Whatcha been doin'?

I have gotten to visit with many people the last two weeks, and quite of few of them have made comments similar to the following: "You haven't blogged much since you've been home from Bulgaria.  I've been wondering what you've been up to!"

Well, since you asked, I'll tell ya!

1. Cooking - a lot.  I think I was tired of eating out.  With my body's hatred of gluten, I was restricted to mostly meats and vegetables while we were gone.  I've been baking anything and everything that will let me.  Watch out, Allen... you might be next...

I've made (all from scratch with a flour-substitute) pancakes, chocolate-chip cookies, creme de mint brownies (twice), peach crisp, peach muffins, and Italian/garlic rolls.  Previously, my lack of food options had caused me to lose weight.  I think that trend is over...

Actually I'm eating a freshly baked peach muffin as I type this - I KNOW that weight-loss trend is over...

2. Fishing - We took Libby fishing when she came to visit.  Libby caught a seven-pound catfish and Chance caught a four-and-a-half pound bass.  I caught a bunch of moss.  Typical.

Actually, Chance prefers that I don't catch too many fish... I refuse to take the slimy creatures off the hook.

Oh, and by the way, there are still worms in my refrigerator.  That's one thing I WON'T be baking...

3.  I delivered the knit doll that Harry won in the giveaway last month.

He looks delighted, yes?

Then his wife gave the doll a beard.  And took a picture of it driving Harry's tractor.

Best. giveaway. ever.

4.  Joel spent a week with us, because we had missed him lots and lots!  It was a ton of fun.  We played, read, swam, and napped.  All my favorite things!

The following sequence of photos took place over and over and over and over again.

And then I had to go see my chiropractor...  Just kidding!  (Hi Dr. Allen!)

5.  Sewing - I haven't done lots of sewing or anything, but I did make a shirt for Joel's birthday party.  It turned out to be stinking cute.  I'm thinking about making an adult-sized one for Chance...  He could wear it when he preaches next week!

6.  Working - I see around 15 clients weekly, but because I've been out of the country quite a little bit, I had about eight new clients waiting to be seen when I arrived home.  I have seen all of my "regular" kiddos twice, evaluated eight new kids, and written two-hour long reports for each of the new kids.  Mind you, only one of these kids lives within ten minutes of my home.  Exhausting.

7.  Birthday - Not mine – Joel's!  His birthday was today, but his birthday party was last Saturday at Curtis Orchard.  The orchard was so much fun.

(Is he not adorable in the shirt Aunt Ginger made him?!  Later it would be covered in Cheeto dust, but it sure looks cute and clean in this picture!)

Joel loved the orchard and the playground there.

He was also pretty excited to see that "Bob" made an appearance at the party - on his cake of all places!

His gifts mostly revolved around cars, trucks, and VeggieTales; we all know him well!

Once Uncle Chance figured out how to get the toys out of their crazy-intense packaging, Joel loved playing with his new gifts!

Happy birthday to the sweetest two-year-old boy I've ever known!  I'm proud to call you my nephew!

8.  Playing - On Friday night, we babysat our friends' kids so the parents could celebrate their anniversary.  No big deal, right?  We do this all the time, right?  Well... the oldest child is 13 and just arrived from China a couple weeks ago!  We were a bit nervous, but it was unnecessary!  We loved spending time with Xin Li and her younger brother, Ethan.  We hung out at our house (playing play-doh inside and catch outside), we went to the Athens Fall Festival (to eat hot dogs and kettle corn before riding a ride that almost made me throw up), and we attended this season's first AHS football game (where Xin Li and I took pictures of her with her friends and watched absolutely none of the game).  We had SO much fun!

9.  Canning - Yesterday, Chance and I bought 30 pounds of "less-than-perfect" peaches for $15.00.  We spent around two hours washing, peeling, slicing, freezing, and labeling them last night.  When it was all said and done, we ended up with 50 cups of sliced peaches!  We plan to eat peaches all winter long!  We also froze many of the peaches in ziplock snack bags so that we can eat them on our cereal in the mornings.  We learned this trick-of-the-trade years ago from our dear friend, Joyce Lynch. (Hiya Joyce!  Come visit.  We'll share our peaches!)

10.  Crying - I've honestly not done too much crying, but it's probably because I've been rather busy with 1-9!  We received an email from Svet (in Bulgaria) today.  He had called to ask about N. a few days ago, and the orphanage workers said he seemed "sad."  They believe that he understands that changes are coming.  Chance thinks that the orphanage workers probably say that to every family who is preparing to adopt, but I'm going to ignore such sweet and encouraging words from the Reverend.  (That skill is how we've made it through five years of marriage already...)

Hold on N.!  We're coming!

Our paperwork is in order and we're just waiting for the Bulgarian courts to reopen on September 15th.  (Because while I'm busting my butt for my job, they're taking a month-long vacation.  Lovely.)

So, that's what I've been doing...  What have YOU been doing?!

A Birthday Letter

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