May 25, 2011

High School Prom

Anna Marie is one happy camper... Her little sister remained in-utero long enough for Anna Marie to attend her first high school prom. Woo-hoo! We had anticipated we'd be in Georgia for prom...

This prom is an annual event sponsored by the homeschoolers in our area and is always well-attended. Anna Marie went with her group of pals and had a fine evening last weekend.

Anna Marie (third from left) and friends.
Anna Marie (back, third from left) and friends.

Baby Coming!

Wonderful, exciting news...  Marguerite's birth mother will be induced tomorrow (Thursday) evening at a Macon hospital. We are quickly packing bags and checking of our to-do lists.

Oddly, the induction will begin at midnight. Since T has a history of fast deliveries, we anticipate she'll deliver sometime in the early hours of Friday morning.

Joe will complete his day at the office today, and we'll pack the van completely tonight. We'll leave very early tomorrow morning and do the 17-hour drive in one day. We'll arrive in Macon late tomorrow night and get some sleep before heading over to the hospital on Friday morning. If we can make it all work, we may be able to be present for the birth!

Although we'll meet the baby on Friday, we won't be able to take placement and T won't be able to sign surrenders until Saturday morning.

That's the very exciting scoop from here... Stay tuned to our adoption blog for more complete updates... 
We are giddy over here!

Where is Our Baby?

It is May 25th, and we have no word on the baby or any impending labor. I spoke with the case worker two days ago, and she assured me all was well, but she did bring up the issue of a possible mistake on the due date. Problem is, no one seems to be getting T to doctor appointments, so we're not getting a professional opinion on anything right now.

So here we sit in Wisconsin, just waiting for a call... I'm busy praying that T and the baby are okay. I don't like that fact that they are apparently not getting medical check-ups at this late stage of the game. And it's hard to know how much longer we'll wait when questions are arising about the supposed due date...

Meanwhile, we're living out of suitcases, because we want to be ready to rock and roll when we get the call...

May 18, 2011

Still Waiting...

No word from Georgia yet...

We've been assured that we'll get a call just as soon as T goes into labor. Yesterday was the due date, so she should be coming anytime, right? I should think so...

Am I being patient? Not so much. 

Come on, Bambina! We love you and can't wait to meet you!

May 14, 2011

Baby Update!

We are getting very close now to adopting our precious wee one. All paperwork is complete. T's due date is May 17th—just three days away! As soon as we receive the call that she is in labor, we will hastily pack and hop in the van for Georgia.

We are told that T will deliver in Macon, rather than Warner Robins, this time. The Macon hospital is apparently more adoption-friendly. And we've been told that T would like us to be there as soon as possible after the birth, so that is the plan.

As I type this, I have piles of baby clothes sorted on the family room floor. They are washing-machine-bound, and then I will put them into a suitcase this evening. Although I don't have any of the rest of us packed, I do have a very detailed packing list which I will use to make the process as smooth and speedy as possible when we get that call. I am making an effort to stay very caught up on laundry and folding these days, so we will have less to do when we get the call. And I'm doing some freezer cooking, in order to have some food for the cooler on the road. So, we're definitely gearing up.

The girls have a big concert tomorrow, so it appears we'll be here for that which is a very good thing. Anna Marie hopes to be here for her homeschool prom on May 20th, but that remains to be seen. That call could be any minute... or it could be a week or more from now... For more detailed adoption updates, stay tuned to our family adoption blog.

Meanwhile, we wait with extreme anticipation and excitement! As we are getting a crazy cold snap here in Wisconsin (it's supposed to FROST tomorrow night), the warmth of Georgia is sounding very appealing. Can't wait to meet our sweet bambina!

Meeting Lila Rose

Anyone who has known me for long, knows that I am pro-life. Simply, I don't believe it's ever right to take innocent human life. I'd like to thank Dr. Seuss for putting it so simply: "A person's a person, no matter how small."

I know first-hand that the birthmother of our adopted child (soon-to-be adopted children) sacrificed, suffered, and took personal risks to give her unborn children the gift of life. Although it was a monumental challenge for her, she gave Marguerite the greatest gift of all. And, shortly, she will do the same for another little one. She is our hero.

Earlier this week, pro-life activist Lila Rose, came to Madison to speak. Anna Marie and I took the opportunity to head out to see her. Her talk was inspiring and eye-opening, as she has done undercover work that has exposed Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, covering up felonies. Just twenty-two years old, Lila Rose is a mover and a shaker in the effort to protect the smallest and most vulnerable among us. Anna Marie and I were thrilled to have a chance to meet her.
Lila Rose, center, with Anna Marie and friends.
In this photo, Lila Rose is asking Anna Marie if she is wearing a Miraculous Medal.
Anna Marie responds that it's a Joan of Arc medal. Lila says, "Joan of Arc is my Confirmation patron!" to which Anna Marie replies that St. Joan of Arc is also her Confirmation patron—a cool little connection.

Who You Gonna Call? Weed-Busters!

These is my super-duper team (my super-duper dirty team) of weed-busters, led by none other than Mr. William.

When you have a weed that needs pulling, but the root is so deep that you're just never going to get it out on time to also put dinner successfully on the table, call William.  He is the never-give-up weed-pulling man.

Given a weed-pulling job, William gathers his tools (and sometimes some siblings for moral support) and works sometimes an hour or more digging out the obnoxious intruder. Check it out. I have plenty of work for this handsome handy-man.

Now that's a weed! (No, it's not a carrot; it's a weed. Check out those roots!)

Look at the hole William had to dig in order to pull out this weed. Over an hour of work!

William had fan club during the digging and pulling process.

Egg Drop Competition

Our kids participated in an egg drop competition with our homeschool group.

Using a molecular model kit, they came up with a plan to construct an exterior skeleton to protect the egg. The egg itself was placed inside a pair of pantyhose and tied inside the structure.

The egg dropping took place at four different heights, with competitors being eliminated in each stage. Our kids made it to the very last stage, but, alas, their egg broke on the final drop.

Our young engineers eagerly await another egg drop competition next year...

The kids watch as a classmate encases his egg.
Kathleen, with her egg in bubble wrap, preparing to place it inside her protective structure.
Anna Marie and Kathleen insert their egg.
The rules said they had to successfully place the egg into the structure within sixty seconds.  
Kathleen, Anna Marie, and William look on,  just after their egg has hit the floor. Did it survive?
Mr. Tejeda drops one of the competitor's eggs.

Making Music

Twice a year we attend Anna Marie and Kathleen's music recitals. It's always a nice chance to see them "on stage" doing what they love to do. It won't be long before their younger brothers are joining them.

Kathleen always wows us as her fingers fly across those keys. She's an exceptional pianist.
Anna Marie gives us a superb fiddle performance—with a smile, no less.
Therese watches her big sisters perform.

The Wonders of Physics

Each year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison physics department puts on a great show for families—The Wonders of Physics show. This year, they brought the show to Holy Family Homeschoolers. HFH families enjoyed an entertaining, electric, gravity-defying, and sometimes-loud show.

From left, Therese, Marguerite, Kathleen, friend, and Anna Marie enjoy the show.
A cool centrifugal force demonstration. 
Dry ice!
The kids check out the dry ice experiment.
Elizabeth and Therese enjoy the show.

Kathleen is THIRTEEN!

Happy birthday to our brand-new teenager!  Sweet Kathleen enjoyed a birthday party with friends, followed by a family party that included a stop to get pierced ears and dinner at Hu-Hot, one of her favorite restaurants. It's good to be thirteen!

We sure do love you, Sweet Kathleen! Thank you for making us proud. You are such a good and kind young lady.

Kathleen takes a whack at her birthday pinata in the basement.
Kathleen and her girlfriends
Birthday party girls (and a couple extra little Leone girls)
Kathleen gets her ears pierced!
Yay! Pierced ears for the teenager! 
Birthday dinner (and dessert) at Hu-Hot.
Check out those pierced ears and that beautiful face! 
The birthday girl and her little sister. Such beautiful little ladies.
Kathleen, our amazing pianist, decorated our homemade cheesecake with a piano theme.

Happy birthday, Sweet Kathleen!

More Easter Fun

Marguerite Jane, all ready for Easter dinner.
The kids with my Uncle Larry.
Andrew and his buddy, Uncle Larry.
Joe sports Marguerite's bunny ears at dinner. They made the rounds.
Joe puts the finishing touches on his Easter lamb roast, straight out of the oven.
The kids fly kites after Easter dinner.
Back inside for dessert,  Joe poses with Uncle Larry and his helper, Ryan.
My Uncle Larry lives in a group home with two other residents who have developmental or physical disabilities.
Ryan is one of the aides who has lived with Uncle Larry and helped him with his daily tasks.
Joe and I are Uncle Larry's guardians, and we've been so impressed with Ryan and the other helpers who give Uncle Larry and full and comfortable life.
Our backyard on Easter Evening. It was a beautiful holiday.

Easter 2011

Some scenes from Easter 2011:

Andrew with his Easter loot. 
Marguerite tries on her new bunny ears!
Therese and her new chick socks!
The Easter Bunny knows that William likes to read! 
Anna Marie gets ready to rip into some chocolate.
Kathleen enjoys her Easter stash.
I get a hug from Andrew on Easter morning.

May 8, 2011

Readying for Easter Sunday Mass

The Leone kids get ready for  Easter Sunday Mass—and one quick photo (must we, Mom?) before walking out the door...

Lookin' beautiful, girls!

Marguerite and her big sisters.
All this primping. Just give me a pacifier, and I'm good to go!
This five-year-old had big plans for an Easter bonnet this year.
Marguerite actually smiles on command now (well, sort of).
A great photo of the gang. Anna Marie is beautiful, even with her eyes closed.