Monday, December 31, 2007

Visitors updated

I have updated our VISITORS TO EGLIN page. Our next visitor is Tara in February. We still have some vacancies so reserve a spot soon!

In preparation for the New Year

Thought I would share with you from my daily reading of Oswald Chambers as we get ready to celebrate a new year. Tomorrow it will be 2008.

Is it possible that 2008 means I will be a parent? Is it possible that we started wanting to be parents in 2003?!

Happy New Year everyone!

Security from Yesterday. ". . . God requires an account of what is past" ( Ecclesiastes 3:15 ). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow. ". . . the Lord will go before you . . . ." This is a gracious revelation— that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our "rear guard." And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today. "You shall not go out with haste . . . ." As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Great catch-up

Take a look at these ugly kids! :)

Grace (14) , Jessie (10) , and Sam (16) Wilson

So that's a joke, obviously. These kids are not only beautiful on the outside but fantastic young people on the inside too. I can't believe how much they have grown up. When I first met them, Jessie wasn't even born! Wow!

What a fun Saturday we had here on Eglin AFB. Despite the fact that it has been raining since they got here on Friday and the fact that JB was on call on Saturday, we had a wonderful time!

We woke up leisurely on Saturday -- the last of the crew, Grace, crawling out of bed around 10:15am -- much earlier than her estimated 2:30pm entrance. By 2pm, we were on our way down to Destin where we had a light-late lunch at the Backporch which is right on the water. Here are some photos from that lunch.

After lunch, we headed down to Destin Commons for some shopping (which Mike was ecstatic about -- ha ha!) Man, can his family shop! When it became obvious that Jessie's shopping styles were quite different from her two older siblings, she managed to steal me away to be her personal shopping chaperone. That kid can work it in the store! She can also work me in the store. She had nearly talked me into three different things I had never thought of owning. I also become very familiar with the LIMITED TOO store. Oh man ... when we have a daughter, that store is DANGEROUS! Way toooo cute while also a bit pricey does not make for a good combination. Jessie ended up buying a jazz hat and a bathing suit which I was a bit nervous about approving without her parents seeing it first. However, Jessie insisted this suit was acceptable, and sure enough, when she tried it on for them later, they agreed.

We stopped at a Surfshop to help Grace find a bathing suit ... she did and it was adorable! They talked me into trying on the same one for our cruise. I liked it but decided I needed JB to come and help me pick one out. These surf shops are pretty cool when it comes to bathing suits! They have a ton of choices! HUNDREDS of choices! So JB and I are going to return, maybe today, to try to find a suit for me to take along. I have one suit, but the cruise is a week long so I'd at least like to have two choices.

Here's a pic of Mike and Deanna with their Starbucks waiting for the kids to finish shopping.

I picked up an order of fish tacos for JB at Blupointe and figured we'd drop them off at the hospital for him and get to see him for a few minutes. However, while I was on the phone telling him all of this, his senior told him that he should just go home for a few hours since there was nothing happening at the hospital. What?!?! This has never happened before, and I was ecstatic. He did have to bring the three pagers he carries home, but they only rang once until 5:30 this morning when he went back in to round on his patients. It was so wonderful to have him be able to spend even a few hours with us.

I actually cooked as well -- my chicken meatball Parmesan that I have become quite proficient at. It went well and no one barfed so that was a good sign.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to reconnect with the Wilson family. We saw them all the time when we lived in Kentucky and managed to see them 3-4 times during our years in Minnesota. We are hoping now that we live a bit closer, we'll be able to see them more frequently. The kids taught me all about Facebook and how I can talk to them on this page so hopefully, I will be able to stay up on their lives a bit better.

I'll close with a cute picture of Jessie. I gave the Wilson ladies a purse from Nigeria. Here's Jessie demonstrating her use for her hat. What a great weekend!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wilsons have arrived!

Our friends the Wilsons are here! They got in about 3pm yesterday and somehow, and I still have no idea how, JB got off at 5:30! Unheard of on an internal medicine rotation. Despite looking quite tired, JB cooked us steaks and potatoes and pineapple on the grill and we just hung out and talked and picked up Baskin Robbins Ice Cream and repeatedly told a dog overwhelmed with five new knees to slobber on "Off! Off!" (Well, wait, if there are five new people then I suppose that's ten new knees. Either way -- it's a lot of knees.)

Unfortunately, JB is on call today which means I dropped him off at 7am and I won't see his tired face until 7am tomorrow. Quite a bummer when you have company that is leaving on Sunday. I am hopeful he will get some sleep tonight so that he can spend some time with them before they head out on Sunday.

The Wilson trio of children are taller and into new things but they are still the same little kids I have known for so long. That is a relief to me. A relief that some things change as I age a decade, but some things don't change that much and the basics are still the basics. I don't know if that paragraph made sense to any of you, but it made sense in my heart so I am going to leave it there.

They have just come off an exhausting "Christmas in Disney World" and were very excited when informed that there was nothing they had to wake up at the crack of dawn for. Grace and Jessie are sleeping on the queen air mattress in the future-nursery, Mike and Deanna are in the guest room, and Sam is on the couch.

I am in my new "Office in the Kitchen." I've given my dear Scrubs a rawhide in the kitchen because frankly, I didn't know what else to do with him. I had grand plans however. I am pet sitting for my neighbor Heather's two labs: Sully and Caesar. We went over there this morning -- "we" being Scrubs and me -- to feed and water the pups. I planned to take Scrubs out in their beautiful fenced in backyard to play, only to have the rain, which has been coming down since 5pm last night, dampen my plans. We played in the house a bit, but quite frankly, Scrubs is such an annoying puppy to those dogs! He just wants to play so much. They, on the other hand, are middle-aged and want nothing to do with the antics of a puppy.

Deanna has emerged from her slumber so I'll take a break now. I'll make sure to post some pics of our rainy day later.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I finally managed to capture Scrubs in one of his fits of energy on camera. He will run in circles, run into walls, throw his bone all over the place, and then, all of a sudden, collapse and fall asleep. The position he occupied at the end of this video is the position he still occupies at this moment. Sound asleep. From zero to 60 and back to zero ...

An Orphan's Ticket Home

If you are looking for a place to make a year-end donation to, consider "An Orphan's Ticket Home". It is a program sponsored by the agency we are adopting through: America World. They are asking for donations to help provide legal paperwork for orpahns who are currently unadoptable due to being lost in the system. To read more about it: click here. You can make a very minimal donation.

So busy

My "need to call back" phone list is quite lengthy. If you have left a message for me, hang on. I will return your call. Since we have gotten back, we have been going non-stop. Amongst the details:
  • JB returned to his 12 to 14 hour days.
  • I returned to full-time work.
  • I have been dog sitting for my friend Heather's two labs.
  • Trying to unpack -- still not done with that.
  • Trying to finalize the details for our cruise. Did you know we are going on a cruise? We leave next Sunday. Yes, that is next Sunday. I'll post more details on this later, but we are excited for this week long bit of relaxation!
  • Preparing instructions/lists for Scrubs' wonderful dog-sitter: Jodi who is going to stay at our house while we are gone.
  • Booking a rental car for my trip to Fort Lauderdale the day after we return from our cruise. JB starts nights so I am going to hang out with my parents for two weeks and also go to Bri's ultrasound with her.
  • We also decided to have me fly down to Fort Lauderdale in April for a long weekend. This is for a shower with the family and friends of Roy, Joan, and Bri and then a open house with all of my "people" in Fort Lauderdale. We bought our tickets yesterday.
  • Dealing with Scrubs. We think he has entered the terrible two's. He's seven months old so we figure in dog years, that puts him at about two or three. Either that or he is recovering from being out of his element for four days. He's just been more tiring than normal.
  • Preparing for company. Our friends the Wilsons are coming into town today! We are so blessed they are making a visit! It has been well over a year since we last saw them. We were friends with Mike and Deanna in Kentucky. Mike was the pastor of our church there and officiated our wedding. There three kids were very young back then. Little Jessie wasn't even born when we first met them, and now, she just turned eleven! We were also honored to be asked to be the godparents or legal guardians of the kids and have enjoyed watching them grow up even though the distance has prevented us from seeing them as often as we like.
  • Cleaning the house. It was quite a mess.

So, needless to say, life has been busy. It will, hopefully, soon settle down!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Some pictures from Kristi

Kristi sent me some pictures of her second daughter Raylee's first birthday. I, personally, think Raylee looks more like me than Kristi -- ha ha! Look at the blonde hair!

I am not sure what big sister Logan is doing with her feet here!

Kristi: when did you get so artsy?! Woah!

Random photos of life with the Kit. family

Grace with the gift we got her. It's some sort of princess dance studio. I really have no idea what it does, but she liked it.

Here's Nate helping Aunt "Ewisabeth" prepare dinner on Saturday evening.

Two of JB's three brothers: Ray on the left and youngest child Robbie on the right who is now a freshman at UCF.

Grace and Danielle. Grace has not had much success as of recently looking at the camera.

Here is Dad in the backyard with the two grandkids. You can just make out one of JB or his brothers' tree houses in the tree behind them.

Grace, JB, and oldest sibling Elizabeth

Grace in her gift from Grama. Is there anything BUT princess stuff?

Gracie's shirt. Too cute!

Nate with the hit of the morning! He played with this one for quite some time.

JB with his gift from Grant and Elizabeth. It's a new book entitled "The Dangerous Book of Boys". JB LOVED it. It's all the cool things boys can do -- a must for any son and his father!

Robbie. Enough said. That's Katie's husband Eddie in the background.
My only niece Grace. She is as sweet as the picture makes her look.

The newlyweds: Katie and her husband Eddie

Scrubs and the kids. He did very well with them I thought, and having a bone to chew on even helped keep him calm while they, especially Nate, jumped all over him.

Grace and Scrubs in matching polka dots!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My favorite Christmas gift?

I suppose it is not appropriate to say you have a favorite Christmas gift. However, anyone who saw me open this gift knows that this gift took a special place in my heart. I am pretty sure a huge lump was present in the bottom of my throat.

I have mentioned the STORY PEOPLE on my blog before. I just love them! Some of the sayings are strange but some of them just so perfectly capture an emotion or a state of being.

JB's sister Katie and her new husband Eddie gave me a print for Christmas. Here is a photo of the print which will be in our son's nursery this summer.

"In my dream he told me to hold the secret of his birth safe and teach him when he forgot."

Bri & Me

On Sunday afternoon, JB and I were able to snag a few hours away and head down to Roy & Joan's house by the beach. It was great to drive on A1A and see our old home and the beach that we grew up with. We also got to spend time with them and with Bri.

Bri looks great and seems to be in great spirits. We are getting very excited for May to come -- both of us for different reasons! She is doing a great job, and I continue to remind her how awesome what she is doing really is. She is getting to give JB and myself such an amazing gift.

We have finalized the baby's full name of which Bri and Joan hold the secret! I will get to see Bri and the baby up-close on ultrasound in January and then I hope to return for a couple of showers in April before the baby is born.

Here are few photos from out afternoon.

Bri and me holding the Dalmatian ornament that Joan gave us each of us when Bri was just a few years old. I have the same ornament on my tree, and Bri has informed her mom that this ornament is moving when she moves! I do have a picture with JB, me, and Bri but I think that one is in Joan's camera.

Bri with Andre Agassi (aka "the Urinator")

Me with my tall friend Joan

Okay, so maybe we cheated just a bit!

Some of you have asked me what the birth "plan" is. Bri and I ironed out some of the details while I was there and are still finalizing how everything will work. For now I can tell you that JB and I are planning to rent a car as soon as we hear that she has gone into labor and head to south Florida to get our son. We won't be at the delivery itself but will get to be there right after the baby is born! We are all getting very excited.

Please continue to pray for Bri. Pray that she will have encouragement, strength, stamina, and a wonderful, smooth delivery. Please pray for little "XY" as well -- that he will continue to grow like crazy inside his safe home. We are so proud of Bri and can't wait until May!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Home sweet home

We are back on Eglin AFB. JB and I just finished opening our gifts together and trying to exhaust Scrubs after he was cooped up in the car for another nine hours.

The drive went very well. However, on a side note issue, I am thoroughly discouraging anyone renting a car from Alamo. They charged us $10 a day for an extra driver. I have never been charged for a spouse to drive in all the times we have rented a car. They also will charge us an extra $15 if we return the car tonight instead of tomorrow! So we only have a 90 minute window to get the car back without being charge an early or a late rate! Geesh.

Anyways, no complaining ... it's Christmas.

I'll try to post some pics and videos from our trip very soon. Here, for starters, is a video of our niece Grace singing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing". Too sweet!

Also, the entire Kit. family put together a video for Matt who is still in Iraq. Click HERE to see the video we put together for Matt. We love you Matt!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas on the Huisman side

Christmas Eve is always spent at my parents home. Keith and AD came over about 3:00, and we got started with our Christmas events which included communion, a great meal, gifts, Tetris, and more. Here are some photos from the night. And the reason we have pictures of this is because we used my Dad's camera. My photos, again, are stuck in the camera!
My dad showing my mom his favorite gift: a video of The Three Stooges. I can vividly remember my parents arguing over my dad allowing us to watch this show when we were kids. She didn't like the violence. Today, she still hates the show and my Dad still likes to watch it ... mostly to bug my mom.

My Dad with the Christmas meal. My parents made a great ham, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, bread, and raisin sauce. However, my Dad actually asked my mom a few weeks ago if it would be rude to ask JB to cook dinner. My mom said yes and they cooked instead. It was great! See that Tupperware in the front of the picture?! That thing is like 40 years old -- seriously!!!

Keith and AD showing off their gifts from JB and me. Among other things, we gave Keith a mousepad with a picture of his new wife and AD a calendar from their engagement and wedding photos.

AD, whose family owns a pet shop, gave Scrubs a stocking full of treats! Here I am opening one of the bones. These were great and kept the pup busy while we opened gifts.

Scrubs enjoying one of his treats! Thank you AD and Mom for the great gifts!

JB and I are opening our gifts for each other tomorrow night back at Eglin. However, JB put two books under the tree addressed to "Mom" from "Santa". These were two books on adoption. One, was how to make a memory book for your adopted child. This one is entitled: "My Adopted Child: There's No One Like You" about a panda bear adopted into a family of black bears! It was priceless and such a wonderful gift! Oh and this shot also shows off my new hair-do. I LOVE DEBBIE!

My Dad and Mom with the mouse pad we got my dad -- a picture of the six of us.

JB -- showing exuberance over the cashews in his stocking.

Craziness continues

I am having trouble even remembering what day it is.

Okay, it is Monday. So that means I need to updated you on what happened Sunday.

Sorry Tara -- pictures will have to wait until tomorrow, but I promise, they will be worth the wait. Yes, everyone, there will be pictures of Bri and me. Bri gave her blessing to share her growing belly with the world. She looks great and seems to be doing very well. We went over there for lunch. Joan made a great stroganoff and fruit salad and we played with Andre Agassi (their dog -- who JB affectionately calls "The Urinator" due to an unfortunate encounter many years ago.) It was wonderful to see Brianna. I am excited to go to her next ultrasound appointment in January!

Last night we went and saw I am Legend with the Kit. family. Good movie. Not one I'd ever want to re-watch, but quite an event -- very intense! We also went to dinner at, what's the name of that place ... Landlubbers or something like that. I'll have some snaps of that as well later.

My mom watched Scrubs nearly all day yesterday -- what a trooper. I realized that was the longest I had ever left Scrubs! She said he was really good 85% of the time. I think the 15% wore her down though.

Our Christmas Eve has been filled with me getting my hair done at Debbie's! I'll send a photo of that too. Man does she do a good job! I just love it. She also gave us a baby gift which included shoes and socks for the "Dedication". How cool is that? We are at JB's family's house right now but heading over my folks to spend Christmas Eve.

I promise ... pictures soon! Quit whining Tara. :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The eve of Christmas Eve

I would love to post some pictures from our adventures yesterday, but, alas, my parents don't have a drive for my camera so pictures will have to wait until we return to Eglin on Christmas Day. Our visit so far has been wonderful, and as is usually the case, a bit exhausting. It is always difficult to manage a long drive, staying rested, and seeing both families without getting tired. Add to that a shorter-than-usual visit and a puppy along for the ride, and our fatigue is even a bit greater.

Yesterday morning, we hung out around my parents' home. JB and I took turns taking naps, my mom and I went for a walk with the dog, and we ran to the store as well. Around 2:00pm or so, JB and I ran up to our old stomping grounds at Fort Lauderdale Christian School to see the boys' varsity play in a holiday tournament. I was able to see my dad, my brother, Mrs. Cox, and a few other familiar faces including JB's sister Elizabeth and his other sister Katie and her new husband Eddie. I also had the opportunity to see all the new banners in the gym that my brother had been working on as he is the Athletic Director at the school now. My uniform retiring banner had been redone and looked great. 1995. Gosh I am getting old.

We left at half-time to head over to Ray and Gabbi's. We had a little birthday party for Nathan (pictures to come) and just hung out with the family. Later, after non-family departed, we went and picked up Scrubs from my parents so the kids could meet and play with him. We also had a family dinner. Nate and Grace loved Scrubs, and he did really well with them. The cutest was when we would tell Scrubs to roll over and Nathan would follow suit. Such fun.

We left there about 8:30pm to get back here and get some rest. We are really trying not to leave here exhausted, as we often do. It's been raining this morning, JB is at breakfast with his dad and brothers, my parents have left for church, and we'll be heading down to see Bri and Roy and Joan in an hour or so.

I'll keep you posted on our trip, and, of course, be sure to snag some pictures with Bri this afternoon!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Made it to South Florida

We left around 1:30pm CST and got into Fort Lauderdale at 12:30am CST. This was a ten hour drive despite the fact that JB got quite ill on the way down, and we had to stop a number of times. He wasn't sure if it was exhaustion or just eating something bad, but I actually drove most of the way.

Scrubs did excellent! He slept a good majority of the way and chewed on a rawhide a lot. We gave him an A for his first long trip. Poor thing probably had not idea why he had to be in the backseat for ten hours or why he slept in a new house, but we were very happy with his travel skills, especially because I will be doing the ten hour drive by myself with him next month.

My parents surprised us with a new guest room bed set! This was wonderful news after our long day -- to lay down in a real bed instead of a couch and air mattress. Kudos to my parents for getting that just in time!

Today we will head to the JB's brother's Ray's house for our nephew Nate's birthday party followed by dinner over there as well. It'll be great to see everyone. We were planning on trying to go and see some of them this morning, but I think JB needs to rest this morning. He worked nearly 60 hours in four and a half days -- that'll wear you out!

It's wonderful to be "home." I think, no matter how old we get, and no matter how much we do not want to live here again, this will always be "home."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fun videos before we hit the road

The first video here shows Scrubs light-playing escapades. This is ALL he wants to do, chase a light. He loves it. This or tug on his rings.

This video shows you our newly designed office area for me in the eat-in-kitchen part of our home. It also shows you Scrubs "digging" in his kennel and then keeping me busy while I work.

No more "sleeps"

It was my goddaughter Jessie, I believe, who counted days by "sleeps." She was too little to understand days so she'd look forward to exciting events by how many more times she had to "sleep" before the event came to pass.

No more sleeps til we head to Fort Lauderdale.

Apparently there are two extra interns on JB's internal medicine service. He stayed very late last night and took an extra admit. In addition, each person on the team is taking one extra half day "leave" during the holiday, and they allowed JB"s to falll on Friday so we could leave early. Unless, as his senior says, "The roof falls in..." we hope to be out of here by 1pm today and in Fort Lauderdale before Saturday begins.

We are renting a mid-size SUV to handle all the gifts we are bringing as well as our puppy and his kennel. I'll leave his kennel down there being as I'll be returning with Scrubs mid-January for a two week visit while JB does nights.

As always, it is wonderful to get to see all of our family in south Florida. The only people we will not see are Matt. He is still in Iraq. We also won't see his new wife Danielle as she is spending Christmas with some friends up north. Other than that, everyone will get to be there. It will also be our first Christmas with my new sister-in-law as a "real" part of the family. Last year at this time, they were days away from their wedding.

Pray Scrubs behaves and that we have safe, non-traffic-ridden driving. You probably won't hear from me until I am thoroughly rested tomorrow. JB has been doing 14-hour days so I also hope he'll be able to get some rest in the car.

See you in Fort Lauderdale!

P.S. I have added a new feature to the side of my blog. If you would like to receive an email notice when my blog is updated, you can put your email in this little box. Your choice but now a new "feature."

P.S.S. Our baby "countdown" has had to move to the top of the blog due to his advancement in distance. You were starting not to be able to see the stork anymore when it was on the right side of the blog. Every day now, is one day closer until we see baby XY. Oh, and Funky Monkey, who says she thinks she knows the name ... you'll have to email or post a comment with your guess. Anyone else have a guess? Of course, I won't tell you if you are right, but it would still be fun.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mid-week Sushi

Last night we went back to that Siam Sushi with some of the other residents and had a great meal. I joined Phil and Joia as the non Sushi eaters, and, instead, thoroughly enjoyed my Panang.

Today has been a fairly hectic day already. I have gotten in about four hours of work but took a break to:
  • Take Scrubs to the vet
  • Take Scrubs to the dog park
  • Pick up gift at Christian Bookstore (it's going out of business!)
  • Pick up a baby bjorn carrier from a woman who posted it on Craig's list ($15! -- I just couldn't spend $85 on this or let someone else spend $85 on this!)
  • Stopped at bank
  • Got gas

I am now home and working amidst a lightning storm that I sincerely hope will not knock my power out. The verdict at the vet? Well, let's just say that maybe, just possibly, my husband does know a thing or two about giving "people" or ... mammals ... medicine. The vet echoed every single sentence JB said. The vet said:

  • Get him a antibacterial shampoo (JB already did this)
  • Get him a liquid to put in his food for his coat (JB already did this)
  • Give him between 2-4 Benadryl 3x a day (I think I've covered this point in past blogs)
  • Give him an antibiotic (JB told me the vet would do this)

Everything the vet said, JB had done or had suggested and that's just the gosh-darn-honest truth. In the end, Scrubs has some sort of allergy to the who-the-heck knows what that could last who-the-heck knows how long.

Another point for JB.

There is also a chance we may leave for Fort Lauderdale a bit early ... not sure if we will leave on Friday or Saturday. Just depends on when JB gets off of work. I'll keep you all updated.

They grow up so fast! (Not JB but Scrubby!)


Loyal blog readers probably already know who Bara is. However, if you are not sure, here is a link to a GUEST POST he wrote awhile ago that explained how we got to be friends.

Anyways, I won't go into a whole explanation again, but I will say that Bara has spent the last few years in Boston working at Harvard with pigs on some research project. He has explained what he does, but quite honestly, I still don't know. I just know it is about science and pigs.

In the meantime, he has been trying to get into a residency program in the U.S. so that he can stay here and continue to improve his medicine skills. He had not been very hopeful as it is extremely difficult for foreigners to obtain residency spots in the U.S.

Well we got word that Bara will at least get to stay another year as he does some preliminary residency work. I'm not exactly sure what this means -- fellow doctors reading this blog, can you explain since my husband is really busy and I haven't gotten to ask him and he can't access my blog from the hospital?

Anyways, we got this email from Bara yesterday:

Hey Guys,

I want to share with you great news that happened yesterday. as you both know, I was doing research for my main aim: getting into surgery residency!

Match has been tough but with the help and support of my current PI, I was offered a spot @ Harvard for the next year. The spot I got is a prelim year in surgery (not categorical, John: you do the explanation for Wendi if she doesn't know this).

Even though, it's only a prelim, but I am still so happy as it will give me a good push toward a full training later on in a good program.

Thanks JB and Wendi,


A huge congrats to Bara! We hope he will come visit us in Florida soon!!! Oh and the picture above was from when Bara came to visit us in Minnesota and JB cooked as close to a traditional Syrian meal as he could. Tara was there too. I'm sure she loves that picture. (Okay, I edited Tara by special request. She owes me one.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Gifts abound

I often open up our front door so that Scrubs can sit there and look out. It keeps him from jumping on the couch to see out the window. We have a glass door that stays shut instead. Scrubs fell asleep in front of that door today and went crazy when the mailman woke him up by ringing the bell. Poor Scrubs!

However, Scrubs got much happier when we opened the box from Tara in California. Tara you are the greatest. Such cute little boy's clothes abounded!!! Baby scrapbooking stuff and even better, chocolate. Tara had also included a gift for Scrubs. As soon as I pulled it out, he went nuts and then sat down to wait for me to give it to him. He's been chewing on it ever since. This is especially great since his last rope was recently retired due to being shredded into two pieces. I cannot promise how long this one will look like it does, but boy is he enjoying it. Here's a photo of Scrubs with his new toy from Tara, who will get to meet him in February and realize that his name fits him perfectly!

Speaking of gifts, my mom brought a gift when they came down for Thanksgiving, and I just got around to taking a picture of it. How cute is this? Of course we can't leave it on him because he'd chew it to shreds, but it is cute nonetheless.

And here is a third picture of our pup with both ears flipped backwards -- a typical sign that he has been playing very hard.

Update on Hunter

I got a call today from Ron & Ebby that Hunter's surgery went well today. If you don't know the Ray family, you can visit their blog by clicking HERE. You can also read the whole story on Hunter's surgery. Can't wait to see you soon Hunter -- hopefully you'll be up to gettting picked on as it is what JB and I do best!

Also wanted to post a late update wishing David J. a happy birthday! Wish we were in Minnesota to celebrate with you Dave. Okay, maybe not. We wish you were here celebrating here, where it is warm. :)

Half way!

Today, Bri is half-way. Congrats Brianna! Half way there! We are hoping to get to see Bri on Sunday when we are down in Fort Lauderdale. Your extra prayers for their family are appreciated especially as Bri's grandfather (her dad's dad) is very ill. I have been to Vermont with their family and met Roy's dad on numerous occasions. What an awesome man. I vividly remember playing bottle pool with him in his basement in Vermont. He didn't speak much but boy could he kick my butt in pool. And I think that was playing left-handed.

I try on the blog not to talk about my dog too much. I don't want to appear to be one of those crazy-infatuated-with-my-dog people. But you know what, I've decided that I am a dog person now. I love my pup. I also decided that this is my blog. So, I'm going to talk about my dog when I want to. And, I want.

Scrubs successfully graduated from his obedience class last night. JB couldn't come because this rotation doesn't get off until 6:30. When we got to class, Scrubs was a wild man, and we had to successfully navigate a "rally course." This is where you come to signs and have to do what is on the sign. This includes walking, heeling, sitting while I walk around him, "downing" while I walk around him, weaving, making turns, etc. Scrubs flew through the course without a single error! Since he is the youngest dog there, this was a huge accomplishment. However, he is also the only dog there that also took her puppy class, so he had a lot to prove.

Scrubs then passed the "stay" test. This is where he has to sit on one end of a field of toys while I walk through the toys to the other side of the field. I have to get all the way to the other side and call him before he comes. Scrubs nearly bolted halfway through but successfully waited, ran to me when called, and then sat and waited for his treat. Success! He then passed his third test. This is where he sits and stays while I eat people food! Poor dog. This must be torture. Test #4 is a down-stay for one minute. Scrubs did it. He did not, however, do the sit-stay for one minute mainly because I dropped a treat and he dove to the ground looking for it. Oh well. All in all, he did great and went crazy when he was allowed to pick a toy upon completion.

I returned home to watch the Biggest Loser finale with JB -- well, half of it. We got too tired mid-way through and gave up. John made burgers and potatoes on the grill. Great dinner!

This morning, Scrubs started pawing at me at exactly 5:32. I looked at the alarm clock and noticed it wasn't set! Oh no! Did JB oversleep?! I went to pat him (John -- not Scrubs), and he was gone (John not Scrubs)! I went looking all through the house for him calling out, "If this is a joke, it is not funny at all!" But no, JB was gone. He had woken up early and decided to head to work early since he had a presentation to do before he started his rounds. And Hans, they now have patients on his service so it's not quite as posh as yesterday made it seem. I paged JB and was a little frustrated that he didn't leave me a note. He started laughing. "Where else would I have gone?" He asked. But I didn't laugh back. Not funny at all.

Tonight, we are getting together with some of the fellow interns at Siam Sushi as it is half-price military night. I can't believe we are leaving in just 2.5 more sleeps. I don't think I can officially count Friday night as a "sleep" since we are going to be leaving at 2am! I am very excited to see our families. I am really trying not to get stressed about everything I have to do before we leave and just take it moment by moment. It's just that JB is working so much so it really falls on me to do everything we need to do and work full-time. One moment at a time!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tomorrow is half way

It has been another hectic holiday-day. So, I think it best to remind myself of the happy things going on right now -- primarily the fact that tomorrow Bri will be halfway done! Keep up the good work Bri! Just 20 more weeks until our XY "May baby" comes home to stay. Sheesh ... I nearly wrote his name on the blog. What a catastrophe that would have been.

"Tara would love this"

This morning, JB actually had about 15 extra minutes at home with us. He got paged at about 5:45 to learn that they had no patients on their census. So he decided not to rush in and instead, catch up on some blogs.

A few seconds later and there was a lot of singing going on. Joia, he had wandered over to your blog. His first comment was, "Wendi, Tara would love this." So, Tara, and others who have an appreciation for music, make sure you visit Joia's post from yesterday: 12 days of Christmas.

As for me, my 12 days of Christmas are keeping me a bit stressed. I'm trying to remember the meaning of the season but little things are making that hard. Scrubs, for instance. JB said I have to call the vet -- that his skin is just not getting better. That'll take half a day to get done.

So it would make sense not to waste time blogging and instead get on some of my projects, right? Right. Doing that now.

Monday, December 17, 2007

I forgot to give you the verdict!

I realized I titled yesterday's post something about a "verdict" and then I never gave the verdict or even explained what the verdict I was waiting for, was. Geesh! What a blonde!

The verdict was, that I was waiting to hear if JB slept or not. He did get to sleep! About 4.5 hours so all he needed on Sunday was a nap. That gave us tons of time to get a bunch of stuff done. We spent the rest of the day:
  • having brunch with Erik and Andrea (she made a great meal!) so that we could disuss our cruise. They took the same basic cruise so we wanted to get some of their opinions and suggestions.
  • moving my office out of the soon-to-be nursery and into the eat-in part of our kitchen. As soon as I retrieve my camera from the party I left it at, I'll take pictures. It looks good, and its weird to see an empty room reserved for a child. This was another big step for me!
  • obtaining a basinet. Tiffany called to tell me that someone had set one outside their house that looked to be in perfect condition. We walked over and sure enough, the thing looked awesome and was white -- very neutral! We snagged it. Our first piece of baby furniture.
  • watching the Survivor finale. I can't believe Todd won. I did not see that coming at all. I'm excited about the next season: Fans vs. Favorites. It's still a dream of mine to be on Survivor, but I just don't think I could handle all the back-stabbing. It would just hurt my feelings too much.
  • some quick grocery shopping to get some "egg mcmuffin" ingredients for the wive's brunch I am hosting on Tuesday.
  • baking cookies. JB was asked to bring cookies in for the single airmen who can't go home for the holidays. They put boxes together for them. However, then, he left the cookies on the counter. I'm going to try to figure out a way to get them to him today even though I am without a car. I also baked an extra dozen for dog class tomorrow night. We are supposed to bring "human" food to work on teaching our dogs to stay when the stakes are high. Poor puppies!

I'm currently just trying to keep warm. It's a chilly feels like twenty-five. JB and I have decided we have already lost every bit of Minnesota blood we have developed. Gone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Waiting for the verdict ...

It's 6:15 on a Sunday morning. I'd still be in bed were it not for my delightful little puppy. Scrubs is so cute in the morning. Our bed is too high for him to climb in, but he puts his front paws on the side of the bed, and his tail begins smacking the wall and the dresser in perfect unison as he waits for someone to pet him. When you reach over, his head immediately sinks to the sheets, and he lays there, just letting you scratch him. If the petting stops, he'll get off your side and move to that of the other person.

When JB is on call, Scrubs always seems very confused. He usually goes to JB's side first. We think this is because JB scratches his ears harder than I do. This morning, I heard him go to JB's side. No scratches. No petting. He thus moved to my side, as if settling for my affection instead. A few seconds later he retreats to JB's side of the bed again. Where is that guy?

I really miss JB when he is on call. I especially missed him yesterday. It was a rainy, overcast day, perfect for snuggling up on the couch with a good movie and my best friend. Unfortunately, JB was in the hospital all day. Sign out is at 8am this morning and then I'll have him home. If he didn't get any sleep, his Sunday will be spent mostly in bed. However, last night when I spoke with him, there were no women laboring and no phone calls indicating probable labor. The rainy weather concerned him (apparently changes in the atmosphere really do affect deliveries) but he had taken a long nap and was hopeful for a good night's sleep -- a rarity when on call. It would make the weekend a lot nicer if he were able to catch a few hours of sleep.

Yesterday, I watched William for a few hours in the morning so Matt & Tif could use a rain check at the golf course and get a few Christmas gifts. They always feel bad asking me to babysit, but I am quick to remind them that I will definitely return the favors. This makes them feel better.

I also continue to feel better about the prospect of adding children to the world of our dog. We had, of course, thought Scrubs would be quite a young adult by the time our daughter from China joined our family. It now appears, he will be merely an adolescent when little XY (my brother-in-law in Iraq's nickname for the little guy) joins the fold in May. Since William is now walking, and Scrubs is now not such a frantic puppy, I actually left the two of them out to co-exist instead of sequestering Scrubs in the kitchen as is usually the case. I was so happy with how they did together! There were a few moments when Scrubs got too excited, and I had to separate them for a few minutes, but overall, Scrubs is looking like he will be a great dog to our children. William loves him! Scrubs loves William, especially when William has food. Scrubs will just sit there, patiently waiting for William to share. They walked around the house together, and we even completed a successful walk with leash and stroller. I think this whole baby/dog thing is going to be okay.

I am always blessed to have the Ramages living right around the block. We really try to take care of each other when the other's husband is in the hospital. Last night they had me over for pizza and leftover cookies from the cookie-exchange. It's great to have some humans to talk to when JB is gone for an entire 24 hours.

We have had a busy week, and this week doesn't promise to slow down at all as we get ready to leave for Fort Lauderdale for a whirlwind Christmas visit. We have decided, after much discussion, to leave at 2am on Saturday morning. Originally the plan was a 6pm departure on Friday, as soon as JB got off work, but then we both realized that we are both morning people and driving in the late hours of the night just did not intrigue us. Paying $60 or $70 bucks for a hotel to sleep six hours didn't intrigue us either. So, we opted for a new plan: go to bed as early as we can on Friday night and leave as early as possibly on Saturday morning. Since I nap better in the car then JB, the plan is that I'll take the first shift with a trustee Mountain Dew by my side while John hopefully can snag a few more hours of sleep before the sun comes up and the dog wakes up. We'll see. I think his trouble sleeping has something to do with his trust for me as a driver. WhatEVER.

We will spend four days in Florida before driving back on Christmas Day. I am actually excited about being in my own home on Christmas Day. This has never occurred -- not in a decade of marriage. We plan to open our gifts together, around our tree, on Christmas evening. It should be a fun time.

Our plans in Fort Lauderdale include our yearly holiday movie with the Kit. family, Christmas Eve with my family, and Christmas morning with JB's. I'm also going to get a hair appointment in with the best hair dress in the whole world -- Debbie. I think she'll be appalled at how badly I have let my hair go. I have only gotten it cut once since I have gotten here. No one can recommend a good place for me!

We are also goign to get together with Bri on Sunday afternoon. I am excited to see her -- the first time we have seen her since all this came about. I have been asked to take pictures of Bri and our "son" so I will definitely have to do that. We are a mere three days away from halfway!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy days all around

Today is my cousin Sarah's birthday (pictured with me below a few Thanksgivings ago.) Well actually Sarah is my cousin Josh's wife, but I just call her my cousin. They lived across the street from us for two years in Kentucky. Those were some great times! This was a rough Thanksgiving for me as we had just another failed infertility attempt which is probably why I look like I had been crying (because I had!)

It is also my buddy Kristi's youngest daughter's birthday. Here is Raylee (she's the caterpillar) on her big sister Logan's (the butterfly) lap. Happy birthday Raylee!

I also wanted to take a quick opportunity to update you on another very exciting event. I have some friends from back in Minnesota, who, in order to protect their privacy right now, I am going to leave nameless. My blog shows up in search engines, and I wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize their big event.

While we were friends in Minnesota, our friendship has reblossomed since we have moved to Florida . . . with their decision to adopt. I have been emailing with K. for sometime now as they have been on the waiting list for a child. Well they got word this week that there is a baby for them!

I have been attempting a bit of a fundraiser for them as there are a lot of expenses with this little boy that they weren't planning on. He is out-of-state for one thing which requires airline tickets and extra paperwork. While they know that this little boy is their's, this has added some stress to their lives. If you are looking for someone to give an end-of-the-year gift to or just someone that you want to bless, I would ask that you consider a small monetary gift for this delightful couple! Honestly, if it was $5, it would bless them! They are such awesome, wonderful people.

Thank you for considering helping this couple and happy birthday Sarah and Raylee!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Merry Christmas from JB, Wendi & Scrubs

Tara sent me a link to this site so you can "ELF yourself." I did one with Scrubs, JB, and myself. It's really fun! I know Joia will want to try this. She's always game.

Anyways, if you click this link, we'll sing for you in our elf costumes.

Logan's calf

This is a video that is being passed around online. I actually got the link from my Tante Jan. Logan is a 13 year-old boy who lives on a ranch in a very small town in Nebraska. Logan listens to Christian Radio station 89.3FM KSBJ which broadcasts from Houston, TX. His words have wisdom beyond his years. Since airing the audio of the phone call and now the making of the video clip, it has taken on a life of its own. People are forwarding it all over the world. We encourage you to share the love of Christ with anyone you can.

Happy 2nd Birthday Nephew Nate!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

All I really want for Christmas . . . is a family

All right, this is a warning. If the Lord has even been slightly tugging at your heart about adoption, you probably don't want to watch this video. The words of this song are written from the prospective of an orphan, and they will, inevitibly capture your heart. It is by Steven Curtis Chapman -- himself the father of his own children and then three daughters from China. Thank you to the anonymous visitor who shared this with me yesterday.

However, I have just really felt the Lord tugging at our heart . . . beyond the two adoptions we are already planning, JB and I are especially intrigued by sibling groups. There are currently 1600 children in the state of Florida waiting for a "forever family." A lot of these are considered "unadoptables" due to physical or mental handicap, age, or the fact that they want to be placed with numerous brothers and sisters. We really think we would love to adopt a sibling group but will watch and see where the Lord leads.

Here is another video that an anonymous visitor yesterday told me about. You know, yesterday I wrote that this was from an amateur "stranger." I'm really not sure why I wrote that as I am not exactly sure what it means. I think I meant to say that the video is not done by the singer, and I also do not know who did the video. This is another video that was just on youtube -- it's a great video of adopted families and also captures the song. I hope you enjoy, and if you are even considering adoption, that you keep considering.

Chinese Adoption video

There's a new song by "Third Day" entiled "Merry Christmas." The guitarist in the band adopted a daughter from China and the song sings about his wait to bring her home. I found the song on youtube from an amateur "stranger." So here it is -- enjoy!

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are
But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas
As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow
But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas
Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
and we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his lifeand prepare a place for us so we could have a home with him above
It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cookie swap

I started to steal some pics from Joia for a blog on the cookie swap today but you know, her blog really has every detail of it. So, as I thought more about it, I decided that I would just ask you to go there if you want to see me wearing Matt's tube socks. :) Here's the link: Cookie swap.

The Lord has truly blessed me with some wonderful friends here. Our weekly lunches are something I look forward to throughout the week, and I am always hoping nothing with work will prevent me from going. These women are such wonderful people who have been so gracious and friendly while also compassionate and understanding of our infertility and adoption journies.

Citizen Kane and other random thoughts

You know, I really hate that movie Citizen Kane. I'm not sure why I am telling you all this. Something about Christmas time brings that memory and memories of "Rosebud"to the forefront of my mind. I used to teach that movie in my film class. I remember the first time I showed it to my students. When they realized what Rosebud was, they were sorely disappointed at how anticlimactic it was. "You mean that is what we sat here for ten hours to find out?!?"

I know some of you will disagree. And you know, that's okay. As you can tell from yesterday's post, I'm okay with not winning arguments. The "Johnocracy" is, unfortunately, alive and well. For those of you who hadn't heard this before, this was a term JB coined on our trip to Africa. There was no doubt in anyone's mind: back me up here Tara (I'd say Kelsey and Ajit, but they are only occasional blog readers) that JB was the leader of our group. And whenever he couldn't back up his reasons for a decision, he'd simply remind us that it didn't matter what his reason was: this was a Johnocracy. And you know what? We were okay with that. We listened. We fell into step without question. Were we brainwashed? Maybe. But it made for an easy trip. Truthfully, besides ending up stuck in Mozambique and having to bribe our way out of the country (minor inconvenience), the Johnocracy came through for us without fail.

All right. Another random thought. I hate to cook. I hate to bake. And last night, only proved it to me. My adventures in baking cookies for our cookie exchange went anything but smoothly. My wonderful fellow wives were very sweet and told me that my cookies looked great, and they would have never gathered that they caused me and JB so much angst had I never said it. Awwww, how sweet of them to lie to my face to make me feel like I belonged in their amazing-wives club. JB aren't sure if it was the pans or the oven, but we just couldn't get those things to make normal size cookies. They were either so big they covered the entire pan like a brownie mix or so flat that you couldn't even pick them up.

JB was determined to let me make these myself since he thought it a bit odd to help make cookies for a "ladies" event. (I won't mention the fact that one of the wives said he was "metro" today. Ronnie, are you reading this? You are the king o' metro! Is JB metro too?!) However, he quickly stepped in to help nonetheless. And even he was having a heck of a time! In the end, they tasted fine, but man they were a PAIN. Cooking stinks. I had flour all over the place. What a mess I made. Scrubs even got his first taste of chocolate as one of the cookies hit the floor. We have taught him to "leave" until given the instruction to eat. But after picking up the cookie, we decided to let him have the crumbs since he "left" so well.

Add to it that we were baking them late last night, well past our bedtime, after dog class with Scrubs. Oh, while I am jumping topics . . . let me jump to dog class. Our dear Scrubby was a perfect angel in dog class last night. He was amazing everyone with how well he listened to every command. Of course, I kept quiet the secret to his success: eating Benadryl like candy! "Get in a down and stay there for ten minutes?" He would look at me as if to say, "Could you please give me something harder?"

Seriously though, Scrubs is turning into a great dog. He will now sit and stay until I give him the command to come. I actually got him to sit outside the bedroom the other day while I cleaned a spot on the carpet. This was a great test because he loves pieces of cloth. I'm sure it was driving him crazy. He will lie down and let us walk all over the place and wait for the command to get up. He will give five, roll over, wait to eat until we tell him, leave anything on command, etc. We are even working on him going to a "spot" when the doorbell rings. So far, I can get him to do this if I know the ring is coming and have a treat ready (i.e., JB standing outside and waiting till I give the command to ring it). However, if it rings randomly, he still goes a bit crazy. I really do love my puppy!!! And the Benadryl doesn't hurt any.

I actually could go on and tell you more about my day, but to prevent people thinking I am a total spaz by jumping topics again, I'll sign off for now.

As Bara loves to say: Peace out!