I got an e-mail this morning about a 12 year old boy who needs a family. There is something about him that speaks to me. Daniel and I don't have the resources or capability for this young man, but someone out there does. He is from Idaho and his name is Tyler.
Here is a link to his profile page. If you can't help him, spread the word and maybe someone you know can.
Weren't they gorgeous? Such a sad end to almost half of my pickle canning efforts this fall. Moment of silence please. boohoohoo.
Three years to make a jacket. I like hand work, but this is insane. I'm jealous. I wish I had the skills and resources to do something like this with my life! I would love to see this up close. I might make a visit to the Wintherthur next time I am back east! Amazing!
On Saturday we went with Maxine and Summer to the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia. They have brought over authentic buildings from the places around the the world that immigrants came from. This is the English Farm House from the 1600s. They are working buildings. There was also an Irish Farm, a German Farm, two early American Farms and they were working on a West African farm while we were there.
When we got the to the German Farm there were a bunch of funny looking chickens. My Uncle Andy said they were Polish Chickens. They all had really bushy heads. This is Maxine and Summer with the Chickens.
Sunday was relaxed. Maxine was able to go to Church for the first time in 4 months (Dad doesn't think she likes it since he didn't, but she does.)
I did her hair from a picture from the Princess and her Hair Blog. It turned our really well on Maxine because of the summer sun bleaching of her hair. She got a ton of compliments at church. She loved it and her dad managed to save it for school the next day too.
After Church we went My uncle's house, Maxine's dad, and had a nice dinner. My cousin Meagan has two little girls that are just beautiful. This is Nayelli (Their father is Mexican). She is 15 months. Isn't she gorgeous? Look at those eyes!And this is my cousin Summer (left - Maxine's younger sister) with Marlene. Marlene is 6. Both girls have beautiful eyes and amazing hair and skin. Marlene has always looked like a china doll. This was taken when she was just past 1 year. Can you believe the hair?
I'll post the rest of my trip over the next few days.
November is National Adoption Month!
To help in awareness and help a family who is still fighting their adoption battle I would like you all to visit this website. The R House is by a wonderful woman in West Valley. She is one of the best adoption advocates in America. She is amazing. Visit her blog here. She is still not finished with the 14 month and counting battle to keep their little boy. Her story is on her blog. The shirts may not apply to your children but the necklaces and beautiful and apply to everyone! So if you are looking for a gift to give, or something you can tell others to get you, check it out. They do custom orders too. All of the proceeds help cover the cost of their legal battle for Gavin. I am going to be asking for one from my husband for Christmas.
Another matter: read this. It's very important to so many people. The average domestic adoption is very expensive. We are going through LDS Family Services, which is less expensive, but only because the Church subsidizes the agency costs, about 15,000 per adoption. So thank you tithe payers. But others who go through different agencies and those who adopt out of foster care pay much more. Having the tax credit is beneficial and a help when adopting from foster care. So please join me in contacting our US Representatives and telling them that we need this continue!
It's not as hard as it looks, just time consuming. By using different shapes next to each other you play on illusion. Too bad the kit's expensive. Maybe if I teach enough piano lessons and sewing lessons. (Anyone interested? wink, wink?)
The website is http://www.byub.org/messiah/
These are made of card stock - I am going to put candy in them for our Halloween party. I played around with the printer and sent the card stock through the printer so that the words were in the right place. Then I just placed the template on, traced them, cut them out and glued them together. I think they're cute.
I found this idea on Martha Stewart's website. Say what you will about her, but I love her Halloween stuff. I have a cookie recipe from her that I absolutely love. I'll post them when I make them. I used a heavy card stock for the frame. She just used black, but I found this shiny iron looking paper that worked wonderfully. Then you print the shadows out on vellum (I used gold) and then a wire hanger. My husband thought they were awesome. You just hang electric tea lights in the center and you have lanterns. I'm excited to hang them.
I was looking through a Christmas craft book when I saw bells made out of half circle fabric. So I thought I'd turn them into witches hats and add the brim. To make the fabric stiff I used Heat n'Bond, an applique adhesive, and ironed fabric on both sides so it was stiff. You could make these out of paper too. I zig-zagged around all the edges. Then you fold the half circle into a cone and glue - I used hot glue.
Then I used a 10" ribbon glued to the center of the circle (brim) and pulled it up through the hole in the cone. Glued that in place and then another 10" for the decor around the hat.
I think they turned out pretty cute. It takes quite a bit of fabric to to the seven hats with two layers. I think I used about a quarter of a yard, maybe a little more. But it was just broadcloth, so it was like 1.50 a yard on sale.
Anyway, I'm having fun with crafting. Next group of things will be candy and food stuff for our party. I'm working on candy eyes right now. I'll post more when it's done.
I know that we will be contacted and be chosen when the time is right, according to the Lord's timing. But I have a hard time, a little bit, about waiting when I know there will 500 views by the end of the week. It's just a little hard to wait. We are told to put our trust in the Lord and leave Him in charge of things. This is one of the most difficult things to put in someones elses hands. I like to control things. Oddly I have peace about this, but still. I struggle, when I think about it too hard, that my life could change dramatically at any point. I also struggle with the fact that my life has not changed much in months. I would love to go forward with plans. I am also scared to go forward not knowing what it will be like. I can't wait to hold a baby and teach him and love him and have a family. It makes me nervous, but I can feel it in my bones that this is right. I really, really, really want to have a family. I love the things Daniel and I get to do right now and we are making the most of our time but I can't help but wish to join the mothers in talking about what neat little thing my baby learned today. We're praying. Tell people about us.
We are working on having pass-a-long cards made. We should have them soon. If anyone wants me to mail them some pass-a-long cards to hand out let me know. E-mail me your address.
ashleyallen15 @ gmail . com
It will happen. And I will be soooooo ready when it does. I think I'm already about as ready as I can be.
Isn't it wonderful? Can you see how much love there is between them? Do any of you know who they are? They are prominent people in LDS History. Someone e-mailed a link to a blog essay about this photograph. It's kind of a long essay but it gives a lot of information and will open your eyes to the story behind the photo. This is the most non-traditional photo I have ever seen from pre-1900. I just love it. I should get a nice copy and frame it for my house.
"Don't be discouraged when things look bleak nor too proud when things go well, because powers greater than yours are shaping events. The Lord really does reign. Our primary contribution is to help when we can and be wise enough not to get in his way. He makes the history while we write our supporting parts in it."
What an appropriate quote for life in general. I love it. The Lord really does reign.
I am going to paint the other sides of these blocks wit Merry Christmas. I will post those when I do them. I made four of these place mats. This is the only one finished. I think I could even use them for Thanksgiving. I am having fun. Here's to more crafts!
I pretty much quickly gave up on having my own children when two things happened: 1 - I found out the cost and physical toll that in-vitro involves (not emotionally strong here) and 2 - the Lord answered my prayers of adoption through a dream in which we were given our baby and all the love felt right and peaceful. Dreams are very significant for me. This is not the first time it's happened. I've had a few about how much adoption is right for us.
Although I will never have fruits of my own loins, I can have a fruitful life. There are many ways in which I am currently doing that - either in the process or in evidence.
My fruitfulness in evidence? Tomatoes. I am one mean tomato grower. My plants are HUGE!!! What you see there are five plants. The big mound on the left is 2 Lemon Boy variety. The short stack are 3 Celebrity variety. Ignore the mass of weeds in front of them. I grow those well too.
Not only am I collecting a ton of tomatoes, but some of them are huge tomatoes themselves. This is one day's harvest. These were mostly picked in the last 2 days. Last week when we left for Bear Lake I had 46 tomatoes of my own growing on my counter top. I am going to can some, make some salsa, and make some home made tomato soup. Yum. These are my biggest^. These are my biggest in relation to my smaller ones. They are about the size of a soft ball. Yup. Big. This is a freshly sliced plate of My tomatoes. Are they gorgeous? They taste good too. My dad planted the same variety and although he is getting as many per bush that I am, he hasn't gotten ones this big!! Nanner nanner dad. To up the anti - next year I am going to try some exotic varieties. Did I mention that this is my first year growing them on my own? (My own includes my husband who has helped along the way). Yeah. Here is a list of some varieties available. Taking suggestions. I like the Black Russian/Black Prince. I am also going to do Cherry tomatoes. When I have grown some I will have people over for a tasting party. Anyone want to come?
Another way in which I hope to be fruitful, is in running. It's no secret that I want to adopt. (Duh, whar'd you get that idear?) . The R House, (who I might add is AMAZING!!) had got a group of women involved with adoption running as a goal and a pick me up. This running can help in so many ways. Health, physical and mental, group goal of running the Canyonlands Half Marathon (Am I stupid or optimistic?) and something to push me to be my best. She has a blog to help us support each other. The R House Runs. She is facilitating a way to release stress, participate actively in a group cause and feel part of a group and get us all in shape while we're at it! I am so excited. I have only run a few times recently, not really for almost 4 years, and I intend to feel better and be better. We are trying to reach a training goal and then we will all be part of training schedule for the half marathon. I remember how much I enjoyed running in years past. I want to enjoy it again. I need to be able to run 20 miles a week by Christmas. Can I do it? I am going to proceed like I can. Because I will. Maybe adding running back to my life will bring adoption and running together for me. Something I may be able to continue for years.
Wish me luck. I am going to go have a tomato for an after noon snack!!
On August 18th my sister-in-law had her fourth baby. Beautiful baby girl. They named her Naomi and when I saw her, she looked like a Naomi. Here she is with her three older siblings.
Proud mommy. Can you believe how beautiful she is? Look at that hair! It's like velvet. We're excited to have her added to the family. Last week, in order to help her out I had her youngest with me all afternoon. She is the funnest, sweetest 2 1/2 year old ever! She went tons of places with me and was so good. She helped me remember things and get flowers for her mom. Her siblings were jealous when they found out we had pizza for lunch at Costco. Their turn will come. Thanks for going with me Hazel!
Then the last two weekends we spent at Bear Lake. My grandparents have a condo at Ideal Beach - I have been every summer since I was born! This was year 27! Wow I am sounding old! The first weekend was great, and mostly just the two of us. Some of Daniel's family came up for a few hours on Saturday evening and played. The weather was wonderful. It was relaxing and pleasant. Just what I needed it to be.
Then this past weekend we had a bunch of friends up with us. Only five of us got in the water, the other four and the two babies couldn't hack the lake water. It wasn't even cold, for Bear Lake. Us and the Carmony's - the tough ones.
We spent most the rest of time that we weren't swimming, playing nertz. A really fun fast paced card game. Daniel didn't want to pack, so I did while he watched me. He didn't stop me when I packed matching shirts for us for every day. He even wore them with me. I know we are goof balls. Maybe dumb, but it had everyone else chuckling at us. Friday was hand tie-died from a family party, Saturday was Pepperidge farm Goldfish shirts, Sunday was Utah Museum of Natural History shirts, seen below, and Monday was Scleroderma foundation shirts. Dorks. But it was fun. We have had a good two weeks. Time to settle down for a while. I'll try to resume my founding fathers blurbs soon.
Skippy’s List: The 213 things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the U.S. Army
A quick note:
I don’t mind if you want to quote a few items from my list of your site. But please do not copy the list in it’s entirety.
Explanations of these events:
a) I did myself, and either got in trouble or commended. (I had a Major shake my hand for the piss bottle thing, for instance.)
b) I witnessed another soldier do it. (Like the Sergeant we had, that basically went insane, and crucified some dead mice.)
c) Was spontaneously informed I was not allowed to do. (Like start a porn studio.)
d) Was the result of a clarification of the above. (“What about especially patriotic porn?”)
e) I was just minding my own business, when something happened. (“Schwarz…what is *that*?” said the Sgt, as he pointed to the back of my car? “Um….a rubber sheep…I can explain why that’s there….”)
To explain how I’ve stayed out of jail/alive/not beaten up too badly….. I’m funny, so they let me live.
2. My proper military title is “Specialist Schwarz” not “Princess Anastasia”.
29. The Irish MPs are not after “Me frosted lucky charms”.
36. Can’t have flashbacks to wars I was not in. (The Spanish-American War isn’t over).
54. “Napalm sticks to kids” is *not* a motivational phrase.
68. I may not line my helmet with tin foil to “Block out the space mind control lasers”.
78. I may not call block my chain of command.
84. Must not use military vehicles to “Squish” things.
87. If the thought of something makes me giggle for longer than 15 seconds, I am to assume that I am not allowed to do it.
92. When asked to give a few words at a military ceremony “Romper Bomper Stomper Boo” is probably not appropriate.
93. Nerve gas is not funny.
94. Crucifixes do not ward off officers, and I should not test that.
95. I am not in need of a more suitable host body.
99. A smiley face is not used to mark a minefield.
100. Claymore mines are not filled with yummy candy, and it is wrong to tell new soldiers that they are.
108. Should not taunt members of the press, even if they are really fat, exceptionally stupid, and working for UPI.
116. Crucifying mice – bad idea.
119. I cannot arrest children for being rude.
123. I should not teach other soldiers to say offensive and crude things in Albanian, under the guise of teaching them how to say potentially useful phrases.
128. “Shpadoinkle” is not a real word.
137. Should not show up at the front gate wearing part of a Russian uniform, messily drunk.
138. Even if my commander did it.
139. Must not teach interpreters how to make “MRE” bombs.
145. I should not drink three quarts of blue food coloring before a urine test.
146. Nor should I drink three quarts of red food coloring, and scream during the same.
148. Putting red “Mike and Ike’s” ® into a prescription medicine bottle, and then eating them all in a formation is not funny.
159. When detained by MP’s, I do not have a right to a strip search.
165. I do not get “that time of month”.
174. Furby ® is not allowed into classified areas. (I swear to the gods, I did not make that up, it’s actually DOD policy).
183. My chain of command has neither the time, nor the inclination to hear about what I did with six boxes of Fruit Roll-Ups. ®
184. When operating a military vehicle I may *not* attempt something “I saw in a cartoon”.
195. Shouldn’t use Photoshop ® to create incriminating photos of my chain of command.
197. I am not allowed to sing “Henry the VIII I am” until verse 68 ever again.
208. Not allowed to play into the deluded fantasies of the civilians who are “hearing conversations” from the NSA, FBI, CIA and KGB due to the microchip the aliens implanted in their brain.
This is just some of the better ones. There are plenty of other funny ones. Check them out.
I laughed through most of the list.
We also needs basic information. Our profile on LDS Family Services, our blog, our names, and the e-mail address we have set up for this purpose. Also a simple statement about how adoption is such a positive and wonderful miracle. I'm stuck. I don't know what else to do. Thanks.
Here is a place that has pre-designed ones but we are cheap and I don't have a job. I know. I am sounding pretty pathetic, and right now I am. I'm going to go read and forget my worries. Thanks.
There were only two, as Rhode Island was a small colony.
(That's Brown University in the background.)
Stephen Hopkins was a self made man. He was self educated, made his own way in politics and studied various practical trades. He was born in Rhode Island, Scituate, then part of Providence. In 1931 Scituate separated from Providence and Hopkins became very involved holding various local offices, eventually becoming Chief Justice of the Providence County Court of Common Pleas. He served in Rhode Island's Colonial Assembly for 20 years (the first time) and again for five years. He attended the Albany Congress in 1754 where he was first introduced to Benjamin Franklin's ideas for uniting the colonies. He spoke out against the British years before the "Revolutionary Spirit" became strong. He published a pamphlet in 1764 titled "The Rights of the Colonies Examined." He spoke against the British, particulary about taxation. This established his idetity as a revolutionary. He also freed his slaves at this time.
He attended the contitental congress from 1774-1776. This man accomplished a lot. I always admire those who are self educated. It takes dedication and drive. Admirable? What if I tell you his signature is shaky because he suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Does that make all the more impressive? I think so. Maybe I shouldn't complain about my limitations.
He was married and had 7 children, 5 of whom lived to adulthood. Through his career he helped found a subscription library, an early version of what our public library is today, and he was instrumental in the founding of the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, which later became Brown University. His home is now a US National Hisotric Landmark. He died in 1785 at the age of 78.
The other man:
He was a lawyer and a Judge.
Wikipedia puts it succinctly:
The son of William Ellery, William Ellery was born in Newport. He worked first as a merchant, next as a customs collector, and lastly as Clerk of the Rhode Island General Assembly. Ellery started the practice of law in 1770 and was active in the Rhode Island Sons of Liberty. After Samuel Ward's death in 1776, Ellery replaced Ward in the Continental Congress. Ellery was among the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He became judge of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island and by 1785 he had become an abolitionist. He was the first customs collector of the port of Newport under the Constitution, serving there until his death. Ellery was buried in Common Burying Ground and Island Cemetery in Newport.
He attended Harvard College. The US history website says he graduated at age 15. He also took part in the founding of Brown University. He died in 1820. Wikipedia lists descendents, so he was obiviousl married and had children. One of his descendents is Kyra Sedgwick. Hmm. I wonder if she shows his same aptitude for brilliance.
If you want to see more of what an inspirational woman she is see her adoption blog and read her amazing story of how they got their little PJ.
Robert Treat Paine
Robert Treat Paine attended the Boston Latin School and then Harvard. He initially set out to be a minister but he favored the law. In his early years to build physical strength he was a sailor, sailing to England, Spain, the Azores and other colonies. When he returned, this was when he studied the law. He was the opposing lawyer to John Adams in the case of the "Boston Massacre" in which British officers had been involved in shootings. He was a great orator. He was elected to the first Continental Congress in 1774. Another member of the Continental Congress referred to him as the objection maker. He made objections to almost every motion, but never had anything of substance to his objections. He was the author of the final appeal to the king, called the "Olive Branch" in 1775. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
He then served as the Massachusetts Attorney General, helping them create their own state constitution. In 1780, upon his return to Boston he co-founded the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. in 1796 he was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court and served there for 14 years. He died in 1814 at the age of 83.
He looks like he's the Mona Lisa's cousin - with some sort of superior knowledge or secret.
Elbridge is a name I am going to petition for when we have a boy. wwwahhahaha. Just kidding.
Anyway - I found his bio so succinctly put that I have just copied it:
Elbridge Gerry was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on July 17, 1744. He studied at Harvard to be a merchant, graduating in 1762. He was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1773 and was selected to attend the Provincial Congress in 1774. He was then appointed to the Continental Congress, where he was engaged in committee work on commercial and naval concerns. He attended the Constitutional Convention in 1798 but was opposed to the new Federal Constitution, refusing to sign it. He was elected to the first two Congresses from Massachusetts and, in 1797, was one of several envoys sent to France. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1810 and 1811. He was much criticized for redistricting the state to the advantage of his own party (Democratic-Republican). That incident was the source of the term gerrymandering. In 1812 he was elected Vice President of the United States. He died in office, on November 23, 1814, at the age of 70.
Did you know about gerrymandering? I didn't. Nor did I know that he also served as Vice-President of the United States. He served under James Madison. I will do a post on James Madison sometime, although he wasn't a signer.
There is a website that has all the signers, with a picture and a small bio.
You can also find them all on Wikipedia. The signers are listed and linked about halfway down.
I am still enjoying learning about these men. Tomorrow I will do the two men from Rhode Island.
Signer of the Declaration of Independence.
John Adams was a lawyer from Massachusetts. He made his name by being a law consultant and by defending British officers after the "Boston Massacre," giving them a fair defense. He was consulted when the Royal government made changes and when taxation was changed to directly tax the colonists for the king's coffers. After the Continental Congress and signing he went to France to ask for money, left France and went to the Netherlands and secured loans from the Dutch. He then served as Ambassador to Great Britain. After three years away Adams returned and was elected as George Washington's Vice President for two terms. Adams was then elected as President for one term.
After his presidency Adams lived a quiet life with his family at his home, Peacefield. He had quarreled with Thomas Jefferson and did not attend Jefferson's Inauguration. One of only three presidents to not attend their successor's inauguration. In 1812 his friend who he had been corresponding with, Benjamin Rush, encouraged him to renew his friendship with Jefferson and urged him to write. Their friendship was renewed through letters and they corresponded until they died, on the same day, July 4, 1826.
John Adam's son, John Quincy Adams, was the 6th President of the United States, the first and only father son Presidency, until the Bushs. But other Adams family members were also politicians and lawyers, following in John's footsteps.
Adams had some very challenging issues during his presidency and vice-presidency. As the first Vice-President the lines were not clear and his duties were not outlined. Following in the footsteps of George Washington as President of the United States must have been difficult. His ideas were not popular, this was probably the reason for only one term. He had difficult decisions to make and did what he had to do. I don't particularly love or agree with his ideas, but he was a brilliant man who stood strong for what for he stood for. He was responsible for choosing Thomas Jefferson to pen the Declaration of Independence. Adams knew he was unpopular with some and saw Jefferson's genius. He is definetely worth looking into more. Watch the movie. I am going to read the book by David McCullough.