Saturday, May 31, 2008

How Long Has Your Wait Been?

As if you didn't already know...

To get the exact figure, go to Time And Date, plug in your LID date and today's date to confirm your pain, I mean, your numbers .

Friday, May 30, 2008

DIY - Kebabs

Do you need an easy way to entertain with family and guests? How easy can it be?
I love this idea so will try it out this summer Do-It-Yourself Kebab Party!
Buy any meats and vegetables; cut into kebab sized pieces; marinate or pre-cook some of the thicker vegetables (like potatoes, bell peppers).... do ahead, keep in the refrigerator until grill is ready. Invite everyone to assemble their kebabs, buffet style, cook on the grill and Voila!!
How cool!

Start the grill and get the guests cooking!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The WAIT - Worth Every Minute

This says it all! Imagine.......

Bininger Harrell Family of Florida

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Has It Really Only Been 28 Months? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

28 months LID plus The Paperchase...but who's counting.

The biggest problem with making lite of The Wait is being aware that while ours is coming to a close, for others the time line looms even longer. That sobering reality is enough, as a friend was oft to say, to make one sit down, shut up and color. In other words, we're thankful for our blessings while staying keenly aware of what others have before them.

Aly and I go back far enough in this journey to remember when the question was IF there was going to be a slow down in China referrals. Murmurs about IF a slowdown had started. We remember assurances handed out that The Wait would stop at 12 months. 18 months. 24 months. Fill in the _____ months...

Many have gone before us. We think we know a secret they carried near the end of their Wait. One of the "don't think about it - don't talk about it" kind of things. It's crept into our journey. Call it the Fear Card. You start thinking, please, don't deal us a bad card now after being in the game this long. No surprises. No rule changes. We're playing the cards dealt to us... And with that we have now chalked up number twenty eight. Rumors will soon be making the rounds for the June referrals. Each referral month carries significance. June is not our month. That's cool.

Now about those cards. Deal um' but lets keep it real, no fear cards if you please.....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Show & Tell

Show and Tell this week is going to be a combination of this story in honor of Memorial Day and our weekend escapades.
I loved reading this WWII story so will use this as S&T. Wonderful story. Maybe someone can help her find Joe's family.

Pictures of our weekend family fun will come later. For those interested in pictures (if you were with us, please upload your photos to a Picasa public album), go here.

Here's a sneak preview of the beginning of our Saturday evening party:

This is written as part of Mel's Show and Tell Sunday; read what the other kids in the class are sharing. It is also National Comment Leaving Month - join in!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Three Word Sunday - Birthday and Memorial Day Celebrations!

From our favorite source of information, Wikipedia – In Remembrance of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day. This holiday commemorates U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. It began first to honor Union soldiers who died during the American Civil War. After World War I, it was expanded to include those who died in any war or military action.

Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 9 p.m. US Eastern time. Another tradition is to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers place an American flag upon each grave site located in a National Cemetery.

In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events. One of the longest standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. Many Americans use Memorial Day to also honor any family members who have died, not just servicemen.

Also........ Remember this post? My DH is so thoughtful. He planned a special & surprising night out last night (Saturday evening). My Mom flew in from Maine and my cousin HT is here too! We should have a great family time complete with a few friends. I will get to tell you all about it later!!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Secret Buddy - 7th Diamond Swap - May 08

We're not worthy :) Thank goodness Alyzabeth An is!

More fun goodies arrived this week! You cannot believe all the great gifts we received for summer fun with Alyzabeth!

I can't wait to put her pictures in the frame - our favorite colors are applegreen and pink (even though we decorated her room in browns and pinks)..... The pink sunglasses are adorable!

Can you IMAGINE Alyzabeth in her bathing suit and the too cute terry cloth hoodie with sunglasses on and playing in the water pool!?! We can!!! So cool!

SB: Thank You so much for the Alyzabeth's gifts. Each has been so wonderful. And such a huge help for us in getting ready for her arrival. We have bought very little as we do not know her age and size, but these gifts have all been larger than baby sizes so they will surely be worn! YES!! We will remember our Secret Buddy (when can I find you out????) every time we use our wonderful goodies.

Love to all the Secret Buddies and Pals out there - you all are the greatest! Thank you!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Beer Lovers & Drinkers Rejoice...(taking a break from Adoption topics)

In honor of cousin H.T. coming for a visit this Friday (today!!!!), here's a post that is "Cheers" to you!!

Since we slowed discussing our beverage delights (do you remember all the posts we did on red wine???), I thought this topic would be fun as I have also delved into environmentally friendly, organic topics, all to help us change for the better!

I stumbled upon this blog about beer as it mentioned one of our favorites beers and it's made in Maine - Shipyard Ales. DH loves Thumper and I will drink anything not so dark, very "fresh" and "Wheatish/Ale" styled. I missed the chance to send in a few beer drinking pictures for their 2007 contest (actually I think this is mainly for "Brit's, but us USA people love to compete). Lots of chatter about organic brews. What is best for the environment, buying locally available goods or buying "organic" and flying it in from England or Australia.

Check out the "Beer Nut" with lots of links to beer swilling places in Europe. The Beer Activist joined in on the organic discussion and many others. Good reading (and drinking). Of course, I had to add a few beer resources from my home State of Maine, check this beer blog out.... Then take the test on Fine Living to see just what you know about beer. I scored 7 out of 10!

Now if I can just find those England beer swilling pictures of Hilary, DH and myself before the next contest comes and she enters ahead of me........


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Adoption Rule Changes - Local Paper Article

Our local newspaper, The Times-Union, published an article about Foreign adoptions recently. Our local FCC chapter president, Donna Wheeler, was quoted extensively. Donna has her own business called "Plan to Adopt".

The primarily focused of the article was on the rule changes affecting the adoption community. The paper copy (what arrived at our door step) contained more information than the online version.

It is a good "read" for family members who have been wondering why we all have been "Waiting" for so long. The article does provide interesting data on the lower number of adoptions coming from China.

Nothing new for the veterans of The Wait but like I said, good info for family and friends.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Now To Keep The Bugs And Critters Away

Look what we have growing. Small as they are, great hopes abound! The variety is called Big Beef with a projected fruit size of 12-16 ounces. Provided the cutworms, marauding small animals or heat don't get to them first :)

This may present more of a challenge in guessing what we have growing. Don't you just love the "natural" mulch put down to help hold the moisture in the ground. I sure hope these things like decaying oak leaves. Not to mention they were planted in a spot created from having a pine tree cut down and the stump ground out...

We could begin "thumping" for ripeness around the 4th of July. Then again, my calculations may not be the best. It's been some time since last I grew any watermelons (and never this variety). Something called "black spot" did a number on more than a couple of my plants the last time I played melon patch farmer as I recall. I best check in to that now and get prepared. We're trying to stay as chemical free as we can.

As a kid growing up in Missouri, our Uncle Salty, (not where Salty Dog got his name) grew championship size watermelons. We're talking State Fair competition size melons. I feel very confident in saying Uncle Salty, while proud of our effort, would not exactly be shaking in his boots when weigh in time comes around here... We'll keep you all updated.

Which reminds me. I wonder how the Lemoncello is coming along?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Catching Up With Family - Photos

Mother's Day was celebrated at Cathy &Werner's home as the beach was just too windy and stormy.
Above is a great picture of Christa (Cathy & Werner's DD) holding Livi and Kilee (our grands). Christa was so sweet. The kids adore her and she gave them so much attention and love.

Notice the purple cast on our Kilee's arm? Our sweet little one broke her arm falling off a playground slide. She is so brave. The very next day her mom and grandpa had planned a trip to Disney and she wasn't about to let a broken arm stop her. According to Justin, she got all the attention from the Disney Princess' and they signed her cast! Bless her heart. They were afraid to take her and afraid not too!

Above is Ford's brother Ben pictured with his daughter Christina and SIL Aaron. Ford and Ben made a trip to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago to see them. Can you tell from the picture what show they all went to?!? Ford said it was awesome. Then again, we are talking about Ford and he loves anything just a little bit different :)

I want to go next time!! It was a great visit for all of them. Family is so important to us. This picture was taken after what Ford said was a fantastic Italian dinner courtesy of Christina and Aaron. It's so funny. We both are horrible gamblers and on this trip Ford didn't even put a dollar in a slot machine (the story he's telling me anyway) but we love Las Vegas for its sights, sounds and SHOWS!

Odds and Ends From May 2008

Mother's Day Gifts.

My wonderful kids bought me a Disney movie - Peter Pan; I have been asking for movies to begin stocking up for when Lizzy is here - plus the Grands can watch them....we don't have many children's movies!

AND they bought me these great place mats. They are from the Williamsburg collection and the photo really does not do the color justice! I Love Them! (kids and gifts)

My Mom sent me a box in the mail and a duffle bag FULL of goodies. Here are two LL Bean jackets for Lizzy - aren't they adorable???? Thank you mom.

Speaking of adorable. Isn't Alivia darling? She is in her swim suit ready to run through the lawn sprinkler!

DH continues to bake great food for me and the family. Here is an easy cake made from the (fake) shortcake/sponge cakes usually used with strawberries. He found the recipe in a recent Better Homes and Gardens and had to make it. It is filled with fresh raspberries and raspberry preserves and a yummy cream cheese/lemon curd frosting. He made the same recipe again (Jesse and Justin's request) except this time he made it with fresh strawberries and no preserves and left out the lemon curd. Feedback was very favorable. It's a cute little cake intended for two. (Ask him to post the Southwestern Egg Roll recipe. We ALL told him to make that again. It is a KEEPER!)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

3 Word Sunday

Best wishes to my oldest brother Ben and his daughter Christina and SIL Aaron. Family time is premium time and all too often, fleeting.

If you haven't done so lately. May we suggest a phone call or visit to someone you love today.
ac & fm

Friday, May 16, 2008

We'll Soon Have New Neighbors (Show & Tell)

You may recall our talking about our neighbors Fount and Betty. Fount passed away and Miss Betty moved to Orlando to be near her son. This was their home.

The property after being sold. The home was razed... A fate not unlike what will happen to our home when we decide to sell.

The new home is under construction so I thought an update was in order. Aly knows more about the house plans than I do. I can't remember how many bedrooms or baths. I do know that it has a 3 car garage.

And an additional 3 car garage... I'll be curious to see the dock they put in. I'm starting to think maybe a 3 or 6 boat slip to match :)

P.S. We are doing a new posting topic called "Show & Tell". Check it out here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008



NaComLeavMo: More Conversation Than You Can Shake a Stick at

Did you know that it is National Comment Leave Month? Join in here.
Between May 25th and June 25th, leave five comments a day on any of the individual blogs listed at Stirrup Queen's list of participants....... One comment per blog - any five blogs of your choosing! Of course, you may leave as many as you can per day.
Between DH and I, we probably leave (on average over a week), 50 comments each. Some weeks we do more if we make the rounds of our Precious Pandas.

Make sure you sign up too. We are also going to go to one of our commentor's blog and leave a comment on their blog. This is the short version of the rules so please check out Stirrup Queen - use the links in this post.
We LOVE comments. It is like saying "Good Morning" to us - it really rev's up our day.
We will in turn, visit your blog and leave a comment. New commentors take precedent! We hope to welcome lots of new commentors.
It all started here. Join in!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Secret Buddy - January DTC Group

I can't believe all the goodies I received today! The red "love" socks are so cute!

My Secret Buddy squished in so many things for me (sorry Lizzy, all for me!!). A HUGE hunk of chocolate (disguised as a Lady Bug!!), wonderful lotions and spray. Do you see my Victoria Secret purse?!? I couldn't fit everything into just one picture! THERE WAS TOO MUCH!!!

You must check this out. How unbelievably thoughtful. A book to record our daughter's life with us, her parents! How about the cute lady bug necklace and earrings? All so very cool.
And OK, you can probably tell I was more than a little blown away by all the neat things. I tell myself not to cry each time a box arrives but I'll just go ahead admit it - my Secret Buddy gifts do bring me to tears. Each time I carry the box into the house it reminds me of our Alyzabeth and how someone who has never met me - cares enough to share their best wishes, their support and their love.

Like so many who participate in gift swaps, saying Thank You just never seems enough. When I think of the time and thoughtfulness that goes into each gift, it makes you want to reach out and hug the person, hold their hand and truly say: Thank You...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Non-Mom Mom

I'm finally ready to talk about this but I've chosen to get help...

I am seldom at a loss for words but the recent Today Show/Teleflora promotional contest for the most favorite Mom with its sub-category for a Non-Mom Mom took my words away. To say it was offensive does not define it disdainfully enough. To say it was mean spirited and intensely hurtful does not accurately reflect the pain it inflicted. To say it aroused anger and action amongst the adoption community is an understatement of monumental proportions.

So we have chosen to let Pundit Mom speak for Alyson and myself. Her words more eloquently express the emotions that both engulfed and enraged us. For some, ignorance is bliss but for those whom the ignorance is directed, it is neither blissful or excusable. As members of the Adoptive community and soon to be proud Adoptive Parents, we will not tolerate nor passively condone insults and misguided bigotry upon our family.

Once again, Alyson and I wish to thank Pundit Mom for allowing us to link her post addressing the Non-Mom Mom designation thrust upon us.

Monday, May 12, 2008

More Conversations With Alyzabeth


Yes Alyzabeth.

You're not my real dad.

I'm pretty sure I'm your dad Alyzabeth.

I'm adopted.

Yes, you are.

Are you adopted?

No, I'm not adopted.

At school they say I'm adopted and you aren't my dad.

Because you're adopted?

Uh huh.

Alyzabeth, you were born in mom and dad's heart.

Momma always says that.

And from the day you were born in our hearts, we've been your mom and dad.

Because you love me!

Because we love you!


Yes Alyzabeth.

I'm glad you're my dad.

Me too, little one. Your Forever Dad. Forever and ever...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Three Word Sunday - Visitors!

We had a delightful visit from my parents best friends. They made their rounds through Florida and are now heading to their son's home, then back to New Hampshire. They brought a large duffel bag of goodies for me (and others) from my Mom (several cute clothes for Lizzy!).

We had a nice chat at our home, then went to a local favorite fish camp restaurant called Whitey's. We won't mention age, but Bob is in his ninth decade of life and this couple NEVER SLOWS DOWN. They traverse the country with their travel trailer and are always great conversationalist filled with stories of places they have visited. We caught up on "old" times and it was good talking about my Dad with these extra special close friends.

Happy Mother's Day to ALL Mom's in the world (please give step-Mom's a good name and be the best you can for those children who have been through a divorce!).

Have a great Sunday! (and Happy Mother's Day to my Mom)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bedside Challenge

While we are on the final few months of our WAIT (dare I say that?), I thought this would be a cute challenge and may make your morning wake up a little more pleasant!
Take a picture of your bedside table. What does it look like? Does it scream functional, dusty or overloaded? My bedside area is functional with the alarm clock, lamp and phone. However, it certainly is not a pleasant view!!

From Crazyhippiemom's web, here's the idea:

Keep items of beauty by your bed. Perhaps you like colorful flowers or paintings. Some people keep photos of family members or pets. Whatever makes you happy when you look at it… put it right by your bed side, so that when you wake up, it’ll be the first thing you see.

So take a before picture and an after picture of the new "happy" bedside table. I will post in a week my new results!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Mystery Flower Solved

A few days back Alyson posted about our Unknown Flower. Well the mystery has been solved. I snipped a small branch complete with bud and flower and headed off today to our Clay County Agricultural Center in hopes the fine folks could make the identification for us. No problem. With one look from their Master Gardener, the mystery was solved. We are the proud owners of a Dwarf Pomegranate.

Get back. We had no idea. We have never seen fruit develop in all the years we have lived here that would have even hinted as to what it was. According to the MG, it is possible we have a variety that has been propagated to bloom but not bear fruit. He did add however that we should not be all that surprised should fruit appear. After I got home I looked up the shrub and the information helped to explain why the plant has been so heat tolerant all these years without a single watering. I had made a comment to the MG about this before leaving the Center and he had commented then that the dwarf pomegranate liked full sun and dry feet...

So that's it. It was fun reading all your thoughts as to what it was. And now we know...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dave & RQ Referral Projections Updates

It's already that time... What time is that you say? Why, it's Projection Time of course! Here we go again :)

How about a couple of Referral Projections from Dave over at Wren's Story as well as one from the RQ. First up is Dave with two projections, the upcoming June referral projection and his extended referral projections. For those not as familiar with Dave's Referral Estimator, Dave tends to lean towards his AVERAGE model as the more accurate indicator. Be sure to go to Dave's blog to read the specifics as to how he arrives at his projections (and disclaimer).

And while you're there be sure to also read he and Sandy's wonderful blog detailing their personal IA journey for Wren...

Dave's Projection For June Referrals:

Model A

Model B

Model C

Model D

RQ Poll


JUN 08







Dave's Extended Referral Projections:

Model A

Model B

Model C

Model D

RQ Poll


JUL 08







AUG 08







SEP 08







OCT 08







NOV 08







DEC 08







The Rumor Queen is feeling quite generous with her June (plus) Referral Projections. Considering we are just now coming off of a 3 day referral, her June Projection for a January 23 referral cutoff is sure to make her message board boil over with excited anticipation and the all too often heartache of cutoff disappointment...

RQ Projections For June - August:


Try to remember, both Dave and RQ are making "Projections" and as such they are just that, Projections.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Adoption Study Released On ADHD & ODD

If you have 3 minutes and 57 seconds click over to NPR's Morning Addition to listen (or read) the just released study on adopted children and the increased risk for ADHD and ODD. Don't flinch, listen and read. There is positive news as well as it relates to our adoptive children's mental health and You as parent(s).

Margaret Keyes, a University of Minnesota research psychologist led the study. The findings were published this month in the journal Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

I hope you will share this information with others.


Referral Count Down Calendar Update

Congratulations to the latest Forever Families who received their matches!

The CCAA has officially announced referrals for families with log in dates of January 10-12, 2006. And with that, we move a whopping 3 days closer to Alyzabeth An. And no, we're not singing "Smile Though Your Heart Is Breaking" but we can certainly admit it's no picnic in the park for all of us biding our time in The Wait. However, ANYTIME there are referrals is reason to rejoice. Our time will come...

Once again, CONGRATS to all those getting to see the faces of their little ones for the first time.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

3-Word Sunday - DH Comes Home Today!

We continue with the Three Word Challenge and enjoy Pug Mama's slide show of all the pictures (remember to tell you have posted so she can include you).

Here's the rules and our first post when we began this Sunday tradition.

Yesterday was granddaughter's birthday #2 which was very fun. Friend Sharon R. hosted it at her home (completed with lush backyard, swimming pool and lots of food). She has generously hosted several special family events at her home. I didn't have our camera as DH took it to Las Vegas, so I am dependent on family & friends to send photos (Cathy, Wendy & Momma Leaa)!
I got to see cousin CR who lives far enough away that we aren't running back and forth for visits.

When I arrived home to Salty Dog, we sat at the end of the dock and watched the Mug Race (click here for official booklet this year).
If you have not heard of this race, it is a sight to see:
The 55th annual Mug Race, billed as "The World's Longest River Race" by The Rudder Club of Jacksonville is slated for May 3. The race, on the St. Johns River, is for boats of all sizes; Jacksonville and Palatka hosts the Mug Race Sailing Regatta. Begins along the waterfront in Palatka, a small town about an hour's drive south of Jacksonville, and ends in Orange Park. For more information about the Mug Race Sailing Regatta, call 904.264.4094.

Have a great day - We will be at the end of our dock enjoying our Champagne Sunday! Come visit!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

May Referrals are Here! (Updated 5/06/08)

(the picture is supposed to be a squeaky shoe...... I am sure we will all be buying them in China)

CCAA matched through January 12, 2006. Three days! We need to get to our LID January 27, 2006.
We will be into 2009 at this rate for us!!! (seems that far away, yet the prediction right now is August for referral; travel in October)!! This wait had been sad, frustrating and longing.
What can we say? We will love our new daughter, we have been loving her daily; we want our daughter before we need a nurse to take care of us!! (quote from my very witty Maine BIL). Old age is setting in!!

Kim and Joel at Ruby is Coming, wrote about our up beat attitude, about the WAIT.

How do we do it? DH and I are always talking about our daughter and remembering her everyday; we discuss something each day that reminds us of "how we will do such and such when we have Lizzy with us", we blog about her, I have worn a bracelet since August 2005 that has "I am the best thing Made in China" on it; everyday we remember our missing daughter, we read others blogs DAILY and watch their happiness when they have their "Forever Family" together, we talk about finally being able to buy a "newer" car after the China trip, everyday we live with Lizzy............ I love telling friends about our three little girls growing up together: our two grands and day goes by that Alyzabeth An isn't on our has made us love our precious family all the more during the wait (is that possible?)........ we have the BEST family!!

Back to the May 2008 Referrals:
Congratulations to all who will be a forever family soon!
Here's some of our bloggy friends who will be traveling in no time (and, yes, they will make it before the Olympics).

Sunflowers and Ladybugs - Susan & Rizzo
As we wait for LilyKate - TWINS!! - Jonathan & Susan
Our Journey to Bring Home Sydnee - Anthony & Jessica
Where is Lily?
Baby Izabella - Scott & Hope
My Cup Runneth Over
LadyBug Happenings
On Our Way to Olivia
Here Comes Meredith - Margo
Our Journey to Make Two a Three (Jeanette) - Terri & Rich

I'll add more when everyone updates on Monday! Yahoo!
There are 15 LID days left until it is our turn!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Adoption - The Child has Losses

I found reference to an article written by an adoptee over at Digging to China.
Heart, Mind and Seoul wrote about her experiences and what she felt as to her losses, losing her birth parents. She writes many worthwhile stories that will help me understand alot more about possible feelings my future daughter may have.