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I have been married to Ryan for 7 years and I love being married to my wonderful husband. I am a religious Christian and I love God. I live in the United States and have lived in China. I love being free and those who sacrifice(d) for my freedoms (not just servicemen and women, but all who work to preserve and teach freedom.) My hobbies include photography, music, ceramics, time with Ryan, and trying new things. I believe in the family and marriage. I love spending time with my family.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DAP = About the Children

Picture from
Lately, I read an email from my brother that asked what I thought about some person's article about the common core.  Truthfully, when he sent it I was kind of overwhelmed with school things and couldn't even read the 1 page article.  So, I finally read it.  And truthfully, I am not a big fan of common core or the United State's public school system.

I am a big fan of preschool and toddler classes.  Why?  Because I learned how to do it in a Developmentally Appropriate (Practice) environment.  It was so fun!  It was so me!  (*btw: DAP is not just limited to only preschool and toddler classrooms.)

Pic from

THIS IS WHAT I LOVE!  I love children discovering things that are important to them.  I love them choosing what activity they want to participate in.  (Yes, teachers still guide them and can assign them to go to a certain place first if they never go there, etc, etc...)  I love the happiness that is in a DAP classroom and the responsibility and autonomy that is there.  I love that the children are doing and that they are in charge.  I love how they learn to solve problems (in real situations.)  I love that it allows children to learn on their own levels and feel great about it.  I love that crafts and art are understood to be very different things.  I love that the environment is print-rich but that the children are not pushed to read and do complex math too early.  I love that the children are held in respect. 
I love that DAP classrooms are about, completely, 100% focused on and centered around the children who are there.  
That is beautiful.  That is precious.  That is hard and fun and glorious work. 

For anyone who is not educated in DAP or who wants to read more about it, etc... here is an awesome article.  I really like it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

sourdough recipes cobbler and cinnamon rolls
(cobbler.) - we made plum cobbler of this.

Cinnamon ROlls - the recipe we made:
Cinnamon rolls the recipe we didn't make but it looks like a good one:

These were delicious.  That's all I have to say about it.

Adoption Profile - Now It's Official!

Woohoo!  It is official.  We are now online and published!  Actually, we were approved last Friday and told our profile was published online.  But, there was an error in the coding for the introduction letter, and it kept our profile from being viewable.  We didn't know about it, we just thought that maybe it was still being processed or something.
Until today.  We emailed a question about our profile to someone at our agency who responded that they couldn't find ours.  She notified us of the problem, and blam-o! fixed!  (Blam-o isn't really the term, but it sounded exciting, so I decided to keep it.  I guess I could have gone with Booyah! but whatev.) 
Okay, here it is!
 (This pic is not our current profile pic, but we hope it will be soon.)

You can go to this website and it will show you our adoption profile!  We are pretty excited about it.  There are still a couple changes we are going to make.  (Changing our introduction letter and changing some of the pictures.  Maybe we'll use these?)

But you can find us!  (If you just want our profile ID, it's 28271074 for
Please send our link or ID number to anyone you know who is interested in adoption.  We are very appreciative to everyone who has been and continues to support us in our efforts to be parents to our future children.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Introduction Letter

For our adoption profile, we have to use html.  I am by no means a computer programmer, but I learned some codes.  This entry is our introduction letter and I'm typing it in html to see if it works and how it looks.

Dear Friend,
Have you ever held someone in awe and then found yourself with the opportunity to address them? We now find ourselves in that position as we write to you and all words sound funny. We wish we could adequately thank you for choosing life for your child and considering adoption. Honestly, it’s an honor that you would consider us as potential adoptive parents.
Our names are Ryan and Jeannine Withers. Ryan is 29 years old and in November, Jeannine will celebrate her 6th year of turning 22. In 2007, we were married in the Mount Timpanogos Temple and we’ve been enjoying married life ever since! Yes, life has its ups and downs, but it is beautiful. We met shortly after Ryan came home from his mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It came as a surprise to both of us because we hadn’t planned on meeting “the one” so quickly. But, we are grateful that the Lord understands us better than we do.
As we have participated in adoption activities, studies, and met birth parents and adoptive parents alike our hearts have been touched and we have come to realize how valuable and healing an open relationship is for everyone involved in the adoption process, especially the child(ren). We love every birth mother and birth father we have met and think they are beautiful people. We realize that each person and situation is unique and we trust that you will make the best decision for your baby, yourself, and your situation. Our child will know your love for him.
We are both quite active and enjoy activities that we can do together. Singing is one of our favorite things to do (and is actually how we met!) But we don’t stop at singing, oh, no! You may also catch us: camping, hiking, listening to music, telling jokes, playing with family, getting together with friends, dancing, watching/quoting movies, reading books (especially for Ryan), playing games, going to plays, being in plays, traveling, going on walks (barefoot if possible), or just sitting at home enjoying each other’s company. Jeannine loves ceramics and creating anything with her hands. Basketball is her favorite sport. Ryan loves to perform, socialize and make Jeannine’s mom laugh.
From 2010 – 2011 we studied Chinese in China. It was a great adventure that taught us a lot about each other and our own selves. Shortly after our return, we earned our Bachelor Degrees from BYU-Idaho. Ryan’s degree in Exercise Science and Jeannine’s in Early Childhood Development and Special Education. She plans to pursue a career as… drumroll, please… a stay at home mom. He has experience in business settings and is a Personal Banker.

A little about Ryan by Jeannine:

Ryan is my favorite person in the world! Since we met, I knew I could be myself with him. We have similar interests, he listens, has no problems making decisions together is supportive, and encourages me all the time.

He is a man who loves God and will always serve him. He loves me and always wants me to be happy. His dedicated to our marriage is evident in all he does and he will be a good father to our future children. His love for kids makes him a good example, teacher and friend. When he is with them, I can see his and their eyes light up and they just love being with each other. I don’t know how to describe their joy nor mine as I watch them.
Ryan’s goal is to support and provide for his family, which he does. His Spanish, natural leadership, outgoing personality and work ethic help achieve that. Now he also uses his Chinese! I loved when we worked landscaping together. His favorite was corporate training.
Even with his jobs and church service taking up much of his time, he still has time for me as well as other activities. He is in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and I can’t get enough of his serenading. He has many hobbies and is a very capable, personable, guy. People love to be around him and his love for them is obvious.
I have more to tell, but I’ll finish by saying that I love him, for all he is. He is so kind and loves me incredibly. I am grateful for him, and I know he will be a wonderful dad.

A little about Jeannine by Ryan:

Jeannine is a wonderful woman and the love of my life. When I got home from my mission I planned on dating for at least a year before evening thinking about marriage. But the Lord has a sense of humor at times and put Jeannine in my path only two days after I got home! 8 months later, we were married.
Jeannine is the 2nd oldest of 7 children. She continues to be an excellent example to them. She has wonderful parents and they have taught her well.
When I met Jeannine she was a Certified Nurse’s Assistant at a Nursing Home and was one of the favorites. She is patient and loving. Her favorite job was working in a daycare and there I saw her light truly shine. I have never seen anyone gain the trust of children so fast and love them so much. There were many times when I would stop by after I finished work and found her surrounded by children, many exclaiming, “Miss Jeannine! Look at this!” or, “Teeshur! Over here.” When she stopped working there some of the mothers still called on her to babysit.
She worries that what she cooks won’t be good enough for her husband, but I have been the recipient of some of her “experiments” and I can’t remember a one that didn’t turn out marvelous. She is a great listener and teacher. She is someone with whom I can be myself. She is not afraid to stand up for what is right. She is my best friend.
You may think I am biased. Well, you would be right. But I know she will make a fantastic mother. She puts God first in her life and always strives to do what is right. Everyone that is around her is affected by her for good, especially me. I have been very blessed. I could go on, but I hope you get the picture.
You are in our prayers. God knows you and loves you. We love you and look forward to getting to know you.
May the Lord bless you with peace and strength,
Ryan and Jeannine

Friday, August 8, 2014

Adoption Home Study

The anticipation:

We've been in this area for a year, now.  Wow.  I cannot believe it has been a year.  Today we had our home inspection for our adoption profile.  I remarked to Ryan and his brother, who was over visiting, that I was glad it was not a white glove inspection because we would not pass.  They were not so sure that would have been the case had it been a white glove.
Really, Ryan and I didn't know what to expect.  We have never had a home inspection before.  We didn't know what they were like!

My sequence of events this morning:

I get up "early" to do some last minute cleaning.  Make breakfast for the boys.  Ryan drops Russell off at a job interview.  I begin to organize the desk and cut my finger on the paper-shredder!  Not on the blades, but still it was deep.  I get ready for the day.  We take the D.I. boxes out to the car. As I am carrying the second one Ryan lets our case worker in the door.  I crash into doorways on my way out the back door with the box.

The inspection:

We gather at the table and have small talk.  Then he asks us about our home and takes notes.  We talk about how the cleaners should be out of the reach of children.  He didn't ask about the bags or knives (which are stored up higher.)  Then we take a walk about our house and show off the yard.  (Not that it was really that impressive.  We just love our garden and our grass and the big tree [when it doesn't send helicopter seeds into the garden] that we are building a swing for, and our patio.  We love that we are in charge of the yard upkeep.  And that we get to garden!  And that it is close to everything. We love it all)
We didn't know what schools are nearby.  Whoops. 
But everything else was in order and our case worker said that there would be no problem and basically this is just a legality or formality or something.  Just making sure we are what we say we are, you know.  And documenting it.  He will present our study at staff meeting on Thursday and then we will get an acceptance letter and we will be fully legit!  I guess we better upload our introduction letter!
So, thank you to everyone who has been and is praying for us.  Our home inspection went well. 
Also, we are not sure what is in store for LDS Adoption Services with all the changes.  Faith and prayers in a time like this are all I can think of to do.  
We are grateful to everyone involved in adoption and in our lives who are so supportive of us.  Thank you!