Location: Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri, United States

I'm the wife to an active duty Army soldier, only 5 years away from retirement. I'm the mom to a 2 year old. I'm the caregiver to numerous dogs, cats, goats, chickens, ducks and geese. And I love to spend time reading and learning to knit.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Come On Over!

For the next few weeks/months/years....or however long our wait for travel approval lasts.....we can be found regularly at our family website. Our blog there is in the "Travel With Us" section.

So, come on over & leave a message in the guestbook to let us know you're following our journey to our precious Lydia.

Thank you!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Avast there, ye land lubbers!

Ahoy! Today is September 19. What? That day is not significant to you?

Clearly you are missing something big! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

So, go! NOW! Shiver me timbers and blah blah blah.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday, the 27th, I turned the big Three-Aught. Yes, that would be thirty. Twitch twitch. Shudder.

Doug has never been one to, say, roll out the red carpet on birthdays and such. He's a quiet, steady man who doesn't like a disturbance in his routine. And a birthday party would be a disturbance.

But this birthday was, well, very significant for us right now. And you can see why when you look at this page. If anyone else had been interested in adopting Lydia, we would not have been approved to be her parents. But as of yesterday, we officially meet all requirements!

One fun little birthday present, that really wasn't a birthday present, so much as someone giving them to us coincidentally on the eve of my birthday, was this. We were given these three gorgeous and so beautifully odd looking roosters. They were given to us because they had formed a tiny little mean mob over at the farm they were living on, so the owners thought they should split the mob up, with them essentially keeping the Sharks, while we took the Jets. An Aves-like West Side Story.

So, yesterday, we packed up the car and headed out for a long long long day. First we went to Mansfield, MO, where Laura Ingalls Wilder spent a majority of her adult life. It was fun and interesting, but in the tradition of many small Missouri towns, most of the houses looked like they were about to fall over. Except for Laura's. Hers was well manicured and beautiful.

Then, we drove to Branson. Now, we haven't spent a lot of time in Branson. The last time we did go there, I was still in a wheelchair and we spent hours (literally, hours!) waiting for various people to stop shopping in the outlet malls. This time we avoided all outlet malls and mall-type activities. Instead, we visited the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, which was completely spontaneous and so much fun! I got a little squeegy watching all those baby fish writhe beneath the surface. I don't know why, but I did.

Then we went to the main event. Doug got tickets through MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) to go to the Dixie Stampede. This was way more fun than we expected and so worth the money. We ate and ate and ate. Every time we thought we were done eating, they came along with more food. Doug was thrilled, not being a Yankee, that we sat in the Southern section, and when our side ultimately won what was apparently a "once and for all decision on the Civil War", he was happy. Gwen enjoyed the ostriches and buffalo, the pig races and the chicken races, but was a little overwhelmed with all the noise.

Today, at church, very dear friends finally brought home their adopted son, only 2 weeks old. I held him and cried and just thought how amazing it will be to bring Lydia home to this church that is so supportive of our efforts.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

What can I say? I haven't updated in a very very very long time.

We've been busy. So very busy. And yet, I can't think of a thing that I'm actually doing. Besides *still* waiting on pre-approval for Yonghua. Did we mention in the last post that her name will be changed to Lydia?

So, as soon as we get pre-approval for her, we can start the homestudy process. That's the part that scares me the most. We are restoring a 150 year old house. And someone has to come in and inspect? I'm fairly confident that we've found a remarkable social worker who has no issues with our restoration and she trusts that by the time Lydia comes to live with us, her room will be completed and ready for a 5 year old.

Let's see what else? I'm reading a book that has changed my life. It's called Created To Be His Helpmeet, by Debi Pearl. Yes, it's controversial. Yes, she does use some examples that are over the top for a woman married to a very steady man. But the fact is, for the past 6 years I've struggled with putting responsibility in Doug's hands. I have no no no idea why this is. I trust him implicitly. I've never been in love with someone the way I am with him. He has been there emotionally when he couldn't be there physically and he's always found a way to let me know I'm loved.

And maybe it can be chalked up to the military deployment thing....having to be the one to make *all* the decisions when your spouse is called away and you don't hear from him for 67 days, thank you Uncle Sam...or maybe because I have always been a very independent person, but I have a hard time trusting him in the little things.

Almost 1 year ago, we disagreed about something. If I had trusted him, followed his preference, a lot of heartache would not have happened. And he picked up the pieces, and I'm not sure, but I don't recall that he ever said, "I told you so."

So, while some of you may be twitching at my references to submission and the word "helpmeet", the fact is, changes were needed in our marriage. And I'm going for it, 100%.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I realize that I haven't updated in a while. And the subject of this update.....well, it's not really an update. And it will pin me as a reality tv fan, but....

Look! You can vote for Kaysar directly from my blog! So, GO VOTE people, even if you don't watch Big Brother.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Big Announcement

I've told you all that there are big things happening in the Morris household. They are so big, in fact, that the earth is practically shaking from all our running around and excitement. Below is a picture of what has had us in a tizzy.

Her name is He Yonghua. She will be 5 at the end of August and she's living in a foster home in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. And, Lord-willing, within a couple of weeks we will be initially approved to adopt her.

I (Mary) have wanted to adopt a Chinese girl since I was 7 years old and a friend who had been a missionary explained to me the One Child Rule and why a majority of Chinese families would prefer to keep a boy. And I've told various members of my family since the age of 7 that I would be adopting many many Chinese children.

Doug and I started talking about adoption months ago, and after he looked at all the programs from all the countries (including the US), he expressed his preference for a Chinese daughter as well.

So, here we are. Many hurdles to go over and probably difficulties to overcome (a house being renovated and bringing a daughter into our family older than the 3 year old we now have), but with the Lord's grace and help, we can do this!

If you would like to help in some way, you can do this. Go to and click on a Google ad that catches your interest or click on one of the Google ads on this page. We receive a very very small amount of money for each ad clicked, and every bit will go into our adoption fund.

Thank you!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

We've posted Independance Day pictures on our other blog! Come on over and take a look!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Yeah, so I'm stupid

When I was a kid, I had problems with my left hip. Bad problems. It resulted in multiple surgeries and over 3 years of hospital time and physical therapy. And body casts.

When I started going through this at age 4 or 5, my parents were really worried that it was going to affect the way I looked at life. And my dad prayed that for whatever reason I would see it as fun. I don't know how many months later, we headed down for a game night with some families at that commune place I grew up in, and on the way down, as I was being pushed on my belly board, I looked up at my dad and said, "You didn't tell me how much FUN this was going to be!"

As I look back now, I don't remember any horrible things about those 3 years. I remember my mom making up lots of fun things for me to do. I remember having lots of kids to play with on the same ward. And I remember physical therapy. I had the best therapist EVER. She played games with me and I didn't even realize that I was learning to walk all over again. It was so fun! Chasing a slinky down the stairs. Kicking soccer balls against a wall. Wow!

So, maybe somewhere in the back of my (apparently TEENY) brain, I thought that physical therapy would sort of be like that this time.

HECK NO! There's no fun with an Army PT! When I started yelped and sort of cried (after the PT wrenched my knee in the recumbent bicycle) 5 hefty Army men wheeled around and stared at me with "She's My Cherry Pie" blaring in the background.

This is SO not what it was like 25 years ago!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Phew! It's been a long couple of weeks. So much has happened and hasn't happened, and is about to happen, it's just exhausting. 3 dear friends/relatives have gotten married in the past 2 weeks, or celebrated their marriage that took place a couple months ago, and we weren't able to attend any of them. The doctor laughed in my face when we asked if we could make the 7 hour drive to Chicago, the closest of the 3. I didn't want to even suggest a 2 day road trip to Ontario or Virginia! But, wow, if we had been able to go, it would have been a really fun 2 weeks!

This morning I had my physical therapy consult. It looks like everything is going very well in the healing process and I might only be about 5 months out from recovery at this point instead of the normal 8-9. A normal tibial plateau fracture takes months and months to heal, even if no surgery was needed. Tomorrow I head back to base for my first session on a stationary bike.

Doug's dad and family were here visiting for the weekend. We took a whirlwind trip to Branson and shopped (and shopped and shopped). Serena, Doug's stepsister, stayed for this week, so once again God has provided an extra pair of hands to get through a rough week.

We will update more soon, and with more pictures.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Happy Father's Day!

Originally uploaded by airehead.
7 years ago I fell in love with a man. We met on July 3 at his father's house and we spent the weekend getting to know each other. On my drive from Texas back up to New Hampshire, I called my mom and said, "I've met the man I'm going to marry."

Doug proposed on New Year's Day, 1999, and on October 2 of that year, we married. After a 3 week honeymoon to Scotland, we settled down to life in the military. Well, I settled down. Doug had already been in for 9 years, so he was pretty much settled.

We had all the usual struggles that come with a couple that dated long distance. And the struggles that go along with being a military couple. But, on New Years Eve of 2001, the best thing happened to us. We had a fight. I recall there being some voices being raised. And possibly a dish got broken. I don't really remember. But, Doug went out for a walk, and brought home a pregnancy test. And 20 minutes later, when I tested negative, we sat down to eat dinner. 30 minutes after that, when I glanced at the test before throwing it in the trash, our lives changed. Completely and utterly changed.

September 5, 2002. Gwenivere Hope was born at 7:27 in the morning. She was born into the hands of a midwife who didn't really know enough English to give me any instruction, but she did know enough to tell us that "Gven ist long. Like spaghetti noodle."

When I try to think back on that morning, I remember three things clearly. Doug's arms were around me. His face was close to mine. And we cried like crazy when we saw Gwen in the arms of the midwife, although he has been known to deny this last part.

The presence of a father is so important to a child. I have been so blessed to grow up with a dad that knew the importance of family. And to marry a man who believed the same.

Happy Father's Day, Doug. And Dad. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

If we had any worries about buying one house while still owning another, they have all been resolved today! We have a renter on our other house! A sergeant in the Army, an MP. With a chihuahua. I hope she likes that house as much as we did, and still do.

Chasing Geese

Chasing Geese
Originally uploaded by airehead.
If you're ever looking for a way to exhaust your toddler, just send her on a goose-chasing expedition.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I've been tagged

I had all intentions of actually blogging before now but things keep getting away from us. There are huge things going on in the Morris household! Eventually maybe I'll fill you all in. :)

Anyway, I was tagged by The Prattling Pastor's Wife so here are my answers:

Q. The most books I've ever owned:

Okay, I have no idea how many books I own. But I do know that Doug said the 4 moves we've made in the last 2 years would have been so much easier if I were illiterate. Let's just say tons. Tons and tons of books. :)

Q. The last book I bought:

I honestly don't remember. We've been on a serious frugal kick since buying one house and owning another. There's that 2 mortgage thing that's kicking us in the tush.

Q. The last book I read:

I have just recently re-read all the Shopaholic books. And the Mitford books. And everything ever written by Rosamunde Pilcher.

Q. The five books that mean the most to me:

* The Bible
* The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
* Through Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliot (and many more of her books as well)
* The Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan
* My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Now it's my turn to tag some people. Forgive me if you've already been tagged, or you just hate me for doing this.

Maria - I see she's already been tagged though.

Friday, June 03, 2005

This last week we have been involved in a process that Dooce likes to call "reconvening the procedure". (I'll warn some of you. Dooce has a way with words. And while that way makes me laugh until I cry, or pee, or both, it also involves words that I don't personally endorse. :)

This time wasn't nearly as scary as the reconvention after childbirth, or after the super-long deployments. This is mainly because the reason for the temporary termination of the procedure didn't have to do with anything directly related to the parts required for reconvention. And also that the slight hiatus we have taken was only 8 weeks. Not 30, or 52, like would be common with a militarily induced separation.

But, the odd thing is, we didn't even think about....ahem....until my grandmother came to visit and she was sleeping in a bed 2 rooms away in a creaky old house. Floor boards squeak, people! It's not recommended. Take my advice and learn from it!

If you *must* break your leg, and you *must* wait 8 weeks to "snuggle", then just wait another 3 days until you have the house to yourself again!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

More Link Fun

Occasionally I run across links that I like to share with everyone. So, here are some more. has wonderful games that are beautiful and have pretty music! Go play!

Remember Lite-Brite? You can play online!

Here are some celebrity paper dolls you can dress up!

My favorite blogs to visit are:

Quiet Life - "I don't shave my legs nearly enough." (Sorry Donna, I just had too! :)
Scratchmittens - "I sort of like the idea of a diary written in disappearing ink..."
The Prattling Pastor's Wife - "I know a baby really changes things but I let so very much slide it is ridiculous."
Tagebuch - "Who knew that adoption would test our spatial intelligence?"

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The week has come and gone. Every night I think about updating this blog and I just can't bear it.

My grandmother was here for a week. A long week. :) She is an amazing woman with so many talents. And it scares me to think that she believes we really live this way. With our bed in the dining room, the cat penned in the bathroom, laundry not done for 7 weeks now. Our clothes on bookshelves instead of in an actual dresser. And truly, that is our reality at the present time. Give us a few weeks, however, and things will change.

But, now, all our laundry is done! My grandma did over 30 loads of laundry. Washed, dried, ironed, and put away. She's one of those ladies who irons undies. And sheets. And Gwen's cloth diaper covers. But who am I to argue? When we took her to the airport this morning, our shelves were stocked with another 7 weeks worth of clothes. :)

How did you all celebrate Memorial Day? We threw rocks in our pond.

Seriously, I have a hard time with any day that makes me remember what my husband went through. And what other loved ones are going through right now, as I type. It makes me want to sob with gratefulness that my husband was able to walk off a plane and embrace me, and also with a little bit of worry over who maybe won't come home. (Sorry Layne and Sarah. I know Derek and P *are* coming home. I just remember the constant ache of "what if".)

So, I held my husband, gave him kisses, and thanked God all day that he is safe at home again, watching Gwen grow up and helping me adjust to life with one good leg. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I updated. Actually, I guess it's been exactly a week.

The days fly by pretty fast with my daydreaming and the bit that I actually get to do. We're getting a room ready for my grandma to stay in. She comes next Wednesday, and she'll faint if she sees the house the way it is right now! Fainting is the nicest thing she could do. Considering how clean she likes things to be, I'm afraid it might just send things up to a full-blown heart attack.

But, that's why she's coming. To clean. I once knew a girl who complained all the time that a particular family member came to visit and all she did was clean the house. Well, that sounds like a dream to me, especially right now. I'm embarrassed when even the UPS man comes to the house. The front stoop is a mess of chairs and outdoor toys that we haven't put into their rightful spot. While there are some things I don't want someone to put away, I will welcome anyone coming into my house right now and trying to tackle the mess.

Gwen is getting a cat. We already have a cat. But my friend Marjorie is giving her another one that will be our outdoor mouser. Today we got a call from the previous owner of this house, who is renting our other house from us, saying that he and his wife can't take their 3 cats to Germany with them next month because the weather is too hot. So, after some conversation, we agreed to take their cats for either 3 years or until the weather cools off in the fall. He doesn't know which yet, but he really likes his cats and we really need some animals to lower the rodent population around here, so this will probably all work out for the best.

Tomorrow is another CT scan on my knees. Hopefully....everyone cross every single appendage possible that I can start putting some weight on my leg!

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Shameless Plug for a Great Blog

My brother in law, Derek, is a US Army chaplain deployed to Iraq from Ft Benning, Georgia. He has a big heart for Jesus Christ and his ministry in the Army. He's been sending updates to family members, and in turn, we pass them along to lots of others. Recently, my sister decided to post them all on a blog. So, without further ado, may I present...

Derek Murray, Chaplain Racer

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A wee bit of complaining, which you can choose not to read

The reality of 7 more weeks in a bed/wheelchair/on crutches is starting to kick in. It's been hot here...almost 100F, and I just want to not be in bed. Just for a day. To go take a walk, pick flowers, explore the property, fix a place for Gwen to play, fish in the pond, collect the eggs, unpack boxes, clean rooms other than the kitchen, kill a few dozen moths that have seemed to have taken up residence in the many bouquets of dead flowers still inhabiting the house.

None of this is happening, and it's really discouraging. Our dining room is boxes stacked up to the ceiling. There's a path to the bathroom, the living room, and Gwen's temporary bedroom just wide enough to get my wheelchair through.

Update: A little bit of a bright spot. Doug put in the window air conditioners. It's cool in here! I can breathe and sleep again!

Anyway, I'm just discouraged. I would never ever again have moving coincide with breaking a leg. I would choose to stay in a hotel for weeks on end instead of going through this again!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Okay. I'm in tears. The finale of The Amazing Race had me ready to spring from my wheelchair and jump around the living room. I didn't. But I *really* needed some other way to express how happy I was, besides the tears, and the pumping of the arms in the air, and clapping my hands. I believe there was a very white bread "Boo-yah!" shouted at one point and some kind of weird gyrating dance.

But, what do you expect from someone who can't walk.

Uchenna and Joyce. Oh. I just love them. I want to have them over to dinner. I want to rub Joyce's head.

Ron and Kelly. Well, they placed higher than they deserved to. I hope they've watched these episodes and realized that they *so* do not belong together. The rest of America knows it. Just realize it soon, please. No offense to anyone who may be reading this, but Ron is the typical jackass officer, always ready to talk about everything he's done and how he is far superior to the normal human being. And Kelly. Well, I think she's been a horrific example of Christianity. I hope it takes more than a week for her to live down her comment about Ron managing to get out of the Army by being a POW.

Uchenna and Joyce. Yes. I know I already talked about them, but I was just so happy that they stayed to earn money to pay for their cab. It would have been so easy to just run.

Rob and Amber. I've really enjoyed watching them play because they played well. And hard. Although, not always honestly. But they knew how to play. And if Uchenna and Joyce weren't just an awesome couple with a great reason to want some money, then I would have been wholeheartedly routing for them.

Okay, I can take the percocet I've been holding off on and climb into our new bed. Did I mention Doug bought us a Select Comfort? It's the best choice we've made in a while, and certainly the only large bed that will fit up our dwarfy new stairs, since it comes in several pieces that you assemble in your bedroom.