Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Not Chosen

We were not chosen for Chance. I'm very sad. We'd both thought that this was going to be the one, as Barbara had spent so much time preparing with us and we'd had such a favorable conversation with his foster mom.

Of course, there are other children we're somewhere along the process with, but I'm not feeling optimistic tonight.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Waiting Mode Again

It's less than a week until we have committee for Chance. We're waiting and trying not to get too involved in the thoughts of him being our son.

We're still pursuing other children, as well. We'd put in for Joe, but, unfortunatly, had to withdraw when we got more information. We've also inquired about Steven, but haven't heard anything there. Perhaps it's the homeschool prejudice in that situation, as kids who are on the web are usually the ones having a harder time being placed. Today we also decided to put in for another 11 year old, Tyler. And, we're still in the game for Thorn.

So, if it doesn't happen with Chance, we're in the thick of other options. It'll be hard, though, to not be chosen again. Although, I'm pretty steeled for it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Another Week Has Gone By

I've been trying to not spend so much time on the computer, and, thus, have not been posting very often. We've been busy with life, but first, there is adoption news.

We are scheduled to go to committee for Chance on the 27th - just over a week away. I'm doing my usual balancing act of trying not to put too much emotionally into this event, while also preparing mentally somewhat. It's a hard tightrope to walk.

We didn't go out of town this weekend, but had a busy one anyway. Davan, Anthony and I hiked to Ramona Falls with my mom. It's a bit over 6 miles round trip and a lovely hike. Pretty moderate with lots of nice scenery. The falls are really pretty.

We came home to soup I had going in the crockpot and the taped season premier of Survivor to watch together. After dinner and the show, Davan and my mom took off for a sleepover at my mom's. Anthony and I had a dessert date and then watched a movie.

Before Davan returned in the morning, Anthony and I hiked up to Angel's Rest in the Columbia Gorge, which was really nice. It's 2.6 miles each way and a pretty steep climb. My legs are a little sore today.

Then it was time to tidy up the house and welcome Davan home before our session of Dungeons and Dragons.

Meanwhile, we've been getting back into the swing of Girl Scouts, book group and various things that start up with the beginning of the school year, while also continuing with the regular Thursday game days, play dates, orthodontia, camping, in-laws over for dinner and such.

We're debating another camping trip this weekend, but we haven't decided for sure yet. Davan and I are definitely going next week, though, with friends to Beverly Beach.

All of this should help us pass the time until the evening of the 27th....(committee is in the evening this time).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Standing in the Mud - Adoption Wise

I spoke with Barbara today for the first time in two weeks. Last week we were so busy that I didn't call her and, of course, she didn't call me, either. Today she told me that she's been very busy working on an emergency situation.

Anyway, there's still no set date for Chance's committee. I guess that means it won't be next week. This is the standing in the mud part. It seems like we're always stuggling through mud with this process. Sometimes we make progress and move forward. Other times we can't even pick up our feet. Then there are the times we slip, fall and slide back a bit. Right now I feel like we're just standing in the mud.

Barbara did have some new news on Thorn. I'm excited about this, as it means we might go to committee for him soon. He's had his newest evaluation and, while Barbara didn't finish relaying all of the information to us, nothing sounds off-putting. She's supposed to call back later today to finish telling me his lastest. Of course, now that he sounds more "normal" he might have more interest. We'll see.

Meanwhile, we had a quick turn around from our Labor Day weekend backpacking trip to going camping again this last weekend. Anthony had Friday off, so we left town Thursday evening and drove to Beverly Beach. It's a very different experience, car camping at a large state park. We had a very good time, but it was odd being around so many people. Loud, for one.

This trip was developed from two seeds - one was Davan's desire to cook over the fire and the other was all of our desires to go to the beach at least once this summer. We did a lot of both. We got in late-ish on Thursday, set up the tent, and walked down to look at the beach in the growing dusk.

On Friday, we spent a good 4.5 hours playing on the beach - playing with the sand, playing in the waves (for me on my body board) and such. The weather was very nice, if a tad cool, but it's the Oregon coast, so that's to be expected.

Both Friday and Saturday night saw us for hours around the campfire, cooking, eating and chatting. Meals lasted a long time, as everything was cooked with the fire. We had corn on the cob, roasted beats, roasted carrots, biscuits on a stick, Johnsonville Brats for Anthony, "chicken" strips for Davan and I and s'mores. We discovered that none of us are big fans of marshmallows anymore, so we played with them in the fire the second night to finish off the bag. That was fun, too.

We were back on the beach for the majority of Saturday, after taking a morning's trip to see the Devil's Punchbowl and to just a wee little bit of tidepooling (not great pools and the tide was coming it). It was cloudy and foggy most of Saturday on the beach, but no cooler than it had been on Friday, really. When the clouds finally burned off in the late afternoon, the wind picked up and it felt quite nippy. We flew kites in the afternoon and Davan decided she wanted to buy a cool kite for herself.

Sunday morning was our last hurrah for cooking over the campfire. We toasted our bagels. Then we were off to nearby Yaquina Head for some quite nice tidepooling (except for the flies - there were a ton of them!) and a tour of the lighthouse, which was pretty neat.

After going back to the camp site to pack up, we headed up to Lincoln City for lunch at Mo's and kite shopping. Davan found a parrot kite and we did some more kite flying before heading home at 4pm.

We all really enjoyed ourselves. While we're taking the weekend off from camping this weekend (we have Dungeons and Dragons on Sunday and are planning a day hike with my mom), we're thinking of camping again the weekend after. Davan and I are also joining in on a homeschool camping trip which is happening the last week of September for a couple of days. It's back to Beverly Beach for that trip, which is a good thing. Davan said to me, as we were packing up, "I'd sure like to visit an aquarium sometime." So, going to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport will be a must do on that trip.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another Great Weekend

We went backpacking this weekend. It was a three day trip. We left Saturday and came home Monday. Our anniversary (12 years) was on Sunday. We've made it a tradition (more or less, we've missed some years) to do some sort of trip on our anniversary. We were trying to remember all of them that we've done, but came up more than a few years short. I guess those years weren't very memorable.

Some of the ones we did remember, though, were a 5 day backpacking trip around Mt Hood, which we did with friends and didn't even share a tent with each other! We also had a weekend away at Skimania Lodge. There were two other years that we did 3 day backpacking trips. The year I was pregnant with Davan, we took a road trip to Colorado and back, with lots of sight seeing both ways. For our 10 year anniversary, we took a cruise. One year we went to the beach for the weekend (just Anthony and I - the only anniversary after Davan was born that we were alone). The only other year we remember is our first one with Davan. She was 7 months old and we just went to a park for a picnic dinner. She was in a bad mood and the whole affair was pretty miserable. Ah well, most of them have been good - at least that we can remember!

We went on a new (to us) trip this weekend. We'd been planning on going to Elk Meadows on Mt Hood, which is an old favorite. We've done several times. When we do it, we camp the first night at Elk Meadows and the second near a river alone the Mt Hood loop trail, then back to the car.

However, this year Elk Meadows has been closed to the public due to fire fighting operations being staged there for the fire that was burning on the east side of Mt Hood. So, we regrouped and picked a new location. We decided to do a loop that involves Pansy Lake. Now, the Pansy Lake hike is only a wee bit over a mile and not a lot of elevation gain. Not that there isn't any, but there is only one switch back between the trail head and the lake. Of course, we couldn't just do that! No, we needed a challenge.

We figured out a loop that was about 5 miles the first day, 4 or so the second and only the mile out of Pansy Lake the third. Now, that first day, our 5 miles took us past the lookout tower for the area. You may be clever and have already figured out that lookout towers are generally in the highest accessible spot around by definition. Yup - we hiked a difficult 3 miles up to the lookout tower and then dropped down, down, down some serious switchbacks (causing us worry about the next day) to Big Slide Lake, where we camped the first night.

Big Slide Lake was really pretty and would be a nice lake to swim in, but we didn't get there until the sun was already below the ridge and were concerned about getting back up all of those serious switchbacks the next day before it got too hot, so we never did swim. I'd like to go back and get there earlier or just stay there for a day sometime.

The second day was up the switchback day. It turned out to be doable, but definitely hard work! Davan did great with it, even though we'd loaded up her pack much more this year. I was usually a switchback behind her and Anthony. I, obviously, need to do more hills when I walk!

However, Davan didn't do so great on the down part of the day. Once we made the ridge, we dropped back down into the next valley, where Pansy Lake is located. Davan had a heck of a time with the downhill and was very worried about her footing and staying upright in general. It was amazing because she'd gone down all of those switchbacks the day before like a little mountain goat. Ah well, I guess we all have our off days.

Pansy Lake was okay, but not a good lake to swim in, as I don't think it ever got deeper than about 2 feet and was very mucky on the bottom.

When we got into Pansy Lake, we passed an occupied camp ground (mind you, this is only 1 mile from the trail head) with people who had a roaring fire (illegal in the back country right now) and a cooler full of beer. After another family showed up to camp, this group packed up and left. Had they planned on leaving anyway? We don't know.

What sucked, though, was that they left about 10 cleaned fish to rot in the outlet stream that went by their camp site and tons of trash in the form of food cans, beer cans and the like. We policed up their camp site. At least, we mostly did. There were more cans than fit in our trash bags, even when we crushed the cans.

We had a leisurely morning on Monday and then hiked the mile out. We got to the car at 11:30. Overall, it was a very nice trip.

There's no new big news on the adoption front. We do know that committee for Chance is supposed to happen the third week of September, but still don't have a set date. We're still collecting information on Tanner. Last week we did pick four new bulletins (3 single children and 1 set of siblings) to inquire about.

The kids are all boys in this new group. There are two five year olds, an 11 year old and the brothers are 5 and 7.