Friday, February 29, 2008

How good is GOOD? Can this much Chocolate be BAD?

Referrals are coming soon and it is looking more and more like we will finally burst into 2006! Yes!!! And when that happens, DH and I will have to celebrate and that's where the picture above comes in.

I have not seen such a cake - it looks so DELICIOUS!!! For Valentine's Day I made a chocolate cheesecake with homemade hot fudge sauce. It was smooth, creamy and not too sweet as it was made with dark bitter chocolate. BUT this CAKE looks even better (has peanut butter in it). I think it will be on my next baking list!! Another huge plus? It is "semi-homemade" - yep, begins with a cake mix.

I just discovered this blog and so far have enjoyed reading lots of her posts. Join me at Scribbit, Motherhood in Alaska.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Saying Good-Bye to Joe

Today we said our good-bye's to Joe Edmondson. Joe was a co-worker and friend. One evening having dinner with he and wife D, we found out that we had named our future daughter the same name as their daughter (we knew her, through Joe, as Liz).
Joe died of a massive heart attack late Sunday night. JR was so kind to call us at midnight to share the news so we would not be shocked walking into work Monday morning. Thanks, JR.


Life is but a stopping place, a pause in what’s to be. A resting place along the road to sweet eternity.

We all have different journeys, different paths along the way. We all were meant to learn some things but never meant to stay…

Our destination is a place far greater than we know. For some, the journeys quicker, for some the journeys slow.

And when the journey finally ends, we’ll claim a great reward. And find an everlasting peace, together with the Lord.

Later Joe. We shared good times, hard times and many crazy times. Peace friend. Peace...

25 Months Down - Another Month Closer

Twenty Five months may seem like a long time. Considering the long ago projected time line from LID to Forever Day, I guess it is...

However, we are not going to complain because each month down really does bring us one month closer to Alyzabeth. And here's one main reason we're not going to complain. We know that for many of you, the time line is longer. We're not going to whine knowing that others wish they had our LID date.

So our prayers and good wishes go to all of you with LID's after us. You guys are made of steel with hearts molded from pure gold. Keep the faith. Keep believing. Imagine your dream because each of us will celebrate our Forever Day...


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A "Must-Have" For Traveling Mom's

What a great idea! Have you seen this piece of luggage? I loved reading about it over at Modern Mom.

Traveling with kids can be a challenge. After battling airport lines, diffusing in-transit meltdowns, and carrying loads of luggage (plus tired tots), a vacation on the other end is more than welcome.

Trunki, award-winning luggage from the U.K., makes getting there a little easier with their ride-on suitcases for kids. In three bright colors and with five gallons of storage space, you can stuff it to the brim with clothes, toys and treats and then pull little ones safely through busy airports.

Plus - the Trunki is carry-on approved, so their gear can be within arms reach at all times.

Trunki - $39.99 at

Printed from the Modern Mom website: - on February 18, 2008

What's Your Fortune?

Monday, February 25, 2008

NASCAR - Changes with Car of Tomorrow (CoT)

The Car of Tomorrow (CoT) is HERE at the NASCAR races. With the Daytona 500 behind us, I was wondering how the new car will run at California. The car was used as a trial in several races last year so there is some experience with it. Our driver, Carl Edwards is still a "young gun" and should do very well this year.
Here's a good (and easy to read) review of the CoT by Ricky Craven, Yahoo! Sports writer.

Monday Update: Guess what?? Carl won today after a rain delayed Sunday evening race!! DH was able to catch the race and watch the celebratory back flip!! WOW!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

River Tripping Today

It was an absolutely gorgeous day!! Sunny, warm, clear, light breeze..... BEAUTIFUL!
NE Florida is the best place to live in the "shoulder" months (winter is fine, it does freeze here during January/February and can be rainy and cold).

We took advantage of today's sunny Sunday afternoon (before the NASCAR race!!!).
Here's a few pictures of our world..... The first two pictures are of the birds (one is drying his feathers) then the "Slow Manatee" sign; last is our precious Salty Dog. He loves boat rides. You probably have seen similar pictures in the past; this is our favorite creek during the winter months.

We are hoping to have visitors this Tuesday and we would love to share this with you too, so let us know if you are in the area.

Three Words - Concise Emotions to Summarize Your Week

Over at 3D's Adoption Journey, Dan and Doris have issued a challenge to sum up the experience of our past week in only three words! Link your post to her blog and let's tell it like it is (or was). Read "Our Unforgotten Daughter"; and "Journey to Victoria Grace", they have posted three words too.

Three words that come to mind from last week is "Dinners on Us" (we fed three different groups of people on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening! Lots of DH's make ahead meals!) and "We are blessed" (seeing the grands, especially Kilee on Thursday) and "Airport Taxi Drivers" (we went to the airport three times last week to pick up family!).

Here's how she described this new blog activity:
Sum up your week in three little words.“You can sing it, you can say it, you can write it, you can draw it. It can be funny or sad or poignant as long as it’s honest.”Anyway, I want to start this in blogger world. 3 words to sum up your week - posted in any form you chose. Video, picture, etc....get as creative as you want. We will do it on Sundays, that way you will have had enough time to think about how you want to sum up your week.

Join in!!

Secret Buddy - Seventh Diamond Swap

Can you believe the spectacular gifts we receive from our Secret Buddy?
The Valentine's theme included a book and heart bib for Alyzabeth's first Valentine's Day!

Now speaking of being absolutely BEAUTIFUL:
Look at this dress!! I was green with envy when I first saw this dress on Seventh Diamond after she received one! This is Lizzy's first "big girl" dress. I'm getting weepy...

Kim told us about the dress:

Looking for a wonderful gift for your secret buddy? I know that each month I am on the lookout for something special and meaningful to send to my secret buddy. This is what I will be ordering.

About a month ago, Verna sent me an e-mail letting me know about Robin who is using her sewing talents to raise money to bring her daughter Hope home from China. I went to Robin and asked her if she could put together a dress that would fall into the price guidelines of the Secret Buddy group and still allow her to make a profit so that we could help her bring Hope home. This is what she came up with....and yes she named it after ME! Isn't it cute?

Robin has many other sewing creations for sale. Support an adopting Mom and check out her many beautiful and creative projects.

Thank you Secret Buddy - I thank you. Ford thanks you and ALYZABETH AN THANKS YOU!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Let's Sum Up the WAIT - Hello 2006!!

This was posted by Tamara at our agency's Yahoo! Group:

It appears, if RQ (Rumor Queen) is to be believed, that the CCAA is finally about to match the remainder of the 2005 LIDs with the next batch of referrals.
Referrals were first received for families with a January 2005 LID at the end of July 2005. This means it took the CCAA an unbelievable 32 months to match all of 2005.

Congratulations to the remaining 2005 families about to see their children for the first time!

So here we are with a late January 2006 LID...... We believe we are closer than the 6 months we have told everyone for the past two years!! I love this picture and have used it many times during the wait.... we are anxiously awaiting our new daughter across the ocean.
We pray that Alyzabeth has been well cared for and safe while she waits for her Forever Family!

Friday, February 22, 2008

What to Expect When Adopting......

I was catching up on the news at My Red Thread to Ava Grace YaHan and thought this would be a helpful article about adopting our daughters in China. This isn't an easy read. I know that Ford and I can get so caught up in "The Wait" that all we focus on is our referral. Nothing wrong with that. Still, an article such as this brings us back to the realities and possibilities that go with adoption and our own responsibilities once Alyzabeth is in our arms.

Friends and Family- Please read this.
What to Expect When You're Expecting (from China)…….
A MUST Read for Adopting Parents
Below is a letter from Amy Eldridge, from Love Without Boundaries, addressing the recent adoption disruptions and parental preparedness. If you are reading this, think about posting it on your site - a waiting parent who reads your blog may benefit from it.
I have been so saddened by this situation. I most definitely wish there was a way to educate ALL adoptive parents about the truths of institutional care, however I have come to realize in my daily work that there are just as many parents who are not online reading everything they can find on adoption as are.

There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of parents out there who have no idea what life is like for a child in an orphanage, and who head overseas to pick up their perfect child only to be handed a baby who is unresponsive, thin, unable to eat….. and on and on and on.
While adopting my son last month, I walked several times over to the White Swan to talk to parents, and over and over I spoke with moms and dads who had no clue whatsoever about the issues their kids were having. I heard so many times things like, "she won't eat solid foods" (oral aversion), "she has no muscle tone" (muscle atrophy from lying in a crib all day), "she won't smile" (pure grieving from being taken from her foster mom). I guess since I live China 24/7, I assume everyone adopting does, too, which is not the case.

I talked to at least a dozen parents who didn't even know their child's orphanage name, and while I gently said "you might want to memorize that for your child's sake", at the same time I was trying to process how many parents get all the way to China without ever reading about post-institutional issues. It was sobering to me.

Babies in the NSN (non special needs) as well as the SN (special needs) path can have issues with attachment, motor skills, emotional issues and more. I think all of us on the WCC (Waiting Children China) list acknowledge that, while also acknowledging that all children (whether bio or not) can have these same issues. Living in an orphanage of course increases the odds.

I think the easy out is to say that agencies have to do more, as well as social workers, but I do think that most of them do try to give information to the parents but often parents don't want to hear it or else think it won't happen to them. Again, I am often surprised to talk to parents leaving soon and to realize they are not prepared. One family was adopting from our foster care program, and when I told them that the child was DEEPLY attached to the mom, the father said, "guess she might cry for an hour or so then?" An hour or so? She had been in foster care for over a year! I tried to explain that this little girl was about ready to lose everything she had ever known, and that they should not expect her to be sunny, happy, and full of personality after an hour. I told them to please remember the 72-hour rule.......that after 72 hours they would probably see her spark, but that she would probably grieve for a long time after that as well.

I think for many adoptive parents, they just don't want to read the "bad stuff", and so I do think that ultimately it is the parents who are at fault for not doing more to educate themselves. There certainly are books galore out there about post-institutional issues. I equate this to when I was pregnant with my kids and I would read "What to Expect When Expecting", and I would get to the C-section part and always skip it. Each and every time I would jump to the next chapter as "that wasn't going to happen to me". Well, on my fifth baby, when they were rushing me in for an emergency C-section, I sure was wishing I had read that section earlier! But at that point in the OR, while they were strapping my hands down to the table, it was too late, and so I felt complete panic when I could have been prepared. I think adoption from China is very similar to giving is much more rosy to only read the happy stories on APC, but I now encourage every family I meet to read the harder ones as well, because if you are the family who is handed a child that is limp and listless and who looks autistic, what you have learned in the past will help you make the right decision for your family during those very emotional first few days.

I have been called many times in the last few years by parents in China worried about their children. I agree that having a support network to help you through the initial time is essential. Everyone should go to China with at least one phone number of someone they can call if they are panicked upon meeting their new child. I remember feeling so alone when I was handed my daughter and she was so tiny and limp. Because our foundation often helps with the kids who have been disrupted, I am aware that sometimes there are children who have much more serious issues than originally reported…. and that is such a hard thing for a parent to get to China and then discover their child is truly autistic or has serious mental delays. I think everyone on both the China and international side would agree that it is absolutely wrong of an orphanage to not be honest in their reports, and no one would excuse that, but I also know without a doubt that the majority of kids who are disrupted are just suffering from institutional issues and would catch up quickly in a loving home. It is always a very sad day for the orphanage and everyone involved when a child that they know is absolutely fine, but perhaps thin and grieving, is returned by their new parents for being "delayed".

I think far too many people believe their child's life is going to begin the moment they meet them. The truth is, and everyone must realize it….. a child's life is going on RIGHT NOW in China, and all of their experiences are shaping who they are. The vast majority of aunties that I have met in China are such kind and caring people, but it absolutely is not the same as having a mom and dad at your beck and call. I have had new parents call and say "we didn't think living in an orphanage would affect her at all", and those statements truly puzzle me. How could they not contemplate life in an orphanage?

Walk through Babies R Us and you will see every gadget known to man to make our children's lives here as ideal as possible. Now Americans have two way video monitors, so that when baby awakens not only can mommy see when to immediately rush in and comfort him, but she can talk to baby so that he doesn't even have one single second where he feels alone. How many new parents would have a newborn and then put that baby in a crib 22 hours a day on their own? How many would only feed their baby, even if they were really crying hard, every 8 hours? Or prop the bottle in her crib and then not watch to see if she ever really ate?
Of course no one would do that…... we feed newborns on demand, comfort on demand, love continuously…. and whether people want to recognize it or not, that is NOT the life of an orphan in an institution. .….. even when the aunties are as good as gold. I remember one night when I took some volunteers in for the night shift in an orphanage, when normally just a few aunties are working. One mom looked at me with tears in her eyes as she slowly realized that it was absolutely impossible with just two hands to feed every child, to comfort every child, to soothe every baby who was crying. She said her heart was aching to realize that her own daughter most likely had many, many times where she cried without someone to comfort her..... and she told me that for the first time she finally understood why her daughter had such a deep seated fear of being out of her mom's sight.

The aunties are trying their absolute best, but that doesn't equal mother/child care. I remember being in an orphanage in the north this past winter and the aunties were so proud of how they had 6-8 layers of clothes and blankets on every baby to keep them warm. They were swaddled so tight that they couldn't move, but it was freezing in the orphanage and so the aunties wanted the babies to stay as warm as possible. What alternative did they have? It really was freezing there…... I was cold in my wool coat, so the babies couldn't be up and about with just 1-2 layers on, with the ability to move their arms and legs. To stay warm they had to be immobile, and so of course all of those kids have weak muscle tone. But the aunties were truly trying their best, and when a parent is given one of those beautiful children on adoption day, I am sure they will go back to their room with concern and say "she can't sit up by herself…. she can't put weight on her legs". That is absolutely the truth, but she also survived 10 degree weather in a very cold province and she will catch up soon enough with parents to encourage her.

To not acknowledge that living in orphanage circumstances can cause lower body weights, low muscle tone, inability to make good eye contact is very sad to me. Can it be overcome? Most definitely! The one thing I have learned over and over again about the kids in China is that they are fighters and survivors. But for some reason, people seem to want to ignore these issues in public forums.

Recently, one of our medical babies that we had met several times in person was adopted, and we all knew that this child was a "spitfire". When the family arrived and spent a few days with her, they decided she was too much of a handful for them and they wanted to disrupt. She absolutely was not what they expected. When they called their agency, they were told they had two choices: adopt the child, bring her to the US, and change their expectations of what they were hoping for, or adopt the child, bring her to the US and the agency would have a family waiting at the airport to adopt her locally. Option three of leaving the child in China was never once given. I admire that agency so much, as they were thinking of the child and the child alone. The family followed through with the adoption and handed the little girl to a new family upon her arrival in the US. As horrible and tragic and emotional as it was for everyone involved...I still feel this was the right decision for the agency to make. It was done in the absolute best interest of the child, who had waited a long, long time for a family. I wish more agencies would advocate for the rights of the child, instead of always seeming to give in to the parents, especially in those cases when they know with absolute certainty that nothing is permanently wrong with the child. Recently with another disruption, the agency I spoke with told me that it was "easier" to just get the family a new baby.

Sometimes easier does not equal right. The first baby who was rejected has now been labeled "mentally challenged" even though the agency knew the child was really going to be okay.
I think all of us, who do realize that delays occur and that babies can usually overcome them, should be these children's advocates by continually trying to educate new parents on what to expect in China. By helping them be better prepared, we just might help stop a disruption in the future. I love Chinese adoption with my whole heart, and it is my life's work…. but I also want every family who goes to get their baby to go with their eyes open and to be as emotionally prepared as possible, for the child's sake.
Amy Eldridge, Love Without Boundaries

We trust you all know that some, not all, of these issues may very well confront us in the beginning with our little ones.

It is always good to be aware and do your best to prepared for them. Ford and I will have times in the first few weeks when we will prefer to have lots of time alone with Alyzabeth, we need your understanding as she learns to attach to us and become part of our family. This transition may not be smooth, We ask for your patience. Your understanding...

Thank you for your love and support through this very long wait!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dr. Fechter's Cherry Pie Phenomenon

I was a Green Belt instructor and facilitator assigned to Six Sigma projects where I worked. I was fortunate (and I mean that sincerely) to have received my certification from a wonderful gentleman who was one of the original instructors for Motorola, generally regarded as one of the founding members of the quality improvement process known as 6S. One of my dearest friends went on to become a certified Black Belt in Six Sigma. I'm not so much jealous of Jim, as I was and continue to be more in awe of his talents and accomplishments. Jim, I wish you and your lovely wife Cliffreda didn't live so far away in Knoxville, Tennessee but then it is beautiful up there...

Jim and Cliffreda surprised us at our home while hosting a few friends for the past Super Bowl. As he was leaving, Jim asked if I still had Dr. Fechter's Cherry Pie recipe. I knew I did, I just didn't know where and promised to email it to him later. Aly found it (of course she would, I'm a man after all and we can't find anything) and we sent it north to Tennessee. All of this to give you a little background on how I came to have a copy of Dr. Fechter's Cherry Pie Phenomenon recipe.

Dr. Fechter spent a great deal of time on the road training folks such as Jim and myself. As you might imagine, Dr. Fechter could only spend so much time stuck inside a motel/hotel each evening and weekend for what might be months before going crazy. So, Dr. Fechter perfected a Cherry Pie recipe that he would enter in local fairs and community events to break the boredom. Of course, he would need a place to "prepare and bake" his pie for competition. Once it became known by his students that a home would be appreciated, there was no shortage of those willing to accommodate the dear Dr. And it provided a chance to get to know one another better and provide a semblance of family life for one far from home. Dr. Fechter was a clever man indeed and an excellent baker. He also was a man who shared and...

Without further delay I present for your baking pleasure and culinary delight:

Dr. Fechter’s Award Winning



3 Cups Flour

1 ½ Cup Shortening

1 ½ Teaspoon Salt

Blend the above together with pastry cutter

Add A Blend Of:

1 Tablespoon Vinegar

1 Beaten Egg

1/3 Cup cold Water

Mix the above with fork

Roll dough between two sheets of floured wax paper (*dampened counter surface helps to hold the wax paper to the counter top)


Can use apples, pitted tart cherries, peaches, apricots, blackberries, etc…

Mix together until smooth:

1 Cup Sugar With 3 Tablespoons Of flour


Stir In 3 ½ Cups Of Prepared Fruit

Spoon Mixture Into Unbaked 9’ Pie Shell (Pre-baking the pie crust for 7-10 minutes is an option to avoid a soft pie crust bottom resulting from an exceptionally juicy fruit filling)

Use Fork To Stab Holes In Top Of Pie Crust For Steam Release

Bake The Pie In A Hot Oven At 450 Degrees For 10 Minutes. Reduce The Temperature To 350 Degrees And Bake An Additional 25 To 35 Minutes

CAUTION: Keep eye on crust for last 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and ENJOY!

The secret to this award winning pie is the CRUST. It is flaky and delicious. The KEY ingredient is the VINEGAR. Whatever you do, DO NOT leave out the vinegar.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Livi Meets 1st Cousin Stella

Our daughter and SIL are in Birmingham for the birth and celebration of Katie and DH Barrett's first baby, beautiful daughter Stella. Katie is the sister of our SIL Jesse. The picture is of our granddaughter Alivia holding her 1st cousin Stella. They are sure to form a dynamic trio once teamed with our other granddaughter Kilee. Look out world!!

Huge thank you to Jesse's mom, Marsha, for allowing us to once more "steal" a photo. I get the honor of picking up proud Grandpa Carl at the airport today while Grandma Marsha stays behind to lend loving assistance. Don't worry Carl, I won't forget to come get you :)

CONGRATULATIONS Katie and Barrett!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Green Recyling - Garage Mess

Every January (oops, it is now February), I do a quick pick up of the garage. After the holidays, many boxes and "stuff" get thrown out in the garage which is actually our cats' "house" (that's another story someday when I have time to explain...).

This is the FIRST time I broke down every box and have it ready for DH to take to the curb this Thursday. I am proud that I am keeping my promise to do more with "green".

Our cat "GC" (guess, yep - Gray Cat) watched me intently and tried to help many times. She's a very sweet, loving cat and beautiful too! She seemed happy I was cleaning and sweeping out the winter mess in her home!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Christmas Gift & Humpty Dumpty Potato Chips

When several boxes arrived from my sister and BIL, we opened the boxes and placed the gifts under the Christmas tree. Long story, the box was labeled Humpty Dumpty Potato Chips, which they sell in their web based Maine Goodies business.

The box looked new and unopened so we set it aside, knowing we would open it when we wanted to have potato chips. Second part of this story is that our Grandmother would always wrap gifts in boxes that never matched the gift (her way of recycling). So it was always known to say when opening gifts, don't pay any attention to the box, just open it, you never could guess what was in the box.

Fast forward to Super Bowl Sunday; expecting guests, planned on putting out some of the potato chips. DH opens box and guess what? No chips - it was our Christmas gift from Terri and George.

Love the vase.... glad there wasn't anything perishable in the box!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Secret Buddy - January 2006 DTC

Wow, more great gifts for Lizzy with a great play on the Chinese New Year - Year of the Rat!! Plus lots of fun to decorate with - confetti and a banner! Thank you so very much!!

We enjoy leaving the Secret Buddy gifts out so we can be reminded of how nice and thoughtful "someone" is and also to share the story of the Secret Buddy swap with friends and neighbors who stop by. They will always go straight to where they are and then break out in a huge grin when I tell them they are for Alyzabeth!

Of course, DH and I will have to preview her Ratatouille movie DVD :)
Thank you SB!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What Was The Dollar Worth?

This was interesting and more than a little sobering... Check out the Inflation Calculator to find out what a dollar was worth in years gone by.

The price of Hallmark Cards, Chocolates and Flowers has risen just a bit. Happy Valentines Day.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tag Toy - Comfort Lovies

I remember when Aly and I first came across tag toys/lovies and put one on our must have list along with stacking cups for the eventual trip to China. I saw these over at Catherine's Chatter - Waiting For Hannah and thought what a great "surprise" gift for Aly.

We like primary colors and we can only hope Alyzabeth An will as well. Thank you Catherine! Aly loved the surprise and Alyzabeth will have a keepsake to cherish forever!

If you haven't purchased a "Tag Toy" for your little one, head over to Catherine's and have a look...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Still Organizing - Now with a PRO!!!

Update - My Appointment with the "PRO" is this Friday, February 29th - Yea!!!

I read all about how to organize your work office in the Times-Union newspaper (Jacksonville, Florida) and that Jacksonville was looking for a messy desk to use as a project and then report about it in the newspaper. The professional organizer is Julie Bavington, a native of Jacksonville. She is volunteering her time for this freebie. I had been to her web site a few times during my "organizing search for tips" in the past few months.

I entered over a week ago as I am a sucker for free help.
I received a call today and was offered the free consultation at work! Yipee!! My office desk will soon be organized and clutter free. I can't wait!!
You now get to see some of the before pictures......... I had actually already begun cleaning up areas of my office (can't you tell???).

Not sure when the session will be but I will have after pictures up as soon as I am organized! Hang on!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Snow and More Snow!! Visit "The Maine Event"

I had to smile when I saw this picture of Mom on my sister's blog.
After just wishing my Mom a happy birthday, she is outside in the massive amount of snow trying to pull her grandson out of the snow pile.... too cute (where are their gloves/mittens???).
Just wanted to enjoy another picture of Mom!!!

Happy (belated) Birthday Mom!!

Thursday was my Mom's birthday. I love my parents wedding picture, aren't they handsome!
The second family picture, we all agree we hate, but it looks so much like us (duh!) it is just too corny with my ironed, flattened hair and my Mom's boofy, curled "hair-do". We all look very apprehensive. The third picture is of mom and her two sisters.

The bottom picture is of Mom and me, taken a couple of years ago on a "day tripping" excursion with Dad and my DH, Ford. She laughed and Ford caught us on film. One of our happier days while Dad was still with us.

Enjoy and celebrate! Happy Birthday, Mom!
Love you.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Six Word Memoirs

I was listening to NPR the other day when I was captivated by Larry Smith, editor of Smith magazine and Memoirs editor Rachel Fershleiser. The online magazine asked readers to write the story of their own lives in a single six word sentence. Borrowing from the magazine, the result is Not Quite What I Was Planning, a collection of six-word memoirs by famous and not-so-famous writers, artists and musicians.

Clicking the NPR link will take you to the interview and just maybe have you thinking about your life, insightfully summed up in only 6 words. I hope you'll share here...


Friday, February 08, 2008

It's Called A Johnny Steak

We're craving a Johnny Steak. Don't even try to talk us out of it. I might as well go fire up the grill.

Johnny, I'll try to do you proud but I'm not certain they make steaks in Florida as BIG as they do in Texas. We'll not eat again for a week...


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Donations Needed for Orphanages

There are several blogs with information about the frigid, crisis conditions in China right now. Our post joins in those efforts to collect funds to purchase desperately needed supplies for the orphanages. Our agency, CCAI, is also helping each of us DONATE through their website. Everyone, not just CCAI families, are welcome to assist in this humanitarian effort benefiting China and our little ones.

The "Click To Give", pictured above, will take you to the donation efforts being undertaken at Half The Sky Foundation. Here is an excerpt from the Half the Sky Foundation:

Update on conditions and needs at the institutions we've been in contact with. In general the needs are for fuel, food, disposable diapers, warm clothing and bedding. Prices are soaring because no goods can be shipped and cold weather has destroyed all winter crops. Half the Sky is responding to the emergency by getting funds directly to the institutions in a variety of ways.


We are entering new information as we receive it and realize that sometimes the details can be confusing. In almost every instance, we are pre-approving funds and then institutions are purchasing goods locally. In some cases they are using personal funds to pay but in every instance, THE GOODS ARE AVAILABLE LOCALLY. Therefore, if you want to help, please donate funds. We will guarantee that each of the institutions listed below as well as those we continue to talk with will receive the funds to purchase what they need to get through this winter.

Here is an example of the updates being reported:

Beihai CWI, Guangxi – Although ill-prepared for the bitter cold, the institution has so far managed to keep the children warm and fed.

Changzhou CWI, Jiangsu – suffered the largest snowfall in Jiangsu Province.
Several buildings have collapsed. But the institution rushed to prepare for the cold and the children are fine. UPDATE: The orphanage now reports they are running out of diapers and need 750 diapers per day for an estimated 10 days. They request 15,000 yuan.

If you are so inclined to donate, all adopting families thank you. Most of us know our daughters are in one of these orphanages and when we do receive our referral we will check to see how she fared during this crisis. Help the children if you can.

Thank you.

Monday, February 04, 2008

It's Referral Time!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl Sunday is Here!!

We will cheer for the New England Patriots for two reasons. The first and most important (per DH) is that our home team, the Jacksonville Jaguars play in the same conference so we MUST cheer for our conference; thus being the toughest and best. The second reason is that I am originally from Maine and THE PATRIOTS is the TEAM! Go Pats!

Now, the two reasons why we (I) will be very sentimental about the New York Giants winning: One, the two photos are of the New York Giants Head Coach, Tom Coughlin (one with a very RARE smile!). He was the Jacksonville Jaguars first-ever head coach. He took us to several playoff games and it was exciting during the first ten years that Jaguars were able to beat our rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers MANY times along with the Denver Broncos and other well respected, established teams. You see, Jacksonville is the second smallest national audience. Small market, small towns, small expectations (that we would have ever received a NFL team). The second reason is that sister's boyfriend is a NY Giants fan so we will be happy for him if the Giants do well.

We are pumped having two exciting teams play tonight! Enjoy the fun!

Other Connections with Jaguars and Patriots:
The Patriots have two former Jaguars on their roster in TE Kyle Brady and P Chris Hanson. Brady played in 120 games for the Jaguars from 1999-2006, tied for the fourth-most games played in franchise history. Brady had 241 receptions for 2,500 yards for the Jaguars, fourth and third in team history, respectively. Hanson played six seasons for the Jaguars from 2001-06 and was one of only two punters in team history to be voted to the Pro Bowl (2002).