Sunday, December 16, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Love and Borderline Insanity

Well I can sit back now and sigh with relief. I am done with my Christmas shopping and even have everything wrapped. I love the spirit and meaning of Christmas. I tend to go overboard because I just love the magic of it all. This year I am even spending much more time thinking about the reason that we celebrate this season. We are all so blessed to have the gift of Jesus. Even though it is His birthday that we celebrate we are the ones that receive the biggest gift of all. I cannot fathom how I am even worthy of His gift to me, but because God says I am worthy I must believe it and be so grateful that we have such a wonderful, loving and merciful Father.


We have found a home. We have made an offer and all the details have been ironed out. Only one little catch is that our offer is basically a first right of refusal...meaning the house is not really ours until we get ours sold. This is where I have been bordering on the fine line of faithfulness and the insanity of depression and despair. In 100 days we have had 7 showings. Two of those showings it was reported that "this is our favorite property that we have seen so far". But alas nothing has happened beyond that. I could live with that if it wasn't for the fact that nothing *NOTHING* in our whole county has sold in the last 2 1/2 months that is over $250,000. AND only 4 houses in our school district have sold between $200,000-$250,0o0. (Ours is currently listed for $287,000-which a year ago would have been considered a steal in this area.) So, now we have to decide if we need to lower the price again and maybe take a hit on it, or stick with it and hope that once the holidays are over things will pick up a little bit. It is so hard to know what to do. I am a worrier. You know the kind that worries about things that I cannot control. The other day I gave it all over to God like I know I am suppose to do. The only problem with that is that I keep taking it back and then remind myself to give it back to him again. I really feel like I am lacking in the faith department big time. I HATE waiting. I hated the waiting when we were waiting for our referral of Olivia and I hate this waiting on our house selling so we can all be a family again.


Well I will leave you with a picture of our new house......maybe. :)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In the air at last....

WOW! What a special brother Morgan has. Morgan has had one big complaint for the last several years. She has never been on a plane before. The rest of the family has flown before at one time or another. Even Olivia has been on a plane! Now this is not a big deal. I mean I had never flown before I was in my 20's but it has really bothered Morgan.

This year for her birthday her big brother called to wish her a happy birthday. Then he told her that her present from him this year would be a plane ride! I am not sure if she really believed him. One of Evan's best friends is a pilot and had offered to take her up when he found out that she had never flown before.

So, Evan rented a little four seater and she got to pick a friend to take with her. They were up for about a half hour. They flew over our house (Evan called us right before they flew over so we could go out and watch them). They flew over her school and some other points of interest that she would recognize. She even got to fly the plane for a little bit. She was so excited! When she came home she told us that she wasn't scared at all. They only got a couple pictures but I don't have them yet.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Coming Home.....

video

This story made me cry!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lock the house we have a 12 year old....



Morgan turned 12 yesterday. Oh what a tough age. Not a little kid anymore, but not yet a teenager. She is so grown up though. She decided to forgo the big birthday party and just a few friends over for a slumber party. She also requested that instead of birthday gifts that her friends bring dog and cat food to donate to the humane shelter. We then made a trip to the humane shelter so they girls could be part of the donating.




Mike and I did get Morgan a Nintendo DS and a couple games for her birthday.


Olivia enjoying cake.

Morgan and her best friends...the twins.

Morgan and Lexi in a serious chess game.

The whole gang.......Lexi...............Morgan.....Janelle.......Kelsey and Sarah

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

I am still here....

Sorry it has been so long between posts. Things have been very uneventful here lately. House is still up for sale. Not much going on there. Just a lot of day to day activities. One exciting thing that happened this weekend is Morgan got baptized. She also got to decide if she wanted someone in the baptismal with her and she asked her dad to be there with her. It was so cool. Mike got to help baptize his daughter. He prayed for her right before and he was all choked up and could hardly speak. Everyone in the audience got choked up too. It was so neat.








Monday, October 01, 2007

Cool Song

Here is a song that all moms should learn. I mean heck, we already know the words, we just have to get it to the music....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ati3k32-NXI

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Please Vote!

Hi all-
I have gotten a request from Jenny Bowen. She is the founder of Half the Sky Foundation. This wonderful organization was in Olivia's orphanage and I give them most of the credit for how well adjusted and on target that Olivia was when she joined our family. Now they have an amazing opportunity. Below you can read the letter that she sent. Please vote for Jenny and Half the Sky!
Rachel

Hello again-Our volunteers in Wuhan had a great idea. It may be possible for some ofour Half the Sky children to carry the Olympic torch next year. I'veentered a contest sponsored by the China Daily Newspaper and, if I can getenough votes from netizens all over the world, I may be able to have thathonor. If it happens, I will run with 8 children from 8 orphanages inChina. Believe me, I am no runner. But I would dearly love to give thechildren a place at the party.Please take a moment and vote for me right now: I think this will take you straight to me:http://pub1.chinadaily.com.cn/olympics/torch/members.shtml?mid=212We need a LOT of votes. Please pass this on to your friends and family.Thanks and love,JennyJenny BowenExecutive DirectorHalf the Sky Foundationwww.halfthesky.orgHalf the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects for orphaned children in China. We establish and operate infant nurture and preschool programs, provide personalized learning for older children and establish loving permanent family care and guidance for children with disabilities. It is our goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

UGH!

I HATE SELLING OUR HOUSE! I am already tired of having to keep the house clean and being prepared at all times. Plus, I think there is a really good chance that we are going to lose the house we were hoping to get. The price came down quite a bit yesterday so I really doubt it will be around much longer. I am so sad....

Mike is really liking his new job. He really hasn't missed being at home too much because he is so busy at work. They set him up with a company truck and cell phone plus all the tools he could think of needing. He seems to really like the guys he is working with too. The job is the same as what he was doing but also very different. He has a lot more paperwork to do but less operating equipment than before. Also, the equipment he said is HUGE! It makes the stuff he was running before look like toys.

Olivia is loving school more and more all the time. She is so matter of fact about it too. Her attitude is "Of course I am in school. I am big."

Katie got a tattoo this week. It is a small asian character for family. I can't believe she actually laid there while they did it. She is so needle phobic it isn't funny. She said it only took about 2-3 minutes but it hurt like crazy.

Well that is it on the update. Things are fairly boring here. ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Changes and hopes and dreams

Well on Saturday we put our house on the market. Now we just sit back and wait and see if we get an offer. We had our first showing today. I am really crossing my fingers and throwing lots of prayers God's way that if it is his will, that we will sell the house quickly so we can get an offer in on the house we are interested in buying. We still have several things that we need to get done around here......but that may be tough.....

Mike got a phone call tonight and an offer to work for Dyer. This is the company he was hoping for back when he lost his job in July. They told him they want him over there on Saturday. It will be tough having him away from home during the week but he will be making quite a bit more money and they want him to start as a foreman. He is pretty nervous about a new company and all, but he is going to give it a shot.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Olivia's first day of school







Today Olivia started preschool. THANK GOODNESS! It is all she has talked about for the last month. She couldn't wait for school to start. She was up and dressed in record time. I could hardly get her to sit still in her carseat. When it was time to unload she never even looked back to the van to say goodbye. Two hours later I went back to pick her up and as the teacher put her in the van Olivia turned around and said "I will come back, okay?" Then it was jabber...jabber...jabber about what she did and her new friends. I think I am more disappointed that it is only two days a week than she is, cause I know what it will be like tomorrow when I have to tell her she has to wait another day to go again. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Best Friend....New Business *Updated*

One of my very best friends has started up a business. Actually she has been practicing for quite a while now, but has decided to make it legit and advertise. She is a news reporter/photographer and is starting her own photography business. She takes awesome pics. I should know because she did both Evan and Katie's senior pictures. What is so great, is that you get a disc with all the pictures on them (since my kids were her guinea pigs a couple years ago, I think she had taken over 400 pictures of Kate!) and you can pick and choose your favorite shots and then have them developed. She is MUCH cheaper than her competitors.

Unfortunately this blog is only for you locals (sorry Lee-Anne unless you want to pay for her trip to Australia-LOL!)

*UPDATED*: Oops, I forgot to add the link. ;)

http://blacksheepstudio.weebly.com/

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rain, Rain go away! And other ramblings.

It has rained and rained here for the last week. We had almost 7 inches of rain in 4 days with another 3 1/2 in the two days that followed. It is still raining today! We should get a break tomorrow and for the next three days after.

Mike is enjoying his new job, except for the fact that he is not getting many hours in. At this time we are afraid his income will be about half of what it was last year. I really enjoy driving school bus and the hourly pay is terrific, but since it is only part time, I don't make a whole lot. I have been seriously considering going back to work someplace full time. I just don't know what I can do and make close to the same per hour as what I am making driving bus.

Mike and I looked at some houses last night. They are repo's and we really liked two of them. The problem is that we would need to sell ours first, and I am afraid these homes would be long gone before ours would sell. It is just so hard to know what to do.

Olivia starts pre-school in a week. She is so excited it is all she talks about. Tomorrow we go to a get-to-know your teacher meeting and she has been practicing trying to say her teacher's name. Katie headed back down to Bloomington this week to start her sophmore year at IU. Morgan has been back to school for 7 days now and is starting to fit in to the big JR High. She was pretty stressed the first couple of days. I think she is feeling much more relaxed now that she hasn't been late to close or gotten lost.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

This is too good...

Check out this really cute video clip...

http://kerux4oaks.blogspot.com/2007/08/pachelbel-bedtime.html

Job update

Well, Mike started a new job this week. It is not for the company he was hoping to get in with, but at least he is able to be home every night. He seems to really like it, but he was placed with this company by the union so we don't know how it will all work out. We are just trying to have faith in God right now that He will get us where we need to go.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Jewelry

There is a blog I have been following for a while. It is a couple from Montana that while waiting to adopt a little one from China was drawn to a beautiful 11 year old that was waiting for a family. They brought Lana home last year. Now Lana is trying to be an entrapeneur and make and sell jewelry. It is very reasonably priced. Check out her creations and maybe buy something from her to help her get started.

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5236125

Bad news....is an understatement


Last week Michael was "Let go" from his job. He had been with the company for 17 years and they let him go with no explanation, no warnings, nothing. How can they do this? Well they technically laid him off with no recall date. They are in the middle of their busy season so there is no way they needed to lay him off. We know it was their way of firing him from the back door, so to speak. We are speculating but we think that they didn't like his attitude. He has expressed his feelings about a couple subjects lately but nothing major and nothing that they could legally fire him for, so hence the lay off.
SO, right now we are sitting around waiting for the union to call him with a job. He has gotten a couple calls, but they were too far away or one was with a company that has a reputation of being a "hornet's nest" atmosphere. He called his brother and found out the company he works for is looking for more people. The owner of said company called Mike and said he would like him to come work for them. Problem is, Mike has to wait for the union to dispatch him out and if there are other guys ahead of him he has to wait his turn. The other issue we have is that this company is two hours away (almost to Chicago) and so Mike would have to live with his brother during the week and then come home on weekends. The good thing is that the pay is better than his old job and the atmosphere is hopefully better than his previous company.
Mike's ego and self esteem are really taking a hit right now as is our savings account, so the last week and a half we have been doing alot of praying in our house.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Home from the fair

We had a very productive week at the fair this year. Morgan showed her two goats that she raised from birth and she placed second and fourth in her classes. She was pretty excited.





Olivia also had a blast riding the rides at the fair.....as usual. :)








We camped at the fairgrounds which was really nice since we didn't have to fight traffic or get up early to drive in to do our chores. We sold all of Morgan's goats so she gets to take a little break from barn chores until next spring.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

OWWWIEE!


I have been having problems with my feet for about a year now. Lots of pain first thing in the morning and by afternoon I am limping around the house. I can't be out walking around for more than an hour and a half and I can barely put my feet down. It started out mild but by late spring until now it is almost unbearable. Well, today I finally took the bull by the horns and went to a podiatrist. I have Plantar Fasciitis w/ mild heel spurs. It is a fairly common ailment but I have a pretty bad case of it. (Basically the ligament that goes from the heel of my foot to the balls of my foot is in bad shape. It is torn and not able to heel because I have to walk.)


Treatment: Well I started out by getting cortisone shots in my feet (OW!) and then they wrapped my feet. I got anti-inflamatory meds. and I have to wrap my feet in heating pads for 20 minutes two times a day. I also have to stay off my feet as much as possible for the next 3 days while the cortisone starts working. He also gave me heel pads to put in my shoes and next week I go in to have cast molds made of my feet to have special inserts made. We are crossing our fingers that this will all work and I won't have to have surgery.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hodge Podge

Busy, busy summer. Here are a couple of our latest activities.
Painting inside the playhouse...











Those involved include...Rachel (mom), Katie (big sis), Morgan (playhouse owner) and Alex (friend of Morgan's).



New and fun things to do with the inflatable bouncer Olivia got for Christmas. (not originally intended for the pool.)



Target practice with Katie's boyfriend Sunny (who has never held a gun before this day let alone shot one.) I think Mike is just making sure that Sunny knows he is not afraid to use his guns and is a pretty good shot.

Finding a "mate" for our sweet little Annie who should be due in August.


And Evan....well just being Evan.....

Friday, June 29, 2007

Morgan and Olivia's new playhouse




Today we got a playhouse from a friend. This is how we brought it home (9 miles down the road going 12 MPH). It was crazy. The driver (our friend) could not see over it so he had to be guided down the road and he kept standing up to look through the windows.

Here we are setting it in place.



Now all we need is a coat of paint, the deck and steps put on and the electric run to it.



Friday, June 22, 2007

New Website

For those that know me, I have been selling Mary Kay for almost 12 years. I now have my own website at www.marykay.com/rstahley

so anyone who wants to order Mary Kay through me can do it easily.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Soooo busy...

We just got home from two weekends in a row camping. Man, it just seems like time is flying by! To catch up from the last couple weeks....

We have gone camping two weekends in a row.

Olivia started Bible School today at a little church just down the road from us (not our church, but it is so close I couldn't resist signing her up).

Morgan has started her summer job babysitting twin 14 month olds for the summer. (More work thatn she thought it would be.)

Walking goats several times a week to get them ready for fair at the end of July.

Trying to keep our swimming pool looking good this summer. (That is a part time job in itself!)

Took Olivia to her first "Chinese playgroup". There are a group of moms and dad that get together once a week and let their little ones play-they are about 45 minutes away. I decided to finally go and meet everyone and their adorable kids.

Going to graduation open houses. (still have one more to attend at this time)

Just hanging out and enjoying the summer. :)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Then and Now DVD

Someone in my DTC group put together a DVD for our group of our little girls "then and now". It is our referral pictures of our girls and then pictures of the girls one year later. You can see it on You Tube. Click the link below. (Olivia is in the Guangxi daughters group)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljJmrCbEIsk

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Olivia is moving in on Katie's territory. HAHA!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Camping






















This past weekend we went on a campout with three other families. Thirteen kids in all. A fun time was had by all.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Olivia is 3 today!!!













A friend of mine made her cake for her and Livi had friends and family over for her third birthday party today. She was SO excited. She has been talking about it for two weeks. It was so fun this year. Last year she had only been with us for two months and she didn't really know what a birthday was. This year by the time her birthday came around again she had been to a few birthday parties and she was waiting for HER cake. And in the words of Olivia..."It is beautitul!" (PS: that is not a misspelling on my part for beautiful.)