Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hear, Speak, See No Evil About Referrals

What rumor? I don't listen to rumors. Fool's game it is...
No sir, you won't catch me spreading rumors. Not saying a word am I...
Haven't even seen anything that looks like a rumor for that matter...


You're talking about that crazy rumor over on RQ I saw with all those people talking about a December 27 cutoff date. You can bet I'm not going to get caught up in something like that. Nope, not going to happen...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Quilt is Complete!!

It's done. Complete. It's PERFECT!!! From laying out the individual fabric squares (read November 26, 2006 post, yes, I do mean 2006) to having them stitched together for the top (December 01, 2007).

Looking back over the progress reminds me of the fun in swapping squares and receiving squares from family and friends. Looking forward to the mail each day. It also reminds me of all the work my MIL Joy did in making this the absolute perfect 100 Good Wishes Quilt for Alyzabeth An!

I love the border and prairie points, look at the very bottom right corner of the picture where you can see the stitches. The picture below shows the stitching on the back side. The hand stitching is unbelievably beautiful! Isn't it GRAND? Thank you!!

I love it that Nana Joy included her tag. This way Lizzy will always be reminded of the loving hands that stitched her quilt...

Each square is so important. So meaningful. I'm constantly stopping to look and touch the individual squares and just had to share this with you all. The quilt is filled with memories and good wishes and a lifetime of love that Lizzy will have for her lifetime...all captured in her 100 Good Wishes Quilt.

Thank you so much.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Secret Pal - Seventh Diamond Swap - January

The whole SP swap thing is amazing. Amazing that someone you have never met has a heart as big as the moon for you and the little one we will call Alyzabeth. Each time DH and I open the SP gift box we stare at each other with eyes bright and eyes misty. The excitement of seeing what Alyzabeth "got" helps us to Imagine more and more what it will be like when Lizzy becomes part of our Forever Family. Words will never be able to express what it is like to have a SP who shares her heart, all to make our days brighter and our dream more real. Thank You - Thank You...

Look at the cute lady bug dishes for Lizzy. The drinking glass is like a snow globe, the bowl and plate have the lady bug motif; I know we will have fun feeding her meals from these dishes!

We also received the new Chinese Postage stamps- a whole sheet of them!! The lady bug socks, lady bug magnet and the baby photo album are all so sweet - great gifts! Thank you!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

LID Reaches 2 Year Milestone

Well, it could be worse. Seriously, we're not kidding. You either go with the flow or you'll backup like a clogged septic.

So, rather than dwell on the could of's, should of's, would of's, we prefer to give thanks for all we have and all we have to look forward to. Life is good. Live it. Love it. Share it...


*(and don't forget to vote)

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Voted Today & Other Ramblings

I'm rambling. It happens from time to time...

The Florida primary is fast approaching. I stopped by our library today and voted early. I remember it was not that long ago when "voting early" simply did not exist, in fact, I still remember the howls of protest against those advocating an early voting option. Suffice it to say, early voting is here to stay and Internet voting from home will someday be standard fare.

Deciding who to vote for was really not that difficult. Oh, I could make a case of how I pondered this and went back and forth on that but in the end, it really was not that hard of a decision. Not to say that I didn't have different positions on some of the issues with my candidate. However, I seriously doubt that a candidate exists that is a proponent of everything I or anyone else professes to support. You may have heard the old adage that close only counts in horseshoes and grenades. Well I'm thinking it might apply to more things in our lives than we ever suspected. It's much like the church I am a member of, I simply am not in agreement with everything they teach nor do I hold much desire to ever be. Are these differences enough to cause me to seek a different denomination? Not yet. And if not yet, then why? And how, if at all, does it relate to my political beliefs? Or for that matter, any of my beliefs?

I seldom talk about what my job was before I recently retired. A couple of reasons for that but more importantly for this post I will simply say I worked in the environmental field. I tell you this because I worked in an industry that in all probability is a (if not the) leading industrial air polluter in your community. We're nation wide. Global, in fact. Just this month I saw a new commercial on TV (also playing nation wide) extolling the "clean" virtues of the industry and the good they are doing for each of us. It was a very good commercial. Very good. Very misleading and deliberately deceiving in that it left out THE key greenhouse pollution data that you would find disturbing but then most citizens wouldn't know that. As I said, it was a very good commercial. For the industry.

So why did I work in such a field if I was an "environmentalist"? I was asked that question not so long ago. It was asked not so much as to elicit an answer as much as it was to drive home a point. A sharpened point. Into my gut, coupled with a whack across the knees with the perceived objective of not just cutting me down but to expose me for the environmental hypocrite that I was. The attempt failed though I am convinced my inquisitor felt a sublime sense of duty performed and lesson delivered. I am also convinced that they failed to grasp what my role, my purpose, my intent and finally, what my job was. For you see, I chose to work from within. To work from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Also, (very important disclosure upcoming) it paid well. While I could not end pollution, I remained a constant advocate and enabler of people, money and equipment to reduce the environmental impact my industry was having in my community and I would like to think in yours as well. As I said, my inquisitor failed to see that. I tend to believe that the concept of my being environmentally sincere was looked upon with the same skepticism that would greet a military general being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Though if you will consider that for just a moment, who better to promote and work for peace than a General. Not trying to be ugly but I'll take the General over the Preacher on that one. It's back to working from the inside out. Be it politics, religion, your job. Family.

Seldom is there just one answer. One correct position. I was trained and subsequently taught others to look for causes. By identifying causes we uncover and implement solutions. My life lesson has taught me that significant change can be brought about by an array of avenues. Working from within is merely one channel of communicating and fostering a change. Most important, is you choosing to stay involved. To throw your horseshoe as close to the stake as you can get it. I would suggest being a tab bit careful of throwing grenades but then that's just me. I hope you find your avenue...

Remember to vote.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Working Women

Are you planning on a different work schedule after the adoption?

Once back home from China, did you have an approved amount of "vacation" time with a plan to gradually increase your work schedule back to "full time"? That's what I plan to do and I did have a tentative agreement with the "boss" back when we started this journey. Of course, that boss is no longer my boss.

So then I read this at Giorgia Danette. This hit home for me.
Will I take some of this advice - you bet! Thank you to the BTDT women (and author Lee Lusardi Connor)!!

Since Donna asked about my plans - here they are. First, I will define what "vacation" days mean - they are not just vacation. At our workplace they are called "leave" time which includes sick days. We have no sick days as you are given the choice to manage all "leave" as needed. So I cannot use all my leave; must keep a minimum of two weeks in the "bank".
So with that, here's my wonderful secret - I will have a SAHD (Stay at Home Dad)! My DH is retired so he will be the daily care-giver (love'n, hugg'n, play'n daddy!).
I will take off from work one week before the travel date and the two weeks over in China.
I will then take six weeks vacation "leave" when we are home (I may be able to take more depending on what I have in the bank at the time of our referral). The first two weeks at home will be intense bonding at home. The next two weeks will be traveling to introduce her to our out of State families; then back home for more 24/7 time with Lizzy. I will then return to work for two - three days per week for four weeks, then full time again. My full time hours are very long considering my commute. I leave the house at 5:30 a.m. and usually return home by 6:00 p.m. I do have to go into work at rare times on the weekends or odd hours depending on technical problems or equipment failures.

So my total "vacation" days I need in the "bank" are 53 days or about 11 weeks. Right now I have 15 weeks saved but I am still stingy with my time as I need to return to work with a few weeks for sick time and vacations. That's the plans!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Refridgerated Bread & Butter Pickle Recipe

We visited with Big Pop and Nana Joy this weekend. While there, Nana Joy served up some Bread & Butter pickles (sweet pickles) made from a recipe a friend of theirs from Michigan shared. It's a straight forward recipe, easy to follow, that can have you enjoying the sweet taste of these excellent pickles in one days time.


4 Tbs Course Salt
4 Cups Sugar
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 Tsp Celery Seed
2 Tsp Tumeric
1 Small Onion
1 Gallon Jar (plastic or glass)
Updated: 5 Cucumbers (the very long, hydroponic, burpless type, otherwise plan on 10 - 15 regular cucumbers)

Slice the cucumbers to your desired thickness along with 1 onion (you do not have to peel the cucumbers). Put the sliced cucumbers and onion in the Gallon Jar. Fill the jar. You don't have to pack it but fill it...

In a medium size sauce pan, add the vinegar, sugar, salt and seasonings. Heat everything slowly until the sugar dissolves. You do not have to bring the mixture to a boil. Let the liquid cool for about 15 minutes. Check to ensure the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the cooled liquid over the pickles and onions in your 1 gallon jar. NOTE* The Liquid Will Not Completely Cover The Cucumber & Onion Slices. Place the jar in your refrigerator.

This is the jar after 4 hours in the refrigerator. Notice how it appears the liquid has grown and the cucumbers and onions have shrunk.

24 hours after having been placed in the refrigerator. And the taste is UMMM-UMMM GOOD!



Monday, January 21, 2008

Candles - Mia Bella's Scent-Sations

Do you remember when I was cruising around bloggy-land and finding all sorts of sweepstakes and give-aways? I found a blog called "A Frog in My Soup" that had a give-away for a candle and mentioned this candle web site so I left a comment.

Again, let me mention the web site A Frog in my Soup, it is so cool, so many fun things going on! Please check it out!

Anyways, I was rewarded with a email from J. Ladson and she offered to send me a candle if I would write an honest opinion on the candle. I received the scent "Clean Cotton" in the mail!! Yeah! A free candle.
I read up on the background information about the company and candle, so that I would know what I should agree with or not agree with as to "claims" for the product performance:

A sales point is that 8 of 10 homes in USA burn candles, and that burning candles may relieve stress, create a romantic mood, will provide pleasant scents which all contribute to better moods for the family members! The company also promotes their products for home sales (home based distribution) and fund raisers.
Performance claims: The candles burn clean, practically soot free. Any spills may be cleaned up with hot soapy water as these candles are made from vegetable matter - renewable sources, not petroleum products. Mia Bella candles smell "real", have real scents; over 90 to choose from.

I lit the jar candle (16 oz size) which was easy as the jar is not the huge heavy size AND it also has two wicks.
The candle smelled very fragrant, definitely of clean laundry - like a combination of laundry detergent and the dryer sheets that give all our clothes and sheets a fresh, outdoor, cotton smell right from the dryer.
I really like it for the fresh clothes scent and have it in my utility room/laundry room. It is strong enough to keep the room smelling great even without being lit. When we first lit the candle, we let it burn for 35 minutes and there was very little loss of wax. I don't know how long it will last, but it must be for many hours.
Hope you enjoyed! We love our free candle. We even like the label, looks European so made us look very close at the label to see all the details.
Now, go place an order (remember these are made from renewable sources - Go Green!!) and choose your favorite scent - I know most of my family and friends burn candles. Maybe we can share an order.... give me a call!!

Extra bonus note: If you love cinnamon sticky buns, Mia Bella has Cinnamon Bun candles for a "fresh baked delicious scent".

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Girl Just Has to Talk!

Our Grand-daughter was in true form and could not leave her Mother's cell phone alone. The first two pictures show off her PJ's and slippers. She has on pajamas that remind her Mom of the pictures of all the Chinese little girls bundled up in the orphanages. She did admit that a few more layers would be needed to really compete with them!
I wish I could take better pictures with our camera, so many come out blurry - any help from the experts? The camera is a Fuji FinePix A500, 5.1 mega pixels.

Here's Alivia, our chatter girl!! Notice the cute and snugly Elmo slippers?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Passing On the Award: Blog With A Purpose

Disclaimer: When I began writing this, about a week ago, these two blogs did not have the award yet.... I am a little late as usual!
Here's our nominations for "Blogging With a Purpose".
And the award goes to:

John & Wendy: We love reading this blog called Adoption and Fire. This blog truly has a higher purpose and calling. We are moved by their stories and encouragement. They are firefighters and have an LID 12/27/05.

Stephe at Giorgia Danette: I love reading the very informative posts; always useful and a few have really made a difference in my thinking. She has tons of information. I've printed out her "The Call" sheet to be READY for the call. She's also one of our Precious Pandas and has been waiting the big "WAIT" along with us. Thank you.

Read the rules here and have fun selecting your award winning blogs!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Guitar Lessons Update

You may remember that Justin, Leaa & Jesse gave me guitar lessons as a birthday gift this past November. Well, here's an update on how I'm doing.

My teacher, Carl, started me out by teaching me the first position notes on a guitar. I have struggled. For a long time. A very long time. Carl, however, is a man of patience. Thank heavens. The first position notes are located on the first three frets. So, each day I pick out the notes as a warm up. First picking down and then reversing and making my way back up the strings. Most folks have their own way of remembering which string is which. Here is mine.

E > Every
A > Acid
D > Dealer
G > Gets
B > Busted
E > Eventually

What can I say. I grew up in a different time. It works for me. Carl I think is just happy I'm remembering something...

As Christmas time approached Carl decided I needed to know a Christmas song. I am proud to report that I can now play Silent Night. Picking it slowly, one note at a time. I have not studied chords yet. I'm a note guy for right now. Carl knows best. I'm cool with Carl. I tried playing Silent Night for Dad and Nana Joy. It was painful. They smiled and expressed genuine pride in my new found accomplishment. I beamed like a third grader. Parents, you got to love them. Finding good in most everything we do...

Carl loves The Beatles. Our kids love The Beatles. I love The Beatles. My next song was All My Lovin'. Any guesses on who wrote and performed it? Didn't think so. I'm still working on it. Every now and then I can get through the whole song without making a mistake. Not often. But I've done it. I did it this morning. However, I still have to steal peeks at the music to see what note comes next. Poor memory. I refuse to believe it's an age thing. OK, I refuse to admit it's an age thing. Whatever...

I'm also working on the Ray Charles song, What I'd Say. While still working in the first position notes, the song is trying to help me speed up. It's just me, the guitar, the pick and one slow, struggling to go faster finger. I'm getting there. I did say Carl was a man of patience didn't I? That is such a good thing. So good. I often feel sorry for Carl...

I just started working with a beginning music theory workbook. I think Carl is going to slowly try to teach me how to read a little music. I'm not ready to be tested on this just yet however. Maybe next week. It's a good book. One I think I can pick up in time. It has overtones of past learning achievements of mine. Way in the past. Like when I first learned to read. In my case. Dick, Jane and Spot. That is going back quite a ways. Some of you may not go back that far. You should be happy. Real happy. It means you're a young person happy. "Look Dick. See Spot? See Spot Run" said Jane. I think Carl is on to something here. I think he's really tapped in to my true talent and ability...

So that's pretty much where I'm at. Aly is very encouraging and compliments me often. She is so good at recognizing and massaging the fragile male ego. That is until she picks up the guitar and starts playing the song I just spent an hour torturing. She can't fool me though. I know she loves me. And has more music talent in one little finger than I do counting every finger and toe on my body...

Life is good you all. Thanks for the gift kids. I'm still loving it. And I plan to keep playing. Who knows. One of these days we all may record a song together...


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Lemon, The Orange & The Over-Ripe Lime

Salty Dog and I picked some citrus the other day and in doing so we discovered the river side lime tree had been woefully neglected. Aly more regularly picks the Key limes and Persian limes but only the Persian remains after we lost the Key lime tree during Hurricane Francis. The Persian is a prolific bearer and for whatever reason we fell behind in harvesting this year (not to shift the blame to Aly for not picking the limes. I share equally in that oversight). The clear tip off to the fact we failed to keep up with our picking duties is the color of the limes still waiting to be picked.

The largest citrus in the picture is a Ponderosa Lemon. Huge, thick skinned and tasty. We like sending these to a cousin up North who then invites her girlfriends over for a Lemon Drop Martini Party. We may need to hand deliver these come to think of it :) The orange is a Navel from a tree planted years ago, received as a birthday gift from DD Leaa. Always sweet, easy to peel and practically seedless. Which leaves our lime, which you may be asking, why is it yellow? I thought limes were green? They are and it was. However, if you don't pick them, they gradually turn yellow.

Fortunately, the limes have not gone by. We'll pick them, juice them and freeze the sharp and tangy nectar eventually finding its way into more than a few recipes. Both food and drink.

I'm starting to think more about my cousin's Lemon Drop Martini Party up in Stillwater. Maybe we should start checking prices on airline tickets...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Easy Appetizers - Artichoke Dip & Spinach Dip

How easy do these two recipes sound? I think they would be great anytime. I am always on the look out for appetizer recipes.

Hot Artichoke Dip - What can be added and not throw off the proportions or consistency? Ideas? Green Onions? Chopped Water Chestnuts? Spinach? Mozzarella Cheese?
I like this blog, very informative, fun reading (and I watched one of my favorite shows, the Charlie Brown Christmas story on it too, go to post 11/30/07).

Hot Artichoke Dip

  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke heart, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I substitute with minced garlic about 1 tbs. Stays refrigerated forever! )

Directions: Combine all ingredients

  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees 25 minutes or until heated through.
  • Serve with french bread or pita bread (toasted).

Hot Spinach Dip:

This rich, creamy dip can be assembled through step two up to three days ahead, then covered and refrigerated; it can also be served as a side dish. Two 10-ounce packages of frozen spinach can be substituted for the fresh. Thaw according to box instructions, drain well, and chop.

Prep: 30 minutes Total: 1 hour
Makes 3 cups
* 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for baking dish
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 pounds spinach, cleaned, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
* 1/2 cup milk
* 6 ounces reduced-fat bar cream cheese
* 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
* 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
* 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* Baguette slices, breadsticks, or crackers, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Add spinach in two additions, letting the first batch wilt before adding the next; cook until completely wilted, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander; drain, pressing to release all excess liquid.
3. In the same pot, warm milk over high heat. Whisk in cream cheese until melted, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/4 cup mozzarella; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
4. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot with accompaniments, as desired.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

And We Accept this Award on Behalf of.......

We have been chosen by TWO friends for this award!!

OziMum at Australia to China awarded us the "Blogging for a Purpose" award. She is LID 02/22/06, just 26 days after us. We wish we were closer in date so that we could meet in China.... alas, no hope of that!! So thank you for the award and read all about it at Blogging with a Purpose .

AND... Don & Be at Pregnancy by Adoption awarded us the "Blogging for a Purpose" award too!! We have actually met Don & Be (LID 03/24/06) and are "soul couples". Just need to hook up with them more often... what's a three hour drive??? Here's our story with them.

Our blogging purpose?
It all began in our excitement to document the process of adopting our new daughter. Each step of paper work, each special event from the home study to phone calls with our Agency, CCAI, to getting the notice of DTC! We wanted to write about each step of the journey.
Our blog has evolved into a sharing of family news and day to day life during our journey (now known as the "WAIT"). We blog about our "kids", our grand-"kids" (no longer the babies), our old and new bloggy friends (I remember when DH first connected with Johnny, what a wonderful supportive person, my DH needed to know there were wonderful Dad's like him out there). We blog about pets (our furry children), we have shared sorrow and joy.
I (we) never dreamed we would have over two and a half years of our lives documented.
May our dear daughter not fall asleep each time I tell her the story of our journey as I show her pictures and read her parts of this blog (as it will be a Blurp book soon). Will she remember each name as I point to the squares in her quilt? Will she remember all who loved life so much they chose to go to China to adopt these baby girls no one wanted? Will she know how much we appreciated the Tom & Wendy's out there? Yes, and we will tell her over and over about the love that we have felt from Brian & Ruth, Carla, Catherine, Cindy, Donna & Joe, Debz, Dannye, Fliss & Mike, Gail, Heather, Jill, Jennifer, Johnny, Joannah, Julie, Kimberley, Kim, Kimberly & Kevin, Lisa, Lili & Robin, Lisa & Tate, Melissa, Marsha, Nina & David, Robin & Marty, Rebecca, Shannon, Susan, Saverine, Tracey, Wendy...... (these are commenters on our blog in just the past 10 days), and love felt from our local FCC Waiting family group, our Yahoo! Groupies, Precious Pandas, all who sent us quilt squares and the love from our FAMILIES!

Here's what OZIMUM wrote about us: Wow. You guys always make me think. I love your amazing attitude. I do imagine Alyzabeth An, you won't need to imagine for much longer!

Here's what Don & Be said: our adoption chronicles are like parallel segments in time. Read our unique stories here and here. We love this wonderful couple – their blog is always up-to-date with family pics, adoption related articles and matchless spiritual insight. They bestowed the “Nice Matters” Award upon our humble blog.

Here's the rules:

1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.

2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.

3. In their post about the award they need to link back to this entry.

4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to this site and this site.

This has turned into a very long post. We are very grateful to all who visit us in person and by blog. We are very blessed and pray you have more good things and happiness coming into your life. We will post about the five blogs to receive this award from us soon. Thank you!

NFL - Holding Our Breath

UPDATE: And the malaise of defeat slowly made its way amongst the citizens of the First Coast. Woe be our tortured souls whose gladiators fell to the magical arm of he who must not be named and his legion of patriots…

Our evening is revolving around this (guess who is the underdog?):

Jaguars vs. the PATRIOTS

Go JAGS!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

China's Newest Adoption Wrinkle...

Many of our adoptive blogger friends are agonizing over the latest bump in our road to China. The official adoption office in China, the CCAA, had been posting on their website the dates indicating where families were in the adoption process.

Well, as you can see from the box on the left, that little piece of info has been removed. Who knows why... If you're not careful you'll go off the deep end reading too much into it. Stay cool and rest assured that those of us in "The Wait" and those in "The Chase" will find a way to share the coveted info with one another.

Oh, and then there was this "wonderful" little piece of news received from their agency and passed along by our friends over at Watch Our Family Grow.

Estimated referral time lines:

2008 - Up to mid March - somewhere between the 14th & 20
2009 - Up to Mid May - somewhere between the 20th & 30th
2010 - Up to the end of August (remember this is a 2006 LID)
2011 - Up to the end of November
2012 - The beginning of December.

With an LID of 01/27/06 we now consider ourselves fortunate to know that it appears we will have our little one in 2008, maybe even late summer 2008. However, that joy is offset by knowing so many of our friends have a much longer "Wait" ahead of them. Much longer than any of us ever dreamed when our journeys began.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I have not purchased clothes for new daughter Alyzabeth. I do not have a closet full of clothes, nor dresser drawers full.
We don't know her age or size so have been very hard and fast about not spending money on clothes that may never fit her (of course I could still buy lots and give away what she won't wear...).
I gave in at the Target store on Saturday morning. It was $ 4.98 and it is our "colors" - pink & brown. Now I have resisted buying pink & brown cute clothes in the past so why did I buy now? All I can think of is that I feel the need to "imagine" that the wait is almost over, that we will have her soon. I have really practical dreams imagining that CCAA will take pity on those families who are over 50 and have been waiting more than 24 months and speed up our referrals! What a dream!! So here we wait...... and imagine.

Here's the cute pink hoodie, size 3T, with brown & pink lining fabric!!

Monday, January 07, 2008


Whether you're talking about being tired, the three's (as in a three year old), tantrums.... or whatever it is that finds you or a child cranky..... check out this post from Savvy Thinker.

Since we recently baby sat our grand-daughter (though she never cries, always smiles and gives great bye-bye kisses), this is great advice and worth putting to memory. If you haven't read Savvy Thinker lately, check it out.

International Adoptions for 2008

An article about the "State"of International Adoptions and what lies ahead in 2008.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Organizing Sunday - Part 1 for 2008

I said I would continue my organizing efforts so have begun one baby step at a time (eating the elephant one bite at a time!).

Begin with one kitchen “junk” drawer. We have six of them. This one typically has scrap paper in it (we recycle by cutting used paper sheets into various sizes for list), paper cutter, coupons, office supplies and tapes. Can you see the ladybug paper? That is the form we have kept around forever, waiting for the “call”. The form was developed by another adopting family and one by our agency; purpose was to make sure you remember what is told to you (fill in the blanks) and what questions to ask.

After removing the scrap paper and coupons, I find a paper box my grandmother E-E made; I keep many of her “hand-made” items around the house so I am frequently reminded of her. At the bottom of all the junk was an envelop with an old church directory picture – pretty bad of me, so it got pitched!
We throw in our cell phone rechargers and other odds/ends in this drawer when they don’t fit in the other five junk drawers. Help!!

Here’s the before pictures and after. I did put a few electronic parts that I did not recognize in one of the other junk drawers – will save that for another day! I also have a real problem with throwing out “things” associated with memories.
Since I have not cleaned out the other drawers, I put back the items I am keeping back in the same drawer. Eventually, I need to put everything in it’s place – where ever that is. We do have a desk in our utility/mud room so it will be included in our plan.

Keep me focused all through the year, I want to de-clutter! Thanks for listening.

Updated: Added the top picture: I cleaned out one more drawer (I figured if I didn't do one a day, by the time I did all of them the first ones would be re-junked!) and found at least 50 pens/pencils. What does one do with so many? They just multiply......Now, I need to test each one to see if they work.....uuuughhhh!!

Having Fun with Contests!

Enter to win at MyWoodenSpoonDOTcom

A Cowboy’s Wife is having a contest on her food blog! You can win a Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer and she’ll ship anywhere so everyone is eligible!

Here's the scoop on the mixer:
From Hamilton Beach’s “Eclectrics” line, this all-metal stand mixer comes with a host of accessories - a Flat Beater for cakes and cookies, a Dough Hook for bread and a Wire Whisk for whipped cream or pudding. The 4.5-qt. stainless steel bowl comes with a Pouring Shield that helps prevent splattering while in operation. The pouring shield has a built-in chute for adding ingredients. Powered by 400 watts, the stand mixer has a two-way mixing action to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mix. The quick-release, tilt-up head assists when removing the bowl. 9 x 14 x 14-in. When you’re ready for a kitchen re-do, don’t call in the carpenters! Instead, “counterscape” your kitchen with Hamilton Beach’s retro-designed, affordably priced electrics in happy, sun-saturated colors. Their “Eclectrics” line includes updates to those classic appliances from the 1950s. All of their “Eclectrics” are available in six colors: Apple Green, Moroccan Red, Pineapple Yellow, Intrigue Blue, Sugar White and Licorice Black.

Thank you to Laura at An Organizing Junkie!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Love Europe!!

With referrals going out and travel plans being made.... we wait for our turn.
Found this on a travel blog - has great pictures and all Charlotte Rose does, it seems, is travel! What travel plans do you have for 2008?

We are thinking Key West in May (who wants to meet us there? Let's have some fun and celebrate Ford's retirement and my big 50!) and China in August (or September or October....)!!

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

ac (DH's preferences put him in Paris!!)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Referrals - And 19 It Is

As released on the CCAA website:

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before December 19, 2005.

Congratulations to all the new families and we sincerely mean that.

To those of you still in "The Wait", find your strength to hold on to your dream and continue to Imagine what your future will bring...


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Jane Austen - My Favorite Books to Read

:: L I Z Z Y ::

You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of silliness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

The "tremendously attractive" part is not true, but I do love this character better than any other so I probably answered the questions more in line with the Pride & Prejudice story line. Oh well.........(Lizzy is also the name of my future daughter!!!). Also, with the new PBS show presented by Masterpiece beginning January 13, 2008, thought all you Austen fans would like a reminder to watch it!

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

Take the Quiz here!

Referrals - Looking Like The 19th

38 Divided By 5 = 7.6

Signs are pointing to the 19th as the cutoff for referrals. That would be a whopping 5 day advancement from last month. Which pushes our referral out to September. The "Wait" continues...