Saturday, March 31, 2007

Maybe Because.... Realizing the Value...

You know how you get lots of "feel good email" from friends and family? Sometimes you take the time to read them and sometimes you don't?
I read the below poem this morning, sent by niece Christina, and it got to me.
Why did it get to me?

Maybe Because I have sisters and couldn’t imagine life without them,
Maybe Because I have been divorced,
Maybe Because I graduated from college,
Maybe Because I did fail a final exam,
Maybe Because I never was able to carry a baby to term,
Maybe Because I know all about deadlines,
Maybe Because I almost had an accident that I know I could not have survived,
Maybe Because I have lost dear family members, so recently, that tears still come to my eyes.

Yesterday, we received word from my sister that her FIL passed away in the morning.

As I posted on March 25th, our days are numbered, so be kind, be generous and be thankful. Love to all.

To realize The value of a sister
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple

To realize The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize The value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to
A premature baby.

To realize The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of 100th of a second
Ask a person
Who just won a silver medal.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
you can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

The origin of this letter is unknown, But it brings good luck to everyone who passes it on.

Do not keep this letter.
Send it to friends & family to whom you wish well and don't forget the one who sent it to you!
Peace, love and prosperity to all!
Remember.. hold on tight to the ones you Love

Friday, March 30, 2007

Salty Dog's New Hang Out

This picture was sent from sister & BIL taken during their trip to Boston. Our dog is named "Salty Dog" and they added his likeness to complete the picture! LOL!
(check out the real Salty Dog on our October 30, 2006 post)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Johnny's In China For A2

Johnny is in China this week.
We will really need to keep focused during our trip to avoid the pitfall of an unintentional meltdown from occurring for all involved. Johnny provided these wise words worth remembering that we were particularly fond of:

You are there to adopt a baby.
You are there to adopt a baby.
You are there to adopt a baby.

Thank you Johnny for all your help. We will be traveling in about 200 days (we hope). And no matter what bumps pop up on our trip we'll do our best to remember:

We are there to adopt Lizzy!
We are there to adopt Lizzy!
We are there to adopt Lizzy!

Safe passage Johnny and a speedy return...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The most unlucky number considered by many Chinese is the number fourteen (14), which is widely translated to the phrase, “guaranteed death”. Think of the number 14 as the Chinese equivalent to our superstitious notion of the number 13.

I’ll not drivel on about The Wait. All 14 months of it so far since LID. Thought we would have already had a referral. Traveled to China. Back home with Alyzabeth An in time to celebrate Christmas 2006.

Didn’t happen. Still Waiting. It’s a huge club. A huge, not so fun club.

Many have shared with us that if we were rich like those “Hollywood” people we would already have our little girl. Thanks. Your words of shared enlightenment coupled with a keen insight certainly brings an aura of peace and contentment to our lives. Unless of course you were saying the adoption process is all about $$$. I didn’t think so.

So number 14 comes and it goes. Bye-Bye.

Now we will quietly Wait. Counting off the numbers 15. Then 16. 17. 18.

All for Alyzabeth An. For however long it takes…

Monday, March 26, 2007

More about "China" on TV

I love this web page - lots of interesting things about China that I would not have noticed (also read post from last Monday).

ChinaSprout TV

(if link does not work: )

World Garden Tour - "Bali, Europe and China"
Bali; Monet's gardens; Chinese gardens.
Thursday March 29, 2007 12:30pm-1:00pm on HGTV - Home and Garden TV - Network Series / Travel

Ancient Discoveries - Chinese Warfare
Military innovations from ancient China are examined, including gunpowder, flame throwers, rockets, automated crossbows and siege machines.
Saturday March 31, 2007 12:00pm-1:00pm on HIST - The History Channel - Network Series / History

Blood Alley (1955)
The daughter of a slain American convinces a sea captain to help a village of Chinese peasants escape the communists.Director: William A. Wellman Performers: Lauren Bacall, Anita Ekberg, Paul Fix, Joy Kim, Mike Mazurki, John Wayne. (Click on the title above to open the Internet Movie Data Base page for this movie)
Saturday March 31, 2007 12:30pm-3:00pm on AMC - American Movie Classics - Movie / Adventure

Ancient Discoveries - Machines III
One thousand years ago, when Europe was still in the dark ages, China was at the forefront of technology. We unveil the remarkable story of how China created a myriad of ingenious devices including cosmic machines able to collect data on the stars, hydraulic hammers, water-controlled clocks, and mass production plants powered by water. We visit a reconstruction of an ancient Chinese iron furnace to unravel how the Chinese created a forty-ton iron artifact five centuries before the West discovered cast-iron technology. Meet the leading clay expert Professor Ye Hongming who has spent a lifetime seeking to discover the secrets of how the ancient Chinese created their vast terracotta army.
Saturday March 31, 2007 1:00pm-2:00pm on HIST - The History Channel - Network Series / History

The Drew Carey Show - "The High Road to China"
When Mimi strands Drew in China he has neither passport nor money. (Note: Marking the first time an American sitcom has ever filmed in mainland China, portions of the episode were shot on location at the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven and in the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.)
Tuesday April 03, 2007 6:30am-7:00am on TBS - Turner Superstation - Network Series / Comedy

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday .... Thoughts on Our Age

We wrote about a church small group Bible class we have taken and facilitated (see post of August 26, 2006). We believe in the Bible and the study material is a great way to read about something very modern - how to handle your finances and possessions per God's Way.

So as I ponder about the longer wait for Lizzy, I went back to some Bible verses about Eternity. Hang in there with me on this....

Psalms 90 Verses 10 & 12 (reading all of "90" is a good thing).
Moses is writing about time in the desert... 40 years.

The days of our lives are 70 years and if by reason of strength they are 80 years...
So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I have lived 17,864 days. If I live to age 80, I will have 11,336 days remaining.
Based on our expected referral date, I estimated another 234 days until our "Gottcha" day with Lizzy. These are days I do not have with her, many days past our original expected date of having our new daughter. Doesn't seem like very many when put in perspective of my remaining 11,336 days. Eeeeekks!!
Here's an easy way to check your math and reflect on weeks, hours, minutes......

Duration calculation results at Calculate Durations Between Dates.
From: Saturday, March 24, 2007. To, but not including : Wednesday, April 14, 2038
It is 11,344 days from the start date to the end date, Or 31 years, 21 days excluding the end date.
11,344 days can be converted to one of these units:
980,121,600 seconds
16,335,360 minutes
272,256 hours
1620 weeks

Why did Moses want us to count our days? The days pass by quickly. We are not on this earth forever. Whether you are Christian or not, we can agree with that idea. Knowing the days that have passed in relationship to how many remain, how can this impact the way you think about retirement, traveling and spiritual learning? Our relationship with God and preparation for eternal life with God is what we are to do while on this earth. We are to follow His commandments.... as our judgement day will come.

If you are interested in more about flourishing in old age; a meaningful and satisfying life in later years, read Psalms 71. Your life is not necessarily what you see happening from your actions; many times you do not know when someone was inspired by you or the outcome of your kindness.
It is not all about finances, it is also about investing in your children, grandchildren and others you care and love for.
Continuing to grow in our giving and teaching others of these principles is our passion.
We hope to have many meaningful and joyous days with Alyzabeth An.
We love you Lizzy!

"Take care of your body as if you will live forever; take care of your soul as if you will die tomorrow."

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sharing Weekend Fun

The weekend has already been very busy - seems to fly by.

Friday evening, we visited cousins Gloria and Joan in St. Augustine. Gloria's daughter, Sarah had visited from Colorado and left us some "Made in Colorado" treats. You met her on our post February 09, 2007.

This morning, Ford mowed the yard while I cleaned and picked up the inside of the house. While I was cleaning, "long time" friend, Vicki called so we chatted for a long time. She is so good to call as I am not one to initiate phone calls (I tend to send emails as my favorite way of keeping in touch).

DH and I then ran several errands. It was such a beautiful day, even though very windy, we jumped in the boat for a quick trip to our favorite creek. We saw several birds, turtles, three deer and the fish were jumping! Maybe it is bass-mating season?

All in all, a nice day spent together. Now where is that "to-do" list?

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Isn't springtime grand! The dogwood tree is blooming along with a nasty, prickly weed....looks like blackberry vines!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kilee's Birthday Party

Our Grand-daughter #1, third birthday!! We had a good time with family this past Sunday.

Monday, March 19, 2007

China TV Shows

Check out the TV selections each week on "China" related shows at:

China Sprout TV

Thank you Kirby Bartlett-Sloan

For example; here is one of the listings for this week:

Emeril - America's Chinatown
Chinese cuisine is prepared, including egg-drop soup, General Tso's chicken, chop suey and sweet-and-sour shrimp.Thursday March 29, 2007 3:00am-4:00am on FOOD - The Food Network - Hobbies & Crafts / Cooking

Here's information from the China Sprout web site:

Kirby, an adoptive parent of three Chinese girls, has one of the most comprehensive TV listings of programs on China and from China that are in the English language. The listing includes feature Chinese films, documentaries, and entertainment programs shown on major US networks. We try to note when more mature shows are listed. Remember, older movies may depict stereotypes. Any PBS listings may or may not be on your local station when listed. Check local listings.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

We're Not Alone!

Will you still need me?
Will you still feed me?
When I'm sixty-four?

Our new "soul" adoption parents to be are Don & Be. You can visit their blog at the link on the right titled "Pregnancy by Adoption".

We have been corresponding for some time and met in Sanford, Florida on the 17th.

They are LID 03/24/06. AND they are our "age" (that age where everyone thinks we are crazy for adopting....... like, where were you 20 years ago and where will you be 20 years from now???). We think parenting...

This meeting was a true blessing for us. For a couple of reasons. We share a view of christian love not shaped by the politicians pandering for your vote but rather a love guided by your personal relationship with God in your daily life. We do not run from nor deny our christian beliefs nor do we stuff it down the throats of others. You walk your own walk.

Another reason we loved being with this couple is because we are the exact age. Alyson and Be are the very same age as are Don and Ford. The Exact! With Be and Don we were able to openly exchange our parenting fears and our exaggerated expectations without the second guessing. We didn't have to contend with the innuendos. The subtle smiles and the faintly masked shaking of the head. Today we got to be excited parents-to-be. Regrettably, we don't get to live that feeling all that often with others.

So Be and Don - Thank you for an absolute wonderful afternoon. One shared with wine, food and what we know to be the beginnings of a life long friendship. Your daughter will be a blessing in your life as you will be in hers. Together, our families will share that joy and blessing in the years to come.
fm & ac

Saturday, March 17, 2007

One More Time... SavvyThinker

You may think I am obsessive about SavvyThinker, but bear with me.
This is an awesome blog and awesome insight and topics. I do not know how she does it.
Quality and thoughtfulness throughout her writings. I wish I was half as good.

Please read her entire post for March 17, 2007. She tells you where to get a free perfume sample after describing the smell, she enlightens us on prayer use when ill, posts a song about protection with God, educates us on Russian music, a quote about anonymous good deeds, a quote on mother's sharing enthusiasm, a beautiful poem about a mother's love and keeping the house clean (from the Bible) and a lesson on how to handle teasing a school (her own experience with her Chinese daughters).
How can anyone write so much beauty with lessons included?

I don't know much about this lady so here is her first post from December 2006:

Thinking about life
Friday 29 December 2006 @ 2:42 pm
At the urging of my son, I’ve decided to start a blog…thinking about life. I’ll probably include things I love: quotations, perfume, knitting, music…adoption…including Chinese adoption…and just thoughts.
I expect it will be an eclectic mix of thoughts on a variety of subjects.
I’m glad you visited!

From Alyson: Please visit and leave her comments. Thank you.

Friday, March 16, 2007

So True....

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. –Joseph Campbell

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Blogging Party

We joined in a fun event called the Blogging Party. See post on 02/26/07. I visited several new blogs. I didn't win anything but had fun and enjoyed every comment we received from other "partiers"!
Here's one I enjoyed:

Reading the blog “mamalovespapa” really caught my attention.
I am going to get back into writing about Bible verses again. Hope you will learn as I learn….

From Morgan’s Blog (California): Mamalovespapa

When we are saved we experience the goodness and kindness of the Lord. We realize, at the same time, His severity and His love. The consequences of our sin is eternal separation from Him: hell. Yet, we realize that because of His great love for us He sent Jesus to die for us. He paid the price for our sins and made a way for us to spend eternity with Him. And, to live a victorious Christian life.

The lukewarmness I talked about before is the people who experienced God's goodness of salvation, yet they rarely or never experience it again, for whatever reason. Most people don't because they're never taught or trained how. They're like orphans who are left to figure out how to be Christians on their own. As we see in the Bible, each Christian is supposed to be taught and trained how to walk in relationship with God. Unfortunately you see this so rarely. Most Christians probably don't know that you can experience God's presence and love Or, if they do they don't know how to attain it and walk in it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Praise your Child - Give out lots of HUGS!

I LOVE I will practice on the Grand-daughters......

Posted: 13 Mar 2007 07:48 AM CDT

101 Ways To Praise A Child (author unknown)

Wow . Way to go . You’re special . Outstanding . Excellent . Great . Good . Neat . Well done. Remarkable . I knew you could do it .
I’m proud of you . Super Star . Nice work . Looking good .
You’re on top of it . You’re catching on . Now you’ve got it .
How smart . Good job . That’s incredible . Hot dog . Remarkable job . You’re Beautiful . You’re a winner . You make me happy . Hip, Hip, Hooray .
You’re important . Magnificent . Beautiful . Fantastic . You’re on target . You’re on your way . How nice . You’re Spectacular . You’re Darling .
Super . Super Job . Beautiful work . Good for you . Nothing can stop you now . Dynamite . You’re fantastic . Awesome .
You’re precious . Fantastic job . You’ve discovered the secret . Bingo . Great discovery . You’re a real trooper . Marvelous . Terrific .
You’re growing up . Outstanding performance . You tried hard . You figured it out . What a good listener . You’re a treasure . You mean a lot to me . You’re a good friend . That’s correct . A big hug . What an imagination . You learned it right . You’re incredible . Now you’re flying . Bravo . Beautiful . I like you .
I respect you . You’re sensational . Phenomenal . A+ job . Hooray for you . You’re unique . You care . Creative job .
You belong . You brighten my day . Super work . That’s the best . You made my day . Say I love you! . Beautiful sharing . You mean the world to me .
You’re important . You’ve got a friend .
You’re a joy . You make me laugh . You’re A - Okay - my buddy . I trust you . You are perfect . You’re wonderful . A big kiss . Exceptional performance .

Remember, a smile is worth 1000 Words!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

And Just Who Are You???


Visual DNA - How Cool!

My choices were very close to DH; most of his choices were my top or second pick! And I thought we were opposites......

Monday, March 12, 2007

Short & Poignant Post Shared

A very short, very real, very poignant post was put up by Susan on her blog; Reading, Writing, Living. Prepare to deal with this for the long haul...


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weekend Pictures

What is a weekend without the digital camera?
Grand-daughter Alivia in her spring lavender tank (don't I match beautifully? Maybe you can't see the drool on my shirt too...).
Ford and Salty enjoying a "putt-putt" on the river.
Plus Family in Maine sent more pictures of Grand-Nephew, one with my sister holding her Grandson.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Start a LifeBook?

Do I want to start a Life Book for Lizzy?
I am not that familiar with these and I am not a very good (focused!) scrapbooker, would this help?
Please give me your opinion, especially if you have started one of these books.

From web site:
Adoption Life Book

An adoption life book provides:

A concrete tool for meaningful conversation
An adoption security blanket
Attachment rituals
Structure for difficult material (such as reasons for the relinquishment)
Ways to normalize adoption language
Ways to reduce fantasy about birthparents
A front-load for adolescence
Opportunities to create positive identity and ethnic identity
Space for future events

More from the same web site – Books to have:

A Mother For Choco by Keiko Kasza (ages 2-8) A little yellow bird is in search of his mother. Mrs. Bear doesn’t look like him, but she hugs, kisses, dances, and most importantly loves Choco.

How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole (ages 4-8) A delightful, interactive story about how "Samantha" was born and adopted.

Contemplating Your BellyButton by Jun Nanao (ages 2-8). A wonderful "non adoption" adoption book. Tettchan, a young Japenese boy, discovers the story behind his bellybutton. This book helps children understand basics of where they come from.

When You Were Born in China by Sara Dorow (ages 6 and up) A photo-essay which captures the adoption process through the child’s eyes. It is realistic and sensitive. A must have book.

(more books to add to the list to swap? Read prior post)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Imagine - It's Easy If You Try...

Referral Data Statistic

To quote the talented and departed bushy haired one. "What a long strange trip it's been".

I lifted the data from another blog and for the life of me I can't retrace my steps to give proper credit.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

FedEx Should Deliver Saturday

We ordered our high chair. Any guesses as to which one we ordered? It was tough. We were torn betweeen two of them. Hope we made the right decision...

Books to Swap?

I "borrowed" this book list from Shannon over at:
Trip to Emily

I haven’t read these books so with her recommendations, these look like very good reads.
Anyone want to read these, too?
I’ll buy a few then send to you, in return you send me one to borrow and read – how about a book swap?
We could decide to either have the books end up in the original owner’s hand or a simple give-away; just pass it on?

Let me know by email or comments!

Chu Ju's House
by Gloria Whelan really good, written for middle schoolers, but it was still very interesting.

Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections
by Jean MacLeod (Editor), Super, Great, wonderful, can NOT say enough positive things about this one.

Why I Chose You
by Gregory E. Lang Actually makes a fabulous gift. Really sweet.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel
by Lisa See Awesome fictional novel. Couldn’t put it down!

The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices
by Xinran Xue EXCELLENT! I highly recommend this to anyone, adopting or not.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Referrals Are Here

Congratulations to all those receiving their referrals. And a major shout out to Be & Don who have finally cleared the Review Room! CONGRATULATIONS!

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before March 31, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before October 24, 2005.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Kettler Madison High Chair

Compare this one to our post dated March 3rd. Do any of you all know anything about this particular high chair? I like the fact that it can be folded away and it meets the criteria of being all wood. Additionaly, the tray can be flipped back and the chair pulled up to the table.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

How Would You Like That Steak?

I'll ask you the above question but in truth, it's a crap shoot at best when I bring your steak to the table. Chicken. Pork. Ribs. No problem. Steaks? Problem.

We had Kenny & Pam over for dinner last night. Guess what we had? You got it...
I used a new steak marinade recipe. I know that you should try it on yourself first but then reason is not always my strength. The marinade turned out to taste surprising good. It's a keeper. Simple recipe. Very simple.

1/4 cup dark beer
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce (I didn't have teriyaki sauce so I used soy sauce)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Don't let the dark beer put you off. It did not overpower the meat. Enhanced I believe would be the word.

Grilling the steaks turned out to be a snap. With a dual burner grill; Kenny took care of he and Pam's and I watched over mine and Alyson's. The pressure was off :)
We skewered some fresh veggies to add to the grill and that was that...

Alyson made homemade strawberry shortcake for our dessert, one of my all-time favorites.

Our gracious friends brought along a nice Talus cabernet sauvignon. All in all, a fine meal with fine friends!
Life is good...


Saturday, March 03, 2007

High Chairs... Your Opinion Please

We're back on the high chair prowl. We nailed the stroller with BOB but past heroics soon lose their luster. It's time to decide on "The Chair". We are leaning to an all wood chair. Easy cleanup being the appeal. It could be that we will need one chair for the house and one to travel with.

Your experiences and opinions would be most welcomed...

1. The Scarlet
2. The Eddie Bauer
3. Kombi
4. The Svan
5. Keekaroo

6. The Geuther

Friday, March 02, 2007

With Thoughts Of Alyzabeth An