Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday. Yeah!

Go ahead... PARTY all night!! You know you want to!

See ya next year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Have you wondered where I've been???

I can't believe that Christmas is less than a week away. Where has the past few weeks gone???

Last week (Tuesday) we had our Ladies Christmas party for the girls at church. It was fun. We exchanged gifts and I ended up with some cozy, fuzzy pink socks. And a little bag that Abby has claimed as her own. We also spent some time encouraging one another. Oh yeah, and the food was good, too.

When I got home that night, Abby had a fever of 103. Poor thing. Some of her cousins had been sick the previous weekend and now she was getting her share of the virus. Thankfully, all that accompanied the fever was a runny nose. Nothing else has been runny. Thank you, Lord!! She still had a fever Wednesday evening and had to miss Rainbows at church. She was devestated! She kept telling me, "Mommy, I feel better. Can I go to Rainbows?" I felt so bad for her.

She was feeling much better by Thursday evening.

Friday morning, Billy got a couple of cavities filled at the dentist. And I was watching Mama Lily's kiddos while she had her dental consultation.

That afternoon, Abby had her 3-year check-up at the Pediatrician's office. She officially weighs 27 pounds and is 35 and 3/4 inches tall. That puts her in the 10% for weight and 25% for height. Mom told me later that Rachel was 36 inches when she turned 2. I think that Abby will be one of the shorter ones in the family. Which is another reason why we want to adopt again from China - so that Abby will have someone like her in the family.

Friday evening was the cousins' piano recital. They all did very well. Abby stood in the isle and did little dances to the jazzy piano tunes. Good thing we were sitting in the back. I can't wait to get her into a dance class of some sort. I know she'll love it.

Saturday morning was Puk Puk's birthday party. And that afternoon was Children's Choir practice. I have been practicing a couple of songs with the kids at church so they can perform at the annual Christmas Dinner.

Children's ChoirSunday night was the dinner. For the past five years, we have also had a Variety Show as the entertainment portion of the evening. Each year, members of the congregation share their talent in the form of singing, reading poetry, skits, etc. It is always quite entertaining. This year was no exception. I was proud of the children's choir. They did great. And the youth group's skit stole the show.

Monday was the day to recover from all this flurry of activites.

Wednesday evening, Billy and I are going to the Cleveland Orchestra to hear the Christmas portions of Handel's Messiah. I am so excited! We were able to get half-price tickets through Billy's employer.

We still have one more Christmas party - Thursday night for the Youth Group. That should be the most fun party of the season. Those kids are hilarious! We enjoy being with them. I'm sure I'll have hi-lites for you on Friday.

Friday, December 15, 2006


BooMamaWelcome to BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes. This is the first time I've participated in something this big. It's exciting! Hope you enjoy my little Christmas corner of "Bloggyville." And then go check out all the other Christmas tours.

My Spiced Cranberry Cider is simmering on the stove. Ahhhh. I love that aroma. The recipe is below. Would you like a cup while you look around?

I just have a couple things to share with everyone. The first is our Christmas tree. I've done it in mostly blue and white as those are my favorite decorating colors. You can see some of my favorite ornaments by looking over this past week's posts. A fiber-optic angel graces the top. I love how her wings and dress light up with different colors. Subtle and elegant.
O Christmas Tree

My favorite Christmas collection is my Nativity Sets. They come from all over the world: Italy, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Israel, and the U.S. (probably made in China). My mom made the ceramic angels when I was growing up. And the Little People set was a birthday gift for my daughter when she turned one.
Nativity Scenes

I hope you enjoyed your cider. It is my favorite Holiday recipe that my best friend from Texas gave to me.

Spiced Cranberry Cider

2 quarts apple cider
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice
4 long cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Remove spices and lemon slices. If you like, you can float fresh lemon slices in each cup as it is served. Makes about 25 servings.

I hope you enjoyed a few of my favorite things and you'll stop by again some time.

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chinese Girl

China GirlI bought this ornament last year for Abby. I ordered it from Asia For Kids. They have dolls, videos, books, and pretty much anything you could want with an international theme for kids - not just Asian.

With all the little blond girls (angels and other ornaments) on the tree, I thought it would be nice to have one that looks like Abby. I'll be looking for more in the coming years.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Snow People

You've been seeing a lot of my ornaments this week and I thought you might be missing seeing the pictures of Abby.

Here she is decked out in all her snow gear. She is ready for some serious snow fun! This was taken last week when we got less than an inch. She prays almost every night for God to make it snow "lots and lots." We keep waiting.
Snow Much Fun

And so as not to deviate too far from the ornament theme I have going this week, I present you with Abby's second ever handmade ornament. She made it at Play Class last Friday. And the best part is... SHE WROTE HER OWN NAME ON IT!!! And you can totally tell what the letters are. I am so proud of her! Wow! And she's only 3.
Abby's Snowman

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Two Hearts

Today's Christmas ornaments are hearts. And they're both international.

I can hear a collective, "Oooooooooooo." :)

This first one is from my brother. He bought it while he was stationed in Germany. I love the way the light reflects on it, and that it is so delicate.
Glass Heart

This next heart was purchased on our trip to China. We visited a Cloisonne factory in Beijing. It is fascinating how this process works - so many steps and it is all handmade. We bought several ornaments while we were there. We gave them away as gifts but I kept this one for us because, well, it's a heart. :) And it has a pretty pink rose on it.
Cloisonne Heart

Monday, December 11, 2006

The White House

This is my newest Christmas ornament. I purchased it this past summer while on a missions trip with our Youth Group. In July, eight youth and three leaders (including me) went to Washington DC to pray for our nation. We prayed outside the Supreme Court along with members of the Justice House of Prayer. We also visited The Capitol and our Congressman's office as well as other monuments and landmarks around the city.

We did not get to visit inside the White House but I saw this ornament for sale when we were having a tour of the Pentagon (given by my brother.) My sister has collected these White House commemorative ornaments for several years and so that added to my desire to have one. (Click my sister's link to see some of her previous years' ornaments.)

The White House 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Star of Bethlehem

I love this little ornament. It is not flashy. It is small and simple. I love the contrast of the blue star and the white figures.

Another reason that I like it so well is because it was given to me by my "other set of parents" growing up - Jerry and Dora Ann. They are very special people to our family. Our families would get together for almost every holiday on the calendar and birthdays as well. I loved to sit on Jerry's lap. And Dora Ann made great brownies. They had converted their garage into a Christian Bookstore and we would wander around looking for treasures. This ornament was one such treasure.

Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus
Click on the image to view larger.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Bear Ornaments

The tree is finally up! Yeah! Now the rest of the house needs some TLC. All those boxes and bins from the attic really take their toll.

One of my favorite things to collect is ... bears! Boyds are my favorite. I have a couple Boyds ornaments and some other bear decorations. This year, I decided to put Shagga on the tree. I put a blue bow on him so he would match the other ribbons and bulbs. I think he looks cute. See for yourself.
Bears on our Tree

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's Beginning to Look A *Little* Like Christmas

This is as far as I've gotten... but it's a start! Putting the tree together and getting the lights strung (thank you honey) is the biggest job anyway. The rest is the fun stuff!

This is Abby's first hand made Christmas ornament. It just warms my heart!

Hopefully by the end of the weekend all the decorations will be up. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's Hunting Season In Ohio

But I don't think this is what they had in mind.

Billy's Car

This is Billy's poor car after a run-in with a deer at 6:45 am on Tuesday. Thankfully, the deer hit only on the front and not into his door. As soon as he hit, the hood of the car flew up and covered the windshield. Billy was able to keep composure and slowly come to a stop along the side of the hiway. God was certainly protecting him!

No, we did not get to keep the deer. It disappeared into the fog and snow over the bank. Poor thing. Not a great way to start the day. He did leave a little souvenier under the hood. There was fur all over the engine.

Deer Fur

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Look Inside

Yesterday, at Abby's "Play Class," I was having a conversation with the other mothers around the rice table (it's a sand table with rice substituted for the sand). The fact that I was engaging in conversation with ladies I don't know was in itself a step outside of myself.

We were commenting on the ages of our children and what sizes they wore.

Mother #1: My daughter just turned two but she's no longer fitting in the 2Ts.

Mother #2: My daughter's the same way.

Me: Abby just turned 3 and she wears 24 month size.

We kept talking for a few more minutes on this subject.

But soon it turned to birth weights. One commented that her first one was big and the second was bigger. I heard the other say, "Susie was 11.5 pounds but she just popped right out." The conversation continued on to include epidurals and other child birth experiences.

And I wonder if they even noticed that I had stopped talking.

I'm not really sure what to do in those situations. I obviously have no experience with pregnancy and delivery. Before Abby, these conversations would have depressed me.

It did cause me to stop and think about my response - or lack of response.

I am not usually interested to hear of a childbirth story because I have nothing to relate it to in my own life. Nor do I have the hope (anymore) of that experience happening in my life. Dwelling on these things tend to get me down. It's as if I have not had this "right of passage" into womanhood and am therefore disqualified because of it. I guess I am still dealing with this "loss" in my life.

But I AM a mom, and that should count for something. Right?

I guess I could have told the ladies that I WISH I would have had an epidural or other powerful drug to get me through 14 hours in a plane (both ways) to "deliver" my baby. And how we endured culture shock and weird food. And had an 11 month old baby who was so distraut over the whole experience that she cried a lot and wouldn't eat.

But they probably don't want to hear about it cause their experience isn't relative to mine.

I'm still wrestling with this. I don't have the answers, yet. My heart is still healing.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Christmas Meme

Mama Lily tagged me for this meme. Hope you have some time, it's a long one.

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Definitely hot chocolate. Eggnog is gross.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? I wrap my presents since Santa doesn’t come here.

3. Colored lights on the tree/house or white? White lights on the tree and the house. Although the old, big-bulb colored lights are pretty cool outside, too.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? yes

5. When do you put your decorations up? Whenever I get around to it, at least a couple weeks before Christmas

6. What is your favorite holiday dish, excluding dessert? I’m with Mama Lily, the cranberry relish.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? Christmas caroling in the new snow on Christmas Eve.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Don’t know that I ever believed in him.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, The adults in our family exchange names and on Christmas Eve, we have a little party and open our gifts to each other. We like to mix it up sometimes and give gag gifts. It has known to get a little crazy. :)

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? One light at a time… what does this question mean???

Can this meme get any longer? Yes, it can!! If you're not bored yet, keep reading...

11. Snow! Love it or Dread It? Love snow at Christmas. The more, the merrier!!

12. Can you ice skate? Yes, but barely

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Nothing stands out as my favorite. Billy got me a leather coat one year. That was pretty nice. My love language is not gifts so I guess that’s why – to me – it’s not the most important thing. Which leads to the next question…

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays to you? Being together with family and friends and having fun together.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Pumpkin pie since that’s the only time of the year we get it.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? All the singing.

17. What tops your tree? An angel. With lights.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? both, but I'm finding that I love getting gifts for Abby. It's so cool trying to figure out what she'll enjoy playing with.

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? There can't be just one, can there? I love so many... "White Christmas," "Jesus, Born on This Day," "Joy To The World," and all the other ones we sing at church - with all four verses of each one.

And last, but not least...

20.Candy canes! Yuck or Yum? YUCK!! (I’m not a fan of anything mint flavored.)

So there you have it. The definitive guide to Christmas at ShaggaBear House. Too bad it didn't have pictures to go with it, but like I said in #5, I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

And So To Milk This Birthday For All It's Worth...

Last night, we went over to help celebrate Uncle Rob's birthday. A good excuse to go eat some cake!!

And there was another present for Abby. I should have known what it was, but I had forgotten. I'm like that about presents. I'll know what I'm getting - even pick it out and purchase it myself - and then totally forget what it is (or even that I knew once) when I see the wrapped package.

But I digress...

Abby has been very impressed with her cousin Belle during her fall sports of soccer and cross country. Belle taught her the number 2 because that's her soccer number. So now, Abby will pretend and say, "I have a number 2 on my back! Say, 'Go, Abby!'" And then she'll take off running saying something about her "Country Meet."

So I thought it would be cool if Belle got her a real shirt that had a 2 on it. And so Uncle Rob asked his soccer shirt supplier if he could make one up for Abby. And he came through.

When Abby opened the present, there was a cute little pink shirt with a 2 on the back! She tried it on over the tutu she was wearing. Belle convinced her to take the tutu off so she could practice soccer and running. So off came the tutu. Belle and Abby ran and ran! Then Abby was awarded with her card that had a 2 on it - just like Belle's in the NOL meet! (See picture of Belle at the end of this post.)

"Go, Abby!"

Soccer Dream

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Abby!

Well, today's the day. Abby is now 3 years old.

When I told her that today is November 28th, she said, "Are we going to do it again?" (meaning the party) I said, "No, but today is your birthday."

She was a little confused about that since she had her party on Saturday.

But I told her that today is also Uncle Rob's birthday. And she was ready to eat some of his cake. But I don't think he has any. :(

Birthdays are all about the cake. And the candles. And the presents.

Yeah for birthdays!!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Birthday Party

Abby had a great time at her birthday party on Saturday.

As the guests were arriving with presents, I told her she couldn't open them until everyone was there. So she kept asking me, "Is everyone here?" She was so excited.

As she was opening her gifts, she wanted to try them each out. The first gift was from my mom. It was a "Learn to Ballet" kit complete with a ballet bar and two instructional videos. I did tell her she had to wait a while to play the DVDs.

She got three new Ballet outfits, as you can see in the pictures, and she tried them all on during the course of the party.

I had really wanted my Aunt Linda to make the cake and it just so happened that my sister was there last week for a visit and brought the cake back with her. It was beautiful!! (One of my dogs sampled the cake while it was unattended in the kitchen - but not too much.)

It was definitely a "girl" party. Lots of pink, purple, and princess paraphernalia. One of her boy cousins was confused as she was opening the gifts. "Where's the cars and trucks?" Even Belle was a little disappointed with all the frills, "My soccer dream for her is getting farther and farther away."

But who knows what next year will bring. Maybe she'll turn out to be a "sporty" or maybe she'll be my dancer. Only God knows. I'm just happy that she's enjoying life and following her three-year-old dreams.

She is definitely our Little Princess!

Birthday Party Pictures

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Twelve Years Ago...

It was November 25, 2004 - the day after Thanksgiving that year - that Billy and I got married.

I went to a two year Bible School in Dallas and graduated in '90. I then went home for a couple of years. Billy went to the same school in the fall of '91 and graduated two years after. I moved back to TX and moved into alumni housing in the fall '93. We had been in the same singing group at different times and the director of the group introduced us.

We started hanging out together with a bunch of friends and got to know each other pretty well. We lived across the courtyard from each other and often went grocery shopping together. Billy bought a lot of mac and cheese and so my roommate and I would make him dinner.

I never really thought of him as more than a friend but he was a great guy and a true gentleman. Once when a bunch of us were talking about our future mates, I said, "I'm going to marry a man that is at least 6'1"." Billy said, "I'm only 5'10"." I said, "I guess I'll never marry you." Never say never.

Our friendship grew and one day Billy says, "Either we'll have to quit spending so much time together or we'll have to start dating." I was so surprised! I had no idea he felt that way about me. (OK, maybe I had a small hope.) I was excited about the possibility. I had grown to respect Billy and cherish his friendship. He always treated me with respect as well.

But I did tell him he needed to get a job.

Just so you know, he was going to school full-time getting his degree but I needed to know that he could provide for a family. I shouldn't have worried about that. Billy has been an excellent provider.

So, Billy got a part-time job and we started dating at the end of March '94. At that point in my life, I knew that the next man I dated would become my husband. I had been in one other serious relationship and I didn't want to have to go through the heart ache again. So when Billy asked to date me, in my mind and heart, it was as if he proposed right then.

He did propose at the end of June at a lovely park in the ritzy part of Dallas. It was a perfect summer night. And if you don't know about summers in Texas, they are humid. As Billy was placing the ring on my finger, he said, "Oh no, it doesn't fit." (my fingers had swollen in the heat) I replied, "Oh yes, it does!!" as I shoved the ring on. And it does fit perfectly.

We were married a few months later with family and friends in attendance. We honeymooned in San Antonio staying at the Emily Morgan Hotel. It was short and sweet as Billy had to get back to take a final in one of his classes.

The past twelve years, I have had the blessing of having my best friend walk beside me. Billy knows my weaknesses and strengths. At times, it seems he knows me better than I know myself. And yet he loves me all the more. I am so blessed to have a Godly man that I can depend on, no matter what. He is always there to help me cope with whatever comes. He has made me a better person, a more compassionate person. I love his gentle spirit and his strength of character. He is truly a Mighty Man of God!

I love you, Billy. Happy Anniversary!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Gifts from Grandma and Grandpa

Abby's birthday is next week and today we got a package from Grandma and Grandpa in the mail. I didn't want to make Abby wait, so she opened it right away.

Opening The BoxHolding Raggedy Ann and AndyNew Coloring Book

The Birthday Card had a cut-out crown in it. How cute is this?

Princess Abigail

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope your day is full of family, food and fun! Ours was full as well. (My tummy is a little too full.)

On this day, I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for my wonderful husband who has loved me for 12 years. I am at times overwhelmed with God's goodness in bringing me such a kind and thoughtful mate. I love him more each day.

I am also thankful for the gift of Abby coming into our family. God truly hand-picked her for us. She amazes us everyday as she is learning and growing. She is our joy and delight!

I am also thankful for Abby's Birth Mother who made the ultimate sacrifice in giving her child away. Even though we will never meet her or know the specific circumstances surrounding her decision, I pray that God will give her comfort and a knowing that her baby is happy and content.

We are truly blessed this Thanksgiving Day and pray that you will be as well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I'm testing out a trial version of PowerDirector 5 to edit videos, etc. This is my first attempt. I didn't take too much time on it as it was very late last night but here it is. Let me know what you think. (It's only a little over a minute long.)


Well, I know you have all been waiting for details from my trip "down South." We were treated to some real Southern Hospitality for sure! My friend Tanya is a Virginia girl transplanted to Texas - it doesn't get much better than that!

But to go back a little... I met Tanya in Bible School in January of '89. Almost 20 years ago. Wow! We roomed together for a semester or two and became fast friends. She has a bubbly, outgoing personality and she helped me come out of my shell a bit. We'd stay up late eating rice and milk with brown sugar (we had limited funds back then). We'd talk about God, guys, and life in general. We were both trying to figure out who we were and where we fit in God's Big Plan. I remember listening to the radio together (we weren't allowed TVs in the dorm rooms) the night that Operation Desert Storm started. Isn't it funny the things you remember from so long ago?

When I left Bible School for home, my sister was coming back for third year, and Tanya became great friends with her as well.

After a few more years, we were able to live in the same neighborhood, and even the same street for a little while. Our friendship grew, now as "grown-ups" and getting married and starting families. We worked at a consulting firm together, went to church together, and, of course, shopping together!!

Now that we've moved so far away from Texas, it has been more difficult to get together and spend time. I've missed the birth of three of her children and she missed out on our adoption journey to China. So that's why I jumped at the chance of free airline tickets to go visit my friend. :)

We stayed up late talking, minus the bowl of rice, and because we're both Mommies now, we didn't get to sleep in the next morning. We went to the zoo, I got my hair cut, had an unfortunate water outage, caught up with some of our mutual friends in the area, and had a great time just catching up on life.

I'm so thankful for good friends like Tanya. In fact, she is the one friend that has stuck with me the longest (besides my sisters). I love you, Tanya, and I thank God for you.

Here are some pictures from the trip.
Me & Tanya
Tanya and her Babies
Reading to Natalie and Abby

Conversation With A Two-Year-Old

Daddy was putting Abby in bed last night. It has become routine for her to "cry" at least once after she's been in bed for a half an hour or so. Daddy was trying to "head it off at the pass."

Daddy: Abby, you need to go to sleep now. No crying tonight.
Abby: But I like to cry.
Daddy: I don't like it.
Abby: Mommy does.

Oh yes, I live for that!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

What We've Been Waiting For

We have it Ladies and Gentlemen!!

Our Log In Date (LID) is October 9, 2006!!


So, we've been officially waiting for 42 days! That went by fast. Hope the rest of wait goes fast, too.

PS. I added a little ticker at the bottom of this page. It will count how long we wait. I tried to have a dragonfly but it blended in too much with the background. So it's a ladybug instead. Cute, huh?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Before I Tell You About My Trip...

Let me show you what I did this weekend.

We've been re-doing the guest room to be Abby's Big Girl Room. She has outgrown the crib and it was time to move up to a twin size bed. She's been saying for quite some time that she wanted a purple room. So we painted the room purple and the closet pink. We bought a bed and a new dollhouse bookshelf. When I have the room completely put together (bed linens, curtains, etc.), I'll share the pictures.

But for now, here is the latest addition:
Ballerina Stool
And here's a close-up of the fabric:
Purple Ballerina Fabric

This stool had a former life in the living room with green plaid fabric and dark stained legs. I thought it would be just the thing to help Abby get up into her bed - after it was fixed up, of course.

I love the way it turned out. It has her favorite colors and her favorite activity all in one! And the pink trim around the edge looks like a little tutu! How cute is that?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hangin' Out In Dallas

Here are a couple of pictures from today:
Groovy Chick

Here we are at the Dallas Zoo on the carousel.
Tanya's kiddos and Abby

We're having a great time reconnecting with our dear friends.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Leavin' On A Jet Plane

Abby and I are flying to Dallas tomorrow to visit some friends. We'll be back on Thursday late.

I might post a little while I'm gone (if Tanya and I stop talking long enough for me to type). But if not, we'll have a wrap-up of the week next Saturday.

Now, I'll get back to that packing!

Till then...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mommy's Helper

To start off, I would like to announce that this is my 50th post. Yeah! When we get to 100, I'll share 100 different things about myself. I know you all just can't wait. In the mean time, you'll have to read more about Abby. (which, I'm sure, is why you look at this blog anyway!)

Now for what you really want to know...

Abby loves to help in the kitchen, and from an early age, I would set her on the counter so she could see what I was doing and "help." She's still at it and playing a more active role everyday.

intent on her work
Notice the tutu?  She cooks in style!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Two Years Ago

It's hard to believe that only 2 short years ago, Billy and I were in China adopting Abigail. It seems like she's always been with us.

This picture was taken on November 8, 2004. It was right after they placed her in my arms. Abby was crying and I was crying. We both had no idea what was going to happen next. That moment rocked our worlds!

Mommy and Baby Tears

The first few hours, days, weeks... were a struggle to find our new places. Me as a Mommy and Abby as an only daughter. At first, she clung to Daddy with a fierceness that made me question my ability to even be a mom. Even after we arrived home, it took a while for Abby to warm up to me.

Thankfully, when Billy went back to work, Abby decided that I was OK. We got to know each other and bond and all those other good things that need to happen for any adoption to succeed. God was faithful to both of us and melted our hearts together.

I am so thankful that God placed Abby in our family. I have said several times, "The Lord knew what He was doing when he gave us Abby." Even now, with our different personalities, I know that I was meant to mother her and she was meant to be my daughter.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wait Times

A little news on the adoption front:

The following link is from the Rumor Queen. The RQ is an expectant mother in the China Adoption process. I think her LID is in September 2005 so she is getting close to receiving a referral. Anyway, I've been reading her blog for a few months as she charts the referral process and wait times, etc.

Here is her post from today.

What she is saying is that the major agencies are now telling their clients that the wait times for those submitting a dossier is now 2 years.

For us, this means that we will get our referral sometime around the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Could be better, could be worse.

Here's to hoping for better.

PS. we still don't have a LID. I think we have to wait for our agency to recieve a batch of referrals from CCAA that has our LID included. The CCAA likes to mail all correspondence to the agencies together. They're "efficient" like that.

PS #2. If you don't understand any of this, please feel free to ask questions and I'll do my best to explain.

Wordless Wednesday

Lounging at the Lake

For more Wordless Wednesdays go to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Voted Today

Yes, I did!!

Have you voted today??? Get out there right now and do it!!

I would show you a picture of my snazy sticker, but it came off somewhere in Target or Aldi. Oh well.

Don't you just love all this color??

Monday, November 06, 2006

All Better Now

You'll remember from this post that Abby had chipped her two front teeth.

Today was the day for her appointment with the Pediatric Dentist. Our dentist here recommended a Pediatric Dentist in another town because he was not equipped to handle such a young child. We had to drive for over an hour to get there. But it was worth it!

Let me back-up just a little and say that during a visit to the Library, I happened to see a book about going to the dentist. This book was sent by God to us! It showed pictures of all the instruments in the dentist's office and the chair, etc. We checked it out and Abby enjoyed reading the book and looking at the pictures for the next two weeks.

Fast forward to today. When we got in the exam room, Abby was a little nervous, but the Dentist started talking to her and she warmed up to him. She got to sit in her little dentist chair and take a ride up and then he laid her back. She did so good with him examining her that he said, "Let's just go ahead and take care of this now."

Billy and I were all for that!! We did NOT want to have to come back another day.

Abby sat there so still and I held her hands while he worked on her teeth. I think I was more nervous than she was! He was done in about 10 minutes!! Wow! Dentistry has come a long way since I was her age!

Her new teeth (caps) are beautiful! We are so happy!!

blue light sets the new cap

flossing around the new tooth

Look at those Pearly Whites!

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Little Pumpkin

This is one of the pumkins that grew in our garden this year. Isn't it cute?
Mama, it's heavy!

Yes, that's a little green tutu sticking out under her coat. She's been wearing that dress everyday since Auntie gave it to her! But mama makes her have clothes on underneath so she doesn't freeze.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Food Quiz

I like this one so much better than this one!

You Are Mexican Food

Spicy yet dependable.
You pull punches, but people still love you.

Spicy!! Yeah!

And Mexican? My Fav-O-rite!!! I can eat tacos everyday.

Try it out and tell me what you are.

Good-bye High-Chair

My baby is growing up. Sniff. Sniff.

Most people's baby's start out in infant car seats and need to be held when feeding time comes.

For me, my baby started out in a regular car seat and sat in a high-chair for meals.

I was so excited when we got our high-chair for our baby shower. Billy had a "fun" time putting it together and we imagined our little one sitting in it.

When we came home from China, we put her in the high-chair and she was right at home. I took a lot of pictures of her in it, I think because she was in a stationary place and couldn't get away when I pointed the camera at her.

She ate her First Birthday Cake in that chair. She learned what foods she liked and didn't like. She went from using her fingers to using a fork and spoon. And here lately, she even wanted to use a knife - kid size, of course.

When she discovered markers, I would put her in the chair to use them, so I could keep an eye on her. Then she graduated to paints and eventually scissors. That chair kept her safe and the rest of the kitchen safe from her experiments.

The puppies love her high-chair, too. They listen for the sound of "are you finished?" and then they come running to clean out the seat and the floor around it. Sometimes they even clean off the tray when I'm out of the room.

So, I was very sad when Abby said she no longer wanted to sit in the high-chair and would prefer to sit at the kitchen island like a big girl. Yesterday, I cleaned it up one last time and took it to the attic where it will have to wait another year or so before being used again. I hope it doesn't get loney up there.

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of Abby in the high-chair over the past couple of years. (Yes, she even fell asleep in it one time.)

Fun in the High-Chair

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I am definitely NOT nerdy

But I certainly don't despise them. I married one!!
I've taken this before... don't remember the score. Here's today's score:

I am nerdier than 7% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I KNOW hubby will score MUCH higher than I!


No, we did not go Trick-or-Treating last night.

Auntie bought Abby a birthday gift- knowing how much Abby likes to dress up. And then she just couldn't wait to give it to Abby.

So here she is in all her Tinkerbell glory! She's never even seen "Peter Pan." As far as Abby knows, it's just a pretty dress with a tutu attached. Her favorite kind!


I think it's a little ironic that she's also wearing Crocs. :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Walk In The Woods

Thursday, we went to Memorial Lake Park to tromp through the woods. It was a sunshiney day and we didn't want to miss it.

Here are a few pictures of Abby.

Cheesy grin on the Bridge

Where did everyone go?

Abby's so cute in plaid!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Abby Has Discovered Scissors

This past week, Abby was inside a kitchen cabinet and found a box that had some school supplies in it. She picked up the scissors and wanted to try them out. After a few instructions from Mommy and Daddy, she was off and running.

Well, not running with the scissors.

We did teach her the right way to hold them while WALKING.

Anyway, she's loving the new found skill.

I think she's got the hang of it. What do you think?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Library Day

On the second and third Thursdays of the month, the Library hosts "Tiny Tots," a reading and craft time for little ones ages 1-3. Today was mine and Abby's second time to go.

Abby enjoys the story time and especially the craft time. She made a little finger spider and a pumpkin magnet. Today, they even had singing and dancing. Abby is all about dancing.

After story hour was done, I was looking for some books and videos to take home with us. Abby found Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and started playing with them. There was an empty bookshelf beside the VHS tapes and so she pretended that those were their beds. First she had to read them a story (Peter Rabbit) and then she had to sing them a song. It was so cute. She was sitting there on a library step stool rocking and singing to her babies. Loudly. I was wishing for my camera. She then put Ann on the top shelf, Andy on the second shelf, and she climbed into the bottom shelf. Good thing we were back in a corner and no one could see us. :)

While I was checking out our books, Abby found an Angelina Ballerina doll. "Mommy, can I take this home?" "No, Angelina has to stay here at the library." She was quite calm with my answer and went to put Angelina back. I was proud of her.

It was a fun morning at the library and I'm sad that it will be three weeks before we can do it again. But, her "Pip Squeaks" class at the Rec Center starts two weeks from tomorrow so we'll have that to look forward to.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Not to be confused with Lemony Snicket.

On Saturday, Daddy and Abby were jumping on the trampoline. She likes to go around in circles as seen in this video. She got going a little too fast and fell into the springs. Good thing Daddy was right there to pick her up.

They came into the house and Abby was wailing. At first we couldn't tell right away where the damage was done, but after a few minutes, it began to show up - perfect spring indentations on her cheek and forehead. Ouch!! Poor baby!

On Sunday, during worship practice and prayer, she was dancing at the front of the sanctuary with her streamer. The floor in the sanctuary is like a school cafeteria floor, hard and slick. Twice she slipped on her streamer, but each time would get up with no cries. Then she slipped again. This time, much crying ensued.

We went over to her and along with the crying sounds we heard a crunching sound. As we looked closer, we saw that her front two teeth had big chunks missing. And she was chewing on the chunks. POOR BABY!!!! And poor Mommy: I cried on that one!

We took her to the dentist on Monday morning, and he referred us to a Pediatric Dentist about an hour away. The earliest we could get an appointment with them is November 6. So we'll be waiting for 3 weeks to find out what can be done.

I hesitate to put this picture up, but just so you know I'm not making this up...

Good thing Christmas pictures won't be taken in the next couple of weeks!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Soccer in the Cold

On Thursday nights, Billy and I lead the Youth Group at our church. They are a great bunch of kids. Two of our girls play on the high school soccer team. This past Thursday was their last game of the season. The team was also honoring their senior players that night. We decided it would be fun to take the whole youth group out to cheer for the team.

It turned out to be a very chilly night!! It even snowed for a little while during the game. So we bundled up and headed out!

Despite the cold, we had a fun time cheering. The girls won! We left before the end of the game, cause Abby had had enough.

You can read about the details of the game here.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Wordless" Wednesday

Not Happy

This photo was taken October 2005.

Could it be the hat that she's displeased with? :)

For more Wordless Wednesdays go to 5 minutes for mom