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"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,
to them who are the called according to His purpose"

Romans 8:28



April 28, 2009

One step closer....

Dear Diary,


Today we had our biometrics taken by Homeland Security as part of the visa and green card process.


By the way, we didn't get a microchip in our necks!!!


All they did was electronically fingerprint us and take yet another photograph. When we submitted our application we had to include 10 passport photos of Colin and 6 each of Isla and I so I was surprised they still took more. I was a bit disappointed they didn't scan our iris', that would've been cool albeit a Star Trekki!


We don't know when or even if we'll get the visa and green card but I'm fairly certain we will be approved. I'm confident our attorney would've told us if she thought we didn't take a stand a chance.


From conversations with various people I should say we are NOT applying for American citizenship. It's simply for residency and work authorization. Perhaps if we are still living here in 10 years we'll apply but at this time it's not even an option for us. Can you imagine Isla having a Canadian, British and American passport!!!?
Please continue to pray that the process is completed favourably in a timely manner. I'll keep you posted.


'Til next time,

April 27, 2009

I Had To Let You All Know....

Dear Diary,
We're So Blessed!

'Til next time,

April 26, 2009

Sometimes I think....

Dear Diary,



... that my dad and Colin are blood related.




Do you see her yellow socks hanging out of her pants? That is exactly what my dad would've done with them too!



It's not the first time I told Colin my theory...


Just had to share...

Have a blessed Sunday wherever you may be.

'Til next time,

April 25, 2009

8

Dear Diary,

I've been tagged by Katy Lin at the great adventure...


Here's how to do this 8 THINGS thing:

Mention the person that tagged you (done). Complete the lists of 8's. (done) Tag 8 of your wonderful bloggy friends (done, sort of, I'm lazy, it's Saturday). Go tell them you tagged them!


8 Things I Look Forward To:
1. Weekends with Colin and Isla.
2. Church on Sunday.
3. SLEEP!
4. Colin's cooking.
5. Any day I get the van.
6. Our trip to Canada this summer.
7. The green card.
8. Pay day!



8 Things I did yesterday:
1. Watched Sesame Street.
2. Showered.
3. Napped.
4. Went on Facebook.
5. Made and drank lots of coffee.
6. Played with Isla.
7. Watched the movie, "The Boy in the striped Pyjamas".
8. Prayed.

8 Things I wish I could do:
1. Travel to Tahiti.
2. Not turn 40!
3. Live in one location for longer than 3 years.
4. Never disappoint the ones I love.
5. Never disappoint God.
6. Learn to take decent photographs.
7. Get the nerve to Bungee jump.
8. Scuba dive.

8 TV shows I watch:
1. The 10 o'clock news.
2. The Biggest Loser.
3. The Amazing Race.
4. Grey's Anatomy.
5. ER (so sad it's over).
6. Alot of TLC.
7. Dr. G
8. House.



8 Bloggers Tagged:
1. If
2. you're
3. reading
4. this
5. consider
6. yourself
7. tagged
8. please!



'Til next time,

April 22, 2009

Spring Swingin' and Sisters

Dear Diary,


Colin is away in NYC and Philadelphia for a few days this week so Isla and I have been getting out and taking advantage of trips to the park. She loves going to the park especially the swings. If she had her way, I'd push her for hours!

Lately every time I try to snap her photo, she won't look at me. Apparently mommy is not that exciting and other people or things are much more interesting. Here is a classic example although I still love it. She is such a happy girl!

Back at home she has been spending time in her deck chair on the balcony with her furry sisters but she's been scraping her knees while crawling on the balcony concrete. Ouch!


While we've enjoyed getting out the last couple of days, we'll be happy to have Colin home with us again tonight!


'Til next time,

April 20, 2009

Monday

Dear Diary,


This past weekend was horrendous in terms of weather because it snowed for two days and when it wasn't snowing, it was sleet, then snow, then rain, then snow, etc.


Today it was back up to 70 degrees and Wednesday it's up to 80 degrees. Go figure.


Look at the snow today.

It's gone!!!!! There is so much snow melting a constant "river" noise can be heard all day.


For the first time since moving here, I've seen green grass. YAY!


Progress Report:
Isla is confidently walking behind her walker. FINALLY, she's making progress.
Normally she would've just sat down if we put her behind it but yesterday the lady was marching all over the place.....


It was a happy day yesterday!


'Til next time,

April 18, 2009

Saturday Morning in Colorado

Dear Diary,


If you've watched CNN in the last 12 hours you know what I'm talking about.

We're snowed under!!!


In some places in the mountains they've recieved over 34 inches (almost 4 feet) of snow in the last 24 hours. The I-70 from Golden to Vail is closed and they don't know when it's going to be re-opened but honestly, I can't imagine going on that highway in this weather unless it was a medical emergency. Imagine a roller coaster without the loops, that's what that stretch of highway is like.


This is Colin and Isla about an hour ago to go and collect the mail. He took our "4x4" and could hardly make it through the heavy wet snow.

Anyways, if you ever wanted to do some Rocky Mountain skiing or snowshoeing, it's a good time to book your ticket. Chances are good it will be gone by Tuesday when the temperature will reach 70 degrees so you better be quick.

Unrelated to the snow, check out Isla's hair. It's crazy!

She looks like her daddy first thing in the morning... Her hair is growing fast and now wakes up with a bad case of bedhead!

'Til next time,

Bye-bye house and Hello Visa

Dear Diary,

An update to my post of a couple of days ago.

Our House
We sold our house Friday.

It's bittersweet.

Bitter because we loved that house. Bitter because we put a load of work into it and the yard and cannot enjoy it.

Sweet because we no longer have to pay a mortgage and rent.
Our Visa
We received notification from Homeland Security to have our biometrics taken on April 28. Biometrics is a fancy word for fingerprints, iris identification amongst other things. It's a way for the government to track us 24/7.
In case you were wondering we have applied for a EB1 visa.

It's another step closer to the visa being issued.
Weather
We have experienced summer in winter and winter in spring.
This is crazy - look what fell Friday and apparently most of Saturday as well.
It's suppose to be 70 degrees (21 C) on Monday.
I think I posted just about every day this week, it's time for a break.
Enjoy your weekend!


'Til next time,

April 17, 2009

Photo Update - 14 Months

Dear Diary,

top row - l - clapping! -r - pointing to her nose
bottom row - l - showing off her toes -r- pointing to her mouth



Over the last few days I've noticed that I think she may be bored with her toys so this morning while I made her breakfast I resorted to the "old fashioned" type. She loved them, it was a hit!



Who thought you could have so much fun with a wooden spoon and plastic bowls!



'Til next time,


14 Month Update (and 200th post!)

Dear Diary,

Our sweet, beautiful girl is 14 months today!


The most common question we get is whether or not she is walking.


In a word, NO.

She did ONE step ONE time about a month ago. I’m sure it’s a matter of confidence and this past week I’ve already noticed an improvement. She has started what I call the Spiderman walk – walking along the walls
.


Despite her Spiderman impersonation she’s a master crawler and cruiser. I’m convinced I’m going to be carrying this child around FOREVER or at least that’s how it seems. She is a lightweight and that helps but still she gets heavy after a while.

Here is a little update on the Monkey:

~ 21 lbs and 28.5 inches tall.

~ She is wearing size 9-12 month pants and 12 months shirts. A petite lady indeed!

~ Teeth count – 10 including two lower jaw molars that poked through last week. I caught a glimpse of swollen gums yesterday so I think there are more on the way - I would look but don’t want my fingers bitten off.

~Standing unaided (and dancing to Barney). She can bend over and wave although not at the same time. She tries jumping so you would think if she could jump, she could walk.

~ She is trying to crawl onto the futon and she would be successful but her legs are too short – lucky mommy because she tries getting off head first – oh dear!


~ She can point to her belly, hair, nose, toes and mouth and new body parts are being added daily. We review body parts together after changing her diaper because she can see what we are pointing at in the mirror.


~ She is a great 11 to 12 hour night sleeper (no waking up) and naps 2 to 2.5 hours once during the day. She used to nap exclusively during the morning but over the past week naps are either during the morning or the afternoon; whenever the lady prefers. I’ll have to work on that. Thankfully, she turns into a pumpkin at 7 p.m. every night regardless of what time she naps so then it’s nighty-night time.

~ She babbles a lot (bababa) but isn’t a big talker in terms of words. She says daddy, mama, Didi (Dixie), Puh (Pearl), bye-bye, uhoh and amen.

~ She understands NO, obeys very well and responds correctly to simple commands like “Bring Mommy the …… please” or “Let go and give to Mommy please”. We are specifically conscious of manners at this stage and ensure we say “please” and “thank you”. Learning by example is very important to us and I will not have a rude child.

~ Food – it’s still the Achilles heel but it’s getting better. She’s now eating chicken on a more regular basis too but everything is in small quantities. Once she has had enough she starts to throw it on the floor (BTW, thanks for the advice on food).

~ Her favourite foods include apple sauce, bread/toast, peanut and apple butter, cheese, yogurt, grapes, bananas, broccoli and most recently, kiwi. She doesn’t eat junk food and she doesn’t eat anything white (potatoes, white rice, sugar etc.) very often because Colin and I don’t either.

~ She can "splish-splash" too well and has learned to “high five” in the past week.



Here is a funny photo. Last Saturday morning she refused to nap in the morning because she changed her schedule overnight and didn’t tell us. She ate her lunch and we could see she was getting more and more relaxed. At last she fell asleep still holding onto her banana and chicken.



Happy 14th month birthday sweet Isla!

We are so blessed to have been granted another month to watch you grow physically and into your wonderful personality. It’s so exciting to watch you learn everyday – it’s awesome to see how far you’ve come from a tiny 5 lbs. 4 oz. bundle just 14 months ago.

God is good to us and we thank Him everyday for you!


'Til next time,

April 16, 2009

FREE Kodak Mother's Day Card

Dear Diary,


I'm on a bit of blogging spree and at this rate I'll reach post #200 this weekend - YAY!


There is a reason for this post, to let you all know that Kodak Gallery is giving away FREE (click on "Free")Mother's Day (May 10) cards.


Yes, that's right, FREE!


The only catch (there is ALWAYS a catch) you have to pay shipping but that will be about $1.00. Store bought cards and even most of those you make yourself cost more than $1.00 and the Kodak card is totally personalized.


Go ahead, make your mom smile. I bet it's the only Mother's Day card she'll save!!!



'Til next time,

April 15, 2009

Standing

Dear Diary,


A while back I mentioned the lady was standing.



She's getting better at it everyday but if I try to take photo of her standing, I have to be quick. Yes, she is quicker than me. The photo above is the best illustration of standing but it's a funny face.


I measured her but couldn't mark it because I was by myself but I can confidently say that she has grown since her birthday when we last measured her.



This is a good example of how most of her pants fit - they all fall of her non-existent bum!!! I also trimmed the ends of her hair just to even it out and help it grow thicker.
Sorry, the photos are a bit fuzzy today but I'll do better on Friday for her 14 month birthday.



'Til next time,

On my mind....

Dear Diary,


I haven't been sleeping well lately because I have about 1000's running through my head and the worst bit is, I can't do anything about it. I just have to get it off my chest.
First, the sale of our house. Our solicitor advised us it will probably complete on Friday. That's great but after two months it's about time. If we have to make another mortgage payment on an empty house I'll go over the edge.


Second, the visas. We have confirmation of receipt. At least we know they got them and it's proceeding and when they do get issues, Isla can go to work too because she's also getting a work authorization.
What bothers me most about the visas is the fact that all this could've been done last year and we would not have had to go through the periods of separation. Colin missed four months of the first six months of Isla's life and then some afterwards as well. Now we have to wait another couple of months and if they are not issued by the end of June we can't go to Canada for my neices wedding because we assume the risk of not being able to come back to the USA.
Third, Isla still isn't walking and I KNOW she can do it. She stands by herself and walks the walls like Spiderman. It's her confidence level and yes, I KNOW, she will do it when she is ready.
Maybe it's not a matter of control for me but the fact that so much is up in the air even after a year. We've been living like nomads for about a year - no permanent visas, no medical insurance and not even knowing whether or not we will continue to live here in the month or so. If not here, then where? Canada? UK? We don't know. We really live month to month.
God is testing our faith, that is without a doubt and as emotionally difficult as it is, I welcome it as well. How do you grow if you're not tested? Cruising through life is not beneficial for anyone. Besides I know at the end of the day it will strengthen us as individuals, as a couple and as a family by persevering together. I know He is in control and what He has planned for us will happen. I tell myself that everyday (yes, I do talk to myself a lot) and it is comforting to read passages like this:


Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)




How could I possibly cope without the hope?


Staying the faith is not easy but reading passages like Jeremiah keeps us strong and reminds of our reward in heaven. Our life here is temporal and so are the situations we find ourselves in at the now and possibly in the future.

2 Corinthians 4: 16-19
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying,
yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an
eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,
while we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen;
for the things which are seen are temporal,
but the things which are not seen are eternal."

So that is a tidbit of what is on my mind these last few days.

We need your help, specifically your prayers. Please encourge us by praying for us.

Please pray that our house will be sold on Friday; please pray that the visas are issued in a timely matter and there are no delays and please pray that our faith will be made greater through this.

May His will be done.



'Til next time,

April 14, 2009

Mother's Day Giveaway!

Dear Diary,


I don't enter too many blog contests but this one is way too cute!


Please visit Kristen from Kristens Custom Design and Jen of The Mom Jen.


Kristen creates beautiful jewellery and is giving away one custom design for Mother's Day on May 10 (a gentle reminder for Colin) and together with Jen they are having a giveaway that I am in the process of entering. Check out their blogs and Kristen's etsy shop here.


'Til next time,

April 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Dear Diary,

We pray that you may be

granted another blessed

and healthy year to come!



Lots of love from Colin

and your youngest girls



'Til next time,

April 9, 2009

Food

Dear Diary,


I've been struggling to get food into our girl. Specifically meat and chunky food.


She could live off of toast, bananas and applesauce. At least it's not junkfood but it's still not good enough for an active growing toddler.

She loves jarred baby food but at almost 14 months this has to stop. I'm so fed up buying that stuff!! Even if I put our dinner through the food processor, the lady won't eat it but a jar of that other food, no problem... agghhhh!


Last night we did our groceries and Colin and I bought a whole lot of food that we thought she could and would eat. This morning I spent most of her nap time cutting fruit and vege and preparing it for her. We didn't buy anything that we wouldn't eat ourselves because I don't want to start with "Isla" food and our food.


I should say the last few weeks the lady has made a bit of progress. She started eating halfed grapes and even bits of chicken. That's progress but the last week or so she's been eating like a bird. When she's done, she throws it on the floor - not to get me to pick it up just so she can throw it down again - only to let me know she's had enough. Yesterday she cut two molars on the lower left and right jaws so that could explain her lack of interest in food or at least I hope that's why.



If anyone has any suggestions how to get her to eat chunky food specifically meat like chicken and fish, I'd be thrilled to hear from you!


left - eating breakfast Weetabix
right - ripping up paper - her favourite toy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
UPDATE: Isla just ate lunch or should I say threw it on the floor... She ate a bit of a pancake, a bit of an apple slice, a bit of carrot slices and a bit of melon.... She gobbled down the yogurt...
OH HELP!!

'Til next time,

April 6, 2009

American Girl Place

Dear Diary,


While in New York Isla and I visited the American Girl Place. There are only a handful of stores in the country so I was sure to visit while in New York. I enjoyed it, Isla wasn't overally impressed but maybe that will change in a couple of years.


I bought her a doll with some of her birthday money and in a few years when she can appreciate it, the doll will come out of the box. She's really cute and it's part of the Just Like You series where they mix up skin tones, eye and hair colour.



The store also has a shop where they sell the dolls and clothes, a cafe where you can have lunch with your doll and even a hair salon. I was watching them do the dolls hair in the salon and I think the girls who worked there have a great job - they get paid for playing with hair!


She was also spoiled on Canal Street where we bought her a onesie and a hoody. Canal Street is unique because you are expected to barter with the merchants - Mom, I really needed your garage sale experience - but I think we still got a good deal.




top row - l to r - modelling her new onesie - modelling her new hoody sized 18 months so it will be perfect in the fall.
bottom row - l to r - checking out her new doll - her new doll.


By the way, the new doll remains unnamed. Any suggestions?


'Til next time,

April 5, 2009

New York City, New York - Part II (photo overload!)

Dear Diary,


I promised the photos of NY and now that Colin is safely home with the camera, here they are.
Enjoy!
5th Avenue



The plaque above is located on this cross which is made of the remains of the towers


This station house is located across from the Towers and was first to respond

This is part of the memorial to the five men lost Sept 11

We weren't able to get to the Statue of Liberty as it was sold out for the day
but we still had some great views from Battery Park.
Family photo in Battery Park

Stock Exchange

Colin and I in front of the Brooklyn Bridge

View of Manhattan from the observation deck of the Empire State Building


'Til next time,