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.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It's a BOY!

We received the phone call today from our social worker, Leah.

"Are you sitting down?" she asked.

"Do I need to?"

"YES! You have a referral for a little boy!"

I about died on the spot. Honestly. I am just so humbled and constantly amazed at how good God is to us. If you look back a couple of posts, you will see my rambling on about how I was feeling the urge to nest. That I felt God was blessing our desire to go special needs. And my, how He has blessed us!

I understand that I cannot officially post photos of our little man until we have our letter of acceptance, so I will give a brief idea of our boy:

His special need is cleft lip/cleft palate. The lip was repaired in China when he was 7 months old. The doctors there did a terrific job. His palate will be taken care of once we get him home with us.

He is almost 2 years old. He is shy, but likes to play with toy cars. (what boy doesn't?)

Miss Scarlett, upon telling her that she was about to be a big sister, was a little surprised that she wasn't getting a little sister, but readily accepted the idea of getting to hold a baby brother. She will be a wonderful big sister.

So our family of three is about to become a family of four. What bliss...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Recurring Theme - Resolution Time?

I am beginning to see a recurring theme in my posts. More often than not, I am obsessing over clutter, my body, my mind and my relationship with the Lord. It is enough to make me crazy. Not literally, but you know what I mean.

So I started thinking: What if I made some New Year's resolutions to help get me on the right track. The trick is, this time, I am going to start them today.

Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Fill one box a week with stuff to take to Goodwill. I don't need it; they can use it.
  • Commit to an exercise regimen. Not a "I'm gonna wear a bikini by summer one", just one to help get me healthier. Three to five days a week should help.
  • Meal plan for two weeks at a time. Try to get enough meals for 30 days so that we don't get burned out on stuff and have more variety.
  • Set our family up on a cleaning schedule. We can all pitch in and clean - not just me!
  • Work on my writing. I dream of someday writing a book. In the meantime, I need to polish my craft.
  • Read in the Bible every day. I have a Chronological Bible that is set up for a year.
  • Take a Bible study.
  • Play more with Scarlett - she won't be small forever!
  • Learn to say "No" more often. I tend to have a problem with that.
However, I draw the line at wearing a big, red hat and joining any clubs...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nesting Frustration

For some time now I've had the desire to nest. Maybe it is the time of year, or maybe it is the feeling of urgency to ready the home for another child. Whatever the reason, I am becoming frustrated in my efforts to create the restful, warm, cozy home I so desire.

In my mind, my home is clutter-free. The larder is full of all manner of goodies - both homemade and store bought. My family gathers around playing board games, working jigsaw puzzles or watching Christmas movies. My house is peaceful and virtually perfect.

I know that this is unrealistic, but every time I seem to set myself up for the unattainable. If only I could be a stay-at-home mom, I say to my husband. If only I could have an hour each day to clean. If only.

Then I get a gentle prod from my Father telling me to just be still. Be still. Because He is the perfect nest in the middle of the storm. And you know what? He is!

So while the dervish or the holidays whirl around me, I will continue to nestle into Him. My house my not be perfect, but my Nest is.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Could this be the group?

Scuttlebutt is that there is a new "Camp" going on in China that our adoption agency is sole participant in. The agency says that their social workers are in China now working with 50-60 special needs children readying them for adoption by waiting parents.

Could this finally be the group our child is in? I dare not get my hopes up too high, but I admit I am allowing myself a little giddiness over the possibility. We just turned in our paperwork to switch to special needs before Thanksgiving. On top of that, we were given a surprise grant (more on this later) for a special needs child. It seems like God is giving his blessing on us. Is this His way of saying, "Yes, My children, this is it! THIS is what you were supposed to do."?

I pray it is so. For now, we continue to Wait for Mei-Mei or Di-Di.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pecan Pies and Air Guitar

There is nothing quite like cooking with your six year old daughter. Especially when she is a better cook than you. Miss Scarlett and I decided to make our pecan pies tonight for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner. I was pleasantly surprised how competent she was at measuring dry goods and liquids. She cracked eggs into a bowl like a professional chef. Where did she learn all this? Not from me, that is for sure!

While we waited for the pies to do their thing in the oven, Scarlett started singing "We Will Rock You" by Queen. She changed the words a little bit, but I could tell it was that song. So I told her I had the CD. Her eyes grew large. "Really?" she squealed. "Yup." I dug out the CD and played the song.

Right where the guitar takes off on its riff, I did some pretty awesome air guitar, if I do say so myself. Scarlett jumped right in with a mean drum beat. We were unstoppable. We were QUEEN! At least for about 2 minutes - then the song was over.

I wonder if I can find Bohemian Rhapsody?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Puzzle Time!

One of my fondest memories as a little girl was sitting by my Pappaw in the living room. He had this large brown recliner that had "crackly" skin. The chair, not Pappaw. Anyway, he always was working on a jigsaw puzzle. He had cut down an old piece of paneling that he used for a board, and laid it across both arms of the chair. His Pepsi cola (glass bottles only) was on the side table within easy reach.

Pappaw always had a puzzle going in the fall and winter months. Spring and summer days were spent working in the garden, yard and flower beds. Sometimes he'd be in the basement (which he had dug out by hand!) working on some sort of project. But when the darkness came early, he brought up that panel board and started working on a Big Ben puzzle.

I was taught early on the proper way to work a puzzle. First, you lay out all the pieces, making sure that they are all face up. As you lay them out, you start to separate the edge pieces from the inside pieces. If you found two pieces (or more) stuck together, you were honor-bound to detach them. Cheating was a no-no.

Once you had all the pieces laid out and separated, you could begin on the perimeter. Corners were always a good starting place. In time, you worked your way into the middle to the last piece, hopefully not having lost any pieces.

Time goes on, but a good family tradition still remains. Hubby, Miss Scarlett and I revel in searching out really fun puzzles to work each fall and winter. We bought our first puzzles of the season just the other night: One Hundred Cats and a Fish and One Hundred Chickens and a Worm. We are still on the lookout for One Hundred Dogs and a Cat.

We don't have a big piece of paneling that we set our puzzles on. We instead use a folding table in what used to be our dining room. We drag kitchen chairs in, make a batch of homemade cookies to nibble and start working our puzzle - making sure all the while that we are laying them face up and separating the edges from the inners!

If you have a favorite family pastime or tradition, I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Food for Thought

So I just finished reading Julie/Julia. You know, about how Julie Powell went through Julia Child's cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". Anyway, being the repressed foodie that I am, I admit that I was enthralled with the notion of cooking one's way through ANY type of cookbook, even if it is a French one. (Why couldn't it have been Italian?).

It got me thinking. What is it that is so intriguing, inspiring, and (dare I say) almost sensual about cooking? You use all of your senses. (I can hear you say, "Yeah, but not sound! You don't use sound for cooking! Wrong! You always listen for the popcorn to stop popping. So there!) Touch, smell, sight and taste all play into preparing food - not matter how simple or advanced the recipe.

I started dragging out a bunch of our cookbooks last night and started reading the recipes. So far, I have not felt the desire to begin cooking my way through any of them. But I am considering trying my hand at some of the more challenging dishes.

And they will probably be Italian.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Keeping Sane with Swine 'Flu

The Swine Flu has finally made it to our home. Miss Scarlett was diagnosed today with it. She is running a fever and has a nasty congested-sounding cough. All I can say is thank goodness and the Good Lord that she doesn't have the stomach problems that usually go along with the 'flu.

So, the problem is how to keep a sick five-year old entertained when she can't go anywhere. Here are some of our activities today:
  • Playing go Fish
  • Watching cartoons
  • Going to the doctor (ok, so this wasn't all that fun)
  • Taking a nap (fun for me!)
  • Farming on the virtual farm with Facebook
  • Reading books
  • Playing Crazy Eights
  • Making a fort in the den
We plan on piling up on the couch this evening to watch Dancing with the Stars. This is one of our family's favorite shows. Can't wait to see who Scarlett picks this season as her favorite.

Trying to make the best of a bad situation.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day. I spent all day with Miss Scarlett - mostly just the two of us. We started the morning off doing laundry. I never knew how exciting laundry was. Scarlett loved helping sort clothes, spray stains, and toss in the washer. And getting to put in the detergent, well, let me just say that she was almost as giddy as she is when she gets Chinese Potstickers.

We decided to grab a quick lunch at McDonald's. (Those Happy Meals tend to make her happy.) Then we took off for a birthday party of a little friend from church. There was a Hello Kitty, Hannah Montana theme going there. Too funny. I highly recommend partying at a children's museum. Great idea!

Hubby's alma mater had a win today. That always makes for a happy hubby. He came home from the football game glowing - both figuratively and literally, as he was sunburned. I doused him with white vinegar, and he was a happy man. Smelly, but happy.

We took Scarlett to Party City to let her peruse the Halloween costumes. So far, she will not commit. I see another Mulan Halloween in our future. Or maybe Dora the Explorer.

Today was not an exciting day, but it was fun. Sometimes it's the little things that make for memorable times.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's Friday (Thank goodness!)

  • I am so glad that this week is over! It has been a particularly stressful week at work and at home. Not bad, but just stressful.
  • Did I just figure out how to do these bullets? I've tried FOREVER to get this to work. It's working!!
  • Phineas and Ferb are on right now. I am thinking a platypus would make a cool pet. You know, they don't do much.
  • Farmville is more fun when Miss Scarlett plays it with me.
  • UT Football starts tomorrow. Although I am not a huge fan of football, I do enjoy all the hoop-la and pageantry.
Let the weekend begin!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Halfway through (Thank goodness!)

  • Today marks "hump day" for the work week. As weeks go, I am glad this one is on the downhill slope.
  • One of Miss Scarlett's classmate fell and broke his arm yesterday - just the second day of class! Poor little fellow was back today sporting a black cast.
  • I worked with our young miss on her writing skills today. Not too bad, but definitely need to continue practicing her letters.
  • Grandparents kept Miss Scarlett yesterday afternoon. She came home with freshly manicured nails and a haircut. Nana and Poppie RULE in this child's mind.
  • I received a phone call from a neighbor today. She wanted to know if she could put things in our yard sale if she gave us half the income from it. As much as I didn't want to fool with another person's stuff, I told her "sure" and that she could keep all of her proceeds. How do I get into these things?
  • Decided I needed another moniker for Miss Scarlett besides Miss Scarlett. Getting too long to type. A friend named her girls Lightening and Thunder. I need something easy like that.
  • Considering "possum" for her moniker. What do you think?
  • Still wanting to forgo the yard sale this weekend and just haul everything to Goodwill, but hubby won't let me. BIG sigh.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Random thoughts for the day...

  • I am glad today is over!
  • Decided we needed more family devotion time, so I bought the Family Devotions book by Josh McDowell. It's excellent.
  • Wondering why all the sudden that Miss Scarlett is afraid to be out of our sight.
  • Learned that her daycare teacher told her about vampires! Vampires! We will have to have a little talk with said teacher.
  • Floor tile is not as easy to pick out as you would think.
  • Neither are tennis shoes for five year old girls who think they are Stacy London.
  • I am hoping that I can figure out how to keep the left justification with bullets on the blog. May have to get with my friend M. on this.
  • Made copies of photos from a recent trip to Georgia and sent to our friends. Gosh, how we miss them!
  • Wishing that we were able to get together with some folks from our China group more often. Some we have not seen since China.
  • Thankful for the internet so that I can stay in touch with friends and family that are far away.
  • Ordered a chocolate malt from Sonic and it was not chocolate or malty. Went home and added Ovaltine Chocolate Malt powder and was happier.
  • Thankful for family that gives us hand-me-down clothes for our girl. Older cousins ROCK!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

Monday was Miss Scarlett's first day of kindergarten. It was a bitter-sweet day for me. I was a little sad to see my girl pass yet another milestone in growing up, but at the same time excited for her.

She was absolutely a clinging vine when we first entered the school. There were loads of kids milling around. Her Daddy and I walked her into the cafeteria, where she immediately spied some friends of hers. Then it was all downhill from there.

So to the left here is her before friends are spotted.

Fast forward to getting ready to go into class. She is super excited to have an awesome young teacher, Ms. Blanton. Can life get any better for a five year old?

Maybe having a school aged child won't be so bad after all. May all your school days be good one, my dear child!

Love, Mommy

Monday, August 3, 2009

Surviving Monday

I had a very emotionally draining day today. Starting with:
  • Sweet talking the daycare into letting Miss Scarlett's best bud, Romy, into going into class with Scarlett.
  • Discussing Miss Scarlett's impending kindergarten schedule with daycare instructor. I am SO not ready to see my little girl start school.
  • Trying to concentrate on work while dreading two major Health and Life Insurance exam looming over my head later in the afternoon. THEN...
  • Taking the exams one after the other. I felt like I had never seen most of the questions before in my life. Apparently, I guessed well because I passed.
  • If that weren't enough, I had to go back to work and finish out the day, totally drained of all energy.
  • On top of this, I am desperately trying to figure out the perfect birthday gift for my dear husband. He's a jewel and deserves so much more than I could ever afford to give him. I have it narrowed down to clothes (yawn), a new DVD/VCR recorder combo (still not sure about that one), or a new laptop for him to play with.
I am glad today is almost at an end. Hopefully, tomorrow will be an easier day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Katy the Caterpillar

So today as we were getting ready to get in the car to go to church, I spied this furry thing on the driveway. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a caterpillar. Scarlett was immediately fascinated, and wanted to capture it to see what it would turn into.

We had tried this once before without success, but thought we'd give it one more try. So a hustle into the garage to find a jar while Scarlett pulled some different kinds of leaves off the trees in our front yard and found a stick for it to climb.

Scarlett named it Katy a/k/a Katy-pillar. Of course, Katy HAD to go to church with us. So off we went. I am not sure Katy got too much from Sunday School, but Scarlett said she was a good caterpillar, nonetheless.

Now Scarlett has taken Katy to see Grandmother. We will keep you posted as to what happens with Katy.

Oh, and by the way, we looked Katy up on-line to see what she is. She is an American Dagger Moth (not too exciting) and loves to eat maple leaves, which is good, because that's what we gave her.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday Ramblings

  • Got awakened by a small, giggly girl who wanted a cuddle. I love mornings like this!
  • I am madly studying for my Life and Health Insurance test on Monday. I think (I hope!) that I will do okay.
  • Thinking I'd like to do something crafty with Miss Scarlett today. Maybe look through some craft magazines to get ideas for Christmas gifts. It's never to early to plan ahead!
  • Need to help Miss Scarlett on her introduction letter to her kindergarten teacher. Hard to believe school starts in a little over a week!
  • Trying hard to get revved up to firm up some of the extra weight I am carrying around. I really would like a rowing machine.
  • It's cloudy and kind of gloomy today. Could be a good day to crawl on the couch with a juicy novel.
  • I don't have a juicy novel.
  • Going through the house to give it a good Pre-Fall cleaning. I can't wait until the weather starts to turn cooler!
  • I want to end each post with something I am thankful for... this time, it is my friends - both near and far. I love you all!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Night Alone

Sometimes I wish that I could have just one night alone. One night where I had no one to make demands of me. I could read somewhere besides locked in the bathroom, or watch a movie from beginning to end without having to check what is on Nickolodeon. I could have popcorn for supper without disapproving looks from my husband.

Or I could sit and stare at a speck. The possibilities are endless!

Don't get me wrong - I love my life and the people in it. Sometimes I just need a little decompression time alone. Must be from my being an only child.

I don't want to wish for anything permanent. Just one night alone. To refresh my soul. Is that so wrong?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Camping Fun

Miss Scarlett and I went camping this past weekend with several members of my husband's family (Hubby was working). It was such a blast! Swimming, fishing, eating food cooked over a fire...aaahhh, that is the life! We came home exhausted, sunburned and sore, but we loved every minute of it. I am so thankful that my in-laws are such totally cool people.

The funniest part was that we were camping on a point at the lake while some sort of bass tournament was going on. Bass boats were flying up and down the lake at all hours of the night. One crazy boater was spotlighting (Can you say "illegal"?) and woke us up at 4 a.m.! We made the best of it by stoking our fire back up and eating marshmallows.

Here a couple of the kids' photos...

Cousins and Best Buds... Sure, I'll drive!

Her First Fish

Scarlett's First Fish

How to Be a Rock Star...

Miss Scarlett was invited to a Justice for Girls Rock Star Party by a little friend. All the girls had their hair done, makeup applied, and given a rocking headset to sing into.
This is what I came home with...a little rock star. Reminded me more of one of the Olympic skaters than a rock star, but as long as Miss Scarlett was happy, I was happy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Second Adoption Rant

So we are now going through our second home study update and second renewal of our I-717H (which allows us to bring home a child from China to the US). I have to tell you, I am getting discouraged. It seems like things have come to a stall. You know how boats just sit dead in the water? Well, that is what has happened to our adoption file. It is sitting dead in some file, somewhere on a desk in China.

The waiting on China isn't the worst part. It is continually being hit with more and more fees for renewal of fingerprints, arrest searches (that we aren't felons), renewal fees for everything imaginable. I mean, nothing has changed! We've aged a couple of years, but that is it.

So, I am definitely in a funk about all this. We have waited 2 1/2 years already...some folks may wait longer than we will.

I am almost to the point that I want to quit. Almost. But not quite. I try to remember that waiting is hard, and good things come to those who wait. But man, it is so hard.

So we are sending in our second renewal request of the I-171H. Hopefully, we will see our child before we have to renew again. Please pray for us that we will. Thank you, and God Bless.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First Tooth

Miss Scarlett has finally lost her first baby tooth. Her dentist mentioned that she had one lose on the bottom a couple of months ago, but I had no idea how soon it would come out. Over the last week, Miss Scarlett had been worrying the thing constantly, trying to get it lose so the Tooth Fairy would come.

Yesterday while she was in daycare, she just pulled it right out! Mrs. Jean put it safely in a baggie so that it would make it home for the Tooth Fairy. On the way home, she and I discussed how the Tooth Fairy operated. When you lose a tooth, you are supposed to place it underneath your pillow before bedtime. After you go to sleep, she (the Tooth Fairy) would sneak into your room in the middle of the night and take the tooth. In its place, she would leave money. How much, we had no idea.

So, Miss Scarlett very seriously placed her tooth (still in the baggie) under her pillow and went to sleep. This morning,you can imagine our delight in seeing that the Tooth Fairy had, indeed, visited. Not only did she take the tooth, but she left FIVE DOLLARS! Yes, five dollars.

I will upload a photo of Toothless Joe soon.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


A couple of months ago, I started a new career as working for an insurance agent. When I went for my initial interview, I mentioned that I had taken Spanish since 7th grade and, at one time, been fairly capable of communicating in said language. Needless to say, my boss was excited to tap into the quite large Hispanic market we have here in East Tennessee.

Anyway, I have not spoken it since my college days, so I decided to purchase the Rosetta Stone Spanish program to help me bush up on my Spanish language skills. I was quite rusty.

I have made it though the first four units, and I am amazed at how quickly things are coming back to me! I feel like I can read and write quite well, but the listening and speaking comprehension is still lagging behind. What I really need is to find a native Spanish speaker to practice on. Thinking of trying Craig's List to see if anyone would be willing to practice their English on me, while I practice my Spanish on them. Just thinking...

Miss Scarlett is starting Mandarin again with a private tutor. We felt it was important that she know her native tongue and be able to speak a second language. The cool part is, we have to learn it with her so we can help her practice it. We are so excited!

I'll have to let you know if the R.S. program is as good as a tutor. I suspect it is not, but have hope that it will come close!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kindergarten Preparedness

We signed Miss Scarlett up for kindergarten this week. It was Roundup time here in our neck of the woods. We all went to the school house to take a tour, meet the teachers, principal, and generally just check things out. Miss Scarlett received a nice little packet of markers, flash cards, a Scholastic book, and other goodies from the school. It was very nice.

What we were NOT prepared for, was the list of things that we had to supply at the beginning of the school year. Things that we NEVER had to bring when I was in school. Here is a sampling of what we need:

2 large boxes of Kleenex
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
Expo Dry Erase Markers
Band Aids
Zip Lock bags
headphones for computer time

This isn't even half the list. I mean, what's up with all this? All we had to bring when I was in kindergarten was a dime for milk and a towel with our name on it for nap time. I guess it is just a sign of the times. We pay more and more money in taxes to help fund the schools, but it seems that is not enough anymore.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thinking of a new hairstyle

So today I was thinking: I need a new hairstyle. My hair is about shoulder-length and fine. It also has a lot of natural curl. Maybe I need to find some hairstyle magazines. What I'd really like to find is one of those free sites that allow you to upload a photo and try different styles out. That would be cool.

I haven't changed my hairstyle since probably 2000 when I went through my short and sassy stage. It is back to how I wore it in college...freestyle.

So it is time.

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

Ok, so the title shows my age. Miss Scarlett went to Build-A-Bear. If you have a kid in your life under the age of 12, you know all about B-A-B. The kids get to stuff and dress a stuffed critter of their choice. The animal itself is not all that pricey, but the accessories are what get ya.

Anyway, Miss Scarlett was playing around with the box her bear came in (note: the BOX, NOT the bear). She decided she was a robot. So, she went around all day saying, "I am a robot...I am a robot."

So I guess it is true. You can buy your kids anything under the sun...price being no object. What will they do? They will play with the box. Sigh...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Today, I was awakened by the sweetest gift ever, my daughter Scarlett. Nothing can compare to the joy of being a mother. Nothing. Every day, I thank God for the gift of allowing me (me!) to have the privilege of being a mother to my daughter.

Although my husband and daughter has bought me a book, made a card, brought breakfast to me, and treated me like queen all day, it all paled beside just holding my kiddo.

May you have a wonderful and blessed Mothers Day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tomato plants

Miss Scarlett and I just planted our first of (hopefully many) tomato plants. We need to seriously get the garden ready for the rest of our plantings. It has been crazy busy here of late, and we are behind!

Our tomatoes are Roma and Rutgers. I would love to have a little cherry tomato plant as well as a couple of good slicing tomatoes to just eat with corn or by themselves.

Maybe tomorrow evening we can work on getting the garden patch ready to plant...


Well, am I ever glad that the insurance exam is over! I passed it. I could not have done it without the many, many prayers of family and friends. In the background all during the test, I kept humming a Rickey Skaggs song called, "Somebody's Praying (for Me)". It kept me from totally freaking out.

Thank goodness it is over!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Brief Hiatus...

I am going to take a brief hiatus from blogging/internet/etc until I get my Property and Casualty test taken and (hopefully) passed. Please say some prayers for me that I pass all four sections the first time through. I covet those prayers! Thanks!
What happens when you let Miss Scarlett run wild with your makeup...
A diva-in-training!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Goodbye, Connie B...

Today is a little less bright because a dear soul has gone on to be with Jesus. My step-grandfather, Connie B., passed away today at 1:09 p.m. His daughter, Brenda, and granddaughter, Leigh Ann, were there by his side to see him on his way.

See you on the other side, Connie B. You will be missed.

Chronological Bible

I have finally figured out a way to read through the entire Bible. I bought myself a chronological Bible and just started reading. It reads more like a story when things are in order of date. If you have had trouble trying to read the Bible, I highly recommend the New Living Translation version of the One Year Chronological Bible published by Tyndale.

I did not realize that reading the entire Bible in the order the events actually occurred would make such a difference to me, but it has! I can only wonder why the Bible was not put together this way to begin with!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dancing with the Stars

I can't wait until Monday and Tuesday nights. Why? Because my favorite reality show, "Dancing with the Stars" comes on. I have not missed a season since its inception. My favorite season? It was last season with Kristi Yamaguchi. Her innate grace and ability to handle anything that her dance partner threw at her simple amazed me. And the fact the Miss Scarlett loved her didn't hurt.

This season is rather a stunner. I mean, who would have thought that Belinda Carlisle and Denise Richards would be voted off before such doofus as Steve-O or worse, a totally inept dancer like Steve Wozniak. At least Wozniak has a bit of geeky charm, which is more than I can say for Steve-O.

My favorite is Gilles Marini...he is such a cutie! And the young lady who was so unceremoniously dumped by the Bachelor...Melissa a natural dancer. She would be a sentimental favorite of mine. And I can't but help love Shawn Johnson. She is such a little tornado on the floor. I can't believe that she is only 17 years old.

So here it is, only Thursday evening. It is a long time before DWTS comes on next. But I can take it. There are re-runs on the web of the older seasons!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What a special birthday!

Today I turned 45 years young. I say young, because I honestly do not feel that age. I feel like someone in her late twenties or early thirties. If only I looked that young!

But anyway, today was a lovely day. I was treated to a scrumptious chocolate/whipped cream dessert at work, called too many times to mention, and my sweet family is getting me a new dishwasher! Yes, a dishwasher. Before you say, "UGH! What an awful present!" let me just say that I have requested one for some time. My dear friend, M, would understand. She calls hers "Black Beauty". While mine won't be black (I chose white), it will be a beauty!

I cannot wait to have a dishwasher that works! This has got to be one of my best birthdays, ever!

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Love It!

I started my new job more more late nights working...more time with my family!

I have to say that I simply love my new job. My boss is a fine, upstanding human being. My co-workers are all hilarious. The work itself is rewarding, challenging, and fun. Why did I not make the move YEARS ago into insurance? I dunno. All I can say is that I am glad I made the change.

It is never too late to change your career. I did it at 44 years old. I knew a woman in law school who was in her 60s! If she can do it, so can others.

Thank you, Lord, for providing me such a wonderful job!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Secret Agent

So today Miss Scarlett is a secret agent. And by being in the same room with her, I am honored with secret agent status as well.

I didn't know it, but bad guys are everywhere. We have locked up several already. One such bad guy reached his untimely demise in a most "tasteful" manner. He became a chicken and we ate him for dinner. (YUCK!)

I can only wonder (and am afraid to know) what Freud would have said about all this.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Not enough hours in a day

Sometimes, I feel that there are just not enough hours in the day to do all the things that I want to do. Have you ever felt that way? I long to have time to seriously devote to my family, my job, my house; but somehow, other things seems to intrude.

Things like the internet. And television. What time wasters they can be. I am discovering time that I thought I had lost by turning off the computer and television. Don't get me wrong: both are wonderful in small doses. What makes them so insidious is that they gradually take over more and more of your life.

Take Facebook, for instance. I was invited to try out Facebook by some friends. I started my FB site, and before I knew it, I was checking the thing 2-3 times a day! And for what? To see what my friends were doing at that very moment.

And the television. Don't even get me started! I can spend WAY too much time watching HGTV (and sometimes watch the same episode 2 times over - like it is gonna change!).

So I am going to make more time for myself. I am going to spend less time on the internet and in front of the "boob tube" and more time on things I love. I challenge you to do the same. Let me know if you find more time for yourself or the ones you love.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Playing Office

I was sitting at my desk working this evening. Here is a sampling of what I overheard from the small business woman sitting next to me in her Princess pajamas...

"I need to write a letter to tell Romy to bring the thing tomorrow with her to court. No, wait. I'll just call her. Or maybe not." (I am still wondering what the "thing" Romy had to bring is..)

"These calculators are tricky things. Did you know that I can punch in our phone number on it?" (Really?)

"I made you a handprint of my hand so that you won't forget me (like I ever could!). I'll just tape it to your desk so you'll remember."

"I made you a list of notes so you will remember what to do next." (Using about 15 of my Post-It Notes)

"No, I can't talk right now, lady. I have to get the thing over to the Courthouse." (There's that "thing" again)

Kids are so funny. As Art Linkletter used to say, "Kids say the darndest things!"

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Job!

I am finally able to do it. I can now quit my job as an attorney and spend more time with my precious family. Every night for the past few months, I have had to work at home (I have no secretary) in the evenings to keep up with my docket. Miss Scarlett has felt particularly pushed aside for my work. It was not fair to her or me to keep up at this pace.

So, after much discussion and prayer, hubby and I decided that it was time for me to do something else. Something that I would not only enjoy, but that would keep me free in the evenings with my family.

Yesterday, I made my first move to emotional freedom from law. I was offered, and gratefully accepted, a job with a local insurance agency. I cannot begin to explain the relief and joy that floods my heart right now. Last night, as I was working on some of my cases, Miss Scarlett sidled up to me and said, "You never have time for me in the evenings anymore." It broke my heart, but at the same time, I could honestly tell her, "Two more weeks, and I won't have to work evenings anymore!"

Life is all too fleeting when you have a young child at home. Before you know it, you look around and they are going off to school. I don't want to miss a thing by working all the time. I thank God (and Herbie, my new future boss) for the opportunity to really live what is important to me.

May you find what is important to you and live it, whatever it may be. God Bless!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wanting a cat...

I want a cat. No, I take that back. I NEED a cat. Nothing else will do but to have a small, warm, furry, purry cat curling up beside me. I know, I know. I have hubby...he's warm and kinda furry, but not so small and not so purry. I need a CAT.

So get a cat, you might say. I'd love to, but my spouse says, "Absolutely not!" Even Miss Scarlett says she would like a long as it is small and doesn't scratch too much. I hate to tell her that kittens grow up to be cats.

A week or so ago, hubby and I were talking about what God planned for us. We had been discussing different things, and I had asked hubby, "Have you ever felt like God was telling you something so strongly that there was no doubt?" He said, yeah, he had times like that, and proceeded to relate a time recently where that had happened to him.

(This relates to the story...really!)So, I tell him about a time where the same thing had happened to me. We were finishing up that conversation when I just threw in the following: "By the way, God said we need a cat."

I thought hubby would fall out of his seat. He never saw it coming. (I mean, come on! We've been married almost 15 years...he should know how I work by now, right?) However, he did manage to choke out, "I think you intercepted someone else's message."

So here I am...wanting, needing, about to DIE for a cat. (sigh...)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The List

I am a list maker. I have to have a list every day to make sure that I don't forget all the things I need to do. Some days, my list is quite short. For instance, yesterday's list had pick up husband, prepare brief and go to job interview. It was short and manageable.

Today's list is long. I am feeling the pressure of this list. It lays quietly by me, seemingly mocking me with its length. Some of the items are time-related, which basically means that I can only accomplish certain items at certain times (like going to the post office, having another interview, etc).

The majority of the things to do are simply to discuss things with my husband (which there are quite a few since he just came back from a business trip). Some of them are housekeeping chores. The rest are work related.

Long Live The List!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Four years ago today

Four years ago today, Miss Scarlett, hubby and I became a family. It seems like so long ago, and yet, seems like yesterday at the same time. I cannot begin to tell how much our lives have changed since we went to China and came home with an angel.

How does one explain such a blessing? For she is definitely a blessing from God (yes, even when she is whining or doing something she oughtn't).

It can't be done. Happy Forever Day, Miss Scarlett. We love you!

And to all those lovely families that traveled with us, we love you, too! Together we all grew our families.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day! My day started with a giggling, squirmy, five-year old snuggling up beside me and shoving a plastic bag at me. She and her daddy had gone shopping yesterday, and she had picked out my gift. I have to say, the girl has good taste. I received a sweet little bear with heart shaped candies.

I bought hubby the movie Fireproof; we hope to watch tonight after someone goes to bed. If you haven't watched it yet, I highly recommend it!

Miss Scarlett received bath goodies from her daddy and me. She adores bath beads, bubble bath, and fizzies. She is such a girlie girl at times.

From our house to yours, may your Valentines Day be spent with those you love most!

Friday, February 13, 2009

I took this photo in Virginia Beach, VA this summer. Explanations are unnecessary, no?

Baffled by Facebook phenom...

Ok, I will come right out and admit it. I don't get the big deal about Facebook. I understand that about a gajillion people use Facebook to keep up with their friends and acquaintances. I have been "poked", sent "gifts" (I got virtual candy today), and "toasted". I've been invited to join all sorts of causes (some really good ones and some that are just plain weird).

How exactly is this better than email, blogging or just picking up the phone? I have spent the last few days totally ignoring my blog to figure out why Facebook has such a fascination for people.

I am trying hard to give it a chance. If someone out there reading this care to impart his or her view on the subject of Facebook, I'd love to read it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Childhood memories

What are some of your fondest childhood memories? Is it having a story read to you my your Daddy before bedtime? Maybe you remember playing outside in the snow until your hands and feet were numb, then coming indoors for some hot cocoa and roasting your backside in front of a roaring fire.

One of my earliest memories involved going out to eat with my parents. There was a little family restaurant called the Oak Terrace in my hometown. My parents used to go there a lot. The Oak Terrace was well-known for its delicious food and the all-you-could-eat biscuits and honey. The biscuit were passed around on a large tray. I can still see those biscuits in my mind's eye today.

After we finished eating, I would race outside to the family car (a 1964 Renault) and hide in the backseat thinking, "they'll never find me here!" Strangely, each and every time my parents never seemed to be able to find me. I loved popping up after a minute or two and yelling, "Here I am!" They were always surprised and glad.

Another fond memory was pretending to be a pioneer girl like Laura Ingalls. I would gather all the wild onion in our yard and grind it up to make "spinach greens". I would make plates out of tree bark. I'd make my own broom from twigs and pine branches. I spent hours outside make-believing.

I hope my daughter is making some sweet memories herself. She has made some for me to enjoy as I grow older.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another garden catalog is in!

I received my Burpee Gardening catalog in the mail today. Man, oh, man, am I loving paging through this little treasure trove of gardening goodness! There are certainly some interesting varieties of vegetables out there. How about:

All Blue potatos...these are blue through and through. Yuck! I can't imagine these as french fries!
Moon and Stars watermelon...these are dark green with yellow stars and sometimes a big yellow moon...neat!
EZ Serve lettuce...practically falls in place on the plate!
Fresh Salsa tomato...bruschetta...need I say more?

I can't wait to show the catalog to Miss Scarlett and let her pick out some things to grow. I wonder what she'll pick out?

Ten things about me...

1. I am a Christian.
2. I am a political independent.
3. I am totally addicted to Diet Coke.
4. I love Dancing with the Stars, NCIS, and TLC's What Not to Wear.
5. Fall is my favorite season, follwed by Spring.
6. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be bruschetta made with fresh tomatos.
7. I need reading glasses, but often forget to wear them, necessitating those around me to fuss, "Quit squinting and put on your glasses!"
8. I am a published writer...two magazine articles.
9. I am still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up.
10. I love talk radio.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Junk room update...

You remember that resolve I had earlier last month to tackle the junk room? Well, I broke down and bought some really cool shelving to help control the clutter. The shelves are Closetmaid's "nine-cube" units in cherry finish that I can also put collapsible bins into. I have one set of the shelves together already. I can see a definite improvement by placing some of the smaller items (toys, craft supplies, etc.) placed in the bins

I also had to get a handle on what to do with all the various sized kids' clothes that have been handed down. There is not much room in Miss Scarlett's closet, but I did manage to add the larger sizes to those already in the closet. I plan to save some of my favorites of the items she's outgrown and sell the rest at consignment.

As you can tell, I have not made my self-imposed deadline to a clean room, but I am getting closer. Little by little, I will get it done!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Overheard in the kitchen...

Daddy: What are you doing?

Miss Scarlett: I am practicing for my job.

Daddy: What job?

Miss Scarlett: I am going to be an art teacher.

Daddy: An art teacher?

Miss Scarlett: Yup, because I know how to do a lot of art. Did you know scissors can't cut staples?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Time to plan the garden!

We just received our first plant catalog. The variety of vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs available are simply amazing! I love devouring these catalogs and planning my springtime garden. I go through each catalog several times, listing certain items that I want to consider, then changing my mind and picking others. I am excited to get Miss Scarlett involved in planning our garden.

I am considering planting several cool weather crops: lettuce, peas, snow peas, cucumbers, broccoli, and maybe some cabbage. Miss Scarlett thinks that oranges would be a good crop (sorry dear, not here!), as would watermelon and cantaloupe. We may start some plants early in our sun room until last frost has passed. I think we can try the watermelon and cantaloupe.

We had our first adventure in gardening last summer/fall with our four-square raised bed garden. Some things were successful...others not so much. We learned that we don't grow good corn. We do well with pole beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We did great with tomatoes! We will definitely try those again this year. There is nothing like a home-grown tomato.

So we are perusing our plant catalogs with a fine toothed comb. We may even try some weird exotic flower or some herbs. I think we need another four-square...

Chinese New Year at Daycare

We have helped Miss Scarlett's daycare learn and celebrate Chinese culture ever since we've been there. This year is no different. We have a full itinerary of fun things to do on Monday to celebrate the Spring Festival (also known as Chinese New Year). Here is our "menu".

Pick up 10 Cheerios with chopsticks...first one done wins a Chinese change purse
Create a foam Chinese New Year scene with foam stickers
Read a book called "My First Chinese New Year"
Make a foam dragon complete with sequins
Red envelopes

We are generally given only 45 minutes or so to do this, so we are grateful for the opportunity to help others learn a little bit about China and its culture. Miss Scarlett can't wait to show her classmates how to use chopsticks. While she is at it, she may even teach her mama how to use them!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yep, it's strep...

Friday morning, I woke up a little tired. That's not unusual as I often get up during the night to soothe bad dreams for Miss Scarlett or spray for monsters. We were headed to my sister-in-law's for a long weekend of fun and relaxation, which we were greatly looking forward to.

By the time we arrived after a 6 hour trip, I was exhausted. I chalked it up to traveling. Little did I know. The next morning I awoke to a sore throat. Not a BAD sore throat, but the kind you have when you have a lot of sinus drainage. Said sore throat has lasted 5 days now. The verdict: Strep throat.

I've never had strep to my knowledge, so I had no idea what to expect. I figured from hearing others that it was so painful that you couldn't eat, sleep, drink, etc. But it doesn't feel any worse than other sore throats I've experienced. Either my pain tolerance is high (which I doubt, because I am a major weenie), or I have a mild case.

So I am enjoying pampering myself during this time. I have some delicious hot teas, hubby made some yummy soup, a new book (all about Emily Post), and Miss Scarlett has gone to her Mammaw's to spend a day or two while I get over the contagious stage. Sometimes being sick is almost as like a mental health day.

Now if I could only find my favorite tv show on a marathon (NCIS)...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm not doing well...

Nope, I am not doing well at all on actually working on that beast of a room. In fact, I have not done much of anything to it in about a week! This weekend has flown by without me making in there to work on it. There is really no excuse. I just didn't do it. I could have shoe-horned in a half-hour here and there a few times. Just didn't do it.

Now I have this feeling that I will fail at making my month-end deadline I set for myself. And I don't like it. Not one bit! What I need is for my family to go on vacation without me for about a week so I can have one massive purging of stuff...mine and theirs!

Part of the incentive is that I want to be able to move through that room again. The other incentive is that I'd like to have a bedroom ready, just in case.

I'd better get busy. No time like the present!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Mission: Get Organized!

Every New Year, I resolve to get my house in order. I mean, really get organized! Will 2009 be my year to finally reach that goal? Oh, I hope so!

My biggest disorganized mess seems to be in our spare bedroom, which right now serves as a catch-all junk room. It is a disaster! And I am not kidding. I basically crawl over clothes that are too small/too big, toys that are no longer played with, suitcases, a guitar that hasn't been played in years (I mean to play sometime when I have time), scrapbook stuff that has taken over (ditto on time), and who-knows-whatall.

I need help. I need organizational tips. I need encouragement. But most of all, I need to get rid of stuff.

Ever seen "Clean House" with Niecy Nash? I love that show! I love how she talks people into letting go of things that are really cluttering up not only their homes, but their lives. Stuff can suck the life right out of you. Just the day to day energy that it takes to go past that room and groan, "I have got to do something with this place! Not to say that this room is the only room that needs organizing. All my house could use a good organizational sweep. But this room is the one out of control. The other rooms are all relatively neat and clean.

So, I am publicly resolving to get this room in order by the end of January. I will post a photo of the finished room on my blog to show accountability. Will you help encourage me in this endeavor? I will surely need it! Thanks!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why January 1st?

Why does January 1st have such a connotation of new beginnings, resolutions, fresh starts, etc.? Why January 1st? Why not May 3rd or September 27th? What is so magically special about that day over any of the other 354 days of the year?

Is it because it is the first day of a year? What happens if you wake up January 1st and break your resolution before you even remember you made it? Are you doomed to stay in that rut for the rest of the year until the next January 1st, or can you get a "do-over"?

The ancient Babylonians believed that whatever you did on the first day of the year would have an effect on your entire year. But what if you carried this belief through to every day of the year? What if you treated each new day as an opportunity to start fresh. What if you want to take the "old" you and be made into a "new" being?

We can have this new creation...this new beginning, if you will. We are promised that, "If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!" (NCV Bible 2 Cor 5:17 ) I urge you, that if you have not already been made a new creation, to not tarry any longer. As stated in 2 Cor 6:1-2..."Today is the day of salvation. Don't let let this grace (gift) that you have received from God be for nothing. " What a thing to affect your entire year...and more importantly, your very life! Christ came to blot out our sins and give us a new life. Without Him, we would be nothing but walking dead. With Him, we are new men, women and children. We've been given a "do-over", so to speak. Let's make it count!

I pray that everyone will have a wonderful and blessed 2009. I also pray that if you have not received this precious gift, that you not wait any longer. Start the year 2009 as a new creation. If you want to know more or just want to talk about how Christ can change your life, email me or leave a comment. I promise you that I will not judge or condemn.

May God bless you, and have a Happy New Year!