Friday, August 31, 2007

The Dawn of Their Bond

The Dawn of Their Bond

Five American Families Who Adopted Chinese Infants a Dozen Years Ago Journey Back To the Very Beginning. An article from this mornings Washington Post.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It's Transition Time...

St. Johns River Power Park - Home Away From Home

I may write more about this later. For now, this will do.

I drove home early today from work without Aly by my side. She remained behind. At work. It was a quiet ride. I kept the radio off. I stopped by a company that once again opened their hearts to our kids at the Children's Home and picked up a pallet of donated shampoo and hair products. Leaves more money to be spent on school supplies for this time of year.

I left work early today because I transitioned out. I retired. Aly said it was time. Take some Ford time she said because when Alyzabeth An gets here you're going to be locked down. My retirement will not be your traditional retirement. I will be the SAHP.

Lot of different emotions going on right now. Really hard to say how I feel. Maybe a little melancholy. And happy. Sad only because I am going to miss the drive back and forth to work with Aly. Knowing that she was always close by. At home. On the road. At work. I have always drawn a peace and calm, a strength from her - knowing she was near. I missed her on my ride home today.

And the tomorrows without her near.

LU Aly...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yep, It's That Time Once Again...

The number speaks for itself. No whining. Just stating a fact. The Wait continues and like so very many of you - we share your pain - we share the future - when all things will be good again...


Sunday, August 26, 2007

School Is In Session!

First Picture is DH and Cousin lounging on the dock - too hot for me today!!!
The other pictures are of Cousin's classroom.

Cousin Carolyn (she visited in June and February this year from Maine) is here with us while she begins a new job as a kindergarten teacher in the next county. She has 21 five year-olds, all day long (no half day for these kids). So far her experience is that they "act up" after lunch so needs to find an activity that will suit their energy - but - some also fade (get sleepy) after lunch. I can't imagine a whole day of school for these little ones. My home state still has half day for kindergarten.
Anyone know of a good blog or website for kindergarten teachers? I am sure there are lots of BTDT stories and helpful suggestions.

The pictures are of the classroom two weeks ago. The prior teacher left it a mess. These pictures were taken after we removed tons of material and trash, cleaned off the tables and chairs, set up the computers, etc. Carolyn spent days before school actually began just cleaning out the room. We only helped on one Saturday - DH is posing, DS & DH are in the other picture.

I don't understand how a Principal would put a new teacher (first year teaching) in such a disaster.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Check This Out - Free Blog Backup

Gwenblog posted about this and I wanted to share it with you in case you had not yet discovered it: Blog BackUp Online. It is currently in BETA development and as such is free! You can back up your entire blog, including the pics. You also have the option of running daily scheduled back-ups as well. Another great feature is the capability of uploading it to your computer to be saved. We are going to burn a CD of our blog as suggested by Karen at GwenBlog.

Note: It took a while to back up the entire blog but since its all done in the background - it's really not an issue and to have a free backup of the blog is pretty darn cool..... Thank you Karen!

Reminder: Gwenblog is password protected

Friday, August 24, 2007

4x6 Greetings Are A Great Pick-Me-Up

So, as another coping method to help get through The Wait....

I joined a postcard swap with other adopting Mom's. It's fun. Each day when I come home brings a little excitement as I check the mail and "meet" other dear souls, who I know to be sharing like experiences, sending their greetings from around the country. And hopefully - the World!

Amy organized the swap - thanks so much! Here's her family blog link.

If you haven't joined a postcard swap - I hope you will consider doing so. Simple pleasures are to be treasured...

Pictured above are the first few I have received. It's a fun thing. And we all can use a little more of that.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Secret Buddy Gift!!

This is the first time I have "signed up" for a secret pal swap. I have seen many come and go with all the cute baby themes. I was very envious of all the thank you's and friendships made through these swaps. So after 25 months of being in the "process", I actually joined one!

Now, to set the record straight, I have participated in quilt/wishes swaps, a bib swap and also recently a post card swap; none were "SECRET"!

So what happened when I opened my first secret buddy gift? I cried - yep, it was so beautiful, gorgeous, thoughtful, sophisticated and beyond anything I would have thought of. I am overwhelmed. Sorry for all the gushy words, hopefully you have experienced it too.

With the long wait, and the pent up emotions, I just received the best gift of all.

I will now have to step up my secret buddy game in future months as I now know the competition!!

Thank you Secret Buddy!

The soft, cuddly baby blanket with Alyzabeth's name on it, the gorgeous apple green outfit, an embroidered bib, matching cards, bows and tissue paper all came in a colorful mail bag too!

Check out my loot (oops, I mean Lizzy's loot).
Love my Secret Pal!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sade's Sweetest Taboo

Leaa & Jesse

The video quality is poor and the sound is typical of crowd noise - still... you are going to enjoy Leaa & Jesse performing Sade's Sweetest Taboo. Leaa's vocals were working smooth and Jesse once again works the guitar magic. Especially the solo work and the part where he makes a Taylor sound like a bass, awesome.

Give it a listen - and let us know what you think... You know we're proud of them but you never grow tired of hearing it :)


Friday, August 17, 2007

Not What I Was Hoping To Catch

So, to go along with our blue crabs (oh, do we have a simple crab recipe fixed in muffin tins to share with you all) I decided to do a little lazy man fishing in hopes of landing a red fish or at worst a nice eating channel cat.

And as a reminder that it's not the gators or sting rays I most fear in the river - no, it's these things :) Especially the alligator turtles, which, if and when I do catch one I'll be sure to share with you.

This little hunk of jaw crushing pleasure did battle in hopes of keeping my hook and since I wasn't going to put my hand that close to his mouth... Well, let's just say that I got my hook back and some crab trap bait as well.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mainers in China

Please watch this heart warming story of hope and love for orphans in China; the University of Maine (Lewiston/Auburn campus) is supporting our future daughters! I'm a shameless promoter and lover of my home state of Maine and the wonderful people that call it home...

I trust you will enjoy This Article.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

At This Point We'll Celebrate Anything

8-15-07 PASSPORT UPDATE: The government is really shining bright right now - in today's mail was our "old" passports simply stamped cancelled on the inside. Too good! Old memories now become keepsakes. Way to go Washington!!!

We were a bit surprised yesterday evening when we brought in the mail. We each had a nice little priority mailer with our name on it. Could it be? It sure was... Our new passports arrived! We were expecting a much longer wait - not to be confused with The Wait...

Such a small thing but one more little thing not to have to worry with. Something we did regret about having to turn in the old passports is not being able to look at the stamps of the countries we had traveled to and being able to fondly reflect back to that time. Something we won't miss is the old pictures. We may be deluding ourselves but it just may be that our "new" pictures are better than the old ones. Then again, who's kidding who - we're talking passport pictures. And we'll just casually skip the part about being 9 years older.

Skipping... casually.....

Still, the old passports would have made great keepsakes. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to go to work on making new memories in our new passports. Starting with China...


Friday, August 10, 2007

Jesse & Leaa Performing: At Last

Jesse and Leaa perform an acoustic set a couple of times a week. Recently they performed at Cortesee's in St. Augustine. This Sunday they will be at Kokomo's at Jax Beach. We'll be there. Our son Justin sneaked in his daughter Kilee to catch a couple of songs at Cortesee's. It was a fun time and the kids love working together.

Enjoy At Last featuring our DD Leaa and our fantastic SIL Jesse.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Conversations With Alyzabeth


Yes, Alyzabeth

My eyes don’t look like yours.

You have pretty eyes.

But they don’t look like yours.

How are my eyes different?

Your eyes are big and round.

As big as Salty Dog’s?

No, silly, he’s a dog.

Your eyes look like your China mom and dad.


You have pretty eyes.

You have pretty eyes too daddy.

Thank you, Alyzabeth

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Light At the End of the Tunnel

I have many thoughts on the "light at the end of the tunnel". We are so close. I even began writing a post about starting the "countdown". We are SO close. It is almost predictable about the referral date now. We believe that March 2008 is almost a sure bet if all continues with the slow months, then a few "lighter" months - gets us to March 2008. We will have her picture! Her name! Her location! Our daughter!

So next will come the travel authorization with all the appointments we must attend to in China. Then the airplane flight. Then.....

We will be in a hotel with many other families - those from our agency and many from the other "smaller" agencies. Who will be there with us? Who will become a friend forever as we witness our new families. We will be there when our daughters are placed in our arms. We will take pictures of their families. We will see them cry and laugh! We will crawl along the hotel hallways playing together. Rejoicing in our great fortune to have our daughter. Who will become bonded together forever through our daughters. Their daughters played with our daughter at the orphanage. Who are these families?

Do you think you will travel with us? Should we meet while still in USA? Can we work out plans for the good time over in China, plus help each other in the bad times?

Who are you? We want to meet you and have the first group hug here and now. We are ready!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Video Upload Testing

Sorry Jesse, (our SIL) we're needing to make certain we are able to upload videos for when we go to China. Hope you don't mind... And thank you. BTW: you sounded great that day...

Wisdom Wednesday

Money is kind of a base subject. Like water, food, air and housing, it affects everything yet for some reason the world of academics thinks it's a subject below their social standing. Robert Kiyosaki

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Mary Engelbreit

At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent. Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel

Why the Charlotte's Web picture? I'm thinking it goes along with "wisdom"........ :)