Monday, June 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary!!!

Okay, so this is a couple days late. Our anniversary was on Saturday, June 21st, but we were having such a great weekend, I didn't have time to stop and write about it!! Friday night, all three boys spent the night with a friend from church and Tony and I went out to dinner and got to come home and NOT have to put boys to bed or worry about anyone waking up, etc. Saturday we had time to sit on the porch and drink coffee together WITHOUT hearing, "Mom!", "Dad!" every other minute. We went to the gym, had a great workout, came home and got ready for Saturday evening activities-- again, without being interrupted or rushed. Then went to pick the boys up around 2pm-- good thing we didn't have any more time alone... I was beginning to feel pretty comfortable :D!! We had dinner plans with a doc whom Tony worked with back at Walter Reed and his family, so we went straight to their HUGE home in Pinehurst, had a lovely dinner, swam in their beautiful pool-- in the rain-- and had three exhausted boys by the time it was all over!!

Just a side-note... have you ever been in a home that is over 8,000 sq. ft. and NOT on display or open to the public for touring??? Now, I can say I have and it was a bit overwhelming to say the least. I can't decide what overwhelmed me the most-- the size, the video camera/alarm/radio/intercom system, the elevator, number of rooms and hidden rooms, landscaping and perfectly manicured lawn, pool/hot-tub, gated playground for the children, automatic EVERYTHING.... Honestly, my favorite part of the entire house was the mud room and laundry room. Now is that a mom of boys talking or what?!!

Anyway, back to our weekend... we had a great game of baseball in the backyard on Sunday-- interrupted only once by the neighbors who came to see if Tony could look at their son's sliced open finger. Of course that was the hot topic for the rest of the evening for my boys-- blood always gets a lot of attention here. It was determined that stitches would not help, and Tony bandaged it up and is doing a "follow up" appointment today :)

And that is it! I sure am enjoying my summer break this year. I feel much more settled this summer. My running routine is more regular, I LOVE my garden and my home is feeling more like home every day. I so very much appreciate where God has placed us in this season of life-- new blessings and new challenges. Sometimes I still get lonely for old friends or familiar spaces. I recognize that for how "hard" it was to live in D.C., by the time we left, He had provided such an abundance of dear relationships for us-- all close by. He has already bound our hearts to so many people here-- and He is allowing us to experience some difficult relationships as well. It is all teaching me that my strength is in Him, my life is bound to His and that IN CHRIST I find peace, joy and contentment-- not in people, stuff, achievement or any other thing. I also understand more deeply what it means to live a life of MERCY-- it is not mine to keep the mercy God has shown to me. Mercy is mine to pour out towards others, despite their actions toward me.

I cannot believe that I have been married to my high-school love for 11 years now. What a journey we are taking!!!! And I cannot imagine this journey with anyone else-- I know in the depths of my soul that God chose to put us together for a purpose and for HIS GLORY! May we continue to grow in love, honor and "oneness" in Him who has joined us together, for all eternity-- bound together by a power which can never be torn apart :).

Grace and Peace,

PS. The picture is of our ski trip in Nevada this last Feb. Sadly, I could not figure out how to work my scanner with my computer so I could post a wedding picture-- as to give you all a good laugh. :D The ski picture was the ONLY pic. I could find in all my albums that was of JUST the two of us-- is that sad or what??!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Books, books, books!!!

Well, here they are. THE bookcases. I am so pleased. They look very nice in our new homeschool room; and I actually had to pick them out from a book and NOT in a showroom-- yikes! The new home school room is supposed to be a formal dining room, but we are just not formal dining room people, and I would rather have my school room on the main level of the house, next to the kitchen, rather than off in the far reaches somewhere. When we first moved into the house I could never imagine the room being a school room-- it was just too fancy!! But, low and behold, piece by piece, we are making that "too fancy" room into a sweet place to do school. Next week I will order my desk and a side-board (for baskets, more storage and displaying projects, plants, etc) to complete the room. Never in my adult life have I been able to order more than one piece of furniture at a time-- it feels so indulgent! Last month, Tony gave me a set amount of money to spend on furniture for the rest of the year, and I feel such a responsibility to stretch it as far as I can. It was a complete surprise to me, as he had told me at the beginning of our adoption process, that it would push "probation" back for another year (for those of you who don't know-- "probation" is the code word for NO BUYING FOR THE NEW HOUSE for the first year we lived there. This was the condition we had for when we moved down here). I also have to purchase the rest of our curriculum and books for this next year on that money, so you better believe I'm doin' my research and constantly examining the "needs" v. "wants" and trying to prioritize accordingly.

I have also been looking for material for curtains, for all the rooms, but first for the homeschool room and kitchen-- I think it would be fun to do a nostalgic school-house print of some kind (in the home school room). Did you know you can order material by the yard on-line now??? I'm sure this is old news to any of you who sew, but I had no idea!! This makes the task of getting material SOOO much less daunting! And the prices for great material are great, too!

So, there ya go. Bookcases. Just a funny sidenote... do you know how many rooms had to be re-arranged and re-organized in order to turn the dining room into the homeschool room? Five. Yes, you read that correctly. My husband would say that only I could make a one room project turn into Five... I say it is my God-given talent for creative organization :D!!

Grace and Peace,

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Just a neat thought...

Okay, here is a neat thought that Tony and I had the other day while trying to get my military i.d. renewed before it expires (end of July-- yikes!). We went to the building on-post where all the in-processing happens (new soldiers check-in, so to speak), thinking that it was the logical place for i.d.'s. It is-- but only if you are active duty. Of course, at one time it probably was, then it changed and you only find out these things when you need to get something done and then it is painful. We went all the way through the maze of the building to the lower reaches and beyond, only to read the sign that we have to get "dependant" id's all the way across base at ANOTHER building. Okay. We didn't even go there, because it was now lunch hour and all things government related have to shut down during lunch hours-- because, you know, the Army hasn't discovered the amazing idea of doing lunch in SHIFTS!!

Anyway, as we were walking out of the building, I looked at Tony and said, "See, how great being in the military is? Because we are so used to inefficient government systems, we aren't as rattled by all the inefficiency related to adoption (both state-side AND ET side)! We have a LOT of practice in walking through a simple process, multiple times in order to get it done :D!!!" He immediately agreed and we both just laughed...

One more reason I am so thankful that God has us in the Army!!
Grace and Peace,

PS For the only two people who care what the new home school shelves look like, I am taking pictures after I run this morning. I was too beat after doing all my running and errands yesterday-- sorry :(...

Monday, June 9, 2008

AWAA families in ET right now

Hi bloggy friends. I am posting on some of the families from our adoption agency who are currently in Ethiopia picking up their children. For those of you interested in what this whole adoption process looks like, this is your chance to follow some families who are THERE NOW!!! At least that is, if they blog through their journey-- I know that at least 3 of the 4 are. Here are the blogs to stalk-- I mean watch this week:

Kidd Family
Cordell Family
West Family
Gardner Family

Pray for their safety and blessings for them as they are in ET this week.

On another note, I just heard through the grapevine that our agency just signed a contract with another orphanage in Ethiopia-- that brings the AWAA total to THREE orphanages from which children are being referred. That ought to help the referral process from getting too bogged down. I'm not so sure it will decrease wait times, but at least it will help them from INCREASING, which seemed to be the path we were heading down.

And, finally, I checked today to see just where in the world our dossier actually is. Low and behold... it is in Addis Ababa, waiting for delivery. COOL! This doesn't really mean anything other than we have official documents with OUR family's name on them, IN Ethiopia-- that's sort of weird, isn't it? Where do these documents now go???? Behind ALL the other families in front of us :D!

Grace and Peace,

Thursday, June 5, 2008

School's Out, School's Out, Teacher Let the Monkeys OUT!!!

Finally!! I can close the books and take a breather-- at least for a month or so :D! Yesterday the boys officially completed another year of homeschooling and their first year of schooling in NC-- testing and all!! We celebrated by going to the gym (so Mommy could work out), eating out at South of the Border (I don't really like their food, but the boys LOVE nachos and their palate isn't as fussy as mine), then shopping at Old Navy for some new summer digs-- I even splurged on myself and bought some much needed nighttime attire and 2 swimsuits (now that we live surrounded by lakes and swimming pools, I am finding that my meager swim wear wardrobe can't hang here in Carolina Lakes!!) Of course, after it was all said and done, I began feeling guilty for spending money on myself for such things as nightgowns and swimsuits-- oh yeah, and three tank tops; which is all I live in during the sweltering Carolina summers! Just about the time I had myself convinced I was going to return it all the next day (just my stuff), Tony brought up the mail that evening and-- lo and behold... there was a check in the mail, addressed to ME for almost the exact amount that I spent at Old Navy. Wow. At first it didn't dawn on me what sweet gift God had just deposited into my life. And then I started to realize how once again, He is such a personal Savior. It's not about the money. Honestly, we would have been okay if the check hadn't of come-- it would have been a long week until next pay day, but we weren't going to NOT eat-- we just would have just eaten a lot of rice, pasta and beans, and I would have not gotten in the van... all next week! :) It's about Him teaching me to not live in guilt-- over anything! Even when I do mess up and over-spend or yell at my kids or worry about stuff I have no business worrying about, His GRACE is sufficient and His mercy and forgiveness washes anew. Guilt only squelches God's Spirit which lives in me. And if my daily prayer is, "God, let me live AS Christ did with You-- in me and through me; let me live as ONE with Christ as Christ lives as ONE with You," then there is no room for guilt. Only forgiveness and faith that He makes all things NEW, and that He will finish His perfect work in me... and it is good.

Oops, that was an unexpected sermon-- ha, ha!! All I wanted to do was share with my 3 adoring fans that Team Dragovich is done with school :D!! Oh yeah, and to show you our growing garden and our "first fruit", too-- although I think in my excitement, I may have picked it too early. Tonight we must build an alter to the Lord and sacrifice our jalapeno pepper with fire and prayer-- Just KIDDING!!! We'll sacrifice it in the next batch of homemade salsa :D

Grace and Peace,

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Isaac is 7

Despite my best efforts, my children are growing up faster than I can manage. Saturday was Isaac's 7th birthday and it was quite the whirlwind of activity!! First, he surprised me by assuming that I had read his little mind and planned a most wonderful event for him. I ASSUMED that since he never could decide what he wanted to do for his birthday (it was his turn to have a party this year), he would be happy with a family-only celebration. WRONG... Everyday I learn more about my children's personalities and thought processes-- and it is always through the fire of experience gone awry. Oh well. After my head stopped spinning from the realization that he was expecting a party that was never planned (have I mentioned that I have been too consumed with life and especially life that doesn't really matter?), I went into "must save the birthday" mode. It turned out great. Not by my efforts, but by wonderful friends and neighbors who said, "YES! We'd love to help celebrate Isaac's 7th birthday!!" So... Isaac had a day at the beach (not the ocean, the lake beach in our community) with his friends and us, of course :D-- tubing, swimming and building fortresses; eating homemade pizzas the kids all got to create themselves (Isaac LOVES to help me in the kitchen), ice-cream from our own home-town ice cream parlor and homemade cookies. In other words, Isaac's birthday was of the "homemade" variety... and his cup was filled :)

I'll leave the rest of the story to the pictures. Happy Birthday, my little Man!!!! Daddy and I are so VERY proud of you and Praise God for how He has designed you to be!!!!!!!!!!!

Grace and Peace,

PS... Adoption update-- we are officially DTE on 5/30/08. We now enter the 7-9 month wait for a referral... or longer depending on what happens to the wait times between now and then.