Monday, September 04, 2006

Blogspot - Wordpress = Trouble

Looks as though I have a little unexpected problem. I was playing around with the idea of swapping over to Wordpress from Blogspot. Things did not quite work out as planned. Please follow us back to: Imagine Alyzabeth An. It's Easy If You Try...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Dad (Big Pop)

This picture was snapped at my brother Bill's home. The beautiful lady on the left is my Aunt Jan. That's my Dad sitting beside her. Today is my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Pop. See you soon! fm

Happy 24th Anniversary!!

Sister T. and her DH are having so much fun now after many years of raising a family and working, working, working... They are in Boston for a long Anniversary weekend of fun. Look at their new "getting ready for retirement" hobby! Pictures are from last weekend at Little Sebago Lake. Lots of fun! Happy Anniversary!

Friday, September 01, 2006

CCAA Review Room

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before November 30, 2005. "Rumor" has it that January is in the Review Room along with December. There was a time that this would have been huge positive news but with the "Wait" pretty much sapping any happiness out of everyone it just becomes another step in a long, long ordeal. Sad in it's own way. Everyone should be celebrating this step. By being in the Review Room we now get to sweat it out while the Chinese authorities comb our dossier for red flags. If they have any questions they contact our agency, CCAI, who in turn will contact us. We could be in the review Room for quite some time. We're hoping we move through within two months. Who knows. Well, back to happy face and positive outlook!!! BTW: Congratulations to the November folks who just moved out. Has to be a great feeling...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Lied....New Picture Sent from DD

We love this picture of SIL, DD and Alivia. DD is having frequent "photo shoots"; this one was last week. We can't wait to see all the pictures. Their family friend P. does all the great photos for the family. I am hoping to engage her for family photos this fall.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

No New Grand-Baby Pictures to Show-Off......

While we are waiting for the next Grand-Baby pictures, I am breaking down and showing off my "babies". Yes, Salty Dog thinks he is an only child. He does recognize the other children (all five of them) if only to scoff down their food when they aren't looking. Here is my oldest. She is not much of a looker, she is multi-colored and can't even claim to be a far-fetched relative of a Maine Coon Cat. She's a..... whatever. She came to me (yes, she picked me!) by way of a huge rain storm where I work. She, at the ripe old age of about 6 weeks, hurried under my car as I parked it at work one morning in May 1988. She is a sweetheart and has rescued our lawn from many small critters. She is very proud and loves to snuggle. Her arthritis does bother her and she tends to be cranky (she bit DH right after I took these pictures!). These pictures do not tell the story of the evening; she was moving about (fairly quick for her) as Salty Dog was circling the photo shoot. Salty gets very jealous of the attention his sisters get from me. Love her or not, she is my baby. Her name is "CB" which stands for "Coon Bait". That's another long story...... CB will be 18.5 years old on October 1st. Hope you see her beauty too.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pictures of Grand-Baby Alivia

Pictures of Alivia from our very quick visit on Saturday, August 26th. Livi is so sturdy now, she has many expressions and loves to hear our pretty goo-goo/baby talk. We will not see both grand-daughters next weekend as all the "young" folks are going camping (us older folks require air conditioning and many "essentials" of life not offered at a campground). The following weekend, Grand-Poppy is traveling home to Missouri. So the next visit will probably not be for three weeks!!! Eeeek! Grand-Baby withdrawal!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

How Many Months Have We Been LID?

Go ahead take a guess. Pick a number between 1 and FOREVER! It sort of has a heaven ring to it. Give up? We haven't...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Referral Estimator

If you have not visited the adoption blog Wren's Story you owe it to yourself to do so. I have been following this inventive and fun loving couple for some time now. In fact, if you are a reader of Rumor Queen you have seen some of Dave's work he graciously provided to the RQ. Dave's little piece of work, The Estimator, is a super tool that estimates referral dates and provides a way for you to make an estimate of your future referral date with an added kick of providing for different variables. You have to check it out. You'll find the Estimator on the top left side of their blog. And while you're at their blogsite, check out Dave's travel page and by all means take a listen to their "oral history" that chronicles their adoption journey. Way unique.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Managing Money - Bible Perspective

  Posted by Picasa Since completing a Crown Financial small group study a few years back, we have stayed active in its principles by leading the study in our local church. Below is a bit of information about the Crown Financial 10 week bible study. From the web site: Crown Financial Ministries is an interdenominational ministry that uses a remarkably effective Small Group Bible Study to train adults to practically apply the financial principles from God's Word. Most Christians have been taught only God's principles of handling 10 percent of their income the area of giving. Although this is crucial, they do not understand the Lord's perspective on handling the other 90 percent. The class does have weekly homework which includes one Bible verse to memorize each week. These verses will give you an idea about the class study for that particular week. It is by far the most favorite small group study we have taken and we would highly recommend the material to any church. Here's are the ten weekly verses each new group memorizes: 1. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? Luke 16:11 2. Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 3. Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 4. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15 5. You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. Leviticus 19:11 6. Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:3 7. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24 8. Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty. Proverbs 21:5 9. I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I know how to live in prosperity. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13 10. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul. Mark 8:36 Once again, this is a great class for adults of all ages to learn the Bible perspective on handling His money. The class can have an especially significant impact on young adults and families just starting out. In this world of credit cards, large debt from student loans, cars and other expensive toys, the class really gets the discussions flowing. Crown also offers material for younger students which we have yet to be involved with. We continue to really enjoy the fellowship that these classes naturally encourage. We recently completed leading another class, this time at a neighboring local United Methodist church in our area. Here's a picture of the church leaders and students we had the pleasure of leading in this class. Congratulation to our newest Crown Graduates!!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Book Reading - The Heritage

I finished reading the book "The Heritage" by Frances Parkinson Keyes (1968). I found this book in my Grandmother's house attic during a recent trip to Maine and it seemed interesting. This author has written many books (over 40). This one peaked my interest as the book jacket review stated it was about a young Irish-American who is heir apparent to an estate in Ireland, romantic and suspenseful, set in a turbulent land around the 1880's. From my Dad's genealogy research, we have alot of Irish in us. The book jacket also had a print of a young couple looking over a pond with swans. Now if you have read our posts about "our" swans you'll know why I decided to pick up this book. It isn't a Jane Austen book but has some of the same social status issues from that era. Not half as good as Pride and Prejudice; just an enjoyable story.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Showing you around the House - BPOH

Shannon and several bloggers are doing a pictorial of their homes. Check her blog for all the links to who is participating (her August 18th message). Can you tell we are trying to think up things to keep our minds off this very long wait? Hope you enjoy the Bloggers Parade of Homes (BPOH)! I didn't exactly start when the others did so will put up two pictures: one of the foyer/entrance into the house and the dining room. This picture is of the entrance to our home. We have a covered porch (about 12 feet wide)that has a metal railing on the sides. Once you enter our home, through the front door that has identical side lights (windows/glass), you step onto a braided rug made by my grandmother, E-E. As you walk into the house, on your right side, there is a hall closet for coats (not needed here in Florida, so all our winter coats hang there unused through most of the year) and a stack of firkins. On top of the firkins is a topiary tree with fruits that was made by friend LR (her hubby is the person who came up with our second name in case we get offered twins!). We also have a mirror on the wall (from my M and D). The only really weird thing in our foyer is the silver/metal ball in the corner (in the picture on your left). At work there is a pulverizer that crushes limestone for one of the environmental processes. There are hundreds of balls in the pulverizer which wear so are periodically changed and thrown away. Great work souvenir (from about 15 years ago)! We use it as a door stop.

BPOH - House Picture - Dining Room

Here's the dining room picture; continuing the Bloggers' Parade of Homes..... Several notables: Starting from the left of the picture, we have two family pictures on the wall, then comes the china closet. The dining room set could be purchased with a larger china closet but I chose this smaller one as the dining area in our home is only 9.5 feet by 9.5 feet. Can you believe such a small area? The china closet houses my Grammie's china. This is the china set that Lizzy will inherit. Also, you can see some vegetable bowls on the table in the same pattern I bought on eBay recently. On the next wall, you can barely see the cup and saucer holders. I have collected depression glassware since I can remember (I think cats, stamps and old fans came first before I started collecting glassware) so when I married DH, we agreed to buy one cup and saucer in every depression glass pattern. We haven't accomplished that yet, so have our collection of 25 on the dining room wall. So that's the BPOH house tour so far!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Grand-Daughter Alivia

Here's some August 2006 pictures. She's growing and growing.... We may need a separate blog just for Alivia and Kilee. Here's some of Alivia's latest expressions!!

Sweet Alivia

Friday, August 18, 2006

Happy Wedding Anniversary!!!!

My parents are celebrating their 51st Anniversary. We had a good time in Maine last year hosting a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party (which was also our 20th). Every year my Dad scours the countryside looking for gladiolus. Every year for 50 years he has presented Mom with a mass of glads for their anniversary. Every time I see glads, I think of their long lasting marriage and have to buy some! Here's mine in honor of M&D.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Totally Random Thoughts

Totally Random Thoughts Johnny’s on a “walkabout”. Taking time to recharge and revive is something we all should do for ourselves. Now, if we would only do it. Ruby Is Coming is heading off to vacation in Africa with DH. I’d love to slip off with DW to Murren, Switzerland, a few days in Vernazza, Italy and then fly back from Paris after having spent hours exploring through the Louve. I’m once again making the adjustment to flashing lights alerting me that I’m entering a school zone. SLOW DOWN. Putting your emotional well being into the latest RQ rumor is akin to planning your day based on a horoscope reading. We’re entering into “late” summer. How did this happen? End to a telephone conversation with my son just a few days ago: Son: “Thanks for taking care of the ***** business for K.” Me: “That’s what family does for one another.” Son: “I love you Dad.” Me: “I love you.” This is just a glimpse of what many of you have to look forward to. It doesn’t make the Wait any shorter but I hope it reminds you of why it is so worth it. Is it hotter or do I just think it’s hotter? Reminder to hug my air conditioner. I wonder if our daughter has been born? At the risk of scaring away a faithful reader to the blog from Scott City, I keep hoping you’ll leave a comment. You're like having a visitor from home. Israel will soon have a new government. Teachers are underpaid. Have been and always will be. It’s not right. I know what needs to be done to change that but you’ll no more like my answer today than you did some 30 odd years ago. I miss mom. Large private company and individual political contributions do not buy privilege. And before I forget; Christmas has been changed to late September. NPR, Prairie Home Companion & Austin City Limits. I wish we were in China right now. You can never have too many random thoughts… Peace.

Monday, August 14, 2006

100th Family - Quilt Squares from Sister M.

100 Hundred different families have sent a quilt square (or more than one) to DH and I. This is so special!!! We now have 128 different fabrics for the OHGWQ! I have been waiting on a few more squares to arrive from family. So far I have 26 relatives (family) who have sent to us a total of 33 fabric squares. I never thought back in March that I would have so many! Here's two fabrics from my sister. They are lovely with reminders of childhood. One with music notes as we both played instruments growing up and she included music lyrics from two songs: Wind Beneath My Wings and When you wish Upon a Star. She wrote "You are their Star!!". Yes, Lizzy, you are our shining star even before we knew you. The other fabric has fans; I collected antique fans while young as my Grandmother E-E gave me my first ones. M. wrote "In Remembrance of Your Great-Grandmother E-E" as she loved the old fans, too. Thank you DS. P.S. I have added a few more pictures of quilt squares on the "Lizzy Quilt" Blog (link at right).

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Introducing Ling - DH Strikes Again

He's at it again... Look what DH bought. A doll. Here's his latest purchase during our wait for Alyzabeth An. Ta-da! Introducing Ling who speaks both Chinese and English! We are very hesitant to purchase clothes since we just have no idea how old she will be or her size. I do believe this is her first doll. Eventually, I need to get back to finishing her bedroom. With the "Wait" dragging out as it has I have not been able to motivate myself in that direction. I think going in her room makes me sad. This would have been our time of nervous anticipation of the Referral and then TA. Still, we'll wait like everyone else and if I'm not careful, DH may slip out and buy that high chair or car seat(s) I've caught him eyeing! I better get moving.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

More Family Pictures - Cousin's Grand-Daughter!

More Girls!!! Sophia Elizabeth entered the world on August 09, 2006. Her Daddy was able to make a special trip back to the States from his duty in Iraq. He has to go back to Iraq next week and has orders until December. I spoke to our favorite Great Britain traveling cousin, HT to get all the wonderful happy details. Her grand-niece is doing well. We enjoyed seeing the pictures and also know how special having a child is. This is their second grand-baby girl in the family; they have Molly who was born last year to daughter J and GC (sound familiar? We have two grands, too - Kilee and Alivia!). We wish JT and GT the best!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Last Few Quilt Squares Arriving....

We are waiting on just a few more quilt squares from family and friends. I have stopped seeking others to swap fabric with. Once I make some progress on Lizzy's quilt, I will probably develop a post OHGWQ wishes and fabric to send to others just starting out. It was lots of fun. Here's a picture of the fabric sent by Mother-In-Law (future Grandparents of Lizzy) J. Thank you!!

Justin & Grandaughter Kilee Visit

Our son Justin and grandaughter Kilee dropped in for a quick visit tonight. Always a pleasure. And a chance to snap a quick picture. Quick being the key word. She is always on the move. We can only imagine what it will be like around here once we have Kilee, Alivia and Alyzabeth all together!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Boating Update

Our hopes to get back to the way things were before Hurricane Frances inched slowly forward this past weekend. The boat is now on the lift after being properly sized for the lifting bunks and guides. We still have to dredge a bit of silt that formed directly under the lift after the multiple storms and two years of inactivity. One minor but very annoying setback; the lift motor is freezing up and I suspect a faulty shaft bearing. We're close. So very close... And of course, Salty Dog helped every step of the way.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

First Coast Chinese Children's Waiting Families Meeting

If you have a local group of Waiting Families, we recommend attending. Our past meeting agenda featured four Dad's with Chinese daughters. They discussed the paper chase, the trip to China, their first experience with attachment and all other post-adoption challenges. Two had used sign language as a way to communicate early with their daughter's. We are convinced this helps with attachment and adjustment. We're equally convinced that signing helps to reduce frustration, both for parent and baby, brought on by not being able to communicate verbally. We have already purchased several tools to use like flash cards and "Baby Signs" (board books and DVD set). The "Baby Signs" are sold by Discovery Toys. We enjoyed hearing from the four Dads' and visiting with Kim and Joel (Ruby is Coming). See you all next month!