Thursday, June 28, 2007

Darla Dixon; Rosie

I have been so fortunate to know so many wonderful artists. I try really hard not to be jealous of their talents, I know I have my own talents (like, hmm, I can sleep through an earthquake), but oh how I admire people who can create beauty from a lump of clay or a stick of charcoal, or those who can somehow twist metal and solder it and burn it to form something that melts my heart; or those who take a piece of wood or a hunk of marble and see an elephant or a graceful, running giraffe; or those who can take words and put them to melody with an instrument or their own voice till the tears run down my face. How Heavenly Father has blessed those people - they beautify the world with their talents and skills. A few years ago, I was introduced (virtually) to Darla Dixon who is a consumate artist. She drew a picture of Alexander from a photo and then, and this is so amazing, she did age regression pix of Daniel and Max - they are the only "baby pictures" we have of them and I love them so much. Well, to go with my set, she just drew Rosie. I'm so excited to get the actual picture, but for now, she emailed this to me....

Go to this link to see the pix Darla did of the boys:
(you have to scroll about 3/4 of the way down)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Link

I added a new link today. It is my "Wish List". Why?, you may ask, would I want to start dreaming about gifts when I'm in the middle of so many goings on. Well, I guess I've just been thinking about Christmas coming up and wondering how we are going to handle it this year. Each year we downsize a litte more and it seems each year we add another child or two! Anyway, I've added a few things on this link that I really like (for me) or gifts that you may like for a loved one. I've just started it but will add fun things as I come across them or as you let me know about things you've found.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Weighty Matters

I just have to post a quick note about how proud I am of my family. On May 7th, Alexander and I started on a pretty restrictive diet. Alexander has lost 10 pounds!! He has been faced with such amazing challenges and temptations, I am just so proud of him. We have been to so many dinners, bbqs, church activities etc in the last couple of months and he has resisted all temptations, sometimes he was even brought to tears, but he hung in there. I am jumping up and down with pride. Not only is he getting healthier, but he is learning about his own ability to control his passions - what wonderful things he is teaching himself.

Alexander's amazing success has inspired Robert to get on an exercise program and he is working out at 6am everyday. He has also cut his caloric intake in half and stopped snacking. This is the first time in his life that he has ever been able to "diet". He says he is inspired by Alexander.

I have to also say something about my skinny Daniel and Max; of course they can eat whatever they want, but I have stopped buying any junk so it isn't in the house for the other 3 of us and also I've had a few special things for Alexander to help him out like Crystal Lite, and some diet desserts -- the boys haven't complained one bit and they have been totally supportive.

I am so grateful for my family - they are just wonderful! Losing weight is SO HARD! If you don't have any extra - don't get any!


I know, I haven't posted about Anastasia in such a long, long time. I guess I'm just feeling frustrated, or maybe I'm holding my breath and don't want to jinx anything. Sigh. It is actually all good news, but we had really thought we would have our court date in June, but no dice.

However...we have supplied every last thing that the Department of Education has asked for- for all of our extenuating circumstances. They have everything now and should be requesting "The Letter" from the Ministry of Education very soon. The process now is that the DOE requests a letter from the MOE stating that Anastasia has officially been removed from the Database and that she is available for us to adopt. After the DOE gets that letter (takes 2-4 weeks), then they will submit our dossier to the Courts for review. After the Courts review the info, they will give us the court date. There is usually a several week lead time on that too. Still, we could get the court date in August if everything goes smoothly, for which, of course, we are praying and praying.

I just sent Anastasia another letter letting her know Max won't be coming with us (for finanacial reasons). I also asked her to consider either changing her name or going by "Anastasia" or Ann or Annie. Or if she likes it, we could change it to "Nadia" which is still close to Nastia but is a bit more usual for Americans. However, I told her if she wants to continue to go by Nastia, we will support her fully. I just think that in a couple of years she won't be comfortable with Nastia anymore - just like Daniel came to hate "Dmitry" and Max never goes by Maxim. Well, whatever she decides is fine - we just want to get her home.

Now, we face the next problem. Our plan is for Robert, Rosie and I to go to Russia for the court date. Robert will be gone about 5 days. In Vladivostok there is a 10 day waiting period after the court date. I will have to stay there with Rosie and Anastasia for the 10 days but Robert will come home to the boys during that time. He will have to take off work. I will then have to take Anastasia to the U.S. to get her citizenship. It is going to be an awful long time for me to be away from the boys and I'm trying really hard not to freak out about it and keep an "eternal perspective", but I've never been away from them for more than a night. Also, we aren't sure that my mom will be able to stay with the boys while both Robert and I are gone. There are lots of logistics to still figure out but its hard to do when we don't have the court date yet.

Well, I'm trying to focus on the good news and know that it won't be long before Anastasia is at last at home where she belongs. All the seats at the dining room table will be filled...oh, I can't wait!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Funny Girl

Rosie tries Nutella for the first time. She thinks it's pretty good. Step two: The Bath. She is doing more and more acrobatics in the tub; showing her native Chinese abilities to flex into virtually any position!

These handle bars come in handy for new tricks she is trying, but alas, taking a bath is a tiring affair and before long she passes out on the couch.
A few hours later it looks like she might be ready for round two?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Wow. We really got our socks knocked off today. I have posted before about Ms. Leslie - she is a friend of my Nana's. She heard about our quest to adopt Anastasia and decided to help in any way possible. She has done lots of things for us already and two years in a row now, she has involved her kindergarten classes in helping to raise money for us.

They really outdid themselves though. These are 5 year old children and they have pictures of Anastasia up in their classroom - Ms. Leslie has told them all about her and they decided they would like to help. They have been doing chores, making beds and I don't know what else, to raise money for us. This weekend, we opened a little box, with two checks in it, totaling $1000.00.

It brought tears to our eyes. We would have been overwhelmed it if were $50.00, because it is just the thought and work and love that went into it; but that they raised so much money, well, it just shows such a long term comittment from these little sweethearts.

If the truth be known, this money is heaven sent from these little angels. This battle has drained us financially and this huge amount of money will actually purchase tickets to Vladivostok - can you imagine?? There will be enough left over to buy treats for the children at the orphange too. Oh, how wonderful!! I have been praying that these children will be blessed for their love and generousity, but I think they've already been blessed with the greatest joy: Ms. Leslie for their teacher!

Here is a copy of the letter I sent the children. I hope Ms. Leslie will send a copy home with each child and I hope she gives them our blog address too so they can see pictures of us getting Anastasia. How wonderful to help total strangers!

June 9, 2007

Dear Ms. Leslie and Children and Parents of Ms. Leslie’s class,

The Baxter family has just received the most amazing gift and we wanted to write you a note right away and thank you for all of your efforts on our behalf and on the behalf of our sweet daughter, Anastasia.

Ms. Leslie probably has told you all about our little girl Anastasia and about our son, Max. Max has been waiting nearly 4 years to be with his sister again. The Russian government has made a lot of changes during this time and we have had to do a lot of different things to make sure they remember that we want our daughter. All of this work has cost a lot of money, but it doesn’t matter, we have always had faith that we would get our daughter and that somehow all of the problems would work out.

Now, we know we will get to go to Russia this summer and bring Anastasia home. Can you imagine how happy and excited we are? Sometimes, Max gets so excited to see his sister, that he even starts crying. We get to call Anastasia sometimes and she cries too because she wants to be home with us and she misses Max so much. But now, our family will have only tears of joy, because Max and Anastasia get to be together again! Anastasia gets to be in a home with a mom and a dad and a little sister and three brothers – she will be the luckiest girl ever!

We received your gift today and we just about fell over -- we were so surprised. We heard that you had been doing lots of work to help us and we are so touched that you are helping a little girl that you don’t even know. You are all very special children and you must have very special families to have helped us so very much. We would love to hear more about what you did to collect so much money for Anastasia – you all deserve a special thank you and we will be remembering you in our prayers.

We wish we could meet you all and tell you in person how much you have helped us. For now though, please remember that you were able to help make a change in a family’s life. Not many children your age get to learn that they are able to help someone so much, please don’t forget that, you will be able to do so much good in the world with the things you have learned this year. You helped a little girl get her brother back and get her Forever Family – that is a very special gift you have given her. You helped a boy get his sister back; he is just a little boy who misses his sister so very much and you helped to make him happy and excited. You have helped the whole Baxter family; at a time when we really needed help and we thank you so very much.

If you will send us your address or email address, we will send you pictures of Anastasia when we get back from Russia. That probably won’t be until September so you won’t be in Ms. Leslie’s class anymore, but we would love to send you some pictures so you can see her.

Love to you all,
Robert (Dad), Holly (Mom), Alexander (12), Max (11), Daniel (11) and Rosie (2)

Pictures for Ms. Leslie's Class

The boys made these signs and we took the pictures to send to Ms. Leslie's Class. It really impacted my children; seeing how much little kids can do to serve each other. If you can't read the signs, they say," Thank You Ms. Leslie's Class" "We Love You".

Ms. Leslie deserves Teacher of the Decade - she is just the most awesome lady, I wish Rosie could go to her class!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rosie's Blessing

Have you ever seen a greater looking bunch of guys?? Well, the girl is pretty adorable too!
This is my little Princess. She still looks fresh and beautiful even after 3 hours of spilling apple juice and drooling all over her dress (I think she's got some new teeth coming in).
Here she is with her "baby" (a giraffe) and her Dora Purse that she takes to church.
She finally got tired of the whole photo shoot thing and decided to just lay down. She is so funny.

Rosie had her blessing on June 4th. It is an informal ceremony we have at church and basically, she receives a Priesthood blessing from her father. It was beautiful though and she received many promises of a wonderful life. She looked like a little queen too and I want to share some of the pix. Below is a quick video clip Robert took after we got home. What a blessed, blessed woman I am!

A Few Words From Rosie

Friday, June 08, 2007

My Lotus

This is our very cool new toy. My Nana and Ken (my grandma and her hubby) sent us a cash gift (thank you so much) and we used part of it to purchase this Lotus Sanitizing System. I love it. The gift was a Baby Congrats gift but I figured Rosie has enough clothes and toys and this is something that will help keep our whole family healthy. In this day of reading about diseases like salmonella and all sorts of ugly bacterial things - I thought this a wise investment. It cleans fruits and veggies through ionization. It is so quick and easy. Wonderful.