hand and foot. I guess that sign that says "Sucker" on my forehead was blinking again. Actually, I should say for a nursing student she did a fantastic job! Kudos to her.
Since being home I have done nothing more than lay on the couch and yes, surf the internet for more adoption information. Of which there is none. For those of you who don't know me I refer you to an earlier post about my high strung state of being. My family is so concerned that I am over doing it. Personally I think I am doing fine. My stomach muscles feel like someone beat the heck out of me, but other than that the dizzyness, nausea and most of the pain is gone. My issue is when I put on shoes and get out of the house.
I tried the mall with my mom on Friday (not today, don't worry we weren't trapped in some psycho mall shooting). The mall wasn't such a good idea. Back pain and heart burn something fierce. I then tried the grocery store yesterday. Again with the back pain. Today was Target. Back pain again, but not as bad. This does not bode well for returning to my church job on Tuesday. This will also put a damper in my Thanksgiving feast this week. Guess I will have to go back to, "Derek, can you bring me...". Yeah right. I gotta get off this couch!!!
In the mean time, I too will pass on a little game for all of you. I will say I got this off of Rhonda's blog.
Here are the rules:
* Everyone has to cross the river.* Only 2 persons on the raft at a time.* Only the Father, the Mother and the Policeman know how to operate the raft.* The Father can not stay with any of the daughters without their Mother's presence.* The Mother can not stay with any of the sons without their Father's presence.* The thief (striped shirt) cannot stay with any family member if the Policeman is not there.* To start the game click on the big blue circle on the right.* To get the people on the raft click on them.* To move the raft click on the red dot at the top of the pole on the opposite side of the river.

Try to time how long it takes you. Post your time in the comment section. If anyone beats Derek I will bring you back a bar of Russian chocolate. His time is 15 minutes. Good Luck!!!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
DUMA Meeting
Ok, so there is a lot of information coming out of Russia this morning about the big DUMA meeting that occurred today (it's evening in Moscow right now). Both the Ministry of Education and the prosecutor General officials addressed a session of the Russian parliament regarding the adoption of children by foreigners. I will post a link to the most complete story that I could find so you can read it for yourself. Seems that lots of issues were discussed and nothing has occurred that will slow things down further. It was nice to see a Russian official that agrees that some reforms need to take place but also believes that international adoption should continue. We're not yet sure how all of this will affect the reaccreditation process but I am still hopeful that things will start to happen soon. Hopefully we will get more information from AIA on tomorrow night's chat. Have a great day and please continue to keep all the waiting families and children in your prayers.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Things should start moving soon
The time has finally arrived that we received GOOD news from Russia. We received information from AIA that the interdepartmental meeting did take place today in Moscow. The Ministry of Education and Prosecutor General met to discuss international adoption. Here's what we know that came out of the meeting:

  1. Independent adoptions are to become illegal.
  2. Four agencies, including one from the US, have lost their accreditation
  3. Without further meetings needed, the MoE will begin to reaccredit the remaining agencies in working order.
Olga told us that she that she didn't have any further information but she will let us know as soon as she finds out anything else. We're hoping that things will really start moving and that reaccreditation will happen soon. As soon as we know I will post it here so that you all will know. Thanks for all your support and prayers. Hopefully we'll have more good news to report soon.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Primetime Live
Ok, this is another call to action (am I becoming an activist? hmmm.) Anyway, I have read today on several of the various adoption boards that Primetime Live is planning on running a story on their Nov 17th show about a Russian girl who was adopted and then forced into child pornography. I can't stress enough how damaging a story about that could be right now. I am asking that you click on the link below and write a message to ABC/Primetime Live encouraging them not to run this story. It is sensationalism and can only hurt those of us waiting. Here is the link:


Monday, November 07, 2005
New links
Ok, so I added a couple of new links to the sidebar. I know many of you have probably said to yourselves "self, I wish I could see what's going on in Khabarovsk." Well, now you have your chance. I just added links to 2 webcams in Khabarovsk. SO now anytime, night or day, you too can see if the sun is shining or if it's snowing in Khabarovsk. Maybe when we go back, we'll have to figure out where the right spot to stand is... that way you all can see us in Russia, lol. But seriously, I think that it's pretty cool to be able to see Khab on the internet. Webcam 1 is outside of the 'Platinum Arena' (a place I'm sure we'll have to visit on our second trip since it's the home of Khabarovsk's hockey team). Webcam 2 is a shot high above looking down on Lenin Square. The building you see is directly across from the government building where our court hearing will take place. I hope you enjoy the links and a little slice of Russia.


P.S. Happy 63rd birthday to my dad (a.k.a. 'Papa'), much love always!