Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Professional Development

I went to the best professional development yesterday. It was a three hour training on using PHOTO STORY. We were shown how to use pictures to add text, our own voice, and even music.

I also learned how to take a children's book and read it so that Tatertot can listen to it while we are in Vietnam. I think she will really enjoy hearing and seeing J- and I reading a book to her, even though we are on the other side of the Earth.

We are waiting for our agency to tell us the date of our Giving and Receiving. Once we have this date, we will make travel arrangements. We are hoping we will travel in the next 2-3 weeks. I have a good deal of the packing done. I am still working on gifts for the orphanage workers. I want to finish most of the packing this weekend, so that when we get our travel dates I will be able to spend that time with Tatertot and not be packing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A great end to a very, very long week!

J- and I are so relieved that it is Saturday. To say that this week was stressful would be a major understatement. We both had every emotion possible. Finally, it came... The long, long awaited I-600 approval. J- and I are overwhelmed by all the emails, calls, and good thoughts during this process.

Our home study expires in December. We were worried that it would have to be updated yet again. Our agency coordinator stated we will be home before it expires. That is good news! I know J- Tatertot, and I are ready to get off this roller coaster. We hope to hear very soon about our Giving and Receiving date. All of the Thanh Hoa gang is ready to travel.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


J- and I are happy to announce that after 237 days we now have I-600 pre-approval. That's right, we have it. We are so relieved to be able to say we are heading to Vietnam! Hopefully, the G&R will come fast. (Yeah right, I know what you are thinking). It is just too exciting. I can't believe I have to go to work and teach all day. Too excited!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Swing set

J- and I have talked about getting a swing set for over 3 years. We have a nice flat back yard for setting one up. We just couldn't find one we liked. Finally, thanks to the internet, I found one we both like. Tatertot loves monkey bars and swinging. She loves to slide. This one has a place for brother's swing and another one for her. They are going to be set. We have a friend coming over to help J- pour the concrete and get it set-up. I am going to cook spaghetti for dinner. Then, off to work for the guys. I'll post a picture when it is up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Nothing yet

Looks like we will be waiting until next week to hear the status of the field investigation. I am anxious to hear, but just so relieved that the field investigation finally took place!! It was beginning looking like it was never going to happen.

Last night we went to a local festival. We ate, did some shopping and then went to the balloon glow. It was a fun night. I found the cutest denim jacket with a dragon on it for the baby. We are doing a dragon theme for his room. Last year, I found him a jute rope dragon. We also got him a tie-dye onesie and Tatertot a tie-dye sun dress. It was her favorite summer dress. This year, I found the jacket for him and got her several hair bows.

Her hair is getting so long. I have been talking to her about donating it for several months. She was not sure about doing it until her principal donated hers. Only another 1.5 inches and she will have it long enough. She wants it long enough that she doesn't have really short hair.

We are getting together with Tatertot's travel group today. She calls the girls her "sisters". The girls are growing so fast. Three of the families are waiting to travel back to China for their second child. So, the group is growing. It is so great having 7 of the 9 girls within 90 miles of each other. We make it a priority to get the girls together as often as possible. I think the grown-ups enjoy as much as the kids. Oops, guess I better get started on the cupcakes we are taking. Such fun and messy things to eat!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Signs your child hears everything you say...even when you think they are in the other room.

4. "Mama, I am sick of waiting for my baby brother. Aren't you?"
3. Mama, "Will baby brother ever get to come home?"
2. Crying in the saddest way possible, "I miss my baby brother."
1. Number one reason... Yesterday, Tatertot was singing, "I-600, oh I-600".

I was rolling on the floor laughing. Kids!


The power went out around noon on Sunday. 60-75 mph winds were blowing. We were at my Dad's for the weekend, so we weren't here.

I will say that the weather was wonderful for having electricity out. It was amazing how many people you saw outside. I saw people out sitting on porches, working in yards ( debris was everywhere), and cooking out.

We got the electricity back last night at 9:00. Tatertot is enjoying the TV this morning. I know I really missed the computer!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Conference call with USCIS

Yeah!! FINALLY!!

All Thahn Hoa field investigations have been completed.

We were told by Deputy Officer of USCIS that, as of yesterday, all of the cases that have filed I-600's had been completed. What great news!!

The only concern J-and I have is that Coung was found by a family from a different province. That means the USCIS may need to send someone to that province to talk to the person/family that found him. We do have that person's name and address, so that is a good thing. USCIS told us we could hear about our case by next Friday or first of the following week.

This afternoon, J-is personnally calling USCIS to discuss our case and the issue we have with the person being from a different province.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cooler weather

I am so excited to have the cooler weather. I don't like hot weather or humidity. Nice weather!

I spent the morning working at Tatertot's school. I helped with the book fair, spent 1.5 hours working in her class, then I worked in the office making copies. A good morning.

I am going to teach a lesson on Autumn Moon Festival next Tuesday in Tatertot's classroom. I am telling the story of the fable behind Autumn Moon, doing a craft, and will have a snack. It will be a lot of fun.

We will go to the FCC Autumn Moon Festival next weekend (20th). They have a lot of really fun activities for the kids. Last year, the kids wrote letters to their birth family, rolled up the paper and tied it to a balloon. Then, we went outside and released the balloons. It was very moving. It concludes with a Lantern Parade. The kids all bring a lantern and we walk around the grounds. It is fun seeing all the different lanterns.

Not that we are counting... today is 124 days waiting for our I-600.

Monday, September 8, 2008


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Bring our children home

This website has been recently updated. It is a good source for information on blocked provinces and ways to help. Maybe some of you will also find it helpful. Check it out!

Friday, September 5, 2008


Our church is having its annual fish fry tomorrow. J- will help fry fish. They fry it in huge cast iron kettles. The fish is fresh and tasty! He made 10 pounds of German potato salad today. The church makes over 200 pounds of German potato salad.

I have made 2 huge cobblers. They are half blueberries and have blackberries. The blackberries are from our own field. I also made 2 different cookies and 4 pies (1 chess and 3 toll house/pecan pies) I also made lemon apricot cake, but when I took it out of the bunt pan it stuck in 3 places. I took it to school to share. If I have time in the morning, I will make another.

Tatertot was totally exhausted tonight. School was busy. She was just a heap rolled up on the chair. Even too tired to eat. She was in bed by 7:45. I hope she sleeps in until 8:00 tomorrow. It will be a long day with the fish fry. She starts Suzuki violin in two weeks. She is so excited. They have the tiniest little violin for her. Too cute.

PS Today is day 221 days waiting for I-600. Isn't that just crazy!!