Sunday, July 29, 2007

Any Modeling Agents Out There?

We love our grand-babies and think they are sooooooooooo cute! How about signing these lovies for modeling jobs? We promise to use a different picture than this one of them on the Salty-Dog bed under the pool table! The huge baby blues on Livi are certain to be a major downer for her as she grows older. Yeah, right...

We were puttering up the river towards Jacksonville this afternoon and noticed this home. Hopefully you will be able to enlarge the photo to check out the roof. It's grass. Sod. Whatever, it's not shingles... Cool.

Continuing with our totally eclectic photo review of the week; we have been enjoying Lemon Sparklers. We decided to completely corrupt our SIL Jesse. Sorry Marsha & Carl...

This is OJ. He WAS a loving, little, cute kitten (very sick kitten) who found us on January 1, 2000. We now see OJ twice a day. Once in the morning (breakfast) before daylight. If it's light outside. Forget about it, he's a no show. The second time we will see OJ will be right before going to bed (Dinner). In others words. Dark. Nighttime. Lights out. OJ is a strange one but that's just the way he is. And he doesn't like his picture taken. Nor does he like the flash of a camera. And he wouldn't pose for another shot to try and get one with his eyes open. He may be part vampire. We're not for sure.

We finish up with another photo of Kilee. Some kids run around like they have EverReady batteries in them. Kilee has a NASCAR motor hidden somewhere in her. She doesn't slow down for anything or anyone. She's a trip. If you can't love Kilee you simple don't like kids. She's a cool little bugger...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Let's See - That's 18 But Who's Counting?

Eventually... In Time... It's Going To Happen... It Really Will.....

The Hebrew word for "life" is chai, which has a numerical value of 18. Consequently, the custom has arisen in Jewish circles to give donations and monetary gifts in multiples of 18 as an expression of blessing for long life.

Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 was originally named Catch-18 because of the Hebrew meaning of the number, but was amended to the published title to avoid confusion with another war novel, Mila 18.

In Chinese tradition, the number 18, shí bā, can also be read as yāo bā, which sounds like yào fā, meaning that one is going to prosper. Thus, building floors numbered "18" are often very expensive in China.

The number of holes in a stipulated round of golf.

A slang term used in Soccer for the Penalty Area.

The number of months Alyson & Ford have been LID.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pictures to Remember the Moment

Read below for an idea that was posted on a Yahoo! Group for our agency.

We were at a 90th birthday party and a good friend of the family presented the birthday lady with a picture of the sunrise (St. Augustine Beach) on her birthday. This post reminded me of how special that would be to have these pictures. It is on my “to do” list!
I would add that I will take a picture of the sunrise/sunset on referral day too.
And a big Thank You to Larry for helping to remind me of just how great of an idea this is.

Posted by: "Larry" Mon Jul 23, 2007
While you are waiting (and waiting and waiting), I thought that I would give you a couple of ideas on photos to take during your journey. While they are all similar, they each have VERY SPECIAL meaning!

Be sure to take a photo of:
1) The sunrise on the day that you finally get to meet your child,
2) The sunset at the end of your first day together,
3) The sunset on your final night in China (your child's final sunset in their homeland before becoming an American citizen),
4) The sunrise on the day that you head for home (for the same basic reason as #3, only this time it is your child's final sunrise).

Just something to think about while you wait. Here's hoping that your wait is a short one! Larry

UPDATE: Wendy added these three photo “opportunities”. Thanks!!

1. Photo of our daughter taking off on plane from her hometown (last time she/we will see her birth city for years to come)with her new family.
2. Photo of all of us taking off on plane leaving China for the US.
3. Landing in our hometown!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Conversations with Alyzabeth


Yes, Alyzabeth.

Why was I abandoned?

We don’t believe you were abandoned.

Then why was I adopted if I wasn’t abandoned?

You were adopted because your China mom and dad for reasons we do not know left you where others could easily find you and take care of you until we could come and get you.

But why didn’t they want to take care of me? Why didn’t they want me?

We don’t know why. We do know they cared about you and that is why they made certain you would be found.

So I wasn’t abandoned?

No. In the best way your China parents knew how, you were placed for adoption. You were not abandoned.

Did they love me?

Baby girl, I don’t know but they must have cared about you very much.

I love you daddy.

Love you too Alyzabeth.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Muggle Born & No House Elf Either!

I have finished.

My lips are sealed and will stay that way publicly. You may email me however :)


Sunday, July 22, 2007

July Storm - No Hurricane

We had a rather strong storm last night (Saturday). We were told it sounded like a freight train going by, along with houses shaking and pictures falling off walls. We were out running errands in the next town (St. Augustine) and missed it!

A family at our church told us this morning that they had a tree fall through both their roof and their ceiling. We had some minor damage including a bent metal bracket holding our flag pole, the flag is ripped and a pine tree snapped in half (it was already dead, it had been dying since the hurricanes of 2004). Now it REALLY has to be removed.

Glad it didn't go into the neighbor's yard!

Friday, July 20, 2007

NASCAR Revelation & FoodTV!

We were very innocently watching the Food Network channel on our TV (it is a Friday night) preparing dinner and as we were barely listening to the TV show in the background, Emeril Lagasse and Mario Batali were talking about NASCAR. Our ears perked up!

We heard just a quick comment then Mario said, “A NASCAR race is like Woodstock (THE WOODSTOCK) meets Lollapalooza meets the Iowa State Fair".
My DH and I just started yakking at each other saying “that was it”, that is exactly what a race experience is like. Well, plus the track noise!

Yes, that is what a NASCAR race feels and looks like!! We love it!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Article - Chinese Adoptees Come Together

Every day we find there is more and more support for our Chinese daughters. Here's an article about Chinese adoptees (support mainly for college age adoptees) Coming together - CAL.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Californina Gifts - San Francisco Chinatown & Wine Country

The Worley's recently spent a week long vacation in and around San Francisco and visited Chinatown. They brought back this beautiful wine bag as a gift for us. It is brown (Lizzy's colors are brown and pink - how remarkable) with a jade Chinese style coin and tassel. We are not sure if the embroidery is a Chinese symbol or common design. Would any of you out there happen to know?

We also received a wonderful California Cabernet from Cathy. She was also in California exploring the wine country and spent a few days in San Francisco and the surrounding area. The bottle, which you cannot see in the picture, was a great gift and we can't wait to enjoy it with C & W - Soon!

Thank you J & D!

Thank you Cathy!

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's Just Not The Same 2nd Time Around

There was something magical, spiritual if you will, about completing your original Paperchase. The proverbial light at the end of the tunnel twinkling in the distance, a not so distant distance.

That was before The Wait. And that's all I have to say about that.

The renewed citizenship forms are in hand. Paperchase II is complete. We're back to once more staring into the tunnel. Looking for that twinkle of light signifiying an ending that brings forth a beginning. Looking for Alyzabeth An.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

From China With Love - New Family Video

We love the videos of new families coming together for the first time. Check out the new Tuckman Family.

Oh, and be sure and grab a hankie beforehand...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

What a Wonderful Day!! We are so Blessed!

We say that so often - We are so blessed!! Here are a few pictures from the river today. I don't think we ever saw four tug boats. There were three tugs pulling/pushing a huge ocean-going tug. We love seeing the boats on the river.

What a beautiful day.....

Now to only have our baby girl join us.

Guessing at the Age of Our Daughter??

We do not know what age our daughter will be. Due to China's rules, we signed papers agreeing that we would accept a baby up to 36 months old even though we requested a younger daughter.

Here are the statistics of all referred daughters. The red line represents an average age of about 10 - 12 months old. Almost all have been under 20 months old. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised if Alyzabeth An is of the same age...

Thank you to China Statistics for the data.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Check The Passport

The passport must have at least six (6) months validity left before expiration and at least one blank page left in it.

The little diddy above served up a reminder of just how long our journey for Alyzabeth An has and is taking. Not a whine - just a statement of fact. When we started the process back in the summer of '05 we did a check of our passport expiration dates and smiled a smile of contentment. No problem for us. Our expiration date was January of '09.

Fast forward (ouch, poor choice of words) to today and guess what? Anyone want to take a guess as to when we'll get our referral? When we'll get our TA? You know the drill: Guessing. Planning. Waiting. Repeat.

So I casually mentioned to Alyson that maybe we needed to check the dates on our passports just to be on the safe side. After all, its not like any of us have additional PAPERWORK issues to contend with. Or redundant FEES. Or FINGERPRINTS that somehow have aged like spoiled milk in the refrigerator that must be pitched and replaced. Geez, I'm starting to shout. Sorry about that...

So we do our best guess at referral. Ummm, earliest we figure would be February '08 with March '08 now getting top billing. Then we guess again on the TA. April sounds way too soon but May has a nice ring to it. Of course that could slip into June. We settle on May. Then we count out 6 months. That makes it November. We don't expire (the passports-not us-God willing) for 2 months. We ponder. Too close for comfort. We've worked too hard and come too far to screw it all up now.

So today I trudge off to the post office and pick up the renewal forms. Then I hit our savings account once again. Get the new photos. Check and recheck that everything is accurate. Nothing misspelled - especially our names, etc. Mail everything off and then guess what?

We do what we've done so well for so long now. We WAIT.

So, have you checked your passport lately and counted your fingers and toes while wearing your best guessing hat? Have you? Hope so. As for me, catch you later, I'm off to the Post Office.

Peace and may your passport not expire until sometime after 2050...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

China Adoption Referral Estimator

Much as you may or may not want to, I recommend taking a look at Dave's Referral Estimator. In fact, I would highly suggest you link it to your blog. It's that good and Dave keeps it updated with each new batch of referrals. Check it out. Stay informed. Keep the faith...


Monday, July 09, 2007


I can't believe it.....found this at Susan's (another Florida Blogger)....You may not believe this as we only buy black cars.... Does that relate to shoes???

You Are Big Black Boots!

You Are Big Black Boots!

You can be best described as: attitude
You've got lots of it - and you love to give it
A guy has to be pretty gusty to hit on you
But if he's your type, you'll warm up... a little

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"Anyway" - Father's Day Tribute Song


My sister, MLC, (she's the middle one in this picture) sang this SONG at church for Father's Day three Sunday's ago (June 17th). We lost our father last December 21st.
I wish I could have been there....... She told the congregation that this is how Dad told her to live her life, make her own name, a good name and do what she thinks is right..... anyway.

You can spend your whole life buildin' - Somethin' from nothin' - One storm can come and blow it all away - Build it anyway

You can chase a dream - That seems so out of reach - And you know it might not ever come your way - Dream it anyway
God is great, but sometimes life ain't good - When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should - But I do it anyway - I do it anyway

This world's gone crazy and it's hard to believe - That tomorrow will be better than today - Believe it anyway - You can love someone with all your heart - For all the right reasons - And in a moment they can choose to walk away - Love 'em anyway
(Repeat Chorus)

You can pour your soul out singin' - A song you believe in - That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang - Sing it anyway - Yeah sing it anyway - I sing - I dream - I love anyway

© 2006 Delemmava Music Publishing (BMI) © 2006 Bucky and Clyde Music adm by L’ile Des Auteurs Music / L’ile Des Auteurs Music (BMI).

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Toe Polish Terms and Conditions!

Pretty toes? Not mine. I accepted the challenge of keeping my toes polished and in good condition a few years ago but as you probably know, not an easy thing to do. I have reached the age where I can barely see my toes to polish them (or is it I can't get close enough to my toes to see them clearly??).
This picture is of them right now - today - before leaving for the Pepsi 400 race. I think you gain a whole new perspective by taking the picture - how come my little toes don't show? Does that mean I don't have to polish them?

Let's see if Debbie of "Sugar and Spice and a Little Rice" will visit and give me a decent rating!!
Debbie and Shane are waiting to get out of the review room (LID June 2006) - wish them a speedy review!!

Driver's Start Your Engines!!!

Earplugs. Sunscreen. Liquids. Cash. Tickets. Gas the car, we're out of here. Hello Daytona!

Sitting pretty on the front-stretch directly across from Pit Row. We'll be the ones cheering for Carl Edwards in the Office Depot #99.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Justice "Just Do It"

Reading this blog I came across the exact information I needed to read. I too, wonder about social justice and missions in other countries when I know there is work here in our own backyard. Check this out on the Blog Out of Ur.

UPDATE: A continuing article that focuses on the same things I have thought.

Impasse to Action
by Karen Keen June 26, 2007
One of the great foilers of good intentions is “overwhelm-paralysis.” The engulfing wave of global suffering can immobilize the most ardent leader. Gary Haugen, in Good News About Injustice, writes, “We feel like deer frozen by headlights . . . Instead of energizing us for action, the overwhelming injustice in our world actually makes us feel numb.”
All of us, at one time or other, find ourselves here. When we do, it helps to learn from trailblazers who are forging ahead. One guiding light is Dr. Viji Cammauf—founder of
Little Flock Children’s Homes, an organization aspiring to reach orphans and widows worldwide.

What is your backyard mission?
Ours is the Children's Home. I know it is where I will put forth my resources as I love their care of children - a full circle of care for those children who cannot be in the care of their own families.
Where Children Come First.....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Family Pictures

Fun times at DD & SIL's home for Fourth of July dinner with family, so sweet!

Grand-baby Alivia was a peach today, giving kisses to all. The picture of Alivia with her Mom (DD) is all about knowing how to do "raspberries", she has great form! She can bark like a dog, quack like a duck and raspberries too!

She does have a habit of wrapping things around her neck (as in her "pull" toys) which we hope is a very short lived habit. She also had to get a quick bath from Grandmother Marsha after an encounter with one of the pretty cupcakes. Chili dogs (recipe from Paula Deen) were eaten along with pasta salad and plenty of adult beverages.

It would have been perfect except we were missing DS Justin and his family Kelly & Kilee as well as Cathy and Angie's family. Hope you all had a great day.

Happy Fourth (again)!!

Male? Female? How's One To Know???

OK, so you probably aren't wild about knowing how to tell the difference between a he and a she blue crab. Still, think of all the crazy things you know that serve no earthly purpose other than your knowing it... Weird little things. Things you have privately thought to yourself: Why do I know that and what does it matter? Well that's what this is. If ever it comes up YOU will know how to tell the difference between a Male & Female Blue Crab. YOU will be brilliant. YOU will be one cool mother! On to the lesson...

To determine the sex of a blue crab simply turn them on their back. OK, carefully turn them on their back if they are still alive with pincher's firmly intact.

This is a Male Blue Crab. They are easily identifiable. See what looks like the Washington Monument in the center of its belly? See how narrow and pointed it is? Only the males have this design. Males are called "Jimmies". Cool. Let's go check out the gals...

This is an immature Female Blue Crab. Check out the ladies belly. No piercings but see how her Washington Monument is way wider than the Male. Her's is not narrow at all. In fact, her's looks more like a triangle. Immature females are called "Sallies". A typical life span of a Blue Crab is between two and half and three years. They mature around 18 months or so. Blue Crab motto: Live Fast & Die Young...

This is a mature Female Blue Crab. Check the belly on this hunkahunk of burnin' love. No Washington Monument or triangle for her. Nope, the mature Female Blue Crab sports the Capitol Building. Compare that to the male's Washington Monument. Pretty darn easy to tell who's who wouldn't you say? A mature Female Blue Crab goes by the sexy name of Sook. Yep, you read that right. Sook. Not "Jimmie", Not "Sallie" but "Sook". Hey, I don't make up the names I'm just here to fill up a few more of your dwindling brain cells with senseless junk science...

Oh, one last thing. This is cool. Check out these pics. The Male Blue Crab has BLUE claws. The Female Blue Crab paints hers RED! Get back. Love the painted nails girl.

That's it. You're a professional Blue Crab identification expert. Don't forget to strut your stuff when the occasion arises. And if you're real smart, try and get someone else to do the cleaning and picking...


Happy Fourth of July!

Today's 4th of July flag. Good Morning! Happy 4th!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Chinese Dinner with "Non-Jet Service" Friends

We met with a couple we have known for many years for dinner Friday evening. There is a long story about an encounter we had while flying to Maine in June 2000. Let's just say the plane ride was less than successful. We rented a car and drove the final seven hours into Maine - very cool and fun to be in a car with these people. I can't believe that seven years have passed. It was SG's birthday during that Maine trip - and he just celebrated one this year - Happy Birthday!

This couple adopted a young girl about six years ago. She is now a beautiful teenager and will be entering 10th grade. What a success story for a domestic/local adoption and their stories of the challenges encountered. They are an inspiration and we know they will share with us their parenting lessons learned. The photo is of our DH's.
She (BG) gave us these words of wisdom (better than anything in our fortune cookies) "Parenting is like wallpapering, when you're done, you know how to do it". How true!!

She also recommended the book, Nectar in a Sieve that has many messages for a young reader (and us adults). About relationships, values and poverty, it was on their daughters summer reading list.

Here's the review.

Nectar in a Sieve is Kamala Markandaya's first novel to be published, although it is actually the third novel she wrote. It became a best-seller around the world and was translated into seventeen languages. In 1955, it was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association.
The novel was published in 1954, less than a decade after India won its independence from Britain. Nectar in a Sieve is clearly influenced by this event, portraying some of the problems encountered by the Indian people as they dealt with the changing times. Markandaya never mentions a specific time or place, however, which gives the story universality. Some of the struggles that the main character, Rukmani, faces are the result of the changing times, but they are the kinds of struggles (poverty, death, loss of tradition) that are experienced by many people for many reasons.
Far beyond its political context, the novel is appealing to modern readers for its sensitive and moving portrayal of the strength of a woman struggling with forces beyond her control. It is a story about the resilience of the human spirit and the importance of values.