Thursday, September 28, 2006

Things I love about Autumn

1. Seeing Abby in footed pajamas!
2. Hot cappucinno
3. Cuddling with a blanket to watch a movie
4. Making soup
5. Seeing my breath in the air
6. My heated mattress pad
7. Sweaters and Sweatshirts
8. Seeing the leaves change colors
9. Searching for the perfect pumkin
10. Fall Sports
11. Hay rides
12. Harvest Moon
13. Bonfires - especially roasting marshmallows!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tackle-It Tuesday

It is 8:45 am and among other things on my "To Do" list is this:

Clean off these desks!!

Check back later (much later) to see how the "tackling" went.

Now it's 3:00 pm and here's the results:

Yeah! I got it done!

Now, I do have some filing to do, but at least I have a clear work space.

Just so you know, it was imperative that I clean this off and find all my receipts. Last week, I didn't enter my receipts into the checkbook and I got an overdraft charge from the bank.

"NO," you say. "Not Shagga!"

Yes, me! So it was mighty important to clean off and balance the checkbook so that won't happen again.

And it's done.

Maybe next week I'll tackle the office closet. Hmmm.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Travel Group

Last week, someone in our travel group (for our trip to China) started email introductions. There are 9 other families and we've been "introduced" to 7 of them. It's been nice to hear where everyone is from and what their family is like.

When we adopted Abby, I thought I was informed of the process. I did my paperwork and then waited like the agency said. They thought it would be 8 months before our referral, so I tried not to think about it and just went about my daily business. Plus, we were remodeling the room that was to be Abby's so that took up time.

When we got "the call" only 5 months after LID, I was completely shocked! I think know I remember saying, "NUH UH!!" (Daddy would be proud!) Then we traveled, and we met our group in Beijing.

This past January, I started reading adoption blogs and MY, OH MY, was I missing out on all the info out there to be gleaned from Bloggy Land. There are people who track how many days China takes to move a dossier from LID to Review Room (never knew what that was before) to Matching Room and everything in between. They track how many LIDs are matched every month and when the Travel Approvals go. Some even are able to track the DHL shipment that has their referral from China to their agency! What??? I don't know where or how they get that information. But I'm glad they pass it on.

Because the wait was so short last time, I was fine not knowing anything. Ignorance is Bliss, right? But now that I know the wait will be long, I'm glad to have others to wait and commiserate with. That's where our Travel Group comes in. We are all from the same agency and all have the same LID. So we'll all get our referrals at the same time. Some of them mentioned in their emails that they were hoping that we could help each other with the wait.

I'm glad that we're getting to know our group so early in the process. Maybe it will make the trip less stressful for us. And just maybe, we can help the first-timers with their fears of the unknown. I know it would have helped us with Abby.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ode to a winter appliance

Fall is here! Time to get out the sweaters and the heated mattress pad!

I love my heated mattress cover. I sing its praises all winter long. I've even bought a couple to give as gifts. I love to spread the warmth. :)

My love of said cover began when we bought our current house. It is over 130 years old. There are no heating ducts to the second floor (except the bathroom, thank the Lord). Our bedroom is over the dining room and there is a hole in our floor covered by a nice heating grate. The hot air from the downstairs is supposed to rise to the second floor through this grate. Hmmm. When it's 32 or colder outside, that air has a hard time staying warm downstairs, let alone making it's way up through that hole. And the air outside in Northern Ohio stays around 32 for several months of the year. Brrrr!

So, that first winter, we bought the Rest Warmer Automatice Mattress Pad by Chatham. For the queen and king sizes, they have dual controls. Yeah! Cause you know that hubby and I never have the same internal thermostat readings.

An hour or so before bed, I turn it on high and then when it's time for bed, it is all toasty warm. Put a down comforter on the bed and it's like a little oven. Toasty!

I have been known to forget to turn it off (or down) before I fall asleep. That was not a pleasant sleeping experience. More like a sauna. Not good.

I think we took it off the bed last April. Should I wait til October to put it on again? It just seems like it should have more time off.

Then again, it was in the forties when I woke up this morning.

I guess this was more "prose" than "ode." Oh well, you get the picture.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

New Beginning

These pictures were taken on November 8, 2004-- the day we became a forever family.

For more Wordless Wednesdays go to 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It's been a week

since I blogged last.

How can that be? Did I have nothing to say? or no motivation to say it? Rest assured, I have been reading blogs.

What have I been doing? Well, last Tuesday I read FlyLady's website and decided to clean a little. And I guess after that, I was a bit distracted.

Oh yeah, we canned (again) on Wednesday and Thursday and it completely wore me out. And it completely destroyed my kitchen. Tomato juice was everywhere. I spent all day Friday cleaning it up. My stove will never be the same. I'm looking to replace it with stainless steel. But that probably won't happen anytime soon.

I wiped tomato juice off the wall/back splash of my counter today. Guess I didn't get it all clean the first time.

BUT, the tomato sauce is soooooooooo good!! I made spaghetti sauce last night for dinner. Yummy!!!

In other news, Abby is doing well. We went to the library again today. She checked out Beauty and the Beast again. Yeah! We DO also get books to read at night or whenever. Her current favorite is Angelina Ballerina. (I know that book and movie titles are supposed to be underlined, however, I don't know how to do that so they're italicized.) We got an Olivia book, too. That little pig is so precocious. Love her!

And Abby has been "writing" her name. Well, she traced the letters I wrote out for her. But still, pretty good, eh?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
It seems that she is better with her left hand than the right. But she eats with her right hand. Maybe she'll change one or the other. Or maybe she'll be ambidextrous. Hmmm.

That's all for now. Will try to do better this week.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Adventures in Cleaning...

... with Abby and Mommy.

subtitle: How To Get Wet Three Times- Nay, Four Times In One Day

It started with washing dishes. One shirt: both sleeves- completely soaked to the shoulders. Take that shirt off and put on a dry one.

Next is cleaning the bathroom sink. New shirt: tummy- completely soaked and dripping.

Put both shirts in the dryer with the towels already in there. Now we're shirtless for the next task. We should be good, right? Wrong!

Next is mopping bathroom floor. She backs into the bucket, nearly sitting in it, spilling its entire contents on the floor. One pair of jeans: completely soaked and dripping! (Plus the two towels used in mopping up the water.)

New pair of jeans. Pull the first shirt out of the dryer and put that back on.

Off to the cousins' Cross Country meet.

And then it rains.

Oh, well. Now it's time for PJs. Hopefully they can stay dry all night. :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Dossier to China

I just got a call that our Dossier left for China today.


I thought it had gone out last month. I guess they were waiting for more to get done so they could have a bigger group. She said there are 10 in our group.

Now we wait for the Log In Date.

Lord, remind me to be patient.

I Remember

I didn't really want to, though.

In the days leading up to this 5 year anniversary, I tried not to think about it. In previous years, I would remember breifly and then go on my way.

Last night, I watched the documentary on CBS that a couple of guys did on the firefighters. The cameramen were actually in Tower 1 as the firefighters were doing their work. I wept as I watched and listened to the horror.

In my mind, I can imagine the evil that wants to do harm to one or two people. I've seen it enough times. I cannot, however, imagine the evil that wants to harm as many as possible in one act of terror. I can't fit it in my brain.

I don't really want to remember the terror of it. I want to remember what happened next. Everyone praying and coming together for one cause - defending freedom.

Those on Flight 93 defended freedom in a way that no one else on that day was able to do. They stopped a further act of terror. Those brave men and women on that plane rose up together and said, "Not on my watch!!" They died defending freedom. As much as the soldiers and the firefighters did.

A friend sent me this link to a song by Diamond Rio. It hasn't gotten a lot of radio air time because the words are politically incorrect. Listen and see what you think. In God We Still Trust

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Fruit of our Labor

Last Friday was canning day. Mama Lily brought some of her youngins over and we canned tomato sauce.

It's a process: picking tomatoes from our garden, washing, cutting, juicing, and then cooking it down. I was sure glad the boys were here to do all the churning of the juicer. They did an awesome job. We got 10 quarts of sauce out of all that work. Yeah! And there's more tomatoes in the garden ripening as I type. So pretty soon we'll be turning that crank again. Or, maybe we'll make salsa.

We did figure out that it's not really cost effective to "can" our own sauce. Tomato sauce is so cheap in the store. However, I like the taste and the feeling I get when I use the sauce in a recipe: Mmmm, homemade! I guess I like the whole process of planting, (not the weeding), harvesting, and being in the kitchen with people I love and that's why we put out so many tomato plants, 31 this year. There's nothing like working together to bring a family closer.

So that's it, love makes tomato sauce taste better. I guess it makes everything taste better. Love is, after all, a FRUIT of the Spirit.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Teach us to pray...

Dress Up

Abby loves to play dress-up. I think it's all the princess movies she's been watching. Hmmm.

Little Hannah gave her the dress and a lady at Billy's work gave Abby the headband. Oh yeah, and the famous "Mary Poppins" shoes I have yet to do a post about. Don't worry, I will. Doesn't she look cute??

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mothers for Modesty

Moms & Dads for Modesty Mission Statement
  • As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.

  • I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.

  • I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter to dress in an immodest manner.

  • I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter this truth.

  • I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls' and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.

Everyday Mommy is speaking out on this issue so if you agree, click on the picture above to go over to her site and register your "signature."

I am in whole-hearted agreement with this issue. Too often I see young girls who are dressed inappropriately - too much skin, messages on their clothing, etc. Our culture would have our children to become "adults" before they even reach puberty. Mothers should teach their daughters about how to dress and more importantly about modesty and purity. It is our duty as parents to instruct our children in the ways of God (Deuteronomy 11:19).
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad

September 5, 1964

Thank you for being such a wonderful example of love and commitment through your 42 years of marriage. Your faithfulness to each other and God has been an inspiration to me and Billy. We love you!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Hope your 25th birthday is great! I love you.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Bear

It has come to my attention that I should devote at least some space on this blog to explain the meaning of my title "Shagga Bear." So, with out further ado...

On my first birthday, I was presented with my very first teddy bear. He was a creamy brown color with shaggy fur. His legs, arms and head could all spin completely around. I fell in love with him at first sight. My daddy named him "Shagga" and the name stuck.

And you ask, "how can you remember your first birthday?" Well, I have pictures (note profile picture) and I MUST have fallen in love with that bear cause I still have him (the banner pic is his most recent portrait).

I do remember taking that bear everywhere I went: trips to Granny's house, camp, slumber parties, etc. I went on a summer missions trip to England when I was 15 but Shagga didn't get to go cause I was afraid I'd lose him. He did go on two summer tours with Signs of Love in college. He even came to my wedding reception with a bow tie that matched the groomsmen (Thank you, Karen).

This bear has been with me through thick and thin -- he's gotten thinner, I've gotten thicker. :) He even had to have "plastic surgery." His nose came off while still in grade school from so much lovin'. My grandmother sewed a piece of cloth over the hole and embroidered him a crooked smile, but I still love him!

He now has a place of honor in my bedroom. Occaisionally, I take him down and give him a little squeeze to let him know that I still care. So, for all he's given to me, I thought I would dedicate this blog to him so his name could live on.

Long live Shagga Bear!