Wednesday, May 31, 2006

1 Year Anniversary

I can't believe I missed it!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of 'The Call' from my agency, Open Arms to International Adoption' letting me know that my name was now at the top of the singles waiting list and I could begin my paperchase! I remember it like it was yesterday! Excitement! Surprise! (It was about 6 months earlier than originally predicted.) Scared. Excited!!!

My friend Joanne and I went out for Chinese food that day to celebrate! My fortune cookie read, 'Change is happening in your life, so go with the flow!' Perfect!!! I'm not a believer in fortunes but it was a fun one to read on such an exciting day!

Happy Anniversary Hannah! Mommy and you are one year closer to each other!

Dear Lord,
Thank you for the many, many things and people you have put in place to allow this adoption to occur. I love you and couldn't face a single day without you! Once again I lay it all at your feet and ask you to bless, lead and in Your time to bring this Mommy and her daughter together.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Job Update

I found out yesterday morning that I was not successful in the recent competition I had applied for. Oh well, no problem. I figure updating my resume, studying for the interview as well as going through the whole interview process is never a bad thing. Those are important skills to have so it's always good to exercise them every year or so. I've been offered a post-interview briefing and will probably take them up on it. Other than the obvious (my lack of experience with their system) I'm sure they'll be able to provide other helpful tips I can take into further interviews.

The job would have been a nice change, a lot of new challenges which I looked forward to and it was also a step up with a few added perks. Fiancially it would have been a bit of a raise which would have been beneficial during my maternity leave next year. It would also have taken me into the management category which would mean 6 additional days off per year with pay. Also, the area the job was for has compressed work weeks (CWW). This means you work an extra 20 mins. each day and have a day off every 3 weeks. :o)

I'll keep my eyes open to see if any more of these opportunities arise and apply for them too. In the meantime, God had something different planned for me.

Early last week I was called into a meeting with my manager and another manager. They told me that I have been reassigned to a new project and I'm really excited about the new opportunities this will offer! It is a lateral move but one where much can be learned. We've been told that each person in our branch will eventually have an opportunity on this project and I'm thankful my turn has arrived. I'll be holding onto many of my current responsibilites and adding new ones too. Today and tomorrow will be spent cleaning my desk and weeding through the mountains of paperwork I've accumulated over the years. Big job! So much for a paperless society!

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Spoiling Has Begun! :o)

Mom and Dad (aka Hannah's Grandma and Grandpa) were down in Pennsylvania last weekend on a mini-vacation with my aunt and uncle.

Mini-vacation = shopping! Mom went to Babies 'R Us and printed off my gift registry. She and Dad came home with this wonderful assortment of treats for Hannah! A soft, cozy blanket, her very first crib sheet (pink of course!) and a cuddly lamb. Mom has purchased a lamb for each of her grandchildren so this gift was extra special.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

PS - Dad this is probably the first you're hearing of all that Mom purchased....thanks! Wanna know what else she's bought for Hannah? Nope....Mumms the word! We'll let you pay the bills though! ;o)

May's Secret Pal Gift Arrived

What fun it was to arrive home yesterday to a package waiting in the garage from my March DTC Secret Pal!

This month's theme was Baby's Nursery. My poor secret pal. I don't really have a particular theme so had posted that anything pink and frilly would fit perfectly in Hannah's nursery. With her crib going in my room at first, her room will be more of a playroom to begin with along with her dresser and glider. It will be pink (are you surprised?) but aside from that, I'm just not sure what I'm going to do in there.

The first thing I saw when I opened the box was this fun, hot pink flower with the cheerful face. It will be a cute decoration.

The second gift in the box was this fun ladybug fleece blanket. Ladybugs always make me smile as the thought is, when ladybugs are spotted, referrals aren't far behind. Well, that was sure true this weekend! Referral calls began going out last Thursday and there are many new mommies and daddies proudly sharing their children's pictures to family and friends today!

The last gift made me 'ahhhh' out loud. It's a beautiful baby pink ceramic frame with white accents. The best thing about say's, 'Mommy's Little Girl' on it! This time next year I may have the very first picture of my precious baby girl to display in that frame! Ooooo...can't wait!!!

Thank you Secret Pal! I look forward to the day when I learn who you are!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I'm Back!

Hey! Sorry it's been a bit quiet here at the Chatter. May/June are crazy busy months with lots of fun stuff going on.

I arrived home today after spending another full and fun weekend at Muskoka Baptist Conference Centre (MBC) located near Huntsville, Ontario. The last weekend in May and the first 2 in June are ladies conferences. The weekend there were close to 400 ladies there and by the noise we caused that's no surprise!

The speaker this weekend was Carol Kent and the messages she shared with us were AMAZING! This weekend we learned that we all have situations that are unique to us and how to have 'Joy in the Midst of our New Normal.' We often find ourselves in unexpected places but God is always there in the midst of them with us. He is there for each and every one of us regardless of what is happening in our lives and He wants to help us through it. Nobody knows this better than Carol herself. Carol Kent's life changed forever when her twenty-five year old son, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a lieutenant in the navy with an impeccable military record, shot and killed his wife's ex-husband.

Can you imagine? Carol is beautiful inside and out and shared her heart wrenching story and journey with us. Through this devastating set of circumstances, Carol learned ten transformational power principles that God has taught her in the midst of all her agony. For the first time, best-selling author and popular speaker Carol Kent is ready to share her story with the world. It will change the way you think about personal challenges. Her story is written in a book entitled, 'When I Lay My Isaac Down.'

If you want to read an outstanding book of how God is with each of us in every circumstance, please read this book. (Note: You'll want to grab yourself a box of tissues before you begin!)

The really, REALLY neat thing is that I heard Carol share portions of her story in October when MBC was hosting a conference in a city just west of Toronto. One of the questions she asked during the first session was, 'Who Is Your Isaac?' Who do you need to give fully to the Lord and trust Him with? In my notebook on October 19, 2005 I wrote, 'Who Is Your Isaac? - Baby Hannah.' October 19th was when I was still in the midst of searching for God's Will when it came to the adoption. The November 1st date that I'd set to remove my name from my agency's list if I was still unsure of my deciosion was quickly approaching.

BUT, GOD WAS and IS, IN CONTROL! Just 2 day....TWO DAYS later I received peace from God that He wanted me to proceed with the adoption and everything began moving ahead full speed, no looking back! God is good all the time! All the time, God is good!!! Another in the long, long line of examples of God's perfect timing!!!

The weekend was further enhanced by the beautiful music ministry of Marlene O'Neill. She's a ton of fun and has an amazing ministry! She and I have become friends over the past few years and I always enjoy it when we end up at the same place for a day of ministry. (I was even able to take a step back to my teenage years and short-sheet the bed in her room! What fun....haven't done that in years!)

As mentioned, this is just the first of 3 wonderful weekends of friends, fellowship, sharing and laughter! I have much more to share about what I do to keep myself out of trouble those weekends (too late...short-sheeted the bed) but I'll save that for another post. I am so thankful for MBC and the wonderful people there! Looking forward to going back up Thursday evening and preparing for the next group to arrive!

As Marlene says, 'God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good!'

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Car Repairs

I’d like to introduce you to my wheels. Nothing fancy. Nothing fast but hey, they work perfectly for me! I’ve had this little Cavalier for almost 8 years now and it has cost me next to nothing except ‘normal’ car expenses: oil changes, new tires, new battery. You get the picture.

Last week was a different story. Over the past month or so I’d noticed a couple of problems creeping up. Being oh so knowledgeable when it comes to cars, I just kinda wondered if they’d go away on their own? (This has been my history I’m sorry to say. With my last car I ran it completely out of oil not once...but twice! Yikes!!!) I turned over a new car repair leaf when I purchased this ride back in 1998. Oil changes – check, Tire rotation – check, Winter and spring tune-ups – check check!

Going back to last week’s story, Mr. Muffler had been getting louder and louder over the past couple of weeks. Originally it was just a slight rumble but as time marched on it began to get louder and louder. Also, a couple of mornings I noticed the faint smell of gas in my garage. Not a good thing but since I couldn’t see anything dripping I figured it must just be linked with the muffler. (You’re quickly realizing that a mechanic I’m not!)

Monday night the muffler was getting just a little too loud to ignore so I decided to bite the bullet and take the car in the following morning. I took it to my regular dealership as a friend’s husband John, is the Service Manager there so I know he’ll make sure I get great care.

I waited the normal amount of time to receive the initial, ‘It will cost $xxx to fix your car’ call but by noon it hadn’t come. 2:00? No. I put a quick call into John and he said they were just then having an opportunity to look into the problem. I received a call shortly after that with the bad news. I needed a new muffler and all the fuel lines (I think that’s what they said! :o) also needed to be replaced as they were corroded and leaking. Only 1 was currently leaking but because they’re bundled together, fixing only 1 would only put a Band-Aid on the problem and I’d shortly be back needing another one to be fixed. The replacement of all these parts was to the tune of $1,100.00 plus tax! ***GULP!*** Trusting John’s judgement I gave them the go-ahead to do the repairs. Knowing it wouldn’t be ready until the following day John went above and beyond the call of duty and ordered a rental car for me. Thanks John!

I walked up to the block to the car rental place where I was prepared to climb into a little compact that would do me perfectly just going home, to the gym the following morning and then back to work. A puddle jumper was going to be perfect. When I arrived I was asked if I would prefer a car or SUV? Being conscious that John had done this as a favour I said I’d take whatever was less expensive for the dealership. Both were the same cost so I took this baby home for the evening!! What fun!!! It wasn’t parked in my driveway 5 mins. before my friend Carol called and asked about the sweet wheels I was driving!

I didn’t go far in it but it sure was fun for a few hours! When I needed to put gas in it and realized it cost $3.00 to drive about 15km I was thankful once again for my little Cavalier.

All of this is also to share something really neat with you. Since paying off my car loan a few years back I’ve been attempting to put a little money away for a new car as I was able. Not much but something is better than nothing. I have some of it in my chequing account but also some in a special savings account. The repairs could easily have been a big financial stress but ya know what….the total cost for the repairs was $1,095.22 (less than they'd originally thought) and I had $1,100.00 in my ‘new car savings’ account! I love it when God does that! I thought I was saving for a new car but He knew I’d need it for a new muffler and fuel lines. They’re not nearly as fun to show off as a new car would be but hey, they’re shiny, new and my baby now purrs when I start it rather than shaking the windows and waking the neighbours at 5:30am! Best of all, the repair is 100% paid for. How cool is that?

PS – Another reason the money was available was that about 13 years ago a gentleman came to our church and gave a financial seminar. He offered to sit down with anyone who was interested and help them plan a budget. I started one back then and have never looked back. It was the very best financial move I've ever made. If you’ve ever considered creating a budget for yourself but haven’t done it, I’d like to encourage you to do so. It takes some discipline and sometimes I do better than others but there has not been 1 single day that I've regretted being on a budget!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

2 Month LID Anniversary

Yeah! 2 months down... ??? to go! All in God's time and His timing is perfect!

Stork Alert!!! The CCAA website was updated today to show that Log-In-Dates from June 7 to 15th had been matched and their referrals are on their way from China! It's going to be another exciting week on the adoption boards as parents see the faces of their babies for the very first time! I love referral week! Congrats to all those online friends who are anticipating receiving referrals in the next week or so!

Monday, May 22, 2006

What's Wrong With These Pictures?

What's wrong? Well I'll tell ya...It's that we're wearing winter coats!

This was the 24th of May weekend! The first weekend of summer. Trailers and cottages are opened for the first time this year, all in anticipation of the coming summer months. Tents and trailers fill the provincial parks and everyone is out for their first official taste of summer! Ahhhh....the 24th of May weekend!

Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the weatherman that it was ummmm...almost summer! The temperature hovered in the lower double digits during the day (30's and 40's oF) and dropped almost to freezing at night. Both Sunday and Monday mornings we saw bits of s**w flurries but many wouldn't agree. (I think they were in denial and I don't blame them!)

Sharon, Larry and I spent the weekend at their cozy trailer in Muskoka. Rain, sun, snow, hail, nothing can dampen our spirits! We were warm and we had a lot of fun in spite of the weather!

Sunday afternoon Sharon, Joy and I went for a beautiful 2 hour walk and man was the weather funny! I'm sure we put up our umbrellas at least half a dozen times to save being drenched by the rain but between each and every shower the sun came out and shone like there was no tomorrow! We just laughed as we went from downpours to sun over and over during our 2 hour trek.

When I woke around 3:30 this morning I noticed it was a little cool in the trailer but at first didn't think too much about it. One trip out of bed to the little room down the hall quickly told me the propane had run out so I'd better bundle up. Thankfully due to the chilly night Sharon had thrown and extra blanket on my bed on her way to her room. I tell you, at 3:30am I was thankful! I slept until about 8am. (Ahhhh....what a treat!) At 8:00 Larry got up to go outside and switch the propane tanks around. He was able to do so and we quickly got the chill out of the air but it meant a trip into town to fill the tanks on this early holiday morning. Did we all go? Larry braved the chilly air while Sharon and I enjoyed breakfast in bed! (Hee, hee. Don't tell him!) He arrived home shortly after 9:00, switched the tanks again and we were all set. Thanks Man!!!

After our adventurous start, we decided to brave the elements and weed the gardens. In reality it was a perfect day to be working outside! Not too hot and not too cold. Not a mosquito or black fly to be found and just a gently breeze blowing through the trees to remind us of the beautiful Muskoka woodlands we were surrounded by. No deer sightings this weekend but we're guessing that since we weeded the gardens and left the hostas much more exposed, the deer will be by to feast on them this week while we're back in the city. The MBC deer buffet is open for business!

Sharon and I will head north for the next 3 weekends and brave something far scarier than the weather....3 weekends of ladies retreats at Muskoka Baptist Conference! Oh yah...3 weekends of 300+ women each weekend at a retreat centre is something to pay attention to. The men move far, far away for those 3 weekends as the noise, laughter and talking is just a little too much for them! I'll tell you more about the weekends as they progress. I'll be working in the bookstore and teaching a couple of scrapbooking classes each weekend so am looking forward to some fun times! May and June are busy months but I wouldn't want it any other way! Already looking forward to next weekend's adventures!

The weather forecast for this coming weekend? 27oC which is around 80oF. Oh yah...that's more like it!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Have a Great Long Weekend!

This weekend Canadians celebrate the birth of Queen Victoria. She was born on May 24th, 1819. How do we celebrate?

We take Monday off work; open up cottages and trailers for the summer; plant gardens and in my case, chase away the dust bunnies/rabbits that have accumulated in my home over the winter!

To all my Canadian friends, have a wonderful long weekend. To my US friends, your turn is just around the corner. Yeah!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Garage Sale Success!

With the help of family and many friends I'm excited to share with you that we raised a total of $673.00! Wow!! What a blessing this is and a huge help with the adoption costs!

To all those who gave of their time, their stuff, came out and supported the sale and above all prayed, THANK YOU!!! You are an important part of helping to Bring Hannah Home and I am thankful for each and every one of you!

Our day began as we gathered together and prayed for Hannah and also for the sale and God blessed the entire day! We had a great time together, the rain held off and many, many people came! God is so good!

An extra BIG Thank You goes out to my small group:
Ken and Judy
Ray and Mary
John and Sue
Rick and Cathy
Cathy and Bruce
You guys are the best small group around!
Another big Thank You to
my wonderful parents who continue to support me
and help out in so many ways!

Small group ministry in action:
'They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. ' Acts 2:45
Here are a few pics from our day together:

Ray and Judy manning the BBQ. Hot dogs and Sausages were a huge hit!

This was a pretty normal sight. Many people helping out a great cause.

A Blessing from Carolyn in Ottawa

This pretty layout was sent by Carolyn in Ottawa. The squares on it are fabric. The panda playing under the blanket is cute! Thanks Carolyn.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's Raining Blessings!!!

What a treat it is to go to my mailbox these days! My online friends have been showering me with wishes for Hannah's Blessings Book. Here are the most recent additions:

Blessing #8 is from Tina in Elmira Heights, NY. The really neat thing about her layout is that she used the exact same pink material that I have used to send wishes to my friends!

Blessing #9 is from Jennifer in Montreal. I love the bright, happy fabric she chose to use!

Blessing #10 is from Cathy, a great online frined. Cathy does a ton of work for our online March DTC group. I don't know where we'd be without her!

Blessing #11 made me cry when I read it! It's a precious blessing from Cathy's 4yo son who also wanted to send something for Hannah! Too sweet. The second page explains the beautiful picture he drew. I'm sure you can quickly see why Justin's page brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you to all for the beautiful blessings you have added to Hannah's book! I often find myself reading and looking at the beautiful layouts and dreaming of my little girl!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Interview...Part 2

Well, it's done. That's about all I can say.

Friday morning I completed the written part of my interview to the best of my ability, which was ok but not wonderful. More than 50% of the points were regarding changes/updates that could be made to the current system and procedures. Kinda hard to make suggestions to a system I've never used. Oh well, I created something that actually made a little sense in the end so either I'll get a few points for creativity or, give them a laugh at what I tried to write.

All in all, I did the very best I could so I'm happy with that. I answered the questions to the best of my ability and didn't leave having one of those, 'Oh....why didn't I think of that?' moments that often happens after an interview.

Regardless of whether I get the job or not I'm really glad I went through with the interview. I've found that the interview process is always a good challenge and something to stay on top of. We were told they're hoping to have things wrapped up this week so I may know by the end of this week. There are 5 of us applying for 2 jobs but 1 lady is currently doing the job so basically it's 4 of us applying for 1 job.

I'll let you know when the results come out. Until then, I'm not rushing to pack my desk! :o)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!

Also to my family, friends, online friends and Mommies-in-the-Making,

Happy Mother's Day!!!

It takes my breath away to think that by this time next year I may have seen a picture of my baby girl and if I haven't she'll be oh so close!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Great Day with Another Answer to Prayer!

Today was the day of the big garage sale and it was a HUGE success! I'll write more about that tomorrow. For tonight, I want to give God glory for something else.

I want to share a really neat answer to prayer. Is God concerned with the big things in our lives? YES! Is God concerned with the smaller things in our lives? YES!

I know this picture is hard to see but it's what our answer to prayer is all about. All week they had been forecasting a rainy Saturday and when I woke at 6 this morning it hadn't changed. Rain was forecasted all day long.

I peeked out the window and quickly saw that it had rained during the night but wasn't raining now. Guess what? It didn't rain until 7PM tonight!!!

The clouds rolled in over the sale and the clouds rolled out but not 1 single drop of rain fell on our sale! Too cool!!! Not only didn't it rain, but God brought the sun out a number of times too! I love it when He does that! Not only did He exceed our request to not have it rain but did more than we asked and brought out the sun! Isn't that just like God? He does far more than we ask or deserve!

I'll share more about the awesome sale tomorrow but wanted to take time to post here about how thankful I am that the Lord answered such a 'human' prayer request!

Thank you for the wonderful day Lord! This is just one more confirmation in my heart about how God is leading each and every step of the way in His bringing Hannah and I together!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Garage Sale Preaparations

This evening we got everything ready for the big sale tomorrow. There's lots of good 'stuff' so here's hoping it sells. The tables are set, the items are priced and the muffins are baking in the oven. Yummy!

Now, we pray for the weather. The current forecast is for rain on and off all day but it can still change. I don't care if it's sunny or not, it would just be better if it was dry rather than wet. We've decided to go ahead regardless of the weather because next weekend is the long Victoria Day weekend and after that life just seems to get extra busy for all of us. So, we set up and priced with confidence.

Even Scooter got labeled when he stood still a little too long.

Please pray with us that it's not rainy Saturday. And if it is, oh well, we'll have a great time anyway! If you're in the Oshawa, ON area tomorrow feel free to stop by between 8am and 1pm. We'll be happy to see you!

917 Grandview Ave North

What a Difference 2 Days Makes!

Just thought these pictures were really neat! Look at the difference in just 48 hours!!! God's beauty is all around us.

These photos were taken Wednesday afternoon and Friday evening.

I also noticed that the tulips growing below this tree that were standing tall have now started to lean towards the sun as the shade from the new leaves has taken away their direct sunlight.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

\o/ Praising God for Answered Prayers \o/

I've had the opportunity to meet a number of wonderful online friends during this adoption process and some have become extra special friends that I correspond with on a regular basis.

One such friend is Karen. Karen and her husband traveled to China last fall and brought home their adorable little girl. Gwen was quite ill when they received her but you'd never know it to see her now! She steals your heart in a moment and just this week has learned to walk! Too cute and oh so exciting!

Earlier this year, Karen learned that cancer had returned to her body and she had to endure 8 weeks of treatments. At a time when she was enjoying the excitement and love of mommyhood for the very first time, this news was difficult for she and Scott.

Just this morning Karen had a CT scan and was told that her body is 100% CANCER FREE! God is so good!!! Each Friday before her treatment I'd lift this dear friend before the Lord in prayer and also drop her a quick note to let her know I was thinking of her and praying for her. When I read her news today I immediately burst into tears of relief, joy and praise to our great God!

This beautiful picture of Karen and Gwen was taken earlier today. Such peace! A baby, safe and secure in her mother's arms. God is good!

\o/ Praising God for answered prayers!!! \o/


Kim's Layout for Hannah's Blessings Book

This adorable ladybug layout was sent by one of my March DTC friend's Kim. The ladybug paper is so adorable and I love the way she tied all the colours together!

Thanks Kim and Mike!
Franklin Sq, NY


* Updated below at 12:30

Ok - should be cramming but wanted to drop a quick note here. I have an interview in 50 mins. for a job I would enjoy doing. On paper I should be able to be a Business Analyst based on a number of courses I've taken. My problem is that I took those courses between 2002 and 2004 and then they changed my current job role to that of a Systems Support Analyst so I have not had an opportunity to use them. I have book knowledge but very little practical experience in the job I'm applying for. I've been reading my notes trying my best to prepare but I'm just not sure. So many terms, so many short forms, and so on...and so on.....

If you read this, please pray for me! It's a 1 hour oral interview today followed by 3 hour written tomorrow morning.

THANKS! I'll let you know how it goes.

Phew...made it through phase 1. It was 3 questions, all of which I understood and was able to answer. Did I give them enough detail? Were my answers what they were looking for? Time will tell. Phase 2 tomorrow at 9am. 4 written questions.

Thanks so much for praying! I'll do the very best I can and the rest is up to the Lord. If I'm meant to get this job I will. If not, He has other plans for me and that's just fine!

Thanks again for praying. I'll let you know how things go tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Garage Sale This Saturday!

If you live in the Oshawa area, please pop by and say 'Hi!' Our garage sale will be held at:

917 Grandview Street North, Oshawa
8:00 - 1:00

Friends from work have been dropping off their donations to the sale and I've been attempting to clean my basement. Money raised is being donated to help out with my adoption costs. THANK YOU friends!!!

While cleaning the basement I've learned some interesting things about myself:

a) I had waaay too much junk down there that is not even worthy of a garage sale. So far it's been about 20 garbage bags of stuff that has made it's way to my dumpster. (Sharon, aren't ya proud? Too much 'STUFF!!!')
b) I had enough gift boxes down there to open my own clothing store at Christmas! I've broken down and thrown out more than 100 boxes this week. Who knew?
c) I found 16 boxes of brand new Christmas lights that have never been opened. 16!!! They're more expensive here so each Christmas when we pop across the border on Boxing Day (Dec. 26th to my US friends) I pick up more at Target. Think it's safe to say I won't be buying any this year!
d) I don't enjoy cleaning out the basement. (Guess this was self evident in that I'm opening boxes I moved with almost 10 years ago.) The encouragement of the sale + challenging myself to clean for 'just 1 hour' is what keeps me going. I'm done for tonight but will go back at it after work tomorrow.

This is work I tell ya! Just glad I'm only preparing for the sale and not boxing to move. That would be overwhelming!

Doris' Layout for Hannah's Book

This pretty pink layout was created by Doris of Montreal, Quebec. I love the beautiful photo of the pink flower she included and the ladybugs pop right off the page!

Thanks Doris!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Adventures at Kmart

Ok, who else in their right mind would devote an entire post to picking up furniture at a store? friend Carol! Upon leaving home yesterday I quickly found that she is about as crazy as I am about taking pics so we documented every single step (and I mean every) single step! LOL! We'd been in the car for 2 1/2 hours, had needed to use the 'restroom' (as opposed to the 'bathroom' here in Canada) since way before crossing the border, had laughed waaay too much needing to use such facilities so you can imagine our horror when we arrived at Kmart to see a big sign, 'Restrooms closed for renovations!' Oh no!!! Thankfully we were pointed to the family one so all was good. It was a 2 seater but we still decided to wait it out and go it alone. The girl who helped us out in our hour of need ended up being the one who found Hannah's furniture...but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself!

Our first stop (after a few sidetrips to womens and kids clothes) was at the baby dept. The furniture was on display. Did I think to take picutures of any of the pieces I purchased? No! Carol did snap this one of me checking out the armoire (which I did not purchase.) It was really nice but the drawers were smaller than the dresser drawers so I stuck with my original plans and bought the dresser. A great surprise when I arrived was to learn that the back of the crib that converts to a daybed also becomes a headboard for a full bed! Yeah!

Next we made out way to the service desk where I was to go to arrange to pick up the furniture that I'd called and put on hold at 8:30 that morning. None of them knew anything about it. Oh no! All this way possibly for nothing? It couldn't be and you know I popped up a quick, 'Lord, We need your help with this one prayer!' They asked who I'd talked to as I said it was either Kim or Karen. Some sort of 'K' name. You know me with names! Carol went to the van to get my sheets with the information on them and it said the girl's name was Kelly. Well, it started with a K!

'Helpful Girl' decided to see what she could do to help us out so we followed her to the area where items placed on hold would be. In just a few minutes out she came with this cart fully loaded with our boxes.

Enter 'Not Shy Stock Guy.' (Shy no, but maybe a little afraid of these picture snapping crazy women - Yes!) He was very helpful too, pushed the trolly to the front, cut off the tags and waited for me the make the payment.

Once again, these crazy Canadians asked a Kmart employee 'Check-out Girl,' to pose for a picture. I think she's thinking, 'I'm posing for a picture after just checking someone out? Why? Wait 'til the gang hears about this!'

The final player in our Kmart scenario now enters the scene and I'll call him 'Shy Stock Guy.' He was a lot of help and even posed for this pic.

If you're reading this: Helpful Girl, Not Shy Stock Guy, Check-out Girl or Shy Stock Guy....THANKS!!! You guys are the best! Let your boss know you went the extra mile for these customers and we are very thankful!

Once the van was loaded our other shopping adventures that I wrote about earlier today began.

This morning my parents arrived bright and early at 8:30, we unloaded the van and the furniture now waits in the (very messy) basement until closer to referral.

Hey Dad, can I book you for a day of furniture assembly next February? I promise it won't be nearly as painful as making you come to my kids piano recital! (Oh yah, make sure June 8th is marked on your calendar. I know you don't want to miss this year's recital!)

Road trip! Nursery Furniture - check!

After work yesterday, Carol and I headed on our road trip to New York State, approx. 2 hours from home. We took the 407 which is a local toll road to avoid Friday night traffic. Good move! We arrived at the border just 2 hours after leaving home and Kmart was only a few miles from there. Woohoo! (I'll dedicate a seperate post to our fun at Kmart.)

Once Hannah's furniture was safely stored in the van it was time to fit in as much shopping as we could before the stores closed!

Here's Carol checking out a new purse at Payless. Who says the little mirrors on the floor can only be used for checking out feet?

Right next door was an outlet mall. While we didn't buy anything we did find some new shades to try on. Anyone know where they're holding auditions for 'The Fly II?'

Before hitting Walgreen's it was time for trip number 1 to the 'Drive Thru' ATM. Ummm Carol....where's your car?

After Walgreen's and Target it was back to another ATM for withdrawal number 2! (Shhhh...Don't tell David.)

We had a late supper at Denny's then called it a night. Hit the border about 11:30, paid our taxes to the Cdn. government. (What? We Can't bring $500 of stuff back after 5 hours? Guess it's not a $100/hour limit. Don't they know how we like to shop?)

Just before midnight all was good as we were back in our beloved Canada with Tim's to prove it!

The rest of the drive went well even with the rain. Traffic was light, laughter and talking were in abundance! We pulled into Carol's driveway around quarter to 2 which means we made great time travelling home too. Thank you Lord for safety while travelling!

Here's Carol loaded down with her loot. It looks like lots but lets just say Jacob is set with Cocoa Krispies for quite a while! David, your only request was that I have Carol home in time to 'make your breakfast.' (Right!!!) Sure hope you like Cocoa Kispies!!

Thanks SO MUCH Carol for the amazing road trip! It was a ton of fun!!
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