Monday, December 31, 2012

We'll try this again....

Happy New Year!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

We wish you a Merry Christmas…

    And a Happy New Year! I was doing considerably better with blogging then fell off the blog band-wagon with preparing for Christmas, which was lovely! We got to visit the real farm, see the family, enjoy a snowy white Christmas, & share our good news in person! This momma proved she could still milk & pitch hay, and the kids begged, to no avail, for a calf. There's nowhere to hide keep a calf in the suburbs. Sarah & I went to a Holstein herd dispersal today in Hanover, for fun, and we found some lovely cows that we could not bring home. Sad to see yet another farm go out though.

Yes, I did take pictures of our trip. No, I am not trying to upload them tonight! Tomorrow it's back to the real world & a long day awaits. Santa brought me an espresso machine for Christmas (expresso, if you ask more than one of my dc…), so I can go fortified with caffeine, without paying Starbuck's prices. I have uploaded the family Christmas card (the ones I rarely get sent, yes, I know, *ducks* b/c this year's are still not sent) picture. Ellie dog conveniently popped into the picture precisely as I snapped it. Cool effect for a total accident.

We'll see when it posts if it's ginormous or not. ;-)


    In other news, we completed Round 1 of 3 in our home study & am slowly gathering the last of the paperwork for that aspect. Looks like we'll be wrapping that part up by Feb. 1. Hard to believe how soon that really is! HS behind us, we can move on to other mind numbing important paper filling/gathering/apostilling activities. ^_^ The documents mentioned in the last post DID arrive, safe and sound, and considerably faster than I though. Go DHL! Short week, travel, and sundry details kicking in, I haven't TOUCHED any forms this week (Sorry Meg!) but we did have some fun working on what will be the girls' (plural, so cool to say) room. We'd gotten a bed which is looking to be increasingly ideal, as it's fairly high (easy for transfers) and has under bed drawers & storage (ideal for both supplies…and stuff we need but lack a better home for!) It also looks like we are also being blessed with a specialty pediatric wheelchair from another adoptive family in the Midwest. It's should be the perfect size for Princess P. to begin with. D. THANK-YOU SO MUCH!!!

    Well, it's 10:20, and past my bed time! I hope that each of you had a bless Christmas. I pray each of you truly felt the presence of Jesus, and the magnitude of His birth this season, and that we will all grow in Him this upcoming year. From our home to yours, have a safe, blessed New Year!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

~Maureen & Family


Monday, December 3, 2012

Help Me with My Unbelief

 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24 NKJV)


    First, an update: Didn't get any takers on the give away for Mandy over at Blessings Eternal but I also know that this is a busy time of year and there are many, many worthwhile fundraising opportunities going on and not but so much time or funds! Praise Jesus we serve a Lord who is not dependent upon us! While the chances remain 50/50 but what $20 worth of coffee might not be of just as much or more usefulness to Mandy & Co. right about now, the value will simply go into their FSP to help bring Benjamin home. Please continue to lift this family in prayer as they complete their journey to adopt, and begin now the work of becoming a family. Prayer is not the thing we do when we have nothing else to do; it is the thing we bring first to our Father in heaven, who knows of what we need before we even ask it (Matthew 6:8, among other places.)

    Now, in the interest of full disclosure, this morning was not my shiny moment of belief & faith. J Having received the last document to send for our initial commitment packet to the MOJ in Princess Penny's home country, I herded the kids into the gigantic white van at a preposterous hour of the morning (all large home schooling families drive gigantic white vans. Most of us name them. FWIW, ours is named 'The Great White Hype'.) I proceeded to downtown Richmond to the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth to have the documents apostilled. The way I read the paperwork, you needed to have the paperwork there by 10 AM, to have same day pick up after 3:30 PM. Given it is Monday, we're going downtown, and there is basically little to no parking under the best of circumstances, I might have done well to leave earlier. And look for parking on line before leaving. And consider just having the forms mailed. ^_^

    Flashing forward; it's now 10:06 AM and I am cruising East Broad Street with nary a parking space in site. Not one that would accommodate so much as a moped, much less the GWH. Nothing to the north, nothing to the south (at least not as far as I was willing to drive and park), and I am nearing tears and certainly at the snapping point as we cruised back up the street again. Sarah cheerfully tries to encourage me: "Don't worry Mom, God's going to take care of us and get Penny's forms done today!" While I appreciate the thoughts, I am frankly thinking 'Yeah, but God's not trying to park this stupid van in Richmond on a Monday morning.'
L Ready to give up, find coffee, and go have a good cry, I decided to make a pass at the hospital/Museum of the Confederacy deck. I pull in and am met by a parking attendant who assures me there are no spaces for anything of this size left. I am officially stick-a-fork-in-me done at this point and pull through, only to be met by second attendant 25' from the exit. After a slightly confused exchange on my end, he offers us a $5 valet spot at the top of the deck. Better parking is not to be had. Considerably bolstered, the kids and I set off on the 4 {big} block hike over to 1111. Which went amazingly well, and we managed to attract minimal to no extra attention. Apparently a Mama with a baby tied to her chest and 5 others in stair-step tow behind her is not the weirdest site you'll find in Richmond. We found the building, and then found the correct entrance to the building, and probably entertained the security staff to no end with our fascination with metal detectors and bag x-rays (no worries they'd ever suspect we were from the suburbs…..) The clerk's office was not busy and I handed over my forms, about to turn and head out, when the woman stopped me in my tracks.

'If you'll have a seat in the waiting room, this will take me about 20 minutes.'

I felt as though God hugged me there on the spot, as the Holy Spirit whispered-and Sarah nearly shouted- 'See? I told you.' Yes Lord, forgive my unbelief. In reality, we walked out of the building 12 minutes after we signed in, apostilled documents in hand. I was able to have everything in a DHL envelope and sent off by 1 PM. This alone would have been more than enough. And yet God went further. A full day ahead of schedule our family's profile page and FSP was set up on Reece's Rainbow. Thank you so much Michelle!!! And He went STILL further, and gave us a lead on another important thing. This I'll keep still on until it's a sure thing, and then shout of His goodness and mercy from the roof tops! God is good….All the time!


While not the smoothest of segways, please let me call your attention to two other time sensitive things:

1) Tomorrow (12/4/12) is the anticipated Senate vote on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. While this seems a lovely thought, once glance around Reece's Rainbow or other international special needs adoption site and you will quickly see that the rest of the world doesn't exactly even remotely place the same value on the lives of persons with disabilities. My daughter is 12….and she weighs less than my 10 month old. I rest my case. Please PLEASE call your senators and encourage them to protect our citizens and the strength of our existing laws by voting NO. Susanna over at The Blessing of Verity did a wonderful post on the topic, and includes the link to the Congressional Switchboard. It takes < 2 minutes to call and share your opinion.

2) On a considerably brighter note, Amy Rainey and crew over at Hidden Treasures have another fabulous fundraising auction going on, this time for Awesome Adam!!! If you are still Christmas shopping, you should mosey on over and see if you can't wrap up your list while helping to bring Adam (who is in the same orphanage as Princess P.) home. And even if you are one of those insanely organized done-by-the-15th-of-August folks, you should STILL go on over.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little Help for Our Friends

The Sutton family over at Blessings Eternal have nearly completed their journey to adopt Mikale, now Benjamin, and bring him home! Ben is coming from the same country, though not the same orphanage, as our Princess Penny, and they share a similar Roma heritage (More about that here.) The Sutton's are hoping to travel in the very beginning of 2013 and it's crunch time now to finish their fundraising. They are a mere $1370 shy of their goal. Having met Mandy & her children personally, I am wholly convinced that dear Benjamin could not be coming home to a finer family!


Let's give them a hand!


    Now through Sunday, stop by her blog or her Reece's Rainbow FSP page. Make a donation and offer a word of encouragement. Please join with me to lift this child and this family in prayer. Share this on your social network o'choice J . Come back here and comment on my blog that you donated &/or shared. One entry for donation, one for sharing, two if you do both. On Monday morning (December 3rd), everyone who's commented will go into a drawing for the winner's choice of a $20 gift certificate to Starbucks or Target, just in time for Christmas! You will also be entered for a chance to win some fabulous prizes on the Blessings Eternal blog or have a donation made in your name, to the child of your choice, awaiting their forever family on Reece's Rainbow! Thank you for helping this family finish strong and bring their son home. You can find the link to their FSP page right here or on my side bar.


Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7, NIV)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

~From our home to yours, I pray that you have had a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving~


    Thanksgiving was spent here at the suburba-farm this year. While all seem (mostly) recovered, we did not want to chance 12 hours in the car with serial pukers passing the bug onto my family. They said thank you (repeatedly.)

So I braved Kroger (which is actually singular, KROGER, no S) with 7, 5, 3, & 10 mo's boys on Wednesday afternoon. This makes the worst of the I'm-hugging-a-pallet-of $399-TV's-at-stuffMart Black Friday mayhem look like a piece of cake. I know why I didn't prepare… but I am not certain how it is the entire city didn't prepare. 4th Thursday of November every.single.year. Still we survived, marking only 4 trips to the dairy aisle and finally finding mini-marshmallows buried 3' back on the second to bottom shelf, just left of pie filling (because that is naturally where you'd expect to find it.) Wonder why I shop with small children? They fit. I tried to grab those bad boys and it'd be a $10,000 prize winner on AFV. I did not find a 49¢ turkey. I did, however, find a THAWED turkey, and decided that was worth paying extra for.

    0630 I got a snot/milk/regurg wake up call from a certain tiny boy, and was up at that point. Turkey was on by 0715 (go me). Called Mom at least twice. My turkey is: a "rack" of celery sticks, turkey, rub top with EVOO, and….turn on roaster. My mother's is a culinary master piece of stuff cavity, lemon, fresh sage, and other nummy things. Mr. P. humbly requests that I not contaminate the turkey. Turkey thus safely in the roaster, I surfed the TV whilst sucking coffee and looking to see if/when the Macy's parade would be one. I managed to catch of glimpse of the Today show in time to see the annual turkey-not-cooked-by amateurs nearly go sailing off the oven rack. The prospect of Martha Stewart's turkey taking a nose dive was childishly entertaining, just saying. ^_^ Breakfast was had and I was off to plot the rest of the morning's cooking. All was accomplished, and my dear children humbly request gravy from Lee's Famous Fried Chicken next year. Or at least gravy from the little packages, you know that you buy at the store, Dad? <sigh> I agree with them.

    The afternoon was spent in the usual fashion-root again the Texas football team (pick one, if you are from PA/NY/NJ you hate them all), calling family, watching the tail end of the national dog show (ha ha ha, tail end) where a dear family friend's Pyrenees took a group third, folding 4 loads of laundry (we are nearly caught up), and sleeping. Dinner was the usual left-overs schmorgie-borge: turkey, dressing, crackers, loxs, cheese, sausage, and several slices of cold pizza (don't ask.) As we munched down, we took a survey of thankfulness:


The Holy Spirit


Daddy and Mommy

All my siblings



Being together a lot this week, in spite of it all…

Baby's first Thanksgiving

God-willing, Penny's last Thanksgiving in her current locale



In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

(1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)




Monday, November 19, 2012

We should call 911…..

    This weekend unleashed some sort of perfect gastroenteritis storm over the 'Zinger household. Baby Greyson's felt rather puny for several days, seeming to harbor a cold. This would figure, given that we were planning a trip to PA to visit my family for Thanksgiving. Saturday night going into Sunday morning (think like 0400 hours) he was vomiting. L Surely, it's just a belly full of snot setting him off, I reassured myself, heading off to work early, so as to be able to take him to the pediatric urgent care that didn't open until noon, without missing an entire shift of work. And silently whining that Starbucks is not open at 5:30 AM here in Richmond.

    Work accomplished, coffee in hand, we mosey off to KidMed. Find it's not strep, not his ears, really he isn't all that congested, and not wheezing. We've seen a lot of stomach viruses, the doc remarked. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


Really, these are awful at base line. Now, take eight people and an average incubation lag time of 12-18 hrs, and 48 hours to mutation, you will have approximately 42 cases in a gut wrenching swirl until it finally works its way through and out of your home, pun not particularly intended. No, sir, I mentally steeled myself, it's just a belly full of snot setting him off. This theory held all through the evening until bed time, when Nathaniel remarked he didn't feel so hot. 2 minutes later and two inches short of the toilet, we heard the fateful sound. I quickly dole out some apple cider vinegar tea (ACV as known to all the health nuts) in an effort to stem the tide. Unfortunately, Sarah & I were the only takers. We headed off to bed, optimistic thoughts of everyone sleeping it off, danced in my head.

0100 and Mr. P. is shaking me to life. This interrupted only my 11th hour of sleep in the last 4 days. The boys are all sick he says, I am trying to get beds changed, I need some help. Baby Greyson's now awake and wailing, and as I stagger toward the lighted hallway, I met Iain half way…and there he lost it once, stagger stagger, twice, ohhhh and there's the third. I stared in dismay at 4 dirty beds, a pile of linens now waist deep, and trail of evidence leading to upstairs bath. We should call 911, my sleep deprived, panicking brain thought. Quickly regaining my senses however, I began dropping towels in all the offending places, and running baths.

2 hours later and having used every single sheet, blanket, and towel in the house, we settled back into bed. Mr. P. remarking that I'll certainly have something to blog about tonight. My lucky readership. I woke around 10, and frantically text message a friend who was supposed to come to lunch. Casa de Zinger is on quarantine. She thoughtfully dropped of a case of Gatorade at the end of the drive way and sped off in the opposite direction.

Fast forward 18 hours and we are mostly holding tight, as the worst seems to have passed. Vital statistics: 8 loads of wash done, 3 remaining. We will NOT being going to visit the real farm for Thanksgiving. So tomorrow, health willing, I will be off in search of a 49 ¢/pound turkey.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

(Proverbs 17:22, KJV)


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Updates & Questions

    Thank you to those who've already generously contributed to our ChipIn. Because I haven't quite achieved any level of techno-savvy, my account is on a 3 days to verify plan via PayPal, so no contributions will show up until then. But they are logged and be on the look out for a thank you note!

    The suburba-farm kitchen smelled lovely of baking potatoes, and after school time, I slogged through more of the ginormous personal history form. I quit when I realized I'd lost my mind. I deduced my largest marital concern might truly be PB slathered toast knifes left on my counter. J Not sure to what degree that would translate into a foreign language to begin with….and I'm reasonably convinced the MOJ would not be amused. Other questions were more thought provoking, and a couple just sad. How will we teach her of her culture? I don't know….teaching isn't so hard, but has she so much as set foot outside of the 4 walls of the orphanage in 12 years? By late afternoon I was ready to pitch the computer out the window, and in my best Wicked Witch of the West voice: And the little form too!

    And yet….God is merciful, and wise, and knows what we need, in advance.

    Upon exiting the house times 2, with 10# of baked potatoes and two missing coats for boys who think 40* is shirt sleeve weather, my phone went off in some sort of hammer texting frenzy. My brother, with a myriad of questions; What's wrong with her, exactly? How small?? (yes, you can read incredulous right through a text message.) Will she get better? All afternoon I had plodded through some variant of these on paper. And now I was ready, at least, to give an answer; an answer for hope. It's cerebral palsy….yes, less than Baby G weighs……..I don't know if she'll get better, we're just going to love her where she is.     

Lord, write these answers on my heart. Don't allow me to forget or to be discouraged. YOU have written her story. And YOU alone know what we both need….in advance.


 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you…
(1 Peter 3:15 KJV)


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Mercies are in the Details

    Well today started with a marked difference in temperatures over yesterday; which in itself probably wasn't as warm as promised although we did pass one wholly optimistic bank clock in Orange reading 66* in the pouring rain. Not likely, but it was a nice thought. Today was all of maybe 50*, initially pouring rain, then just wet/windy/cold; the kind of weather than makes you wish it would be 20 degrees colder and simply SNOW. (Actually, it's me & one other person in all of central Virginia who thinks this, but I digress….) This isn't new or even particularly novel weather for the area or the time of year. It's simply a regional pastime to expound upon it as though it were either of the above.

    Given the above, today was an inside day for sure. School rolled along with only a small dose of the We had a day off wiggles. School done, children fed, and nap time achieved, I finally got brave enough to wade into the paperwork required email from our agency contact. While about 5 or 6 different things, and a whole page of instructions that reads like a geometry proof, there seems to be some kind of logic to it. Hyperventilation time < 5 minutes. The one page that requires proofing was largely short answer, and not unlike one form I've also been procrastinating on working on for our home study. Moving past the general weirdness of writing about yourself in the third person, it wasn't that bad. Now we just need to find time when we are both off, and it's not a holiday, to get about 10# of papers notarized! The next big project (beyond some serious home organizing) is the preparedness plan a la Also know as the bug in/bug out plan for any prepper aficionados. No one at all is interested in helping you pour over old address books trying to figure out which apartment number you actually lived at 18.3 years ago. EVERYONE is eager to offer their two cents on how prepare your home for an EMP….. Thanks guys!

    I did discover, buried in the legalese terms of one of the forms, Penny's actual given name. Which isn't quite so different from the name she'll be given, once she's home with us. I must admit, I was so glad to see this. Fully independent of each other, Mr. P. and I were given the name Penelope Joy. While her current situation is nothing to write home about, I have to believe that someone there surely must call her by her given name when they care for her each day. As a mother, I have to believe that her birth mother loved her, chose a name for her, irrespective of the current circumstances. Twelve years is a long time. Her world will be turned upside down when she comes home. I praise Him for knowing how to bridge the old and the new, giving some small element of familiarity and a way to remember her history.

 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV)


Monday, November 12, 2012

Apples, road trips, & BIG THINGS

Today, being a holiday for Mr. P., and a usual day off for me, we made our final run of the season up to the apple orchard, Dickie Brother's, which incidentally, is a VA century farm! U-pick (also known as: expensive fruit your kids have dropped 600 times before reaching the van) is over, but we were able to score some lovely end o'the season bushels. Apple crops weren't particularly spared in the NY/MI/WI regions, in keeping with a rather lousy year for most crops over most of the country. VA apples did rather well though. I've come to the conclusion that Nelson Co. might be among the prettiest in the state. :) From what I could see of it, at least, in between hanging my head from intolerable motion sickness...the road goes up and down, uuuupppp and doooowwwnnn,...and around a bend *blech*

Upon arrival & gulping in fresh air, letting the dog run, and convincing my children that while the road may be a 1.25 lanes wide pave cow path, you still are required to stop and look before crossing, my phone made an email chirp....

The paperwork has arrived. (The instructions might require a Ph.D. ^_^). Her profile's been moved to the My Family Found Me are free to share.


May I introduce you to Miss Penelope Joy "Penny":

Due to arrive sometime in 2013. Keep us in prayer to remained focused on the Lord and HIS timing. Pray for her protection. If you know where she is, and many of you do, please, don't refer to her location or country, for the sake of her privacy & the process. Many thanks in advance.

He loved me ere I knew Him... Means something entirely new tonight.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Updates and whatnots....

Ahhh, so...uhm, I haven't been blogging much (kicks sand) Apparently on on Q2 year post plan, lol! I promise to try harder.

Life's been busy and good at Casa de Zinger. After a long walk in the valley, experiencing the loss of two precious sons at 18 & 24 weeks, God has richly blessed us with a beautiful son--Little Mr. G.--presently 9 months, toddling about, and terrorizing the dog. This might be revenge for the first 2-3 months of life where he frequently was greeted by The Nose:

I changed jobs this spring, now working for a totally different system in surgery services (go ahead a laugh. I actually went to the OR and completely avoided syncope. No small feat.) It's been an exciting challenge, though the commute is not for a the faint of heart.

The big kids (big being defined as T. on up) all enjoyed another season of soccer with Upward. I.'s team epitomized the Bad News Bears, but it was a time of fun and fellowship. We were also blessed with not one, but TWO visits from Grandma Zinger & Opa. The second being the end result of extremely poor time of the first; a certain Baby G's being born exactly two weeks late and exactly 4 days after their plane shoved off from Dullas. (In my defense, I did warn Mr. P. of this. He'd forgotten in 3+ years how very, very late my womb likes to gestate.) We hit the fair at the Grandma & Pop-pops, showed some cows, won some photo awards, and brushed up on our barn chores. Not everyone can bucket feed a dozen calves, divy up grain, water, and pitch hay to a barnful, in under an hour, WITH a 7 month old in a mei tei on her back. (>applause here<) The fall has brought on schooling in earnest (except for this week where we've run around like chickens with our heads cut off been busy with shipping paper work for a BIG THING hither and yon. S. is officially a middle schooler (do homeschoolers even care? I feel a sense of social obligation to note this, which is ironic given that I'd be totally OK forgetting all of Jr. High.) N. is in 4th, I. 2nd, and T. is trialing Kindy unofficially. J. enjoys his "school" in the form of CLE's About 3/About 4 books, and G. contributes in the form of confusion & delay. Speaking of Sir Topum Hat, we met him, Thomas, and others at Strasburg Railroad's Day Out with Thomas; J. in keeping with Zinger child tradition, was thoroughly terrified of Sir TuH.

That's all that's really new & exciting, except for the BIG THING......