Wednesday, July 28, 2004

July 28, 2004

If you're interested in seeing more pictures of our trip to Kazakhstan in 2001, we have a photo album at  Yahoo has been acting a little nutty these days, but maybe that's just my dinosaur of a computer?  You'll see an album about a trip that David took last August (2003) to Uralsk.  A team from WPA traveled there to build a playground at Lisa's baby house, and another at an orphanage for older children outside of Uralsk.  David will be scouting in Taldy-Korgan on our upcoming trip for locations to build a playground there in 2005. 

We had Christmas in July yesterday, which arrived via the FedEx man ... a long video of Melanie taken by our new best friends, the Pearls.  They have just returned from Taldy-Korgan with their new daughter, Abby, and were able to take some awesome shots of Melanie and a little friend.  In the video we have evidence that Melanie has LUNGS!  The caregiver lifts her up and sits her on a little slide and she did NOT like that at all!  We anticipate hearing that beautiful sound a lot in the days to come!  She is walking very well; although she still has the Frankenstein walk of a baby that has just recently learned to do so.  She, of course, is just beautiful, something that we already knew.  As wonderful as it was to see, it just makes us all the more anxious. 

I'm heading off to New York for a little R&R with some girlfriends this weekend.  I hope the next time I step on a plane it will be heading to Europe ...


Monday, July 26, 2004


We are in the doldrums.  Frustration is rising with the temperature.  David and I are snapping at each other.   The kids are out of their minds bored.  I did drive to Alabama over the weekend to help my parents celebrate their 53rd anniversary (imagine!)  Anniston, AL is halfway for both them and us,  (they coming from Baton Rouge, LA).  We spent a nice weekend by the pool at a hotel.   The poor children: no video games, no movies.  They actually had to "play" together.  And did very well, I must say.  Anniston is quite a hot tourist spot ... NOT!  Let's see: its latest claim to fame is a festering land fill of radioactive waste that is currently in litigation or something like that.  Gee, maybe that explains why we were all glowing in the dark on the way home ...

I did some major shopping at the end of last week; finally bought poor Melanie some clothes.  Of course I have no idea how big she is ... also bought some medical-type stuff to donate to the baby house. 

Another week here and I'll be in the midst of back to school madness.  If we get travel dates on top of that I will spontaneously combust, I'm sure!  Colin is taking drivers' ed this week.  I feel my blood pressure rising as we speak.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

A little history

Since there is no other news to report (although Susan, our coordinator did call me yesterday; when I saw the caller ID I almost had a heart attack -- alas, all she wanted was for me to fax her our I-171-H) I thought I would fill in some gaps with a little bit of Lisa's history.  I've added some pictures of our journey to get her ... she's come quite a long way in three years!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

July 15, 2004

Sorry about the dearth of entries.  Unfortunately there is a dearth of news.  We are definitely in the dog days of summer ...  I'm having to beat the kids into submission to get started on their summer reading (just KIDding!)   We are just waiting ... and waiting ... for those golden travel dates.  Wanting to go yesterday but logically knowing that it would be better for the kids if we went after school started in August.  (Better for their grandparents that is!) 

In the meantime, we just keep to our normal schedule ... burning up the interstate between here and Charlotte.  We had a little celebration of sorts when the odometer on the old jalopy rolled over to 100K. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

July 7, 2005

I think I will spend the rest of the summer shuffling kids from point A to point B, and will literally faint away when we get our travel dates.  I am busier than a one-armed paper hanger!  Yesterday I spent taking Lisa to speech (downtown - 13 mile trip one way) then up to Lincolnton (almost 1 hour drive) to the courthouse to have our police clearances and I-171 certified.  Then I drove another 20 miles back to Huntersville for an appointment with Colin's tutor (he's in summer sessions).  Then back home to get Christian from baseball camp.   Today I have to drive Lisa downtown again (she goes every day for 4 weeks) then come to get Christian, then BACK downtown to the airport to pick up the older 2 who have been in Minnesota with Uncle Don for a week.  <phew>  Poor Melanie will think her home is a carseat.  I am hopeful that in the fall things will be less hectic (hah!  Who am I kidding?)  Wish I could hire a driver. 

Friday, July 2, 2004

Boy, writing in this journal sure is addictive.  I feel like a kid with a new toy!  I've loaded some pictures of Lisa and our family ... she has since lost two bottom teeth (we call her Snagglepuss) but is still as beautiful as ever.  No news today ...

Thursday, July 1, 2004

July 1, 2004

Okay, here is a better map.  (Ain't the internet wonderful??)  This shows Almaty as Alma-Ata (which translates into the Place of the Apple (legend has it that the apple came from Kazakhstan and that the Garden of Eden was there) and Taldy-Korgan is shown as Taldy-Kurgan.  Wish they'd make up their mind how to spell their cities.  Can you imagine if we said "Charlotte" one day, and "Karlotta" the next?  I'm sure it's the Russian vs. Kazakh thing.  Those of you who have traveled to Belgium remember how the signs are posted in French and Flemish.  <sigh>  Guess that's how the world turns.