Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or
slow to do the humble work.

- Mother Teresa

About Me

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Sunny Florida, United States
I am the proud mom to 6 kids: Natasha, 24, Nikolai, 20, Reese, 20, Maylee, 14, Erik, 10 and Violet, 7. The kids come from Russia, Ukraine and China; I'm so proud of my family sometimes I think I'll burst and I needed an outlet for it - so I've created this weblog. :o)
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

Motivation for Moms

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One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

This Christmas was just one mainly about "getting through it". The fire displaced us for 8 months, and when we did get to move home in mid-December, we had no furniture, boxes everywhere filled with cleaned and ruined stuff, and utter chaos on every level. So cards didn't get mailed, gifts didn't get bought, decorations weren't hung. Still, we managed to have a decent Christmas, trying to keep the focus where it belongs, on Christ's birth.

That said, I didn't get cards mailed!! If you didn't get one (and that's everyone), it wasn't because it got lost in the mail. I was simply busy doing things like trying to find a pan or two in which to cook supper. :o) I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of the pictures that I had reprinted to put in the cards; probably I'll send out cards in January, an abbreviated list, though...

I didn't do a "Newspaper" newsletter this year. I tried something different: I wrote a poem. Those of you know know me know that I hate poetry and have never written a poem in my life, but I thought it was kind of fun this time. So to replace the standard Christmas letter, here is the poem that everyone was supposed to get in their card:

What an amazing year we've had! Nothing went really wrong...
None of the kids were very bad, But the year seemed pretty long...

First the boys got to fly a plane, A single engine one.
Miss rode in back popping a vein, Nikolai thought that was fun!!

In Feb. was Daytona's Big Race, While all the crowds had swarmed;
And the racecars all kept their pace, Missy and the boys performed!

A FIRE in April lit the sky, our house it seemed, was trashed...
But God said, Taborns, don't you cry, Don't let all your hopes be dashed.

"For kids and pets escaped unhurt, Forget not your scrapbooks, too!
Much of your stuff is black and burnt, But I will help you get through."

...We lived in a house, it's rented; A pool we had, a fence!
Our pay insurance prevented, and wouldn't pay our expense!

Some people we hired to help us; Nice people, mediators they.
They helped us to put up a fuss, So insurance wouldn't underpay.

Miss and Reese: 10 years together! A big year, to say the least!
A cruise to the islands whatever, "We're heading to south east."

"A Mayan ruins I must get to. My fav'rite vacation spot.
A boy like me is overdue, History I love a LOT!"

This year, so it seems, was hectic; Adventures: some good - some bad.
Though life is always eclectic, We're grateful for all we've had.

So as this year comes to a close; Friends, family are what are true;
Don't think you will ever impose, Good tidings from us, to you!!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Well, we still aren't home. On the 18th, it'll be 8 months since the house fire and we are ALMOST home. The house is a mess, as neither the contractor nor the Cleaning Team has finished their work and cleaned up their mess and it's pretty frustrating. Try living in a hotel room with 2 14 year old boys, 2 whippets who LOVE to run sprints, and a hyperactive Boston Terrier! We've been here a WEEK. OY!! But the boys and I went to the house today to unpack and clean a bit. They were huge helps. Poor Mark has the Crud and feels AWFUL. He's been coughing and sneezing and hacking (and SNORING!) for days and he thinks pneumonia might be on the horizon for him. I've been sick too, but I'm usually so hardy I shake things after a bit.

So we could use your prayers that we are able to secure some furniture for our master bedroom (other pieces are needed but not as urgently) and for Mark's health. The one really good thing is that the boys and I got our Russian chaperone's bedroom ready! It's the ONLY room in the house anywhere NEAR ready, but at least that's ONE room!! Ha. I couldn't stand thinking that she might be uncomfortable in her room.

As far as the adoption, we are still mourning the "loss" of our little Simon (please pray for him!!), but trying to look ahead. I think the the country of Armenia is far more appropriate for us, in that the travel req's are much easier (among other things). It is a more expensive country, but how can you put a price on a person's life? I'll put a picture of her on my blog here. There is a more updated photo of her, but it's on the other computer which is buried in a box at the house right now. I think she is just STUNNINGLY beautiful! I think she looks like a mix between Liz Taylor and Snow White. Which do you think she looks more like? Maybe I'll put a poll on the left. Let me know what you think!

In an hour or so, the boys and I'll head back to the house to keep working, after we go to Lowe's for some things. Ugh. It's exciting to think that we'll be back home soon, though!

Much love to everyone!

Sunday, December 7, 2008
Send your own ElfYourself eCards
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It is with extremely heavy heart that I write this. It seems that we are not meant to be little Simon's parents after all... Don't want to get into it here, and now, but I thought I should make some sort of announcement. In a way, I'm glad it happened here and not when we got to the country, as to find out we couldn't be his parents when we go there would be totally devastating, and I have heard of it happening to different people. But anyway, that is our sad news. We could really use prayer for comfort for our hearts, but MOSTLY, Simon needs prayer so that he can have a family after all... He is at that age to be transferred to a special needs orphanage and that is a fate that is very hard for us to think about at this point.

So please, pray for our little Simon that he finds his forever family. We are heartbroken that it isn't us.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
We are needing prayers today. Don't want to say why just yet, but please pray for wisdom for us. And comfort and peace. Thanks.

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This is the link to the Focus on the Family radio episode that initially touched my heart and allowed God to speak to it re: adopting a Down Syndrome child. I could not forget this interview and not long after that Mark and I found Simon. I wanted to share the link with you. Go to the address and click on the "Listen now" link. http://listen.family.org/daily/A000001556.cfm# Get ready for a blessing!!!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Well, the fire was April 18, but we are STILL not back in our house!! The GOOD news though, is that it is almost finished!!! Mark and I went out there yesterday to let the delivery guys in to bring in our piano and we were very pleasantly surprised to see the cabinets almost finished and the appliances had been delivered! Now, all that's left is to lay the carpet in the Master Bedroom, front closet and Rec Room, and to finish the cabinets and slide in the appliances!! Then, they'll clean everything up and call it done!!

Our furniture will need to be delivered and our "cleaned" stuff from ServPro brought back, and we can move back in. We HOPE to be in by Thanksgiving!!! It has been such a long time since we've been home...!!! We are grateful for the house where we're staying, but we're ready to go home...

PLUS, we agreed to keep a Russian chaperone for a Russian/Latvian hosting program for a month (mid-Dec to mid-Jan) and I need a place to put her!

So, the house repair, Nina (the chaperone) coming, the kids changing schools back to Mims, moving back home, getting Simon's paperwork ready, fundraising for his adoption, and Thanksgiving has REALLY kept us hopping!!! But life would be so BORING if there was nothing to do, right??

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Friday, November 21, 2008
Whew! Our homestudy visit is over! It wasn't so bad at all. We went to the empty house (they are getting the cupboards in, in the kitchen!!) so they could see the property and where Simon will be living (we HOPE to be in by Thanksgiving!), then we went back to Port St. John and had the formal interview. They were extremely nice and incredibly capable and it went really well. We met up at around 4:30 in Mims, then they left at... shoot, how late was it...? 11:00?? Maybe it was 10... But they gave us a copy of the rough draft for our hard drive and now we just need to finish up background checks, etc. and we're done with it!! YAY!

Throughout this whole thing, it's really amazing how we can see God working. There were so many doors He could have closed, but He just keeps opening them!! It's soooooo nice, too, knowing that He is with us and appears to really approve of all of this. :o) (It's nice to have your Dad's blessing. :o} )

Gotta run to work, but I wanted to post our good news!!

Oh, and a big Happy Birthday to my mom today!! Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!!


P.S. Our homestudy agency is Hope for Families, by Dr. Ken Brown and his wife, Lynn. Just a little plug for them. They were great.

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Here's some fun news...!! Meredith Cornish and Reece's Rainbow are giving away a copy of the book, "Up Close: A Mother's View", which was written by a mother of a child with Down Syndrome. I am posting this as part of an entry in a contest in hopes that I win this book, but you can win it too, by following the directions on this blog: http://cornishadoptionjourney.blogspot.com/2008/11/blog-give-away.html .

They also have this fabulous fundraiser for Downs kids who have NOT found a family yet. This is a way for those who can't adopt to help finance certain children in hopes of allowing a family to be able to afford to adopt them! Here is a writeup from another person's blog:

The Angel Tree is Reece's Rainbow's largest fundraiser of the year and there's a great reason why. For each donation of $35 or more to any one child you will be mailed a beautiful ornament with your sponsored child's photo on it. These ornaments are the perfect gift for teachers, coworkers, friends, family, and all those hard-to-buy-for people. Not only do they receive a keepsake, but the knowledge that their gift went toward a wonderful cause- helping an orphan to come HOME.

The children shown on the Angel Tree page are all UNMATCHED children who do not yet have a family (but as the tree continues children will be marked 'matched' as their families find them and commit to their adoption!). Also, it's important to note that every dollar that you donate to any child goes directly to their sponsorship! Paypal, ornament costs and shipping are all paid for by Reece's Rainbow and are not deducted from your donation. Reece's Rainbow is glad to say that every penny goes toward that child's grant fund in hopes that they will soon have a "forever family" commit to their adoption and bring them home.

The Angel Tree Project runs from November 1st-December 31st and all donations made by December 15th will receive an ornament gift (donations after this date will still be shown on the Angel Tree page but will not receive an ornament). We welcome international donors and we will also ship the ornaments internationally!

Do please consider sponsoring one of these GREAT kids who deserve families just as all children do. God bless, THANK YOU and Merry Christmas!!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Below, behold my mother, Jane Smith, who HATES anything having to do with crafts, art or creativity!! I dragged her, kicking and screaming, to my monthly card-making class, INSISTING that she like it, and *guess what?!* - SHE DID!! Now, I don't know if she'll ever go to another craft anything again in her life, but at least she TRIED it and was such a good sport! She is so proud to have four beautifully handcrafted cards to share with others now. :o)

I'm such a good daughter. :o)

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Friday, November 14, 2008
If you don't know my mom, you don't know what a HUGE thing this is. I was able to DRAG my mother to a card-making class (I go every month)!! She HATES HATES HATES anything to do with crafts or art and she dreaded this activity long before our vacation even arrived! I was SO proud of her, though: she made FOUR cards, and they looked great! Here she is with three of them, earning that triumphant and proud look. I was SO proud of her. Go, Mom!!

Here I am with my husband, the love of my life. I look horrible in this picture, but I so enjoy spending time with him.

Here is little Daisy, in her "party dress". She seems to really like wearing dresses. She does! (Please, no letters about how dogs shouldn't wear clothes...!)

Mom got this amazing picture of an alligator that lived in a pond near our backyard at the rental house. Have I mentioned before that I HATE alligators??

I think the guys are going to miss their foosball and pool games! They are quite the competive two!

Mom and Joe leave tomorrow morning very early, and we will miss them!! It's back to work on Monday, and our homestudy is Thursday. This will be a HUGE piece of the puzzle in our quest for Simon, and will be a relief to have it overwith!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Joe tried to bond with Daisy but she was so nervous that she pretty much avoided him. Poor Joe!

For supper last night, Reese and Nikolai made my homemade lasagna recipe!! (There is no recipe but they've helped me make it so many times that they can do it totally without any help whatsoever!!) Pretty good for a couple of 14 year old boys! It was good - a little overfilled in the pans, but good!!

And here's Mom in her usual location - the kitchen!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
If you EVER wondered why Mark and I are adopting Simon, PLEASE watch this video! But I warn you -- GET YOUR KLEENEX!!


Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Still having fun! Last night, we celebrated Reese's 14th birthday (a week late) and of course, he revelled in the attention. :o) Today, Mom, Mark and I (Missy) went to DisneyWorld. Joe and the boys wanted to stay at the house and play their Wii and watch sports on TV, so they did.

I am sorry; I'm still learning how to do this blog. The pictures are all in reverse order, so if you're smart, you'll scroll down to the bottom and go up. lol I'm learning as I go...

This picture should have been last! Here we are on the tram going to our car after our day at the Park. Mark was THOROUGHLY tired of me taking pictures of him and you can tell! LOL

Wheee!! Mom driving like a wildwoman at the Tomorrow Land Speedway.

Just us in front of Cinderella's castle.

Reese and Mark at the birthday party. Reese looks so grown up here!

Nikolai was so hilarious! He'd just gotten out of the shower and everyone whistled and hooted at him so loudly he was so embarrassed at not having a top on and tried to cover up with a placemat!

Reese, enjoying his birthday ice cream cake. He's been talking about his birthday since spring and we're all sick of hearing about it! We tease him that he has a couple of months now until he can start talking about his NEXT birthday!

Joe, Pool Shark. He and Mark are really competitve at pool and there have been some wild and loud matches going on!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker
Monday, November 10, 2008

Here are the guys chilling out in the hot tub, only the weather is only in the mid-70's for our highs, so to us, it's freezing!! To Mom and Joe the Seattlites, it is WARM!

Here's the house we're renting. It's really nice!

Ha! We got Mom to play the Wii Fit! Poor Mom, she couldn't figure it out!

Here's another one of Mom - I think she's sick of me taking her picture...!

Mom and Mark being silly. What a couple of goofballs!

Mom and Joe were fascinated by the Sand Hill Cranes walking around the neighborhood. They also saw a baby alligator in the pond behind the house - I'm glad I didn't see it! As much as I LOVE Florida, I HATE alligators!!!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

Mom and Joe are here with the boys and Mark and me on vacation! Yes, we live only about an hour away but we rented a 5 bedroom house (hoping that Natasha or Mark's mom would be able to join us) in Orlando and are mainly just hanging out! I finally got some pictures and a video up and wanted to share them! (I just figured out that my video files are way too big... WAHH!!)

So, here are some pictures:

The boys flipped a coin and Reese lost! He got stuck with the "Princess Room"! Fortunately, Reese is a VERY good sport and has a great sense of humor - he handled the Princess Room well and has joined in the fun, joking around about it with everyone else. Nikolai was the winner, and he got the "Cars" room, but the bonus was the Superman logo picture on the wall! Poor Reese... I know he wanted that Superman picture!

Lilypie Waiting to adopt PicLilypie Waiting to adopt Ticker

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If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
- Chinese proverb
It is not the will of your Father that any one of these little ones should perish. Matt. 18:14

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matt. 18:5

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My family

My family
Nikolai, Mark, Missy, Reese, and Erik

Nikolai, 19

Nikolai, 19

Reese, 19

Reese, 19

Erik, 9

Erik, 9





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