This is my life...a series of dreams come true on a daily basis. Join me as I run down my dream - maybe you will find your dream in the process.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Easy Bake Oven

Miss Scarlett received an Easy Bake Oven from her Uncle Chris, Aunt Becky and Cousin Joshua this Christmas. Although they have updated the color scheme from the late 1960's, the design is the 100 watt light bulb can cook an entire cake in only 10 minutes!
The first project was chocolate brownies. We learned that you really needed to leave brownies to cool before inhaling, as you can burn your tongue. But the brownies were delicious. Tonight we made a white rainbow cake with white icing. Finally, something was too sweet for Miss Scarlett to eat! The cake turned out okay. Nothing ever really looks as nice as the packages when we try them at home.
I looked on-line for recipes we can cook without buying the almost $5.00 packages. There are loads of Do-It-Yourself Easy Bake Oven recipes. I can see this becoming a regular thing for her. She loves to cook, and I love cooking along with her.
Somewhere, I have a photo of me in my mom's kitchen with my old Easy Bake Oven. I will have to add it to this post if I can find it.
Here's to the Easy Bake Oven!

A few of my favorite things...

Most everyone remembers the song from "The Sound of Music" that listed some of Maria's favorite things. In the spirit of that song, here are a few of my favorite things:

Bear hugs from husband and child
Smell of freshly popped popcorn
Cuddling with my daughter
Going for rides in the car (sadly, not as often anymore)
Letters or cards from distant friends and family
Finding a new author and reading his/her books
COLD Diet Coke first thing in the morning
Bed sheets still warm from the drier as I crawl into bed
Snowfall at night
Sound of crickets in summer
Thunderstorms (with no damage)

I am sure that I can come up with a huge list. I may add more if I am inspired.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I miss the cute misstatements...

Hubby and I were talking today about how Miss Scarlett used to say and still says the cutest things. Some I will miss are:

abookabookabooka (no idea...just gibberish, but she said it a long time!)
Poocon (coupon)
Napkim (napkin)
Marack Obama (Barack Obama...odd since we voted opposite)
Marackabama (for Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum in Little Drummer Boy...she thought it was about him!)
Canny coupe (Candy cane)

I know there are more. I just can't remember them all now. Sigh....

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Today, Hubby and I drove to the Application Support Center (ASC) about 2 2/1 hours away to be fingerprinted (again) for our adoption. It was foggy and rainy. As we had to be there at 8 a.m., we left home at the crack of dawn. Our fingerprints expire on Saturday, so we were grateful that USCIS was able to get us an appointment so quickly. Even though James is still uncomfortable wearing his brace, he was a trooper on the trip. Fifteen minutes after arriving at the ASC, we were done and on our way back home.

I hope and pray that this will be the last time we will need to update our fingerprints for the second adoption. However, as referrals from China seem to be getting slower and slower, I do not hold out much hope for that!

We keep plodding along, waiting like so many others. I just want my family complete.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree...

Decorating the tree at Mammaw's House...

Cousins: Miss Scarlett, Kristen and Kaylie

It came from out of nowhere!

It came from out of nowhere, it seemed. I was sitting at my desk working away, when all of the sudden, I heard a small "ahem".

I looked up and saw a sight that you had to see to believe. So I took a picture of it. I am not sure what it is, but it goes around the house yelling, "GO BIG ORANGE!" a lot. I hated to tell it that the Vols had a losing season this year. Didn't want to break its little heart.

If you see one at your house, don't worry. It is basically harmless...just silly and noisy.


They come in threes...

This week started out as any other week. We had doctor's appointments, therapy, school, work, the daily goings-on. On Tuesday, I noticed that the house seemed a little on the cool side. We'd been keeping the thermostat set to 68 degrees, so I thought, "I'll just knock it on up a couple of degrees and get the place warm."

So I did. But it didn't. Get warm, that is.

The HVAC had a problem. We called the guys at Elite (super folks, by the way), and a fellow was here within 10 minutes. He looked at the unit, rest the thing, and the heat was back on. However, he said that he wasn't sure how long it would last as it looked like it was terminal (he'd been nursing this unit along for about 5 years already). No worries, we just hoped it would make it until Spring.

Wednesday arrives cold and rainy. In fact, it rained about 2 inches. I went to court as usual and came home at lunchtime. The house seemed a little cool. You get the idea? We called Elite back. They had someone here (same gentleman) here within the hour. We discussed the pros and cons, and ended up with a lovely new gas HVAC unit by the end of the day.

So we were all warm, cozy and happy. Until the toilet died on Friday.

So we called James' brother, Ron, who is a contractor. James usually handles such problems, but as he is still in his brace, he couldn't get down to work on the toilet, and I hadn't the hand strength to turn what needed to be turned. So, Ron came over and fixed our toilet for us. We were celebrating the revitalization of the second toilet when I noticed that the washing machine wasn't turning on...

The washing machine was working earlier that morning. I had already done two loads. We checked the breaker box...all seemed fine. We noticed that the pantry light, the garage door opener and outlets to same no longer worked. We flipped every breaker to be sure, but to no avail. It must be a bad circuit. So we are trying to figure out what will come next.

Hopefully there will be no more calamities. I here things like this occur in sets of threes. So I am hoping that is one old wives' tale that holds water!

Monday, December 1, 2008

UT Football Players ROCK!

While James was in rehab, the UT football players came to visit the patients. Here are a couple of photos from the visit. They made James' day. Thank you UT. We are loyal fans no matter what!

We had the players autograph a UT football and sign a card for James. I cannot say enough about how wonderful these young men were to take the time out of their day (and in the middle of a particularly cruddy year for them) to make someone else smile.

James' smile was a mile wide.

Update on Sick and Shut-In...

Sorry. I couldn't resist the old timey term of Sick and Shut-In. Anyway, here is the update on James...

There wasn't a tumor. It just looked like one on the MRI. Once we saw the xray, we could see that the ruptured disc was so bad that pieces of bone were in the spinal fluid area. The thing just looked like a tumor. The surgery was a huge success. His doctors were angels. They knew exactly what to do, and did it with such skill that they could only BE angels.

James is walking normally now, albeit slowly. We expect a full recovery. So we had extra things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Thank you, Lord! And thank you to everyone who prayed for James, called, wrote letters and cards, came and cleaned house or watched Miss Scarlett and generally held our hands through this time. We are grateful beyond words.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Move Along Little Doggies...

This Halloween, Miss Scarlett and her Cousin Josh had an opportunity to go Trick or Treating together for the first time (Josh lives in another state).
Josh had picked out a football player, and Miss Scarlett picked out a cowgirl. Notice the pink hat.

They first had to go visit their grandmothers and Miss Scarlett's Daddy (who was still in the hospital at the time). Afterwards, they had a grand time canvassing the neighborhood (with their mommies close behind pulling a little red wagon).

Miss Scarlett faded at about half the block. Josh bravely foraged on, making sure that he asked for TWO pieces of for him and one for Miss Scarlett. Now honestly, could you ASK for a sweeter boy than that?

Both kids had a wonderful time and received WAAAY too much candy. Of course, we HAD to go through it and make sure that she didn't get anything too bad (bubble gum is a no-no at our house). We also snuck out a few extra little things that we had a fondness for ourselves (Reeses Cups and Skittles).
The children are still talking about all the fun they had. Maybe they will be able to go together again next year. I hope so!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Making Progress...

James is making good prgress after his spinal surgery Wednesday. He sitting up in a chair watching his alma mater get pummeled. Luckily for him, he is on some major pain medication, so he isn't feeling the pain of watching his team lose...badly.

He has a long way to go still. He will be wearing a brace for about 3 months that makes him look like some sort of paratrooper. I will have to sneak a picture of him with his brace on for posterity. Thankfully, the doctors that operated on him are first rate...doctors and human beings. They have come in on their days off just to check on James. The compassion they show for James and our family is simply amazing to us. Thank you, Dr. White and Dr. Bolt!

What has blessed us more than anything is the help and prayers from family and friends. James' siblings have all come rushing to help without ever being asked. They just came, saw what was needed, and jumped right in. My side of the family has taken over the care of our daughter, Miss Scarlett, which is a major concern to us. And our friends...they sat with me during his surgery and have prayed for us and/or called daily. Friends that live too far away to be here continually lifted our family up in prayer. We could not have better family and friends.

The biggest news is that the feeling is coming back into James' legs! We were not sure that it would ever come back. We are hopeful that he will have a full and complete recovery. Now if only his alma mater could have a full recovery of its ailing season...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

There's Good News and Bad News...

The Bad News: My sweet little husband has to have surgery. On his spine. Next week. YIKES!

James has a ruptured disc in his mid-chest region with a huge tumor pressing against his spinal cord. It is so large that the doctor says it totally obliterates the spinal cord. To get to the tumor, the doctors will have to go in through his chest wall. James will have to wear a brace for awhile until he is able to keep his torso upright on his own.

The Good News: It isn't cancerous. It isn't multiple sclerosis (which I feared). And it is operable and most likely his numbness and weakness are reversible. Thank God for that!

Please pray for James during the next few weeks. We covet your prayers. Thank you!

Good Bye, Mammaw. Until We Meet Again...

Where do I even begin? My grandmother passing away last week. Bless her heart, she was 93 years old and ready to go home to be with Jesus. She was a wonderful Mammaw. Her favorite thing was to talk on the phone with her friends, of whom there were many. She loved her family, and we loved her. She will be sorely missed.

Mammaw was very active in her church. She was part of the Women's Circle, a greeter on Sunday morning, and worked on the prayer chain at church. Mammaw loved to sing old hymns. I can distinctly remember her singing as she cleaned house or cooked dinner.

Now Mammaw is in Heaven with Jesus. She feels no more pain and is in a perfect body. I miss her more than words can say, but I look forward to the day when we shall meet again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bounce House Party!

Miss Scarlett will soon be 5 years old. For the past year, she has been invited to innumerable "bounce house" parties of other little friends from school or church. This year, we finally relented and said she could have her own bounce house party.

The bounce house parties are quite the thing around here. Bounce houses do a killer business on the weekends. They give you 1 1/2 hours in the bouncy room, and 1/2 hour in the party room. They provide everything but the cake. They even clean up at the end! SWEET!

I can't wait to finally enjoy our sweet girl's party as a guest instead of making myself nuts getting everything done! Thank goodness for Bounce Houses!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dr. Coke?

I have the most adorable nephew in the world. Really. It's true. He is 100% adorable. Joshua loves to take care of others. One of his favorite games right now is to play restaurant. He is an excellent waiter.

"What would you like?" he asks. "Chicken nuggets, french fries and ice water?" (This is his favorite meal). "No, thank you," I always reply. "I'd like a Diet Coke, please."

He runs off an comes back with my Diet Coke. "Here's your Dr. Coke! Is it good?" He is mixing the name of Dr. Pepper up with Diet Coke. Too cute! So from now on as far as I am concerned, all Diet Cokes are now Dr. Cokes. Now if we can just get the rest of the world on board!

Dr. Coke, anyone?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to Paint Mom's Toenails...

First, you have to choose the perfect color. Today's choice is cotton candy with sparkles. It is helpful to tell your customer that the color will look terrific with all her favorite Princess gowns and tiara.

Notice the "Vanna-esque" displaying of the nail polish for the customer's approval.

Have you determined what color to use? GREAT! Now you can go on to the next step!
(By the way, who is the customer?)

Next, you hog-tie your Mommy. You might need some help with this, so enlist your Daddy. He is always ready to assist in a worthy cause. And what worthier cause is there than beautifying your Mommy?

Once you have that little problem wrapped up, you can begin the painting process. Careful application of the polish is key. Make sure that you maintain easy access to Mommy's toes. This can sometimes be difficult if your Mommy has sensitive feet and is ticklish. Try to keep her mind occupied with constant chatter and a Diet Coke.

Ta Da! You have your finished masterpiece! Now run before Mommy can get untied, grab you, and steal all of your smoochie-kisses!
(I think Miss Scarlett did a bang-up job, don't you?)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Such a Big Girl!

Miss Scarlett-School Photo 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Blue Jeans

What is comfortable to you? Is it a pair of sweat pants and a over sized hoodie? Maybe it is a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Some (women) might even prefer a loose skirt that doesn't bind. Me? Give me a pair of faded blue jeans and a soft cotton jersey shirt.

To me, there is nothing more comfortable than a loved, well-worn pair of blue jeans. The older and softer the better. I don't want holes in them...I just want them to be broken a pair of shoes that you go to all the time because they are so comfy.

I am so thankful Fall is here so I can go back to wearing my blue jeans all the time. Thank goodness for blue jeans!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Streak Remains!

Well, perhaps that is a little misleading. Yesterday my dear husband was attending a college football game of a team he is practically rabid over (GO VOLS!). Anyway, he has not missed a single home game since 1973. That is quite a streak.

He and one of his equally rabid buddies were walking toward the stadium when he slipped and fell, breaking his left wrist. A Florida Gator fan (Who says they are bad? Not me!) hurried to help. Hubby ended up going to the hospital and getting his wrist taken care of. Not to be put off, he and his now concerned buddy discussed going home. Go home?! From a FOOTBALL GAME!? Perish the thought.

So the intrepid duo continued to the game, making it in time to see part of the 3rd and 4th quarters. When hubby and friend came home last night, I was greeted with: "I kept my streak going! I still haven't missed a home game!"

Geez. Men!

Two Years and Counting...

Today marks the two year "anniversary" of our log in date (LID) to China for our second child. With it comes some bitter-sweet thoughts. Is our child born yet? Is it a boy or a girl? From where in China will this child hail? How much longer will we have to wait?

We don't know the answers to these questions, but God does. He has the perfect child in mind for us. He certainly did when He hand picked Miss Scarlett for us!

So, we try hard not to gripe about the wait. The waiting will all be worth it when we see the face of the child we are privileged to parent.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Raising a Chinese-American Beauty

When we first sent our letter to China asking to adopt a Chinese child, we promised the Chinese Government we would encourage a love of China. We meant it then, and we continue to follow through on this promise.

Miss Scarlett has always known that she was born in China. She is quite proud of the fact, as we have made every effort to build on the love that she has (and we have) for China. We feel that it is important to allow Miss Scarlett to interact with others from China. We have some wonderful friends from Taiwan that we've known for many, many years. They have "adopted" Miss Scarlett and are wonderful "grandparents and an auntie" to our sweet girl. Our family has also joined the local Families with Children from China (FCC) group to assist in this. The FCC has been an invaluable resource to our family.

Our FCC group has many activities in which China-born kids may participate. From Dragon Boat and Moon Festivals, Chinese New Year, and Pumpkin Patch fun to learning more about Chinese culture through culture camp. We just came home from a day of learning and fun at this year's Chinese Culture Camp. Miss Scarlett was able to learn about her birth country with other children born in China. My hope and prayer is that she can forge some lifelong friendships with a few of these other young people who have a similar family dynamic.

One thing we are most eager to have Miss Scarlett learn is her native Mandarin Chinese. Our FCC group has a wonderful relationship with a local Chinese church that allows the children to learn Chinese. We are so thankful that we have this opportunity. So many do not.

But it is just not enrolling Miss Scarlett in groups and classes. A lot of it is learning and teaching her about her heritage at home everyday. We learn about different customs, talk about what her birth parents might be like (Do they ever think of her? We are sure they must.). We are aware that Miss Scarlett is not a Chinese citizen; she is a proud American (and she will remind you of this fact every time she sees an American flag: "There's our flag!"). But we do not want her to feel like she can't embrace her Chinese-ness (is that a word?). It is such a delicate balancing act. We don't want to make her feel alienated from her family as being "different", but at the same time, we don't want her to feel that she has to turn her back on what she is just because we are not the same ethnicity: a Chinese American.

Are we doing the right thing for our daughter? Only time will tell. We love her. Miss Scarlett is such a joy to us, and we want only what is the best for her. We hope that whatever the outcome, Miss Scarlett knows that we did the very best we could and that we love her beyond measure.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Daughter...Willie Nelson Fan

Miss Scarlett has become a Willie Nelson fan. I can blame my mother for this. No wait, I can blame my Aunt in Texas, because she sent my mom Willie Nelson CDs. Whenever Mom and Pat would pick Miss Scarlett up, she would play "On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson. Before long, Miss Scarlett would come home again humming the tune and then suddenly screeching, "LIKE A BAND OF GYPSIES, WE GO DOWN THE HIGHWAY!" It was disconcerting, to say the least. Especially if we just happened to be walking into a restaurant or store.

What is it about Willie Nelson that has her dropping Hannah Montana like a hot potato? Is it his long hair? Maybe it is his renegade look. Nope. According to Miss Scarlett, it is THE SONGS. The songs. Her favorite song of all? "Nothing I Can Do About It Now".

We did not realize what a hold Willie Nelson had on our sweet child until we were in the local used book store last weekend. The store also sells used CDs. Once she realized that, she begged and pleaded for us to buy her a Willie Nelson CD. She knew exactly the one she wanted. It had to have "On the Road Again" and "Nothing I Can Do About It Now". We were able to find said CD. She even remembered which track numbers they were from my mom's CD (Tracks 1 and 4).

Will this love of country music continue? I have no idea. However, I can't wait to introduce her to Waylon Jennings, Kentucky Headhunters, Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris, Rascal Flatts, and Martina McBride.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dentist's Treasure Box

Today was Miss Scarlett's first ever visit to the dentist. She had gone with me a couple of weeks earlier while I visited, and watched intently as our hygienist, Lisa, cleaned and examined my teeth. Lisa, by the way, is awesome. She let Miss Scarlett examine all the tools and watch the polisher polish my teeth. At the end, Lisa gave Miss Scarlett a Princess toothbrush and told her if she came back to her, she'd let her get a toy from the Treasure Box!

First, let me say that there is no substitution for a great dentist! Either you have a way with children or you don't. And Lisa and Dr. Hunley DO! But never underestimate the power of a TREASURE BOX!

Miss Scarlett was excited to get to the dentist. She was positively giddy about the prospect of seeing inside the Treasure Box. She sat like a little trooper in that big exam chair and let Lisa and Dr. Hunley look at every single tooth in great detail. She was so proud. I was so proud! When it was all over, Lisa pulled out the Treasure Box and Miss Scarlett picked a Princess pen and paper set. She was over the moon.

I, of course, was happy it went so smoothly, but not so happy that Lisa found cavities. Yuck. Seems we need to do a much better job at brushing.

All in all, Miss Scarlett was on her best behavior. I even treated her to a new Backyardigans DVD. We go back in two weeks for fillings. She does not yet know what that will entail, but she is looking forward to that Treasure Box again!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Today is the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, sometimes called the Harvest Moon Festival. The Chinese celebrate it on the evening of the fifteenth day of the eighth month (Chinese calendar). Some say that it was to honor the goddess of the moon.

In our family, we use the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival to celebrate the family. We take the view that we all see the same moon...Miss Scarlett's forever family here in the States, and her first family in China. We look at the moon, and think of that first family. We pray for them and hope that they somehow know that we are praying for them and thinking of them. For they are an important part of what makes Miss Scarlett her wonderful self.

We like to celebrate by eating Moon Cakes filled with red bean paste or white lotus paste, waving some sparklers and howling at the moon. (Yes, you read it right, howling at the moon. It's just our little way of letting off some steam.)

When it is all said and done, it may not be how the folks in China do it, but is our way of celebrating. And it is perfect for our little family.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jim Cantore vs. Geraldo Rivera

Last night during the news footage of Hurrican Ike in Texas, I was intently glued to the tv for news of how Houston and Corpus Christi were faring with the storm. We have family in both cities (and all made it just fine through Ike).

Anyway, I was on the cell phone with my sister-in-law, Boo Boo, until midnight. She and I love to watch Weather Channel with Jim Cantore (much like my friend "M", who has a crush on him!). When Boo Boo told me that Geraldo was on Fox News, I just had to see what he had to say.

Let me just say, there is NO comparison between the two men. Jim Cantore is a professional all the way. When things started getting dicey, he made a quick decision to get his crew into protected cover. Not so with Geraldo. Geraldo stands on the Galveston seawall, getting bits of paper and who-knows-what blown into his face. Once he fell down. The strangest was seeing him holding onto some fellow with a wind speedometer trying not to blow away.

I am sorry, but Geraldo is no Jim Cantore. So in the big match up, it's Jim Cantore all the way! (This is for you, "M"!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bed and Breakfast

I would love to own a Bed and Breakfast. I can see in my mind's eye a place of refreshment of the mind, body and soul. One of my favorite authors, Melody Carlson, wrote a series of books about such an Bed and Breakfast. The place is called Grace Chapel Inn. In the books, the inn has a plaque over the door stating ... "a place where one can be refreshed and encouraged, a place of hope and healing, a place where God is at home."

How absolutely wonderful that sounds to me! I would love to work on making beautiful gardens, and arranging floral arrangements from the gardens in every room. In the evening, it would be lovely to serve tea and light fare to my guests out on a big covered porch while watching lightening bugs flit about the gardens.
While owning a B&B is not likely to happen for me, I can make my home a place where one can be refreshed and encouraged, given hope and healed, and most importantly, a place where GOD is at home.
Anyone can live his or her dream...even if it is just a part of the dream.


Seven years ago today, the United States suffered the worst attack on American soil in its history. Whatever your political leaning, I pray that you will pause today to remember those whose lives were forever changed or lost in an instant.

May we never have to face such an attack again. God Bless the United States of America.

Monday, September 8, 2008

School Photo Day

Today was school photo day at Miss Scarlett's daycare. We spent a great deal of time discussing the merits of each possible outfit...color, style, comfort. We finally narrowed it down to three choices: a blue sundress, a pink dress with a dragonfly, and a pink dress with a Dalmatian puppy. Miss Scarlett got to pick. After much deliberation, she choice the dress with the dragonfly.

Our next duty was to determine how her hair was to be done. Should we leave it down? Down with barrettes? If we leave it down, should we curl the ends under? Or should we get more creative and put it up in a ponytail or pigtails? Should I (gasp!) attempt to do a braid? Miss Scarlett decided to leave her hair barrettes, no curling iron. Just natural.

When I left her at daycare, I wondered if the photographer would give her one more lick and a promise with the hairbrush. I hoped that she would smile prettily and not her silly grin that she likes to affect when we take her picture.

Today at pickup, the daycare director told me that Miss Scarlett smiled "so pretty". I was so glad to hear that. Then Miss Scarlett told me that even the photographer told her she "smiled pretty". I suppose I will find out soon enough. The photos come back toward the end of the month. I am confident, though, that whatever they look like, I will love them!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Tale of Two Bears

The bear on the left is named "Teddy". He is over 40 years old, and has had the bottoms of his feet and paws of his hands lovingly repaired by the mother of the child who (still!) loves him. Teddy was my first love. He calmed my fears when I was sure that there was a monster in the closet. He was a friend that patiently sat through many a tea party, class, or doctor's visit. He was never a very fancy bear...choosing to just be his au natural beary self.

The bear on the right is named "Sally Callie". She is just about one year old, and belongs to my daughter. She made her at the Build-A-Bear shop shortly after her birthday last year. Sally Callie goes everywhere Miss Scarlett goes. She
has a Hello Kitty shirt, skirt, shoes, a glittery purse...the whole ensemble that a young miss needs. Sally Callie has been party to numerous dinners out, doctor's visits, nap times, etc. She is quite the cosmopolitan bear. But she is just as loved by her person as Teddy is loved by me.

Now these two bears are best of friends. Teddy spends most of his time these days benevolently watching a new bear and child play together. I can only hope that my daughter and Sally Callie have as many and even more wonderful years together. I look forward to the day when I see three bears together...Teddy, Sally Callie and Mei-Mei's (or Di-Di's) bear.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A New Look!

Many, many thanks to the BlogFairy for the spiffy new design for the blog! The BlogFairy sort of comes when you least suspect it...much like the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny. I have never seen her, but I know that she exists!

She has made my ho-hum blog into something that looks really neat and fun! If you want a really nifty design, I urge you to check out the BlogFairy's site. You can link directly from here to her site. Look around. I am positive that you will not be disappointed!

Thank you, BlogFairy!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Friend from the Past

Today I ran into an old friend from back in my junior high school days. I saw her talking to the court clerk, and immediately recognized her...pretty good since it has been over twenty years since we saw each other! She instantly recognized me as well.

I remember spending the night at her house one night. Her step-father was an abusive man, and I walked on eggshells the entire time I was there. It was the first and last time that I was ever allowed to stay at her house. I am sure that if my mom had known what the home was like, I would have never been allowed to stay in the first place.

My friend was always very shy and quiet in school. She left in the 8th grade...pregnant. I did not see her again until today.

She has become a lovely woman. She now has two children and has risen well above her rocky beginning. We caught each other up on our lives best we could in the ten minutes or so before we both had to move on. We hugged each other and promised to try our best to stay in touch. I hope we can.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Adventures in Gardening

"Let's do a garden this year," my dear hubby said. "It'll be a good learning experience for Miss Scarlett, and besides, it'll be FUN!"

So we went to our local home improvement store, bought some lumber (because dear hubby wanted a raised bed garden), what seemed to be a ton of soil, seeds, and supports. "Think of all the money we'll save on groceries," I told dear hubby, almost giddy with anticipation. We flew home with our gardening goodies.

So we dragged the bags of soil over to the garden plot and emptied them out. Miss Scarlett helped us plant the seeds...tomatoes, cucumbers, Kentucky Wonder green beans, corn, carrots, and radishes. We don't particularly care for radishes, but we heard that they were fast growers and would keep Miss Scarlett interested in the garden longer.

After many evenings of "discussing" who watered last, we finally saw some sprouts. Miss Scarlett was beside herself with joy. She had a garden with food that she grew "all by herself"! I have to say, even I was impressed with what I foresaw as a bountiful harvest. I could see Miss Scarlett and me putting up loads of veggies with my mother-in-law helping us. Dear hubby beaming with pride. Such a sweet domestic tableau.

In actuality, there was no bountiful harvest. What we got were some deformed corn that looked like it was an experiment from a nuclear lab, lots of yummy tomatoes, four or five squinchy carrots, one cucumber, two messes of tough green beans and a gazillion radishes which were so hot we couldn't touch them.

Were we disappointed? Maybe just a little. All in all, we considered it was success. At least we had some fun family time and a bit of gardening adventure. We learned a lot about what NOT to do when planting a garden. We have high hopes that our next attempt will go off much better. We can hardly wait now to put out our fall crop and see what comes up!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Waiting is so hard! Just yesterday, Miss Scarlett asked me when it would be her birthday. She had just gone to a birthday party for a little friend, and it was on her mind. I told her it was still a couple of months away. Then she asked when Mei-Mei (little sister in Mandarin) was coming home. Since we are still likely months away from a referral, all I could tell her was that I don;t know. Her reply? "China is taking a long time! Can't you just tell God to make China give us Mei-Mei?" If only.

How does one deal with waiting for something you want badly? Do you go on with life as usual, putting the thought of the event on the back burner of your mind until such time the happy event occurs? Do you constantly monitor each and every aspect of the wait, tormenting yourself over every possible pitfall or milestone that you reach? How are we supposed to handle a wait?

I believe that God would have us wait patiently and honor God in the wait. Hebrews 5:10-11 (The Message) says "Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You've heard, of course, of Job's staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That's because God cares, cares right down to the last detail."

Waiting for Miss Scarlett to come home from China was one of the hardest waits of my life. It was very hard to "let go and let God". But let go, I did. And I was greatly rewarded for it. For the very day that we had put in our adoption application, was the day Miss Scarlett was born in China. And we were greatly blessed!

So God has proved to me over and over again how much He cares for me. And I hold on to that love He has for me, and all of His creations, when the wait becomes hard. Dear friend, I pray that if you are waiting for something, that you know that God has it all under control. He is still on His throne. May you stay the course, let go, and let God.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Blog Topics

Ok, I admit when I first wrote the title out, "Blog Topics", I thought of the advertising jingle for Hot Pockets. Sad, isn't it? I think the hardest part about blogging is allowing myself the freedom to put what I think in print. It is much easier, I think, to just ruminate on things in one's mind and not commit them to anyone else. That is why coming up with titles for these blog topics can be very frustrating. My thoughts are so fluid.

So often, my thoughts go like a dog's must. I will be trotting along happily, when all of the sudden, a stray idea comes to mind, and I find myself following it like a hound follows a rabbit trail...totally leaving the subject at hand to see where it will lead me.

What fun to see where this will lead!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Leaving it up to God

It is no secret to my family and friends that I am not happy in my current occupation. It is very stressful most days, and some days almost unbearable. My job causes me to come in contact with some of the most delightful, trusting and beautiful children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves torn from everything they've known due to their parents' stupid, immoral and sometimes pure evil decisions. I cannot compartmentalize my life and keep my job separate from home. I just can't. And this is why I want to find another line of work. Totally unrelated to my current occupation.

Therefore, I have been looking on the Internet, searching want ads, etc. to find some other occupation that won't cause me to lost sleep at night. Honestly, if I could have a regular 9-5 job where, when I leave at 5 p.m. and never give it a second thought, I would be in hog heaven. Right now, working at Walmart sounds appealing.

My problem is what to do. And that is when my good friend, Debbie, suggested that I pray that God bring the job He desires for me to me. That makes perfect sense! Why I couldn't see this for myself, I don't know. I guess that is why God says to surround ourselves with Godly counsel.

So, I have been praying that God would bring me the job He knows I want and need. I can't find it on my own without His help. I am leaving up to God to find it for me and make it clear: "Hey! Look here! This is the job! Right here!"

So I am leaving it up to God. Which is what I should have been doing all along.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cellular Phones

Why does choosing a cell phone have to be so difficult? My cell phone contract just renewed, and as such, I was "allowed" to received a new cell phone for no additional charge. There are just way too many phones to from which to choose!

We have "Smart Phones" that can surf the Internet, send text messages, play MP3s...some even allow you to watch television! Why do we need to be able to do all of this on a phone? I can remember when pagers were popular...lots of doctors had them. Now, pagers are virtually obsolete. Cell phones have taken over the world!

It took me over two weeks to narrow down what I wanted in a cell phone. Basically, I wanted one that I could see the darn numbers on! The displays are usually too small for me to read the incoming call numbers. My old phone had a voice caller i.d. that spoke the number or name of who was calling. I am unsure if the new phone will do this.

In the end, I ended up getting a black cherry Chocolate phone. It looked easy enough to work and had a large display screen. Hopefully, that will translate to a large number display. If not, I suppose I will be guessing who is calling every time the phone rings.

Only time will tell...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Prioritize Mom!

I bought a new book today. It is called The Busy Mom's Guide to a Happy, Organized Home, by Kathy Peel. She is a self-proclaimed Family Manager and has been on Oprah, HGTV, The Today Show and The Early Show. It has inspired me to become more organized at home so that I can spend more quality time with my family. If it works, it will be well worth the money spent.

Basically, I need to prioritize each area of my life, from food, finances and housework, to relationships, special events and spiritual life. Now, if I can just find the time to prioritize in between all the bill paying, grocery shopping, tub scrubbing and toddler-toting, I will be well on my way to having my life under control.

Or is that just another one of those dreams I am trying to run down?

Jane Austen, anyone?

Ok, I admit it...I am a big fan of Jane Austen...novels and movies. Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is simply divine! I loved Pride and Prejudice and Emma. I even like the spin-off books by other authors. One of my favorites is Mr. Knightley's Diary by Amanda Grange. It is based on the Jane Austen book, Emma. Basically, it is the diary of the hero, George Knightly, during his courtship of Emma.

One of the weirdest I read was Lost in Austen. It is one of those books that you choose a path to take. You are a character in several Jane Austen novels. You have choices to make throughout. If you choose one path, you go to page 6, for instance, and see what the consequence of your choice is. If you choose another path, you are sent to another page with different consequences. The idea is to get to marry well and for love. I didn't do so well. Good thing I never actually had to live in Austen's day!

Do I wish I had lived back then? Well, yes and no. It appeals to my romantic side with the grand gestures from gentlemen and all. However, the practical side (no indoor plumbing, no Diet Coke!!) says, "No thank you!"

I guess I am a modern, old-fashioned girl!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer Olympics-Home Style!

Friday, Miss Scarlett and I, along with some friends, celebrated our own Home-Made Summer Olympics. We had five kids participating...each one picked a country to represent. Miss Scarlett picked China, Sam picked USA, William picked Australia, Andrew picked Russia, and Leah picked France. My friend Karyn had downloaded the Olympic theme songs, as well as the national anthems of each country. We had a full day planned.

We started first with the Olympic parade into the backyard with ribbon streamers and country flags. All of this was done with great pomp and circumstance to the Olympic medley. All the kids received a medal in a sport...discus, relays, croquet, horseshoes, and basketball. Of course, only gold medals were given. Miss Scarlett got her medal in basketball and was quite pleased with herself.

The kids made their own torches and Olympic mascots. We finished up with a big Chinese lunch at a local restaurant where we ate too much. A wonderful time was had by all. We can't wait to do the Home-Made Winter Olympics in two years!


Well, here it first post to my first blog. I hope everyone will bear with me as I learn the ropes of blogging. I chose to blog for several reasons. First, I wanted a place to journal my thoughts and ramblings. I seem to be on the computer more and more, and it just seems natural to place my thoughts here. Second, I wanted a place to journal some of my family's journey to adopt our second child from China. Family and friends are very important to me, and I want them to be able to connect with us when we do get to travel to China! And last, I wanted to blog because, hey, that's what everyone is doing these days!

I welcome and want your comments! My hope is that I can be bold in my writings and learn something about myself (and maybe you) in the process.

Please join me!