August 29, 2008

and the winner is....

first of all...thank you so much for sharing all of your thoughts.  i loved all of those posts and just imagining all of those things happening right now...ahhh.  pumpkins, leaves, soup, love, sweaters, cool weather...loved them  all!  ok ok i know you want to know who won so here goes.......
you are the lucky girl who will be getting a little fall care package from moi!  i'll email you later for your address.  i'm off this morning to swiss days...the first sign that fall is coming to me.:)
it was so fun to get all of those comments...i think i know what it feels like to be pioneer woman now.:) :)
it was so fun to meet new people and say hey to old friends...hey bonny!  your little one is so cute.  and my sister-in-law commented who never does...yay denise!!!

August 23, 2008

autumn give-away

i'll be choosing the winner later on today.....
i am CRAVING fall soooo bad today!!! 
 i just heard on the radio that it's supposed to be in the triple digits tomorrow....arggghhhh!!!!!  
so i decided to have a little give-away this week...maybe that will please the fall fairies and they will bring us that cool air, good smell, red leaves and pumpkins on porches a little early.  just leave me a comment and tell me your favorite thing about autumn to enter into the contest.  if you post the give-away on your blog and let me know then i will put you in again.  i will be giving away the cute little pillow above and a couple of surprises to go with it. 
 the contest will end on wednesday august 27th.

August 20, 2008

maya's tale finalized at last...

we got to court that morning and i was more than nervous. this day could possibly be the day that the legal system would officially cut all legal ties between mom and baby.  i had to testify in front of birth mom about how i felt about the baby and the fact that we wanted to adopt her. we went in the courtroom and listened to three hours of testimony...from the social worker, maya's guardian ad litem, and a social worker in the state where she had lived before.  she had an older daughter that had been taken from her in that state and the story from there was a sad one.  i shed more than a few tears listening to that story.  all through this i am looking at this woman.  she had given birth to the baby who i loved so dearly.  i watched her, trying to look at what was happening through her eyes.  i wish that i could have talked to her at some point during this whole process so that i could have heard her thoughts.  finally it was my turn to take the stand.  dave & i had been seated on the back row this whole time totally unnoticed by birth mom.  from the time i stood up until the time we left the courtroom she never took her eyes off of me.  i told the judge how much i loved this child, how she was thriving in our home and finally that we would love nothing more than to adopt her.  sometimes on these court dates when they are terminating parental rights they can wait a few days before the judge hands down the verdict.  because of the overwhelming testimony in this case the judge ruled that day that parental rights would be terminated and we could proceed with the adoption.  the law is this...we would have to wait 30 days to give the birth mom time to appeal the decision. luckily she didn't.  on the day of the adoption the lawyer for the state actually had tears in her eyes because of the support that we had in the courtroom.  the judge said that he  had never seen that much support at an adoption.  that's what kind of family and friends we have.  the judge asked dave how he felt about this little girl and would he be willing to take on the responsibility of taking care of her every need.  my sweet husband cried and told the judge just how he felt.  while i am immediately capable of diving in head first with my heart my husband is a little more cautious.  it takes him a few months.  but the bond that had developed between him and maya was powerful.  i loved that the judge had given him the opportunity to say what was in his heart. what a special day that was.  the most special thing was this though...dave and i had taken mady to the temple to be sealed exactly 11 yrs to the day before we were able to take maya.  the end.

my mom

harvest time always brings up wonderful memories of my mom.  my mom is a fabulous cook...there really are none that are better.  she can turn even the most humble potato and a few peas into one of the most delectable, simple dishes there are, creamed peas and potatoes.  i saw a zucchini last night and it brought to mind yummy fried zucchini that i can't possibly make like my mom.  but the thing that this time of year brings to mind is canning.  she is a little older and grew up in a time where you canned the fresh vegetables and fruits that are bountiful this time of year.  i never had a green bean that wasn't fresh or home canned until i was older.  she canned everything.  one of my best memories is sitting in our kitchen pitting cherries so that she could can them for pie filling.  i remember sitting out on the deck shelling peas and popping the ends off of green beans.  i loved it.  i don't think i realized that until i became older.  i remember coming home from skiing and me and my cousin, brooke, eating a whole bottle of hot vegetables.  if you never have had them you are missing out on one of the best things in the world!  but no-one makes em like my mom.  pickles, apricots to be made into slushies during the cold winter months, all kinds of jam (which we still get for christmas, it's one of my favorite gifts we receive), syrup (plum & chokecherry), jellies, tomatoes, salsa, tomato juice, grapes for juice, even salmon and meat...just to name a few.  i am so thankful that i had a mom that taught me these things.  i haven't canned for a few years but i am so glad that i know how.  i am also very thankful that i have all of those memories.  so, thank you mom.  thank you for all of the love and work that you put into doing those things for your family.  you have taught us well and i love you for that.

August 19, 2008

maya's tale part three

almost.  it would have made the next 8 months much much easier.  you see after that first night she was my baby.  i know that i didn't carry her for 9 months or give birth to her but she was meant to be my girl and i knew it.  deep down in my heart i knew it.  basically what i am saying is that they would have had to pry her from my cold dead hands if they would have tried to take her from me.  dave said that we would have been in canada before anyone knew we were gone if they tried to give her back to her birth mom.  and we were serious.  anyone who has done foster care knows that is not how you should feel.  you should do like dave did for the first few months and keep her at a safe distance in your heart until things start towards the actual adoption.  he loved her and held her and took great care of her but not like she was his own yet. me, i was a lost cause.  in foster to adopt situations, with an infant, the parents have 8 months to get their act together before adoption happens.  they don't like to prolong it with infants and toddlers like they will with older children.  so we started with the plan.  visits with mom and court dates and court dates and did i mention court dates?  it is amazing to me how many court dates there are in an 8 month period.  it's like every time they have a question they have to have a court date to set a court date to ask the question.  holy crap it's annoying.  the visits were interesting.  i only went to one and they lied to her birth mom and told her i was an interning social worker.  because of her mental issues she was highly volatile towards me and most of the social workers.  luckily we had a fabulous social worker.  she knew how to care for the birth mom but not let her manipulate her.  that is a huge talent.  she also knew how to care for this fragile hearted little foster mom who was petrified right up until the adoption that they were going to take my baby away.  but wow...the rights that are given to the birth parents are amazing.  it wasn't as bad during maya's adoption as it was with peyton's.  but they have all the rights and they pull all of the strings.  as a foster parent you basically have no rights and you just have to do what you are told.  if this means showing up to 15 visits that birth mom never shows up to that is what you do.  if it is making sure that she gets pictures when she wants them then you do it.  never mind that she missed her last appointment to actually see her child because she was busy getting her nails done...or hair extensions...or just because she didn't feel like it that day.  i tell you what i have never spent so much time being frustrated in my life.  i was fighting for a child that wasn't mine biologically but that i wanted with every fiber of my being while the woman who actually gave birth to her was more concerned with trying to manipulate the system to get everything she possibly could get out of it.  it's funny because people sometimes tell me that i went about getting my children the easy way.  i dare any of them to try my way instead of theirs.  ha!  they wouldn't last two weeks!:D  jk maybe they would. but i wouldn't want them to have to.  this whole time things kept coming to our minds...all of the things that aligned themselves so that this girl came to our family.  the day we got her, as i mentioned before, i was not supposed to be home when they called.  they had already called two families before us and would have gone on to the next on the list had i not been home.  as they were calling families our little worker walked by the office and overheard their conversation and said, "i have just the family for you and they have a biological bi-racial child!"  that is very important when placing african american children.  so she helped egg that along.  if we wouldn't have done our foster parenting classes and gotten certified when we did she wouldn't have been in our home.  there were so many little things that lined up just perfectly to bring her here.  there is no question that she was meant to be part of our family.  i have to tell you this one story.  about a year after we had adopted her i went to a blessing at my niece's ward in saratoga springs.  i was out in the foyer with her and there was another lady with a little black baby out there as well.   we started talking. the day that maya was born her birth mom had contacted an adoption agency and tried to give the baby up for adoption.  of course she couldn't do that because maya was in state custody but the lady at the adoption agency didn't know this.  she had contacted this lady that i was talking to at the church to see if they wanted maya.  they said yes and for a few hours at least thought that they were getting maya.  then the agency found out what was really going on and called them back.  well, like 2 weeks later they got their little girl.  how cool is that?  out of all the people in the world she and i end up with our little girls in the foyer at a church that i don't even go to normally.  see, all of those cool things just kept happening.  dave & i would be sitting watching tv and one of us would turn to the other and say..."do you realize that if this would or wouldn't have happened we wouldn't have maya?".  mostly we did it to talk ourselves in to the fact that heavenly father wouldn't have gone to all of that trouble to just take her away from us.  well, so about 7 months in we finally had the last court date to determine if it was going to adoption or if they were going to give her birth mom more time.  For the first time we were going to spend time in the same room...the court room.  What an interesting day.

August 18, 2008

maya's tale part two

until i received a phone call on august 19.  it was about 10am and i was in bed with a horrible headache.  i was doing daycare at the time and we were all supposed to have gone and met my friend and her son at the bean museum.  i called earlier and told her i couldn't go and had just gone back to bed.  mady and the little girls were watching tv and running around.  the phone rang and while i usually would have just let it ring i answered it.  
"mrs. welcker?" said the voice on the other end, "this is jenny from dcfs  and we have a brand new baby girl that we need to place in a home that is willing to adopt." gasp. "would you be able to be down to utah valley hospital by 2pm to pick her up?" are you kidding? who, what, how?  "the mother has severe mental problems and is currently in state custody and cannot take care of the baby. it's looking pretty promising that this will be an adoption but we can't give you any guarantees. would you be willing to take her?"  yes...let me call my husband and make sure.  "call me right back."
 i called dave...shock & awe.  luckily he was working a short day and was already on his way home.  i called my little girls mom and she came and got them.  i called around and found a carseat and bassinet and ran to american fork to pick it up.  dave was home by then and we stopped at 'babies 'r us' and picked up a little outfit to bring her home in.  all this time we are both kind of in a daze...this wasn't the plan.  the possibilities of getting an infant that was brand new and a girl and already had a good chance that we would be able to keep her...slim to none in utah.  not to mention she was african american!  our oldest daughter is bi-racial and i secretly had wished that we would be able to adopt more bi-racial or african american children.  i'm a little biased with the brown skin babies.:)  i don't think that we have ever been more excited and terrified at the same time.  we had no idea what to expect or how the whole system worked.  we got to the hospital and were met by jenny, the intake worker, who took us up to the nursery.  we were waiting for her birth mom to come and say goodbye and name her.  oh we were so excited for about 15 minutes because she didn't have a name yet and it was a possibility that maybe we would be able to name her.  when her birth mom is not on her medication she is extremely belligerant and there was a really good chance that she wouldn't name her just to show them who was boss.  didn't happen.  she did name her and then we were able to see her in the nursery.  she was the biggest baby.  she weighed 9 lbs 14 oz. and because of that had been stuck in her mom's birth canal for i don't know how long.  i know that the labor was long and hard. both sides of her head were bruised because of the forceps and they  had left a ridge on each side.  her face was so swollen that her eyes were just little slits.  but she had chocolate brown skin and beautiful soft wavy black hair.  i tell you what it was love at first sight.  i remember sitting in the lobby talking to jenny with this little baby in a baby carrier and we got to take her home.  it's all like a big dream.  i was so nervous and excited.  we got home and my sister ginny and her girls were waiting on the porch for us.  then family started to show up.  my little niece, haley, brought me all kinds of clothes & shampoo and all of that stuff you need.  i had nothing here.  it had been 11 years since we had a baby.  they give you a little bag from dcfs with a few diapers and maybe some formula and a bottle and that was it.  thank goodness for haley!  we got so much love and support that night.  it was incredible.  
after everyone was gone and dave and mady were in bed it was my time with the little one.  i sat up all night holding her and looking at her and singing to her.  i fell head over heels in love that night.  i almost wish that i hadn't....

August 17, 2008

maya's tale part one

maya will be five tomorrow and i thought that i would share the story that led up to her being the love of our life (one of 3).  
5 years ago last april,  after 10 years of infertility woes and 8 years of me begging dave to adopt, he took me out to dinner and told me that it was time.  yay!  i will never forget that night at the black angus.  we decided to start immediately and knew exactly the way we would go.  we are not wealthy people and private adoption was not an option.  we had taken foster parenting classes a few years earlier and then dave didn't feel like it was time we knew that would be the way we would go.  mady was 11 and we felt that we could take an older child. we knew that there were many many older (5-9 yr. olds) children throughout the country that needed good homes. older kids generally have a few problems and they are harder to place. i had been surfing the net for a year and coming to him with little faces...some people shop online, not me, i was on every foster-adopt website in the country looking at children for hours on end.  so i knew exactly what to do.  i contacted the state the next day and they had a class that was just starting in delta...a drive i know....but it was an accelerated class so it would only take us  4 or 5 days, i can't remember for sure.  we took those classes and even spent a romantic night in some lovely (not) hotel in delta one friday night.  we graduated from our class and were one step closer to foster parenting.  next was the background check which, yes, we flew through with flying colors.  then the home check and the visits with licensing and our little helper lady...i can't remember her exact title...but she was there to help us if we needed anything.  it was a process but then we were licensed!  yay!
as i had already spent hours online i knew all of the kids that were legally free for adoption in the state of utah and had read each little story over and over.  we had decided that we couldn't take anyone over the age of 9 and it had to be a girl because she and mady would have to share a bedroom.  so that had narrowed the search.  it all came down to one beautiful little sweetheart.  she even  had one of the names that i had chosen for a girl.  it was kismet.  she actually even kind of looked like me...thick, blonde, wavy hair and green eyes with thick eyebrows.  i got mady and dave involved and they agreed that we should definately contact her social worker.  i tried and tried and tried.  i left message after message and never could get a response back.  finally i got an invitation in the mail for a little meet and greet that the adoption exchange was having  and she was going to be there.  dave was not able to go so mady and i went and met all of the kids.  we both felt sure though that this little one was the one.  i talked to her social worker and she didn't know why she hadn't gotten back to me...she pretty much acted like she had no clue what i was even talking about...a few weeks later that would make more sense to me....heavenly father knows what he's doing.  so i gave her my information and  she told me more about this little girl and her issues.  nothing we couldn't handle so i told her to please contact me and we could move forward.  nothing.  i heard nothing....

August 16, 2008

new products...

hey there this week has gone by fast. it seems like yesterday we were getting home and now it's been a week. crazy!! just wanted to let you all know that there are new products at mady sunshine. a few new little fall stitcheries and we are starting to carry just picture frames. there are also a couple of new stitched should pop in and take a peek.:)

August 11, 2008


i don't know how many of you blog stalk kelly mccaleb.  i know of a few.  i read one of her posts that made me get a lump in my throat and that i would love to share with my girlfriends.  she's got some great words of wisdom.  so here's the link...go have a read.

fallow field days

september 2009 my niece haley and i are hosting the first annual fallow field farm days at my house in my backyard. we are looking for vendors who would like to participate. we are hoping to get local crafters who want to get their name out and build their businesses. all vendors will be spotlighted on the blog and we will want to get as much out there about the participants as we can. all goods MUST be handmade. we are trying to keep the vendor fees under $50 and 100% of the fees will go towards advertising. if you are willing to spend the day in your booth then there won't be any percentage taken. if you want us to sell your products then there may be a small percentage so that we can cover man power and taxes. we are hoping for a good turn out but there are no guarantees as it will be our first year. i think a lot of our business will come from word of mouth. if you are interested or know anyone who might be then please email me or haley. (you can get her info off of her blog.) we are going to try very hard to make sure that products are not duplicated. we are going to be very selective about the products that we do choose so that we can guarantee our customers a good selection of things that are not found at every other show.

August 10, 2008

there's no place like home

 as dorothy says in the 'wizard of oz' (my little girls have watched this movie 900 times in the past two weeks so i've got it on the brain)  there's no place like home!
bear lake is beautiful and we loved being there.  we would love to live there someday even; but home is where the heart is, and my heart is here on the little farm with the 3 beauties i call my girls.  we stayed at the lovely bluebird inn in fish haven, idaho.  it's such a beautiful old home with amazing gardens and it's so clean!  the motta's, who run the place, are just the nicest family and they serve yummy breakfasts.  plus we met some very nice people and got to spend some quiet (no tv) time together all alone.  they even have a hot tub and we watched a most wicked thunderstorm with lightning while we sat in it. was great.
raspberry days was not as financially productive as last year but we still had a great time and talked to lots of great people.  men are the funnest to watch...they sit outside the booth while the wife walks in and says, "oh honey, how cute is this?"...he will look at her, give her a little courtesy smile and say, "yeah that's cute hon" while he is desperately trying to look somewhat convincing.  or you just get some smart !@# who just gives her a rash of crap and moves on.  occasionally you actually get the guy who is looking and we had one sweet man who picked out the most romantic saying we have and bought it on the sly for his wife for  her birthday.  way to go ute man!  (he was beyond a huge ute fan) people watching is just the best at these shows.  we sit off to the side and it's almost as if people don't realize that we are really there...that leads to all kinds of stuff to see and hear.  i could go on about this for hours so i'll stop.
i did have that one moment at the show that no crafter wants to have happen.  i wasn't in the booth at the time but dave was and this is what went down.  a girl comes in and tells her friend that she has made this exact picture of my designs...dave says you did?...yes she says...he asks her how did you frame it?...exactly like this she says...hmmm....she goes outside of the booth where her friend proceeds to tell her that she should totally stitch 'her' stuff and sell it up there next year.  she didn't get too far and i think she realized just whose booth she had been in.  oh yeah...dang.  so, i can't think of any other way this would have happened, she got it off my web site and made herself a pattern.  who knows.  it's so frustrating to have people either question your prices, or do the whole i can totally make this myself thing. but to have someone actually steal the pattern and then maybe think they are going to bring your stuff up next year and compete for sales?  wow.  frustrating.  i use other people's patterns on a regular basis because i don't really draw a lot.  i do all of my own quotes usually and i do on occasion draw a picture or two.  i do get my ideas from other things i run in to...something i see or a certain fabric or what not.  there are few people in the world that are completely original i think.  but i'll tell you what...i ask permission from pattern makers, i don't sell their products when  i'm not supposed to, i  always try and give credit when credit is due, and i pay for patterns...lots and lots of patterns.  anyways i'm going to drop it and i'm really sorry for venting here in the blog but i needed a little venting.   i will leave on a happy note though.
bear lake is beautiful and is most definately a place you want to visit.  for the most part people are good and funny who are on vacation in bear lake. i love watching thunderstorms in the hot tub with my honey, and spending 30 hours in a park eating funnel cakes and watching people together.  and i  love my little home sweet home at the end of it all.

August 3, 2008

raspberry days

we've been hard at work...stitching, stitching, stitching.  it's almost time for raspberry days at bear lake!  we are so excited to head up there and spend some time in that beautiful part of the country.  dave and i went last year and had such a great time.  he came home from work today and said even if we don't make a dime he's just excited to go and spend time together and eat good food.  you know that yummy stuff that you can only buy at fairs?  he loves gyros and they had some pretty good ones last year.  it's amazing how much he loves going to those craft fairs...he makes friends and just hangs out with me.  it's usually a well needed break after the procrastination craziness that goes on here before a show.  every time we go i swear i will be better prepared for the next one but it just doesn't happen!:)  so, if i don't post for a week that's why.  wish us luck and i'll think of you while we are eating good food, sleeping in a nice b&b, and people watching from our booth.
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