Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Stand Corrected

I stand corrected.  Apparently, the fingerprints did NOT go well.  I got a letter today from USCIS that they were unable to read my prints, and I will have to do it again.  Really?  Are you kidding me?  The computer said "accepted" or "rejected" as we took each print.  What is the point of doing them until they all say "accepted" while I'm standing there, if they are only going to wait two weeks and make me go back?

The lady and computer in Nashville thought they were fine....

Why can't you use the ones taken locally in July for our home study?  I believe they went to the SAME place.

Why can't you use the ones you took 18 months ago?  They don't REALLY expire, you know.  Fingerprints are fingerprints!

I bet there are people in prison who have not been fingerprinted as many times as I have.  Next week will make #8.

(Deep breath.  Let it out...)    : o

Lord, what do you want to teach me?  This has not been an easy process...I didn't expect it to be.  But I wasn't expecting blatant aggravation--feels almost like harassment at times.  Through Your strength, we WILL persevere.  We will not give up on our girls.  Please show Yourself in this process--despite the process.  May You receive all the glory and honor for completing this adoption.  For we cannot do this alone but through YOUR power and YOUR provision.  We are Your instruments...Your vessels.   May we truly be Your hands and feet.  Bless our family -- bless those who help us along the way.  Amen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

USCIS, Olive Tree, Curves, School

I actually started a post a couple of weeks ago, but I see I never got it finished...much less posted.  So let's just start fresh.  (HA!  This post got put aside too!  But I'm just going to finish it as is...)

I made my first sale on Olive Tree -- sent one of my bracelets to Michigan.  That was cool.  Then we were named the Featured Family, which meant we would get a very small cut of any purchase that supported anyone.  THEN we got word that someone we didn't even know had placed a sizable order naming us as the family to support.  That was extra cool!  I'm now trying to make some baby blankets to see if I can sell those on Olive Tree.  (Just today we made two more sales.  Don't recognize their names and don't know what they ordered, but they supported us.  THANK YOU!)

We did get our second application submitted for immigration.  The appointments came and were set for Oct 20.  Yeah...not gonna wait that long.  We were in Nashville for a couple of doctor's appointments on Oct 4, so we just dropped by and had our fingerprints done.  By the way, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you will remember what a TERRIBLE time I had last year with my ink prints (for the FBI clearance letter).  33 WEEKS!!  Three trips to the police department!  Paid twice!  Well, that was ink..   But I also had trouble with the electronic prints.  At least with electronic prints you know right away to try again.  When we updated our home study this summer, I dreaded the two fingerprintings...even though they were both electronic.  At the first, the man started out having trouble with me.  He finally stopped and handed me some Corn Huskers Lotion.  After that, we got the prints!  So, just as we were leaving for Nashville this week, I remembered to check. We had some!  I put some on just before going in the fingerprinting place.  It worked!  She barely had to redo any of my prints.  I don't know if that would work with ink prints, but I do remember that I am supposed to ask for Officer Cross if/when I have to do ink prints again.

In other news, I have not made it back to Curves since school started.  It's just been SO busy!  I keep hoping that I can work it back in (especially since I'm still paying for it).  In the meantime, though, I finally starting losing!!  Yay me!  I've been trying to get this weight off since Eli was born (6 years ago) and was slowly losing until maybe 2 or 3 years ago when my weight suddenly jumped up and then kept creeping up gradually and consistently.  Five months with Curves had not done anything really, but I did use their philosophy to start my own program at home, and I've now officially lost 11 pounds.  I know that's not phenomenal, but it is a huge answer to prayer for me.  It's been maybe 6 or 7 weeks, and I've gone up and down, but overall I've gone down.  Whenever I notice the weight starting to climb back up, I take a couple of days "off" and eat whatever I want -- not binge eating, just not putting a lot of thought into it.  Then I jump back in, and it starts slowly falling again.

Back to school talk, we are doing well.  I actually bought desks for the boys and have them in the living room..I know it may sound dumb to some, but I'm really liking it, and the boys think they are neat.  It does let me tend to both of them at the same time, getting one started on something and then tending to the other without having to leave the room.  Did you know that if you leave a first or fourth grader alone with their work, they very often stopping working???  This keeps our day moving forward a lot better.  Sometimes I catch myself standing and pacing between them just like when I was in the classroom.  Now all I need is a whiteboard on one wall, and our living room will be complete.  ; )  Seriously, I think it keeps us from getting too relaxed and informal.

For those of you who may homeschool, I'm also trying a new approach with Colton (4th grade) that kind of goes against my "teacherness".  Instead of doing a lesson in each subject every day, we are attacking a subject a week at a time.  For example, we may do a week's worth of grammar and reading on Monday and a week's worth of math on Tuesday, etc.  He seems to respond well to having the subject over with, and he thinks he has less if he only does 1 or 2 subjects -- even though the number of lessons is the same.  My only exception to the all-at-once method is when there is a test.  I don't want him to study 4 math lessons and immediately close the book and take the test.  Maybe that is fine, but it just feels like short-term memory only to me.  So if there is a test this week, we plan 2 days -- one for everything leading up to the test, and one for the test and anything scheduled after it.  So far this is working for us.  He is staying caught up better and seems to still be comprehending everything as we go.