31 January 2014

Friday's Funny~cousin's picture

Getting 7 munchkins, ages 4-10, to take one group picture seemed highly improbable.  Yet, we attempted and in comic style, we were treated to the below in one such photo opp at Disney...enjoy!
[I apologize but I couldn't get the video footage flipped...just cock your head to one side...it works :)]

24 January 2014

Friday's Funny~polka dancing at Disney World

One of Orlan and Carol's primary requests for us ALL to do at Disney World was to eat at the Beirgarten so they could watch the kids dance...and I think as you can see below, their crazy grandkids (and maybe their daughter in-laws :) didn't disappoint!!!

23 January 2014

snow + cold = long winter

Sooooo....it's been kinda a long winter here in the Midwest already...and it's not even the end of January.  When your family has either been snowed in, stuck inside because of dangerously cold temperatures and/or all had the stomach flu within a 4-day stretch...spring seems far away.

Yet, we here at the Miller household will remain hopeful and will realize that spring tulips, sunshine, walks to the park, a baby boy within 10 weeks, and garage sales (wait...did I just type that?!) are right around the corner :)

However, we are thankful to have a warm cozy home & enough food...yes, life could be much much worse!  Here are some fun pictures of snow fun...when we are able to either brave the cold or the temperatures cooperate.

 These pictures were taken in Iowa when we were there over Christmas....

 ...and these more foreboding/windy looking pictures were taken during our blizzard on Jan. 5, 2014 here in Normal...we ended up getting like 7-8 inches of snow and because of our north/west driveway kept scooping every so many hours to "stay-ahead" of the drifts...I think it helped some but boy it was NOT pleasant while doing it!

 Haven kept saying "my checks are frozen, my checks are frozen" :)

Spring...you're coming right? (insert hopeful sigh)

20 January 2014

Forbes John Levy

Our good friends, Kent & Holly Levy, were recently blessed with a new little boy bundle and I couldn't help bragging like a proud Aunt!  Click here for additional pictures from T Photography.  He's a cutie!!!

Forbes John Levy
born 1-6-14
8 lbs. 6 oz. 

Adoption update

Exodus 14:14 ~ The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Since we posted in December about receiving our referral, we have felt much prayer and can feel God orchestrating many of the details in our journey to bring our daughter home.  We've had several of you ask on our progress & what this means so below I shared a few praises the of what the last several weeks have held in bringing Keziah home...

  • Right after our referral acceptance, while Haven was at pre-school, I spent a morning at Starbucks combing through our large binder of paperwork to ensure we haven't/hadn't missed any important updates on things such as home study, fingerprints, immigration [USCIS], etc...low and behold, while April of 2014 was in my mind for when our USCIS expired and we were repeatedly told to not let this expire as we would have to pay another large fee, I missed a small print date of federal fingerprints expiring on Jan. 2, 2014.  I was extremely disappointed in myself, because I knew the timing of our reprints would need to be a true act of God as with our upcoming Miller family trip (Dec. 13-18) and Kellenberger Iowa trip (Dec. 24-29), we would completely be at the government's whim on what/when we should show up...when they say jump in the adoption world, you don't question..."you ask how high & how often?".  We overnighted our information to Kansas City and prayed fervently that we would receive a date before our Jan. 2nd expiration date.  On Dec. 12th, our usually slow mail route arrived earlier than holiday-usual and in it was our USCIS fingerprint date of Dec. 23rd at 12:00pm in Naperville...such a praise!  Not only did we not have to reschedule travel plans with either planned family trips (which we were definitely prepared to do), it gave us plenty of time before our Jan. 2nd date. 
  • We received Keziah's medical report on New Year's Eve night and it is so good!  Knowing relatively nothing about her when accepting our referral in early December, it was a great comfort to see her blood reports, height/weight measurements, etc come through.  Based upon her medical report, the Ugandan doctor assumed her DOB was about 3-3.5 year old (we didn't have an actual DOB yet) and thus we would have to re-file our USCIS as her height/weight indicated a larger than average 2 year old.  Our immigration paperwork is only cleared to accept a girl ages 0-2.  So we began researching about changing our home study with the state of IL and with USCIS so our paperwork would accept 0-3/4.
  • In mid-January, we received contact from our agency in Texas that her actual DOB is September 20, 2011.  So in fact, Keziah is only 28 months today!   Even more surreal is God's timing in that she was born about a week and half after my earthly father met our Heavenly Father!

What does this now mean?  Well, we continue to work on updating our IL home study material (things like physicals, additional fingerprints, etc) and continue to pray for our little girl.  We still don't anticipate traveling for about 6-8 months to go and bring her home and oh, how the days sometimes drag!  Even with our little active Miller playing punching bags in my belly, I still feel/hear/desire/think about our little girl 1/2 world away.

Prayers would be appreciated for the following...
  • God to orchestrate the details of paperwork, travel, dates, etc with our baby boy & Keziah.
  • The Ugandan judges, probation officers, investigators would view our case favorably and in the best interest for Keziah.
  • Transition for Haven as we are already sensing by questions/conversations/behavior that she understands this is going to be a big year for our family.
  • God has provided such great care & provisions already...continue to pray that our final support for travel costs and travel fees would be covered and God would provide when needed.
  • That we can continue to be still and wait upon Him as He fights for us & orchestrates this all.
Haven helping us stuff our Christmas cards & realizing some else is in our family letter :)

Sharing our referral news with the Millers & Schlipfs at Thanksgiving....I love Kaleigh's face!

December "non-Disney" happenings

Realizing January is almost behind us, it is time to catch up the blog on holiday pictures & December happenings...just to note, keeping up my blog was NOT a New Year's resolution of mine :)

puzzle time with Grandma...this may have been taken in November...Carol appreciates her son's help and yet also despises her son's help :)

 setting up our Christmas tree...we went with a Douglas Fir this year to save $$ but that will be the last one we buy...back to a Frasier fir next year as they don't lose near the amount of needles! 

Haven loves looking at the ornaments from year to year and it's neat to show her which ones we purchased when...it's a neat timeline of our lives.

 This is when we told her about Keziah :)

 Our potluck group went out to eat in Bloomington/Normal in early Dec...while I didn't get a pic of the whole gang, Arlan did snap a picture of our dear friend Holly and I, both pregnant...she was about 37 weeks and I was 25 weeks.

 ...and we both can get animated from time to time :)

 Christmas morning in Iowa...a fresh coat of snow covered the ground!

 Grandma Iowa & Haven ready for church

 Ms Aisley was the first kiddo to show up for our Christmas gathering

 Grandma Iowa's attempt at a Christmas card...

 ...it went down hill quickly :)

 little Burkelle opening up her gifts

 Haven FINALLY got Emma's horse trailer from Lego Friends...she was very excited!

 Grandma Iowa opening her photo book from Haven

 the gang enjoying goodies

 we also got to spend some time with my Doorneweerd family on Christmas Eve

 Haven showing off some moves for Cody :)

 opening Santa's presents on Christmas morning

 Haven enjoying putting together her horse trailer/Lego Friends set from Grandma...Arlan wasn't too sad to help either :)

 Miller/Schlipf New Year's get-together

 Disney Scrabble was played...

 Dutch Blitz...

 ...the Rose Bowl parade was enjoyed...

 ...the kid's also did their gift exchange on New Year's

 we are kind of a crew when all together :)

 Blokus was also played...

...along with Catch Phrase while eating MANY goodies!

 nap time...eh-hem, I'll let you guess how well this went for these 3?!

 playing in the basement

tub time!