Monday, January 30, 2017

Chinese New Year - First Coast FCC 01/29/2017 Sunday

On Sunday, January 29th, AA missed a NFJG Tournament at Eagle Harbor so that we could attend the CNY celebration at UNF.
The crowd gets smaller each year, fewer families take part; good news there were four new babies brought home in 2016. I can see why teenagers, even pre-teens do not enjoy or get anything out of the celebration. The crafts were geared for young children - a coloring page and gluing together a rooster, not anything AA wanted to do. The food was not good, one smelled so bad AA said she may get sick (and I agreed with her), we had to get another plate. The fried rolls ran out before everyone had been through the line. AA said she missed the ice cream station they used to have; this year just small store bought cookies.  The best part is saying our annual hellos to a few families we know and the lion dance/parade at the end. We had talked about not going and this year sacrificed an important golf tournament. Several families we know celebrate in their own home or neighborhood, we may need to do that as the FCFCC has fewer volunteers (we didn't volunteer to help this year, so shouldn't complain). We suggested years ago to the Board that they partner with the American-Chinese community to host celebrations; would be good to see how Chinese families try to keep some traditions going in their own families. Our dilemma is keeping some China culture for AA; for her to know and appreciate a little about her beginnings. We were glad that Carolyn came with us so we enjoyed seeing her!

The "non-professional" photo:
Every year at the FCFCC CNY celebration, the kids place a flag where they are from - Chongqing City/Nanchuang for this girl!
We won one raffle basket - lots of books!
The end!
At home, I put out some decorations for CNY and Valentine's Day:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Miscellaneous End of January 2017 - Early February

I am catching up, writing this post many weeks after these activities. Just to document them in our annual blog book.
So here I go with a bit of politics - we have been glued to the TV/Internet news since the inauguration - our new President has pushed through many new executive orders including a ban on certain countries that USA will not allow immigrants to come from. Between whatever connection and lies about Russia during the campaign and now the firing of General Flynn, having a spokesperson make up massacres and telling the public to buy a certain retail brand; the White House using a private email server, approving top senior officials who have no prior service to our country (including someone who has never been to a public school is now over our education!) - the truth is hard to come by. There are so many contradictions, vague responses and legal issues, I think more than half the nation is confused. WE are confused by our new President's Administration, the chaos, the pointing fingers, blaming everyone (won't list all those he has called out). At least SNL is entertaining if so very sad as the humor reflects real life instead of being a parody! That's it for my rant (by ACM).
Right before Chinese New Year (on 01/28/17), we went to the movie Hidden Figures. It was a wonderful story, so sad in many ways due to the treatment of talented, intelligent ladies. AA was not very familiar with the segregation that happened; seeing ladies rooms called "colored", we had conversations about how some of American's were treating anyone differently than the "white/European" Americans.

Of course, with the new President's immigration "ban", AA has asked about her citizenship status.
From Facebook (02/04/17): fm - Alyzabeth asked today if she was an immigrant...And with that, the ugliness hits home. {a few supportive comments copied below}
Jon-Tammy Hatfield This ugliness is not what a child her age should have to worry about. So sorry.
Kris Jackson I think it's such a great question and what a fantastic opportunity to give her the real answer, without all the political negativity. I told Ellis that unless you are Native American- all of us are immigrants or descended from immigrants. That immigrants are what make our country diverse and wonderful- and that I think it's so cool that she was born in a different country.
Donna Wheeler Yes, honesty is the best here. We do our children a misdeed if we don't use the words they hear out there. While we love and cherish they for who they are, the rest of the world sees what they are and will use that against them. We must arm our kids to stand up for themselves and engage those people rather than fear them.
Yes, we understand about illegal immigrants, also that Obama administration deported the most of any President. We get that, however there are many cases that we granted a stay in order to follow the process, now that is out the window. All this talk has raised many questions in the international adoption groups, ensuring we all obtained the proper papers that document our children as USA citizens. 
Oops - back to politics - there are many groups now organizing under the tag of "resist" or "resistance". We must do what is possible to continue to fight for human rights for all. Leaa and girls participated in the St. Augustine march. Proud of them! (01/21/17)
01/27/06 - 01/27/2017: Then another year went by - the 11th anniversary of our LID date - the date our adoption papers were accepted/logged into the China Welfare Institute.
From David Curewitz, who we waited with him as our date was the 27th, his was the 26th.
 Eleven years ago today, our hopes, dreams and a pile of paperwork was officially logged in at a bureaucratic office outside somewhere in Beijing. January 26th, 2006 would be our "login date" and would mark our place in line for adopting a child from China. Month after month, I (and thousands of others) agonized at how much (and far too often, how little) the line moved each month. After far longer than we ever anticipated, one day it finally became our turn and Sandy and I found out there was a little girl waiting for us across the ocean.
So, Happy LID anniversary to all my China friends. The day is long gone and not really well-remembered as it once was, but the actions of that date brought us all the families we have today.

Yes, we are a family, with little daughter Alyzabeth, so thankful!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sprucing up AA's Bedroom

AA's bedroom has stayed the same for the two years we have lived in our new "down-sized" home. It is medium size and we added shelves on the wall for her trophies and books. Everything got filled up and many books and games ended up on the floor. We purchased a tall five shelf bookcase from Craig's list and have cleaned her shelves and simplified a bit. We removed TONS of Lego sets, which now will collect dust in the garage (to be given to the FUMCH Madison Ranch)! Still too much stuff!
I have a few before photos I took with my camera. While AA and Ford were at the Innisbrook Copperhead Classic, I took almost a whole day and cleaned and decluttered her room and put about half of the first coat of paint. AA chose Clear Vista, a blue with some gray tones, not a "Carolina Sky Blue". Very muted. It goes well with her new gray and white comforter set. Next, we need to buy an area rug, a bench with storage (now I think we will get Grammie Merrill's cedar chest from my Mom to use!!) and tab-top curtains. I am off to put on the second coat of paint!

The main furniture is back in place:
 Before photos - no more pink!

More photos when we are finished!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A New Dress for Chinese New Year

AA usually wears a Chinese traditional dress for Chinese New Year. This year, we purchased on-line from the Tea Collection, two dresses. One AA selected that is greens/blues and one I liked, mostly red. By the web site's body measurements, the size 8 should have been plenty big on AA and being wary of that, I ordered a size 10 in the red dress. The size 8 just fits, very slender. She will wear it once, then move onto the red dress. Very nice styles, all done with Asian/Japanese prints.

I will take photos once she wears the red dress, it is rare to see AA in a dress!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Video of AA at Deercreek with Coach Kathy Nyman

Checking to see if this video will play.

Monday, January 16, 2017

U.S. Kids Golf Copperhead Classic Day 2

Playing in her first 36 hole regional tournament was to be a learning experience and to see how well she held up. With 18 hole practice round on Friday, then the two-day tournament, I think was a bit much. She played fair on day one (89), then on day two, she tripped and fell while walking to the first hole. I am amazed she played all 18 holes with bloody, bruised knees and a puncture wound on one hand. So sad and I was so sorry not to be there to help her, hug her and tell her all will be fine.
I think she needs a few days of rest! We did take her to her pediatrician and all seems well with her knees healing. She was sad that she couldn't run and missed playing tag at school recess.

Day 1 pairing: Mary Miller from GA and Olivia Pellerin from SC.
Day 2 pairing: C.C. Kaplan from NY and Olivia Pellerin from SC.

Her right knee was much worse as she cut into it on the jagged edge of the sidewalk.
The tournament also showed us again how diverse the families are. Most as so kind like the SC family who offered neosporin for AA's knees. The other family continued to break rules and the girl had several temper tantrums during the second day. From laughing hilariously to pouting, she twice dragged her club to get a putt in (and Ford called it out to the Caddie the first time, not her Dad). Her Dad was in the golf cart as a spectator and Ford had to tell the Caddie to have the Dad stop helping and coaching his daughter, as he was a spectator. They tried to break so many rules, it was a relief when it was over. Occasionally,we have reported poor behavior and rule violations to the officials, this time Ford decided not too as he was just too worked up to confront anyone else. These parents must allow this behavior and Ford could tell from the Caddie that he has dealt with her many times and accepts what she does!
After much chatting with AA, we are going to skip the U.S. Kids Golf World's this year. It will be nice not to have the stress leading up to that tournament and will allow us to take a normal vacation! AA said, "Let's head to Maine"!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

U.S. Kids Regional Copperhead Classic Tournament

So glad that Alyzabeth is playing in this tournament, reason one - she missed it last year due to double eye surgery; reason two as it is her first official 18 hole tournament playing as an individual, AND three, her Daddy Caddie is WELL! So glad Ford has recovered about 95% of his health!
Here are a few photos they texted me, as I am babysitting the puppy - she was spayed recently and we decided not to board her. I miss all the fun!! AA sent me a picture of the foggy roads and this selfie:

Map of the resort - they are staying in a building close to the front entrance:
Friday the 13th practice round - a foursome with Mary Miller, a boy (8 years old) from Atlanta and a Floridian girl. Miss Miller is the girl who beat AA in the Drive, Chip and Putt to go to The Masters in 2015 and she will turn 11 before the Worlds - she's always been a head taller.
After the practice round:
The room:
AA eating lunch on Saturday, right before her first tee time. They said they have run into many golfing families, the Dunham's, Fleming's, DeWitt's etc. and her former caddie Maria C.
Good luck to AA - may she play her best ever!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alyzabeth's School - 4th Grade Continues

AA earned all A's again this grading period (since October). She is an excellent reader and learns quickly.
Her teacher also had them writing poetry. Here is a sampling of her original Haiku's.
Deer and rabbits watch
The storm is brewing right now
Winter is coming

The tree is bright green
It is lit up with light bulbs
It is raining there

Hi I am Frosty
Children love me very much
I like cool weather

Big, Full
Hanging, Waiting, Staying
Stuffed with Toys, Candy
Big Sock

Santa Is Coming
Santa is coming
With reindeer and presents too
I will wait for him

Her certificate - she did not attend the awards ceremony scheduled for 01/13/17 as she was at Palm Harbor preparing for her regional U.S. Kids Golf Tournament.

Haiku Poems:
And a photo of Ginger, she looks sad, we were hanging out while AA and Ford are at Innisbrook/Copperhead Classic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

NFJG Foundation Girls Fall Champion!

Alyzabeth is once again the NFJG Tour Fall Champion (2016 - 2017 Season) for the Foundation Girls! She played with the Foundation Boys several times, being the only girl, so not much female competition. She did beat all the boys once (Phillip Dunham has moved up to the Boys 10 - 12 age group even though he just turned 9)!

 Congratulations to the NFJG TOUR's                     Fall Tournament Series Winners.
  • Boys 16-18 Division: Dalton Paris                                  Bent Creek Golf Club
  • Girls 13-18 Division: Hannah Stevens          Jacksonville Beach Golf Club
  • Elite Tour Boys 13-15 Division: James Ballato        The Golf Club at North Hampton
  • Rising Tour Boys 13-15 Division: Andrew Riley       The Champions Club at Julington Creek
  • Boys 10-12 Division: Andrew Davis                             The Golf Club at Fleming Island
  • Foundation Boys Division: Richard Hayden Ruth    Bent Creek Golf Club
  • Foundation Girls Division: Alyzabeth Morgan        Eagle Harbor Golf Club

Monday, January 09, 2017

Monday Morning 01/09/2017 - It's COLD Outside!

I took a few (okay, LOTS) photos of AA this morning as it was so COLD - low in the 20's. The high should zoom up to about 60 today! Ginger is still convalescing after her spaying surgery on the 6th, we are supposed to keep her quiet which is not easy, she is jumping and energetic as if she never had the surgery! 
AA was bundled up with boots and jeans plus the new sweater from Grandma-Cathy and Werner. Horse riding lesson today after Khan Club!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017!

I haven't posted much since returning home from Joy's Okeechobee visit on New Year's Day. So here's what we have been doing:
Monday, the 2nd, AA went to her horse riding lesson. She and her Daddy played some golf most days this week.
Tuesday, the 3rd, we drove with Justin to UF to watch great-nephew Lane (Kaci Morgan Below's son) play basketball for the Ole Miss team. Good game even though they lost. They made up for it by winning their next game at Auburn!

 Lane's back, during pregame practice:
Wednesday, the 5th, the last day of school vacation, we went to the movies and saw the excellent prequel Rogue One! Of course, it took us a while to realize why everyone had to be killed in the movie as none of them show up in the original 1970's trilogy. There was a cameo of Princess Leia and others from back then. Really loved the main stars who played Jyn, the blind man Donnie, the defector cargo pilot Bodhi, K-2SO, Baze rebel warrior, Saw (mentor/guardian of Jyn) and Cassian the Captain.

School began on Thursday, the 6th and that was the same day Ginger was spayed. AA's friend Noah Witt gave her a set of headphones for her WiiU set - so they can chat together while playing Minecraft - each at their own homes! Works great!
Also, after school, AA played 11 holes of golf with Ms. Penny R. at Eagle Harbor. First time she went out with Penny and alone - without her Daddy-Caddie!
After 11 holes; Penny said she would play with AA again - making golf fun!
Friday, AA and her Daddy went to Amelia River golf course for a pratice round, getting ready for Sunday's tournament - there are two holes she will need to lay-up to go over water hazards.
Our first really COLD weather descended on us Saturday through today. Two nights with below freezing temperatures! Saturday afternoon, the 7th, we went to the River House and watched a NFL Playoff game near the fireplace while our dinner was baking in the oven at home. Nice!
Sunday, the 8th, AA golfed in the NFJG Tournament at Amelia River and they said it was really chilly (I am home with recovering Ginger)! AA placed first even though it was not a good round of golf for her (only one other girl, McKelvey Dietz, AA used to play with her in the US Kids Golf tournaments). 
In this photo, AA has on a long sleeve gray with pink trim pullover, a long sleeve C9 black shirt, a short sleeve gray C9 sport top and her black/gray hoodie. She also wore an ear cuff/band on her head with her Gyffindor knit cap and a L.L. Bean black fleece vest during play!
From Jack, NFJG Director:
The Amelia River Run Classic has been a traditional junior golf event for the past four years and this event typically is a fan favorite, but with the arctic front approaching and the forecast for a low of 30 and highs only in the mid 40’s and winds gusting 15-20 mph one would need to make a chilling decision to play or not play. Forty-fifty degrees below our comfort level is a reason for concern and we (the committee) did contemplate canceling, but the majority felt the “Show should go on”. The par-5 first hole was a little burrrrrr, dead into the wind which was gusting off of the airport runway, but once you got in between the trees things were a little more tolerable and manageable.
Our Foundation Boys had Seven in the field and our Foundation Girls this had just 2.  
Collecting more Gold this week would be Richard Hayden Ruth with a fine 42 and Alyzabeth Morgan. Aiden Clark who is sending notice that he is working on his game would test the fire of Ruth this week with a nice 45 to take home the Silver for his second Runner-up finish of the year. Anderson Palm would be right behind with a 46 to claim the Bronze for his third top five finishes. 
The Foundation Girls welcomed McKelvey Dietz to the TOUR and she was nothing but smiles as she gained some eye-opening junior tour experience.  Dietz had a couple rough holes, but support by caddying-Mom made it all good.

Chatting on the phone with friend Pam, told me she has pneumonia and poor Carolyn who was babysitting two dogs had one escape from her yard. Bad week!
We also were mourning the loss of so many wonderful celebrities during 2016. Here's a video from iHeart Radio, titled - Dedicating one last dance to those we lost in 2016.