Friday, November 30, 2007

Pay It Forward Exchange

I read about the Pay it Forward Exchange on Cotton Spice. Check out her crafts too.

I will send to the first three commenter's a Christmas or Hanukkah gift. Not sure at this time what it will be, just hope you will like it and decide about your "pay it forward".

The Pay It Forward Exchange is based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Send your mailing address by way of our email link.

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

LID Count Down Club or Is That Up? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

As each month washes over us, we work hard to find a sense of comfort in knowing we must be drawing closer in bringing this particular ritual to an end. The posting of the number of months since your LID is an unwritten rule that must be followed. To be sure, it's a bittersweet task. Happy for another month having slipped by in this (shared) agonizingly slow journey to our little ones. Sad because one more month has slipped by without the little one.

For now.
Do not become overwhelmed by "The Wait" for the time will come when each of us will no longer find ourselves in the exclusive LID Count Down Club.
Eventually. Just not yet.

So until that time, in keeping with adoption land protocol, we proudly perform our duty and proclaim our LID anniversary. And we'll be back next month. Same time. Same day. In announcing our 23rd.

It is after all, Tradition...

:) Peace (:
ac & fm

Monday, November 26, 2007

Organizing Sunday

I said I would clean out a room and we did it!! We planned to do some yesterday on Saturday but with moving Carolyn to her new home and our usual distractions, we didn't get any of it started. So today after church, it was cleaning (which helped keep our sanity). It is not completely done as you can see the boxes in the corner, plus I have some new "under the bed" containers that will fill up that space.
We filled two trash cans so DH gets to go to the dump rather than waiting for collection day.
Check out the Organizing Junkie!
Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What In The World Does That Mean?

Here are some common acronyms that are used on adoption blogs. We originally received this via an email from the CCAI Yahoo group. We've added a couple for good measure. What have we forgotten??? Feel free to copy these and add yours!

ACR: Age of Child Requested
BTDT: Been There Done That
BTW: By The Way
BIL: Brother-in-Law
CCAA: China Centre for Adoption Affairs
CCAI: Chinese Children Adoption International
CWI: Children's Welfare Institute
DIL: Daughter-in-Law
DH: Dear Husband or other words that start with a D ;-)
DOB: Date of Birth
DOR: Date of Referral
DW: Dear Wife (of course no other meaning for the D!)
DTC: Dossier to China
FD: Forever Day (the day your little one in placed in your arms) Replaces Gotcha Day
FF: Forever Family
FWIW: For What It's Worth
Gotcha Day: (or "Mettcha") The day your baby was placed in your arms (See FD)
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
ITA: In Total Agreement
LID: Logged In Date
LOL: Laugh Out Loud
NSN: Non Special Needs
OTOH: On The Other Hand
ROFLOL: Rolling On the Floor Laughing Out Loud
SIL: Sister-in-Law or Son-in-Law
SN: Special Needs
SWI: Social Welfare Institute
TA: Travel Approval
TBD: To Be Determined
TTYL: Talk To You Later
TTYS: Talk To You Soon
WTF: What The ****

Remember to add yours.....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Picture - The Gang's all Here!

We had a great day and enjoyed everyone's company.
Grand-daughter Alivia was trying to play with cousin Carolyn and wouldn't face the camera.
And, our Salty Dog didn't quite understand about facing the camera either; we have a wonderful "behind" shot of him!
(we are standing on the end, the right side of picture)
Here's the picture from last year.... I think we still need to practice our photography skills or buy a better camera!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Secret Buddy - Second Swap Group

I have two groups I am swapping Secret Buddy/Pal gifts. I had not signed up for any and have missed out on the friendships that come about from such activities. So I joined one in July from a blog offering a new swap.

Then the January DTC Yahoo group began a new swap; I joined it as that is the group we most identify with/hang out with/chat/blog with, etc.....

Here's the pictures of the goodies I received from the second group - JanDTC Secret Pal!

I love the all the bath items, the frog wash-cloth hand puppet and froggy bath toys will be so much fun - check out the blinky lights - yep, those frogs light up!

The bath soaps and shampoo are "worldly". The shampoo box has this on it: "Circle of Friends' fun and gentle products are designed to satisfy children's unique hair and bath needs, while sparking their interest in cultures from around the world."
Each bottle has information on a different country. How cool!

Thanks Secret Buddy!!

Shopping & Christmas Prayer

Today's Prayer

Today is Friday--the day after Thanksgiving. People flock to the malls and outlets to spend more money than any other day of the year. There are sales to catch, gifts to buy...and debts to incur.

God, please give us an extra nudge today and wisdom and a desire to live within our means today and in the days to come. You gave us a very special gift because of your love for us. And we should not give to others out of a sense of duty, but because we love or appreciate them. Help us remember that the gifts we may buy are no where near as important as the gifts of our time and love. Lord, I want to enjoy the simple pleasures of life...and make time for my friends and family this Christmas season. Thank you so much for your priceless gift of your Son, and the salvation you so lovingly provided for me. In my Savior's name I pray,


Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Parrots Take On Thanksgiving...

I think the parrot's name is Jack, as in Nicholson.....

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! We just finished putting two turkeys on the smoker and soon we'll put a third one in the roaster to save room in the kitchen oven for all the side dishes. Ah, a feast is soon upon us. Enjoy this special day and remember to save room for dessert!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Organizing your Stuff!

Click on this link for the 30 Day Organizational Challenge!

Have problems with clutter and organizing your "stuff"?

Check out - I am an Organizing Junkie, enjoying one pile of clutter at a time.
Oprah has information from a professional clutter-buster, Peter Walsh.
Stay at Home Mom & Professional Organizer has lots of great advice.
How about "Taking Charge" of your life with tips on organizing and life coaching/time management?

There are probably hundreds of web sites for organizing, so here's my last one to offer. Check out Organized Mom.
My whole issue with clutter is that dreaded "getting started" and what to do with all the "family" possessions that have emotions tied to it. Help!! I will need a professional to aid with the "sticking to the rules". Anyone close by who is willing to help? I am truly embarrassed that my house is so full of stuff (I have the wonderful excuse of saying..... but, here in Florida I have no basement, no attic, very few closets......). Just think if I had all that extra space, it would be full of stuff by now too!!.
So how do you have the time to de-clutter? Here's one way - a piece of advice for all us addicted to the laptop - Change one habit - like reading emails - what do you think?

So in my first attempt alone, here's the before pictures (pay no attention to the full size Ricky Craven poster, that's only one of hundreds of his memorabilia I have). I will have a "finished" picture next weekend. Cheer me on!

Luke 12:14-16 (NIV)
14:Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15:Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
Check out the Bible small group study at Excellent for learning more about handling money and "stuff".

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Sheldon Family - Home...

We know many of you involved in the IA process have followed closely the story of The Sheldon Family. The great news is that mom Sandi and her little one Hannah are home. Our prayers go out to this family as they grieve the loss of a husband and father coupled with the joy and love of a new daughter.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

LID & Your Referral Date Best Guess

You know the drill. Plug in your LID date, ours happens to be 1/27/06, and then jump up and down with joy or read um' and weep. Here are 3 to check out just in case one leaves you feeling too depressed (or giddy).

Dave's Referral Estimator

China Adoption Forecast

China Adoption Referral Forecast

peace (along with our hope for your speedy referral)

Friday, November 16, 2007

No More Excuses

I want to thank everyone for my birthday wishes. Very much appreciated. Again, thank you.

I've always enjoyed going to birthday parties. Just never my own. It has nothing to do about getting older and I'm normally more than comfortable in making myself the center of attention, if only in my mind :) However, something about a birthday party, my own, makes me feel too self-centered. Though I admit that for my 50th we rented the upstairs of the Hard Rock Cafe in Key West with more friends and family driving and flying in than I deserved. Fun. Big time fun...

But I digress. I received way too many great gifts this year (wait until you see my new cap). And while it's not right to highlight just one, I do want to share with you the one from my son, daughter and son-in-law. All my life I have wanted to play guitar but I've always had an excuse to not learn. I was either too busy. Too slow witted. Or lazy. I took lessons once for about a month but without doing the homework in between lessons, guess what? You don't learn. Which brings me back to "the gift". Justin, Leaa and Jesse gave me a month of guitar lessons. I just had my first lesson yesterday. I loved it. Now it's up to me. To practice. To give it a real try. To make my instructor (Carl) proud of me. To accomplish one of those "things" I said I always wanted to do but never did. No more excuses.

Speaking of excuses, you'll have to excuse me now. I need some quiet time. To practice..... oops, I mean play. According to my music mentor. We don't practice. We PLAY music!
Thanks kids. I love you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Birthday Cake for DH

I forgot to post pictures of the devil food cake DH asked me to bake for his birthday. I need to remember this experience! The Southern Living magazine recipe called for six cake layers. I stopped at five!
It came out very well and all enjoyed!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Candidate Match Game 2008

Like it or not the political season is upon us. USA Today has a basic 14 question Presidential Match interactive quiz that will correspond your answers to the candidate that best represents your responses. It's not a perfect test nor are the questions perfect but it's a start. It's fairly common to hear one of us say we "like" this candidate and "do not like" that candidate supported with one or two hot button issues. Yet, do we really know who WE stand the closest to on the more comprehensive issues?

Granted it is a simple and limited test, yet it may help to foster thought on the issues before us. Private thought, your thoughts about what is important to you in the upcoming election. And it just may cause you and I to rethink who we like and who we don't and more importantly, why. Frustration and aggravation may drive us to say it doesn't really matter but deep down, we know it does. It really, really does...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Apple Pie Makes The House Smells Good!

I just had to post a picture of my apple pie made a few weeks ago. I love baking, just don't take the time to do it much (plus, one must eat the homemade goodies - ouch - the calories!!!).
I do love baking pies, cakes, cheesecakes, etc....

Cousin C. and I peeled and sliced all the remaining apples from Maine, so have them in the freezer for a pie at Thanksgiving. Yummy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to Ford!!!

My DH's birthday is today. He (we) celebrated last night with the family. DD hosted a wonderful dinner with lots of family. The "kids" gave him guitar lessons for a month beginning this Thursday. It is something he always wanted to do; he loves music and can sing wonderfully so am sure he will love the guitar.

Here's a few pictures from today's lazy Monday.
Cousin C. in her kayak and paddling far and away.....
We took a "Sunday" outing down the river so Ford could check out the fishing. The Florida trees are now getting bare; this is "our" fall look.......
It was quite warm in the sun even though temperatures were only just near 70 degrees.

Left or Right Brain: Which Are You?

Susan over at Reading, Writing, Living has something you have to take. It's called the: Brain Test. Nothing to answer other than making an observation. Is the young woman spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise? The direction you choose determines if you are a Left Brain or a Right Brain person. You have got to do this. Grab your significant other or your child or a friend or someone you are convinced doesn't have a brain and give this a try. It takes all of 3 seconds.

Susan, this was too cool. Thanks for sharing... And as for the rest of you. Are you a Left or a Right Brain person?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Over-Nighter With Alivia

You can click on the picture or HERE to snag a few pictures of sweet Livi during her over-nighter with Nana & Poppy while mom and dad celebrated their anniversary with a weekend trip to Savannah...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Secret Pal Strikes Again!!!

Just feast your eyes on all the Alyzabeth An goodies my very "secretive" Secret Pal sent to us! Can you even begin to believe it! It is nothing short of amazing what coming home to a surprise package such as this does to the human spirit. I drag myself home and then light up like a Christmas Tree upon seeing the package that DH has lovingly placed so it's the first thing I see coming through the door.
Click on the picture to check out all the gifts up close; the prissy white bowed head band (she will be adorable in that!) and the "Love" socks. Can you believe the cute lady bug sandals, the ladybug bib and the ladybug in the puzzle? Very cool! The musical toy with animal shapes and the picture frame with animals, the puzzle with lots of bugs.... all great gifts and learning opportunities in the future with Lizzy.

And our "colors" for Alyzabeth's room is brown and pink, so love the shirt with "Everyone loves a brown eyed girl". We have seen these shirts but don't have one... now we do!

The joy and happiness of opening these heart sharing gifts are just more than one can properly convey. THANK YOU Secret Pal.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Never Too Late...

We have never dodged the fact that we will be older parents. It's simply a fact. With our age comes advantages and disadvantages. It is what it is. For those of you traveling a like journey, you have no doubt shared the same "questioning" looks and comments of others upon learning of your intention to adopt. And like us, you have silently questioned yourself at one time or another. We have little doubt that at various times in the future we will look at each other and declare "What were we ever thinking?" I don't think we need to answer that rhetorical question however, as we are quite certain, we each knew exactly what we were thinking and feeling...

We enjoy watching the Hallmark Channel's Adoption Stories and wanted to dedicate this particular episode (#4) to all you older parents out there. And as such, always remember you are not alone in believing, it's:

Never Too Late...

ac & fm

The Daring Book For Girls

If you have a young lady on your Christmas list you may want to check out our friend Susan over at Reading, Writing, Living. As part of her book blog tour she highlights The Daring Book For Girls. I know we have a couple of young ladies on our list who just may find this gift under the tree come Christmas.

I would suggest taking time to explore Susan's blog. Look in all the little nooks and crannies and I think you will discover the many marvels of her talents and her adoption insight. All of this on top of being a very accomplished writer. Some people just get all the talent :)

Book Description

The Daring Book for Girls is the manual for everything that girls need to know—and that doesn't mean sewing buttonholes! Whether it's female heroes in history, secret note-passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double dutch, cats cradle, the perfect cartwheel or the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking, this book has it all. But it's not just a guide to giggling at sleepovers—although that's included, of course! Whether readers consider themselves tomboys, girly-girls, or a little bit of both, this book is every girl's invitation to adventure.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Kids & Adults Alike Love This Pizza Casserole

I served two of these when we celebrated Leaa & Nicole's birthdays. Each had pepperoni but one was stuffed with hamburger and the other with Italian sausage. For the record, the hamburger was the casserole of choice which was great for me because I loved the Italian sausage :) The recipe follows...

Pizza Casserole

1: LB. Bow Tie Pasta
1: LB. Hamburger (Sausage, Ham, Whatever You Like)
1: Large Onion; Sliced, Lightly Saute'
2: 26 Ounce Jars Of Pizza Sauce (You Can Use Spaghetti Sauce)
1: Cup Fresh Mushrooms; Sliced, Lightly Saute'
1/2 To 1: Lb. Sliced Pepperoni
3: 8 Ounce Bags Of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
6: Tablespoons Of Grated Parmesan Cheese
1: Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1: Teaspoon Dried Oregano


1. Cook Pasta According To Directions
2. Cook Hamburger (Sausage) With Garlic Powder, Oregano, Onion & Mushrooms Until Juices Run Clear
3. Lightly Coat A 9x13 Pan With Pizza Sauce
4. Layer Ingredients In Order:
5. 1st Layer; 1/3 Of Pasta, 1/3 Of Sauce, 2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, 1/3 Hamburger, 1 Bag Of Mozzarella Cheese
6. 2nd Layer: Repeat With Half Remaining Ingredients
7. 3rd Layer: Repeat Using Remaining Ingredients
8. Completely Cover Top With Pepperoni Slices
9. Bake At 375 Degrees F For 40 Minutes (Adjust Time For Your Oven)
10. Allow To Stand For 5 Minutes Before Serving

Notes: The recipe originally called for adding an additional 1/2 LB. of Ham, DD Leaa substituted mushrooms in place of the 1/2 LB. of Ham. I will be doing the same. You also might consider using Canadian Bacon in this recipe. Yum...
Also note that this recipe when assembled will weigh a TON! Experiment. Have fun and remember to share with me your results.

Leaa recently prepared and froze this casserole and the Shepherd's Pie recipe for a girlfriend who is scheduled for a cesarean birth November 12. Both do freeze well and you might think about doing the same thing before heading to China to have meals ready for when you first get home.


Monday, November 05, 2007

CCAA Referral Date Released

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

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before December 8, 2005.

Congratulations to all the new Forever Families...


I found this interesting bit of data over at Abigail...Our Journey Of Hope. I think we all have experienced what it's like trying to explain the slowdown to family and friends. At any rate, these kind folks did the leg work to show the CCAA LID TO REFERRAL TIMELINE data in an easy to read manner. I'll not say you'll enjoy the data feedback but for those of us enduring The Wait it is further proof of just how strong and patient we all are. OK, maybe the patient part is a stretch.

  1. From calendar date 3-17-05 to 10-3-05 the CCAA took 7 months to match 6 months worth of LID's.
  2. From calendar date 11-10-05 to 11-02-06 it took them 12 months to match 5 1/2 months worth of LID's.
  3. From calendar date 11-2-06 to 10-2-07 it took them 11 months to match a little over 3 months worth of LID's.
  4. If you look at it over the past 2 years, from calendar date 11-10-05 to 10-02-07, it took the CCAA 23 months to match a little over 8 1/2 months worth of LID's.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Larry King Interviews Jerry Seinfeld

At first I'm thinking...he's (Larry King) kidding right? And then the light goes on. My light. Larry it would seem was the one in the dark all along.

I'm sorry, I know this has nothing to do with adoption but this was funny.

Larry King interviewing Jerry Seinfeld

Friday, November 02, 2007

Only Memories Now

This is a picture of our neighbor's home. It is a modest brick and stone, very well maintained home. Fount and Betty had stone brought in from their native state of Alabama for their fireplace, walkways and their custom mailbox.

We lost Fount a few years back and Miss Betty moved to Orlando to be near their son. The property has sat empty for the most part. A college friend of their son rented the home for a brief time while working an engineering project in Jacksonville. Other than that, Miss Betty would only visit sparingly.

One of my fondest memories of Fount & Ms Betty would always take place after Fount and a gentleman he hired to routinely help him mow and pick up the yard had finished for the day. Fount would go inside and get two Coor's beers and he and Ms Betty would sit under one of their massive live oak trees facing the river. On more than one occasion Aly and I would fix ourselves something to enjoy and venture over to join them. I miss those times. We both miss Fount and Ms Betty.

This is now.

Salty Dog and I were rattled rather abruptly by what felt like a minor earthquake the other morning. Upon the second "shake" we made our way outdoors only to witness this. Fount and Ms Betty's home was to be no more. We knew the property had been sold and like what is happening to most all the homes sold in the past couple of years around us, it was being torn down to make way for a newer, more modern home. It's not that I don't understand...

It's just that their home always served to remind us of two people we enjoyed so much. Who enjoyed life so much. Who loved each other so much.

Those are only memories now. Only memories...


Thursday, November 01, 2007

So, What's Your Hidden Talent

Well, we have to do something to occupy our time as we Wait not so patiently for the latest referrals...

Your Hidden Talent

You are both very knowledgeable and creative.
You tend to be full of new ideas and potential - big potential.
Ideas like yours could change the world, if you build them.
As long as you don't stop working on your dreams, you'll get there.