Friday, February 27, 2009

The good news and the really ridiculous news

Oh, you're all going to love this. :)

I just got the weekly update e-mail from our agency and I am happy to report that our agency FINALLY received a referral this week! YAY!! Not for us, of course, but at least there is some happy family out there right now who can finally breathe a sigh of relief that their referral wait is over, and I'm ecstatic to hear that referrals are finally happening again! I hope that it's just the first of many to come soon!

Ok, so that was the really great news, now do you want to hear the really ridiculous news?? Of course you do!

I talked to the agency to ask a question about some paperwork and to see how things are moving and I found something out. All this time when I thought we were #7, I had misunderstood. There were seven families AHEAD of us, making us #8, not #7. Somehow I misread an e-mail or something I guess. I'm still confused as to how I had the number wrong. I just looked back in my blog and in November I posted that we were #8. I don't know remember anymore how I came to decide that we were number seven except that I thought that's what they told me. It's entirely possible that she said that there were seven families in front of us and I just heard the word seven and planted that in my head. Anyway, I guess it doesn't matter, the point is that while I've been whining about being #7, we were actually #8.

So now that there has been a referral and I can finally celebrate that things are moving again, guess what number we are??! NUMBER SEVEN!!

I think the universe hates me. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Babies

A good friend of mine had a baby the day before yesterday and I got to go over and hold him last night!

I love newborn babies. I love their tiny little fingers and toes, I love the sounds they make, and I love the way they squint their eyes and look around like they're trying to figure out this new big bright world. I just couldn't get enough of my friends baby last night. He's really beautful and I'm so happy for their family.

When Josh was a baby it seemed like every single person I knew was having babies. I saw newborns all the time and I was constantly holding babies, either my own or a friends. Now that my kids are older and I've been out of that stage for a while, I rarely get the opportunity to hold babies anymore. Last night I realized how much I miss it!

Sometimes I'm a little sad that I'll be missing Clarissa's newborn stage. I'm not going to get to see her come into the world and help her get through those first days. I'm not going to be the first one to feed her and the first one to change her diaper. I'm going to miss those newborn cries, the first smile and all those really great first milestones. Good foster parents take a lot of pictures, so chances are I will have several newborn photos to look at when she gets here, but I will always feel a little sad that I didn't get to experience those first days with her.

Holding a newborn last night almost made me rethink not planning on having anymore biological children!! The reasons we've chosen not have more biological children are complicated, and I feel confident in that decision most of the time, but wow, as I was holding that baby last night I was seriously reconsidering! It's funny how as women we just have this instinct in us. I held that baby for half an hour last night and I was ready to run home and start tracking my ovulation schedule. :)

I'm not GOING to, but boy did I want to. I'm beyond thrilled to be bringing Clarissa into our home and I have a strong belief that this was God's plan for our family. I do feel a little bad about missing the newborn days, but I'm extremely excited for all the days ahead that we will get to spend with her. Bringing a child into your life is just a magical experience no matter how you do it and I just can't wait to get Clarissa home with us.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Clarissa has furniture! :)

I know that we're still months away from actually getting Clarissa home and even when she gets home it's going to be a while after that before she's sleeping in her room, but lately getting her room together has been my obsession!

I think because waiting for a referral and knowing that we have no control over when it's going to happen is such a helpless feeling it makes me feel better to be able to work on something that I can actually control. When you're pregnant you get to go to the doctor every month, hear the heartbeat, see an ultrasound and feel the baby kick. But when you're waiting for an adoption you have no physical reminders of your baby unless you create them.

So I know that I'm jumping the gun on the bedroom, but having a place to go that is actually a phyisical reminder that there is a baby coming makes me feel better. It makes it feel real.

So having said that, we're now one step closer to having Clarissa's room done!

I've had my eye on this bedroom furniture for a really long time. I've looked at a lot of other bedroom sets, but I can never find anything else that I love as much. We ordered the bed in January, but because we wanted a trundle under it, it was a special order so it took a month and a half to get here. They delivered it yesterday and I couldn't possibly love it more! I'm completely crazy about it!

In the meantime we have been looking at the dressers that match it. I've really been agonizing over this furniture purchase because I'm a huge bargain shopper and there's not really anything about this set that is a bargain! I'm the kind of person who loves to hang out in the clearance section of the furniture store. I decide whatI want and then I wait until it shows up on clearance and then I jump on it. We have great furniture in our house there are very few things that I didn't get some kind of great discount on!


But this bed was a special order and not something I could get a discount on no matter how I tried. (Believe me, I tried!!) So when we went to look at dressers on Saturday I was already feeling guilty enough over the bed purchase and the dressers were also really expensive. I really really wanted the dresser that matched the bed though, so we sucked it up and ordered it. It was due to be delivered today.

Then last night I was cruising Craigslist (one of my favorite bordom killers!) and lo and behold someone was selling the exact same dresser, with a mirror to match and a queen sized version of the bed we just bought (minus the trundle)!!! I won't go into all the numbers, but let's just say that it was the freakin' deal of a lifetime. The bed, the dresser and the mirror together were less than half the price of the dresser by itself at the furniture store. I obviously don't need the bed for Clarisssa's room, but we do need bedroom furniture for the guest room in our basement. We have a queen bed down there but it doesn't have a headboard or anything. We use that room so infrequently that I've never gotten around to buying one.

We ran right over to the womans house who was selling it and the bed was in great shape the mirror looked great and the front of the dresser looked great, but there's a little damage to the top of the dresser. It belonged to her 16 year old daughter and it looks like she burned it slightly with her flat iron. There are some marks on the top of the dresser that aren't pretty.

BUT, it's a solid wood dresser and it will probably cost me 10 bucks to match the paint and repaint the top of it. The whole dresser doesn't need painted, just the top of it. It will be a piece of cake and it will look good as new when I'm done. For that price it was totally worth it.

So we cancelled the furniture store delivery and I'm the very happy owner of an awesome bargain!! For less than half the price of the dresser at the furniture store, I now have the dresser and the mirror for Clarissa's room and a headboard and footboard for the guest room!

I'm on a total bargain shopping high today. There's nothing I love more than a really good Craigslist find! :)

So here are the photos of Clarissa's room! I still have some work to do in there, it needs decorations on the wall, some curtains and I haven't put the mirror up yet, but I'm really loving it so far. I could just sit in there for hours.

I wish I was able to get better photos of the room. It looks really small in the photos, but it's bigger in person. It's just hard to get a good picture of the whole room because of the way it's angled. Maybe I'll have Josh and Matthew give another tour of it with the video camera when I'm finished decorating!







And here's a collage of the whole process so far! I'll update it again once I decorate!




Edited to add: It occurs to me that some people are probably wondering why we put a bed in there instead of a crib. I've explained it before, but in case you're just joining us, here's the explaination:

In Korea babies generally don't sleep in cribs, they sleep on the floor. That sounds horrible, but it's not, lol. In the old days before electric heating, Koreans used to heat their houses with hot stones underneath the house. Because the heat came from the floor, that's where they slept.
Now there is modern heating there but most Korean homes still have heated floors and it's still common to sleep on the floor. Most of the time babies waiting to be adopted sleep on the floor next to their foster mother.


By the time Clarissa gets here she's going to be about 10 months old. For the first few months at least they reccomend having her sleep with us so that she can bond. So by the time she actually needs to use her bedroom she's probably going to be over a year old and she will most likely never have used a crib. I know a lot of people who adopted from Korea who said that their baby absolutely hated being in a crib, so we're not even going to bother.


The bed that we bought is a trundle bed. The bottom part that looks like drawers is actually another bed. So I think when we do finally put her in her room we're just going to have her sleep on the trundle part at first while she gets used to sleeping in a bed by herself. Then when we feel comfortable that she's not going to fall out we'll move her up to the regular bed.

And there's the explaination for why there is no crib in her room. :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Isn't 7 supposed to be a lucky number??

We're still #7. When I die I think my headstone is going to read "Here lies Wendy White. She's still #7."

I think I'm going to change Clarissa's name to Seven. What do you think? :)

I think when things at our agency finally does start moving again and someone finally gets a referral, I'm going to have a six themed party. Finally moving out of the #7 spot and into the #6 spot sounds like a reason for celebration. I'm not even striving to be #1 at this point. Number 6 is sounding pretty awesome to me.

When they announced late last year that they were lowering the expected wait time from 18 months to 15 months, I estimated that we'd be getting our referral in March. I kind of mentally had my heart set on March for a while. Now here we are, about to move into March and unless there is some unprecedented miracle, there's no way we're getting a referral in March. Most likely we're going to be waiting out the original 18 months that they quoted us in the beginning, which would put us in May, or possibly even June.

In better news, they're delivering Clarissa's bed today!! They actually tried to deliver it on Friday, but they brought the wrong rails, so they left part of it here and they're bringing the rest of it today and they'll put it all together for us. We also went in on Saturday and ordered her the dresser that matches the bed and they're bringing that tomorrow. Once that's in I'm going to start hanging pictures and doing a little decorating and we'll actually have a finished bedroom pretty soon!

I'm really happy with how it's turning out. I've been dreaming about turning that room into a little girls room for years. Now I keep walking past it several times a day and peeking in there, just to look at it. Maybe just to make sure that it's real. I like to go sit in there sometimes and think about what it's going to be like to have a daughter. I wonder how our lives will change when she gets here. I wonder what she'll look like, what her personality will be like, how Josh and Matthew will handle the change at first and how hard it will be to go to the grocery store with three kids. I wonder what she'll be when she grows up. I wonder if she'll ever want to go back to Korea and search for her mother. I wonder if she'll struggle with being adopted. Will she be stubborn? Easy going?

My biggest hope for her is that she always understands how much she was wanted. I hope that someday she's reads this and realizes that there was never a single day in her life that she wasn't loved and wanted. We were on the list waiting to adopt her before she was even conceived. At this point I don't know when she was born, or even IF she's born yet. But I can guarantee that even though I wasn't aware of her birth when it happened, I was thinking about her that day and waiting anxiously for the day she will join our family.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The magazine! (finally!)

I've been trying for a few weeks to get my hands on a copy of the magazine I did the photoshoot for in December and I was finally sucessful today!

For those of you who are just joining us and weren't around for my December freak out, here's a quick recap. I got a call from a car audio magazine in December and they wanted to hire me to shoot the cover story on a car audio business in Boise. I've never done a magazine before, so it was a HUGE big deal for me. It was a little out of my comfort zone, but somehow I managed to get through it. I turned the photos into them around the middle of December and then I waited and waited for the February issue to come out!

When I got the job the guy from the magazine said that he'd send me a copy when it came out, but he never did and he didn't return my e-mail when I asked for a copy. So today I happened to be driving past the place I photographed so I stopped in to ask them if they had a copy. They had 13 copies! I finally got to look through it and I'm SO relieved to say that it turned out great! They seemed really happy with how they turned out as well, which was really good to hear. I actually saw a couple of the photos on the magazines website and I wasn't super happy with how they looked so I was really afraid to see the actual magazine for fear that I wasn't going to be happy with it. The magazine looks a lot better than the small internet photos though, thank goodness, so I was pleasantly surprised.

They let me keep one of their magazines so I've scanned all the pages to share. I actually hesitate to share it though, because we have a crappy scanner and the scans aren't good. The scanned pages look kind of washed out and blah, which is not how the actual magazine looks. But I really want to share them, so you'll just have to take my word for the fact that the actual magazine looks a lot better than that scans!!













live from Sizzler

I am currently sitting in a booth at sizzlrr waiting for my steak. We're celebrating the fact that I finally saw a copy of the magazine I did the photo shoot for and it looks awesome! More details tomorrow!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I love Valentine's Day. I know a lot of people don't buy in to Hallmark holidays, but I love it! This year seems to be especially good so far.

Yesterday I mentioned that Josh and Matthew had been working on a secret project that I couldn't know about. Then last night Shawn got home from work and took the boys out on a secret shopping mission. When they got home they all had a pow wow in the basement and then told me that they had a surprise for me.

I went to go down to the basement and noticed that there were construction paper hearts on the wall all the way down the basement stairs. That's what Josh and Matthew had been working so hard at. They cut out a whole bunch of paper hearts and decorated them with super cute pictures. They're fantastic!

So I went down the stairs to the basement and they took me into the spare bedroom where Shawn had gotten the room ready for a vacation to the basement (more on that in a minute in case you missed the explaination of our last vacation to the basement) and there were beautiful roses in a vase, the new John Grisham book (I love John Grisham!) and a box of chocolates. SO SWEET! I love my boys.

So now we're having a vacation in the basement, which I love to do! In case you missed my previous explaination, here's the scoop on that. We have a finished basement in our house that really doesn't get used all that much. There are storage rooms, a play room, a guest bedroom and a bathroom in our basement. The boys use the playroom and we use the guest room on the rare occasions when we have guests, but other than that, I don't come down often unless I'm cleaning or occasionally I use the spare room as a makeshift photography studio if I have a project I'm working on.

So every now and then we go on vacation to the basement. Shawn and I sleep in the guest room and the boys sleep on the floor in the playroom. We watch movies, eat donuts for breakfast and spend the weekend pretending that we're on vacation. It's silly, but it's a fun change of pace every now and then and we all love it.

So this weekend we're on vacation in the basement. We slept in the guest room last night and today we'll find something fun to do. I like weekends like this. I like these fun little family traditions. It makes me happy to have a close family and it makes me happy to have a husband who values that as much as I do.

So now I'm off to spend a fun Valentine's Day with Shawn and they boys. I'll be back from vacation on Monday! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday update

I got the weekly e-mail from our agency today. Nothing new. *sigh* This wait is getting really old, really fast. Bleh.

In other news, Shawn got his eye taken care of yesterday. Poor guy, I couldn't handle hearing most of the details, but he had to have a few numbing shots in his eyelid, which apparently was no fun at all. Ouch. He's recovering fine, although it looks like someone punched him in the face. His eye is black and blue. To the dissapointment of his coworkers he didn't have to wear an eye patch although that didn't stop them from their pirate pranks! I may or may not have contributed a photoshopped photo of Shawn with an eyepatch, pirate hat and parrot on his shoulder.

OK, I did. :) Good times.

Today there's not a whole lot going on. The boys are out of school today, so we're starting a long weekend. They've been playing with friends today, so that has kept them busy. There is a family in our neighborhood who also has two boys the same age as our boys, so we've swapped kids today. Matthew is at their house and their older son is at our house.

This morning before they went to play with friends the two of them were up in Matthews bedroom working on some project that I'm not allowed to know about. Shawn said that he gave them a Valentine's related project to do today, and apparently it's a secret until tomorrow. I can't wait to find out what it is! :)

Oh, and speaking of Valentine's Day, I got my present from Shawn yesterday. A BlackBerry Storm! Yay! I'm a total electronic gadget nerd, I've had a good time playing with it today. It's a lot more fun than my old cell phone was! It's amazing to me what you can do with cellphones these days. So now I can get my e-mail wherever I go. That means that every Friday I can get the e-mail from my agency letting me know that I'm still #7, even if I'm away from home. Woohoo. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pirates and Friendship

Story #1:

Shawn is currently at an eye surgeon having a sty removed. He got a sty on his bottom eyelid that wouldn't go away. He went to the eye doctor and he gave him medication. That didn't help and the sty got bigger, so the doctor gave him stronger medication. That didn't help and now the sty is huge, so he's headed over to the eye surgeon to have it removed.

The people who work at Shawn's pharmacy are hillarious and they've been making pirate jokes for a few days, because he may have a patch on his eye for a day or so while his eye heals. He's taking the day off work, but I can't wait for him to go in tomorrow because it sounds like they have quite a pirate celebration for him when he gets back. Larry (our Korean friend and Shawn's pharmacy tech) was at our house last night and we had a really good time coming up with pirate names for Shawn. I think we thought it was a lot funnier than Shawn did. :)

Oh, and speaking of Larry, he took us on a field trip last night to an Asian market and we had so much FUN! He's been coming over and helping me with my Korean and doing other fun Korean related thing with us and it's been awesome! We've really had a good time with him. Last night we wandered around the Asian market and he pointed out all sorts of different Asian foods and we bought some Asian candy and then he came back to our house and we watched Heroes and ate pizza. And then we came up with pirate names for Shawn until we laughed so hard we cried. Good times at our house last night. :)

Ok, so now on to story #2.

Several years ago we were new in town, Josh was a baby, we had just moved in to our new home and we didn't know many people in the neighborhood. Then I met a girl who was also new in town, had a baby Josh's age, had just moved into the same neighborhood and even had the same home floorplan that I had. It was the perfect recipe for a friendship!

Let me just say that it can be hard to be friends with me. I'm very much a homebody for one thing. I enjoy being out when I'm out, but I'm perfectly content being home, to the extent that sometimes I forget to GO out. My friends have been known to call me on the phone and ask me if I'm still alive when they haven't seen or heard from me in a few weeks. I enjoy my friends, I enjoy a good girls night out and I enjoy chatting on the phone with friends. I'm just really bad at being the one to initiate those things. Sometimes my friends will call me and tell me that they're coming to my house for girls night. They know they pretty much have to plan it if its going to happen.

It's a flaw that I have that I know I need to work on. It's something I don't like about myself. I need to learn to be more social and I need to learn to be the one who picks up the phone and makes the call.

So anyway, I met the girl in my neighborhood with the same house as me, a son Josh's age and we clicked like I don't normally click with people. Every now and then you meet someone who you can't imagine that you haven't known all your life. Those people are rare and it's quite a gift when you meet one. Soon our kids were going to preschool together, we had playdates and girls nights and spent lots of fun times together.

But the years have gone by, we both have more kids now, busy lives, and we've both moved and no longer live in the cute little houses we once bonded over. Now we live on opposite sides of the city.

I mean to call, I want to call, I intend to go visit, and I miss my friend. Somehow life just keeps getting in the way and I don't pick up the phone. Our phone calls got less frequent and eventually stopped.

So today unusual circumstances presented themselves that put me on the other side of the city right in my friends neighborhood so I stopped by to say hello.

There are a few people in my life who I can go years without seeing and then when I finally do see them again we can pick up the conversation like we just talked yesterday and she's one of those people. When you meet one of those people you don't let them go!

Anyway, I came home from an enjoyable afternoon of catching up with my friend and I gave myself a good talking to for letting so much time go by. I can give my list of excuses about why it's been so long, but they're not good ones.

So I'm deleriously happy to be back in contact with my friend but I'm kicking myself for the time we missed. I vow to start being a better friend. I vow to start planning the girls nights instead of waiting for someone to plan them for me! Good friends are too important to lose.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Photo Tuesday

I haven't shared much photography lately (because I haven't shot much photography lately!), but I'm getting back into the swing of things, so I thought I'd share one that I took on Sunday. This was for a photo challenge that is going on this week.

I'm particularly happy with this photo because it's 100% exactly like I imagined it in my head before I shot it. Sometimes I can exactly replicate the idea in my head and sometimes my idea ends up turning into something else completely. It's always extra satisfying when I can invision something and then create it exactly. That doesn't happen as often as you might think! It probably won't win the photo challenge, but I'm happy with it anyway.

Hopefully I'll have more photos to share soon. I feel like I've been in a creative rut for the past couple of months, but I'm ready to pull myself out of it now and come up with some new ideas!

Oh! I had a new question in my comment section the other day. Someone asked me where I got my blog layout. I design my own, actually. One day a while back I decided I was bored with my blog decor and I couldn't find anything on the internet that I loved, so figured out how to create my own. I download digital scrapbook papers and accessories and then assemble the page in Photoshop and upload it to my blog. It's a little tricky at first and can be time consuming, but I've had a really good time playing around with it and designing different layouts. I get bored of them every few months and switch them around, so I'm sure I'll have something new eventually.

There's not much new going on around here these days. My mom and stepdad were here Friday night to celebrate my moms birthday and we all went out for Thai food, which was SO good! Then Saturday I took my mom to the bird store that I love here and I bought her a bird feeder for her birthday. We had a fun time shopping for bird feeders!

This week the kids have Valentines parties at school that I need to get them ready for and then they're out of school Friday and Monday. I really want to take advantage of the long weekend and do something fun together as a family, but I haven't figured out what yet. I'm dying to go on a little trip, but our vacation budget is all being saved up our Korea trip right now, so I have a feeling that it's just going to be a stay at home weekend. I'm going to find something exciting for us to do though! Maybe it's time for another vacation in the basement...

So that's pretty much all I have to blog about today! Nothing new, no news from the adoption agency, nothing exciting going on. It's looking springy outside today though, and a little sunshine always puts me in the mood to get out and do something, so maybe I'll come up with a fun adventure and then I can come back and report on it. I'll keep you posted. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Q&A

Occasionally I have people ask me questions in the comment section of my blog or in my e-mail and I love the questions and I'm always happy to answer them but I'm also completely scatter brained and it occasionally occurs to me weeks later that I never answered the question! I always intend to, I sometimes just put it aside and think I'm going to come back to it later that day when I have more time and then I never do. Lame. :)

SO, to apologize for my recent string of unanswered questions, here are a few common questions and their answers.

Where can I find the artwork you're using for Clarissa's room?
The artist is an amazingly talented women named Suzanne Wolcott. She has a TON of beautiful artwork of little girls that I'm completely in love with. There are several places on the internet to find her work, but I order from her Etsy site.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5868&order=§ion_id=&page=6

What paint colors did you use in Clarissa's room? Valspar Paris Mint and Purpling Dawn.

What kind of camera do you have? A Canon Rebel and a Canon 40D.

What video camera did you just buy? It's called a Flip and it's insanely simple to use. I don't know if I'd buy one to use as your only video camera, because it doesn't have very many features, like a lot of zoom or whatever, but it's awesome for web videos, which is what I bought mine for.

http://www.amazon.com/Video-Ultra-Camcorder-Minutes-Orange/dp/B000V1MLCI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1233953354&sr=8-4

What is your e-mail address? It occured to me recently that there's no e-mail link or anything on my blog. I think I'll add one, but in the meantime, my e-mail address is Wenders11@aol.com.

What Korean childrens CD's do you have?
I have two.
Sing 'N Learn Korean is awesome because the book has a page in it with all the songs written out with Korean pronunciations so that you can learn to sing the songs, but the womans singing voice in the CD is irritating and no all that fun to listen to. I like the book though because that's how we've learned to sing songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Teach me More Korean has super cute songs that are sung by kids,so it's a really fun CD to listen to in the car with the kids, but there are no Romanized translations in the book. Meaning the songs are translated into English words, and they are also written in Korean Hangul, but unless you can read Hangul, it won't teach you the Korean pronunciations, which makes it harder to learn the songs.

Overall they're both awesome books/CD's though and I highly reccomend them!

http://www.amazon.com/Teach-More-Korean-Paperback-Audio/dp/0934633460/ref=pd_sim_b_3

http://www.amazon.com/Sing-Learn-Korean-Introduce-Childrens/dp/1888194189/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1233953842&sr=1-1

What number are you on the waiting list? #7. (OK, I'm TOTALLY kidding. If you have to ask that question, you really haven't been listening to me whine for the past two months. Catch up!) :)

I can't remember any other questions, but if you've asked me a question that I never answered, please ask again. I promise to do better this time!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A video message from Josh and Matthew

My video camera came today! This was our first attempt at a video and the light wasn't great, so you'll just have to pretend that it's fantastic!:)

video

Magazine shoot revealed

Hmmm...

Ok, so I just checked the website of the magazine I did the photoshoot for and my issue is on it now.

How do I phrase this? :)

They didn't do what I thought they were going to do with the cover and if I had known that I think I would have shot it a little differently. They gave me a very specific shot to take, and I shot it exactly the way they told me to, but they didn't edit it the way I thought they were going to, so it didn't turn out the way I imagined it.

They only have one of the other photos I took on their website (I'm sure that there are more in the magazine) and it looks like they did some color editing to it that is different than the version I sent them.

Ok, so, yay, I'm in a magazine! I have vowed to be positive this week. :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A bit of randomness

This post has no point except that it's Korea related and it made me smile. I just saw this article and for some reason I find it ridiculously adorable in a strange way, lol. Bless her heart, I hope she passes. :)

SKorean granny fails driving test 771 times

SEOUL (AFP) – A dogged South Korean grandmother has failed her driving test 771 times, police said Thursday, but a local newspaper reported she will keep trying.

The 68-year-old, identified only by her last name Cha, has taken the test almost every working day since 2005 in the southwestern city of Jeonju. She failed again Monday for the 771st time.

"It was a record-breaking number here," Choi Yong-Cheol, a police sergeant supervising the test in the city's Deokjingu district, told AFP.

"I wonder if she will try it again for a 772nd time."

The Korea Times said Cha will in fact be back for another attempt.

Choi said that Cha cannot pass the preliminary written section of the test, averaging scores of 30-50 whereas the pass mark is 60 out of 100.

Local media said that Cha sells food and household items door to door at apartment complexes, carrying the items in a handcart, but wants to get a car for her business.

Police estimate she has spent almost five million won (3,600 dollars) to take the written test, with each test costing 6,000 won in addition to other expenses.

"I feel sorry every time I see Cha fail. When she passes, I'll make a commemorative tablet myself and give it to her," one officer was quoted as saying.

Sunshine

In today's performance of Wendy's blog, the part of "I hate winter and I'm gonna complain about it for two months" Wendy will be replaced by "the sun has come out and I feel much better now" Wendy. We hope to make this a permanant change.

Ahhhh....sun. :) I know it's only February and not spring yet, but it's spring in my brain. I have dusted off the winter cobwebs, closed the book on the black hole of January and I'm back in business!

The weather is beautiful outside today. It's still a little chilly, but it's sunny and it feels like spring. I went into Clarissa's room a little while ago to put some of her clothes in there and her room is fantastic when it's sunny! Those big windows are great! We've lived here for four years and I've spent very little time in that room. It's been mostly empty all this time, although we kept the kids Thomas Trains in there for a while. It felt good to go in there today and sit on the floor in the sunshine and sort through her clothes. It's fun to look at the little dresses and the little pajamas and things and think about what it will be like when she's finally here to wear them. Her bed should be here any time now and I'm excited about getting that in there with the bedding on it. It's starting to look more and more like a little girls room in there!

There's not much else to report here. I'm upstairs hiding in my room right now because Shawn has a group of 9 year old cub scouts in the kitchen and they're working on a project. Sometimes it's better just to hide when your house is filled with 9 year old boys. :)

Now that my winter brain fog has lifted I'm hoping to get my camera out this week and start taking some more pictures. I've really been slacking on it lately, I need to come up with some new stuff. Since I prefer to shoot outside and it's been cold and dark for so long, I haven't accomplished much photography in a while. I'm anxious to get out there and start shooting. There are a few fun challenges coming up on the photography website I like, so I think I'm ready to jump back into that!

OK, so I thought I'd come up with something more interesting to say, but I guess that's all I have for now! I think I'll go back into Clarissa's room, lay on the floor in the sun and read a book or something. At least until the 9 year old boys go home and I can come out of hiding. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Perspective

So I was at a party tonight, complaining to a friend about how long this adoption wait has been, because apparently that's the person I've become, the person who goes to parties and whines about their adoption taking too long. (I will totally understand when you fail to invite me to your next party.) :)

And my wonderful friend, who also recently adopted and has been through her own agonizing wait (AND who let me hold her sweet baby tonight because I'm so baby hungry that I was practically drooling on his sweet head), pointed out that although it sucks that there were no referrals in December or January and I'm still #7, can you imagine what the people in the #1 spot are going through right now?! Crap! Those poor people started out December in the #1 spot, probably hoping and praying to receive a referral before Christmas, and then maybe by New Year, and those poor people are still waiting for their baby on February 3rd.

Being in the #7 spot for two months stinks, but those #1 people are probably in agony right now.

So tonight I will not complain that I'm still #7. I will think about the family in the #1 spot and say an extra prayer for them tonight. I don't know who they are, but whoever they are, I hope and pray that their referral comes soon.

Sometimes you just need a good friend to put things into perspective. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

San Toki

One of our family projects has been to learn some childrens songs in Korean that we can sing to Clarissa when she comes home. Josh and I are experts at singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in Korean, and we're learning Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and a few other fun songs. We have a CD of childrens songs in Korean and we've really had fun with it.

One song that I've discovered recently is San Toki. San Toki is the most well known childrens song in Korea, every kid knows it. It's kind of like Twinkle, Twinkle in the US. What kid doesn't learn that song at some point?

Anyway, that song isn't on my CD so I had to turn to the internet to learn it. It's a cute little song that is really fun to sing. I'm not completely clear on the translation, but it has something to do with a bunny on a mountain.

Yesterday I was looking for it on Youtube to make sure that I have the tune right and I came across these adorable Korean women singing it. I don't know why I like this video so much, but for some reason it makes me smile. I suppose it's just because it's a Korean song sung by Korean moms and everything Korean related makes me smile these days.

So here you go, San Toki. Watch it a few times and you'll have the song in your head all day. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rock on

Matthew just asked me if he could drive my car and have some money. I asked him why and he said "because that's what I need so I can be a rock star."

Rock on, Matthew. :)

(P.S., it's not January anymore! Yay! :))