Saturday, April 29, 2006

Lessons Learned from Crazy Glue guessed it. I used Crazy Glue and ended gluing something other than my original project! Doh!!!

Here's my story:
There was a small clip in the car that was broken so being the 'tool girl' that I am (not!) I decided to fix it myself using Crazy Glue.

Lesson #1: If you notice a small drop of Crazy Glue fly through the air when removing the cap, you can be pretty sure additional glue was on the cap which is now firmly glued to your thumb!

Exhibit A:
This is my thumb which has the little pin thingy (technical name I'm sure!) that caps the tube of very sticky Crazy Glue.

My first thought upon finding this little gem stuck to my thumb was, 'Oh no! Wonder how I get that off?'

My second thought was, 'Oh yes! This is blogging material for sure!'

I came into the house to search the net for possible solutions to my sticky problem. (Hindsight being 20/20 says I probably should have read the packaging that came with the glue for first aid instructions. Doh again!) There wasn't much on the net unless I needed to get Crazy Glue off a counter top or leather upholstery. (I ask you, Who in his right mind would be using crazy glue around leather upholstery?)

After searching and finding no acceptable soloutions on the Internet, I called my trusty friend who works at the library and mentioned that I had a reference question for her. After she and her friends finished chuckling over my predicament, it was recommended that I try to find acitone to take it off. At their suggestion I decided to soak my thumb in nail polish remover.

Lesson #2: After about 5 mins of soaking pin thingy it will still be firmly attached to thumb.

Lesson #3: It will take only 3 mins for the acitone to eat through the glue of a small bathroom paper cup thus creating a second problem to deal with as nail polish remover quickly seeps out of cup onto computer desk!

Lesson #4: It is possible to type with pin thingy stuck to thumb. I did it and have all the stab wounds in my other thumb to prove it!

It was at this point that I realized a trip to the local hardware store was probably in order to see if they had any 'Crazy Glue Unsticker' (not a legal name) in stock. Wardrobe now became the question. It was 20oC (70ish F) outside. Do I wear gloves hoping everyone sporting their shorts and tank tops (Crazy Canadians enjoying the spring) don't notice or, do I go bare handed and hope that the girl cashing me out doesn't notice the bright green pin thingy stuck to my finger and more importantly I don't stab her when paying? Ah...decisions, decisions! While trying to make this decision I learned....

Lesson #5: In the future I will use the bathroom prior to using Crazy Glue! Realizing more harm could be caused trying to deal with this matter, I decided to make my trip to the hardware store a quick one and deal with the other issue later.

Lesson #6: Before going to the hardware store, make one final attempt to remove pin thingy from thumb! Voila....It may come off like nobody's business! No glue remained on my finger nor did it tear the skin on my thumb at all!

After laughing to myself over the events of the previous half hour, it was time to take care of Lesson #5...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Debbie and Shane's Layout - This is too cool!

If you haven't read the post about Julie's Layout that I posted this morning then please check it out and come back here. Too cool! I love it when this happens!

I arrived home today and as per normal, excitedly opened the mailbox to see if any new layouts for Hannah's Blessings Book had arrived. Sure enough a beautiful brown envelope was tucked safely inside my mailbox. (Who knew kraft envelopes could ever be considered beautiful?) I glanced at the return address and guess where it was...Summerside PEI!!! I (carefully) tore open the envelope to find a beautiful layout enclosed plus an Anne of Green Gables postcard!!! How cool is that?!

On the back was a precious note written to Hannah and I:

'Miss Hannah and Catherine,

You are Cordially invited to join Mrs. H-G and her daughter for tea at the tea room of 'Anne of Green Gables' in 2012 or there abouts. RSVP by holding my address and phone #. 'Come Play on my Island.'

Isn't that neat? Just this morning I posted about Julie and I and our future plans to visit PEI and today we received our formal invitation! I must tell you that Debbie had learned of our planned trip to PEI but I still think it's neat that both of these items arrived on almost the same day!

You may also notice a Tim's roll-up on the post card. Debbie creatively changed it to, 'Please Pray Again.' Oh yes, that is the theme of our adoptions! Placing our precious baby girls in the Father's hands.

Without further adieu, I give you the beautiful layout Debbie created.

There is a place for Hannah's picture to go in the top left corner. Also, under the card in the bottom right is this poem:
Little ways...
If I can be a candle
That makes some corner bright
I will not ask to be the moon
That brightens all the night.
I might just be one flower
And not a mighty tree.
But even one small blossom
Can be beautiful to see.
So if ther's just one someone
Whom I can help to bless.
I'll be content with little ways
Or spreading happiness.

Thanks you Shane and Debbie for your pretty layout and invitation to 'Come Play on your Island!' Hannah and I will come visit you for sure and bring our friends Julie and Tess along too! Can you even begin to imagine how cute those 3 precious little girls will be playing together?

We're Having a Garage Sale!

A few weeks ago at Bible study we were talking about how much 'stuff' each of us accumulates. Too much stuff!

Someone mentioned that she needed to clear out some of her extra things and an idea was born! This wonderful group of people (5 couples plus myself) are hosting a Garage Sale on Saturday, May 13th! All of the money that is raised these wonderful friends are donating to help with the adoption costs! Wow!!! Just typing this brings tears to my eyes at the generosity of friends!

Since that amazing day in October 2005 when God gave me peace that I should be moving forward with His blessing towards the adoption of baby Hannah, I can honestly say I have not lost a moments sleep regarding the financial responsibilities the adoption and raising a daughter brings. That being said, I also have been well aware of the new challenges this brings and am careful with my extra spending.

Do I think about the costs? Yes.

Do I worry about the costs? NO!

That's the difference that only God's peace can bring when we step out in faith. Trusting Him to meet our needs as I know that I myself cannot do it. But...GOD CAN!

This sale is another one of the many, many...MANY ways God is showing me His leading in the adoption of my precious baby girl.

Another portion of this post is to invite you to participate if you wish. If you live near me and have extra 'stuff' you want to be rid of, please feel free to donate it to the sale. The Bible Study gang are cleaning out their homes and friends at work have already begun making donations too. Any items that remain after the sale will be donated to our local, 'Bibles for Missions' store so it's all good!

I'll post details of the time and location of the sale closer to May 13th should any of you wish to drop by.

Praying for a non-rainy day on May 13th.

Praising God for answered prayers in the form of
so MANY friends who are all excitedly awaiting
the arrival of Hannah!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Julie's Layout for Hannah's Blessings Book!

This great LO is from my dear friend Julie and her soon-to-be daughter Tess!

As I've shared before Julie and I have become wonderful online friends through this adoption process. As we've visited together online, we realized that we both love, Anne of Green Gables and have decided that sometime in the next few years, Julie and Tess, Hannah and I will meet in Prince Edward Island and enjoy a vacation together!

Julie and Tess' layout was extra special as it contains a quote from Anne and is a reminder of the fun times we have planned together! Looking forward to meeting you and Tess in PEI...someday!

Yeah! My First Secret Pal Gift Arrived Today!

As part of the March DTC group, each of us was given the opportunity of participating in a monthly Secret Pal gift exchange. I love to shop, especially for baby stuff so knew I wanted to be part of this. Earlier this month I was assigned someone that I would send a package to each month from now until next January. In January we will reveal who we are and celebrate by having a cyber shower! Someone else, was given my name to be a secret pal to.

I arrived home today to find my first Secret Pal gift package waiting for me. Yeah!!! (Can I tell you how nice it is to be happy for mail! Normally it's just bills and junk mail. All the adoption packages are such a wonderful change!)

This month's theme is 'Bathtime Fun' so we're been purchasing gifts with that in mind. I opened my gift to find this cute duckie towel + a momma duck with her 3 babies. I know Hannah will enjoy chasing the little rubber duckies around the tub and I'll enjoy wrapping her up in the warm hooded towel! What a great gift!

Next month's theme is: Nursery Theme and colours. Yeah...time to begin shopping again. My cousin Bridget and I are heading to the States this weekend so I hope to find something for her (and of course for Hannah!) there.

If you're reading this, thanks again secret pal!

We're The Marching Pandas!

The March DTC group is officially ‘The Marching Pandas.’ I like it and think it offers lots of creative room for logos. I haven’t thought of any logo ideas yet but if you have any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment.

Monday evening there was a knock at my front door. When I answered it Dad was standing there but I couldn’t tell what it was he was holding. I was so excited when he turned this cute little chair around with the adorable panda on it. The neat thing is, he and mom didn’t know that our group had decided on The Marching Pandas as our name so it was fun to tell them!

This brand new chair with storage under the seat, was dropped off at the thrift store dad manages called, ‘Bibles for Missions.’ He found it with the new donations and immediately thought of his granddaughter to come. Taking the chair to the front of the store he showed it to my mom. She liked it but didn’t seem to be as excited as he was. He said, ‘Jean, Where do pandas come from?’ Her response…Australia! LOL!!! Oh yah, I’m so much like my mom it’s scary at times!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I've Been Tagged! 6 Weird Things About Me

I’ve been tagged by many people so figure it’s time I finally fessed up to 6 (only 6?) weird things about myself.

1. I count….everything! Eating McDonald’s it’s 9 french-fries then 1 bite of hamburger. Repeat. It’s not really planned, just kinda happens. If I happen to eat the 10th fry without a bite of hamburger then I usually go up to number 18 before eating the burger. Along with this comes my the whole numbers thing. You can tell me your name and even though I try to remember it I probably won’t remember it 10 mins. later. I even forget the names of friends at times…right Lucy? Because of this, I often choose not to introduce people. But, I can remember numbers. I remember the phone numbers I had as a child and also those of some friends. Bank cards, Credit cards, SIN…all locked away upstairs in my thinker-boxer for quick access. Not sure how often I'll need them, but they're there.

2. I have trouble keeping characters in a movie or novel straight. They all kinda blur together. Because of this I don’t read mystery novels because the ending doesn’t mean anything. Also, watching movies from bygone eras is a waste of time. Pride and Prejudice? Forget about it! Just a bunch of guys in weird pants and women in big skirts. I’ve been known to write character lists when reading some books just so that I have a hope of understanding what happens at the end of the novel. Light, romantic novels are more my speed.

3. I need to sleep with 2 pillows or my arms fall asleep. Also, my feet are my thermometer. If I get too hot the first thing to happen is to stick them out of the covers. Regardless of how hot it is, I need to have at least a sheet covering me.

4. I love my cold drinks…cold. Have one of those freezie mugs in the freezer ready to go at all times. In it’s life it’s been filled with pop, chocolate milk, orange juice with cherry juice, water, lemonade and much more. If it’s going to be cold it’s best if it’s almost frozen…and even better if it’s partially frozen. I love Slurpee’s!...just ask the girls at the library. That being said, I will happily give up cold drinks in China to avoid ice.

5. I like peanut butter and syrup on pancakes. Hey…don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! I was introduced to this by friends that I traveled to India with 20 years ago and I’ve never given it up. I’m also a person who easily tires of food. Eat the same thing 2 days in a row and it’s time for a change. That being said, I’ve been hooked on dill pickle seasoning on my popcorn for a few years now. Every rule has it's exception.

6. It bugs me when the TV station number is showing in the corner of the screen. Totally distracts me! It took me ages to get used to the little icons many of the stations now use. Friends like to turn the numbers on just to bug me…you know who you are! :o) Another thing, at church when the light goes on to let a parent know they're needed in the nursery, I don't really relax until that number goes off. Hungry babies will just never do!

Well, I think I’ve managed to fit in far more than 6 odd things about me. (I'm sure you're not surprised and could add many other oddities you know about me!) Are we still friends now that you know some of my deep dark secrets?

I know I’m not alone in this. Share a comment with a weird fact about yourself!

Advantages to Delays in Referrals

If you've had an opportunity to read my last post, you'll know that new Referrals are on the way this week (Yeah!!!) but only cover 7 days of LID's (*sniff!*)

As the referral wait gets longer and longer, I've decided to look for advantages in the delay. Here's what I've come up with so far:

1. Can purchase a new set of wheels for each of us then we can race!

2. Since we'll both be eating pureed food it can be purchased in bulk!

3. Going to the movies, etc. will be cheaper: 'I'll have 1 Senior and 1 Child's ticket please'

4. Won't have to pay for daycare since I'll be retired! (Now that one I would like!)

I'm sure there are others you can think of. What are some other advantages to the delay in referrals? Might as well have fun with something we have no control over!

CCAA Website Updated

It's official. CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) has posted the dates of this month's referrals. Families who were logged in May 31, 2005 to June 6, 2005 will be receiving their referrals this month! It's wonderful for those whose LID falls within those 7 days but for others, it means the long wait continues.

For the past 2 months CCAA has matched 5 days of LIDs in April and 7 days of LIDs in May. If this trend were to continue (and I know for certain that it won't!) it would mean I would meet Hannah in approx. 4 1/2 years! Yup...that's not going to just may feel that way some days. I'm still fully confident that I will receive my referral in the late spring or summer of 2007 and travel 6-8 weeks later to meet my precious baby girl face to face.

Today's update of CCAA's site also says that September 2005 files have gone through the review room. This means that each and every September file has been looked at, prodded, poked, reviewed with a fine tooth comb and received a big stamp of approval! These files are ready to be matched with babies! Yeah!!! The only problem is that they're now in a long line of files from June 7th onward also waiting to be matched with babies! I can only imagine the mountain of paperwork the people in the matching room must be surrounded by! Knowing that each and every file is matched with care is humbling! I have a number of friends who have made their way through the review room and are (im)patiently waiting their referral. If CCAA wants to give themselves more room by matching them with their children I know they'd be only too happy to help out!

Big (((HUGS))) to all my online friends who are waiting for the amazing day when the CCAA site reflects their LID as.....MATCHED!!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Meeting China Travelmates!

Yesterday I had the priviledge of meeting 2 of the 7 families that I will be travelling to China with! What a sureal experience to meet these people for the very first time knowing that eventually we will travel half-way round the world together to meet our precious children! When this will happen we're not sure but we hold on to the fact that it will happen in time. Let me introduce you to a couple of my new friends:

Russ and Lesley with their beautiful daughter Lotus.

You may remember me telling you a couple of months back about meeting a guy at work and finding out that we would be traveling to China together. That's Russ. It was so wonderful to finally meet his wife and daughter yesterday! Lesley went to China as a single when she adopted Lotus so she has lots of great tips and insights for those of us singles.

Another couple:

Bonnie and Robert

They are adopting their first child just like I am.

Another picture we managed to take yesterday was one of some of the single girls. Kim and Nancy are both about 6 months ahead of me in the adoption process so I'll be learning much from their experiences!

Kim, Nancy and myself.

It may have been a rainy day outside but it was sunny inside the house as we all talked about the children we'll meet in China.

Friday, April 21, 2006

2 More Beautiful Layouts Received!

Wow!!! I am truly in awe at the love and care people are taking in creating LO's for Hannah's Blessings Book! 2 more beautiful LO's arrived in the mail today and I can't wait to share them with just a moment! :o)

A number of people have asked me who is invited to create something for Hannah's Book. EVERYONE! If you're reading this then you are invited to create something for Hannah's Book! Or, if you're the friend of a friend of a friend - then you are invited! Whether scrapbooking is in your blood or if you haven't picked up a pair of scissors since childhood, you are invited! I appreciate each and every LO, be it simple or complex. It's all about the love for precious baby Hannah. Each day I go to the mailbox and it's exciting to see what arrives. This is such fun!

If you wish to contribute but aren't too sure of the details, please click here for more information.

Here are today's beautiful layouts:

Tracey's Family
Kincardine, Ontario

Julie B's Family
Montreal, Quebec

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I'm Paperwork Pregnant! Log in Date Received!!!

Woohoo! I received an email from my agency yesterday advising me that my Log In Date (LID) with the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) is:

March 23, 2006!!

That’s just 10 days after DTC which is super fast!

In the world of International Adoptions this date is HUGE!!! I am now officially 'in line' and waiting my turn to adopt a precious baby girl. The term used is, 'Paperwork Pregnant!' :o) Let the crazy cravings begin! (I sent an email to my friends at work today and Pat offered to make me some paper maternity clothes! Note to self: Don’t read a post from Pat with a mouthful of coffee!)

Each month the CCAA sends out Referrals of babies. A referral is when a family is matched with a particular baby and she/he is your child! Referrals are based on the LID. Currently it is taking approx 11 months from LID to Referral but it is anticipated that this is going to stretch to 14 - 18 months.

What this means in my case is that the earliest it's currently anticipated that I will receive the official referral of Hannah is May 2007. (That's a fancy way of saying 'I don't have a clue!!!') All in God's timing and if it takes until May 2007 or later then that's fine. I'm waiting for the baby that God is preparing for me and in the meantime He is preparing me too as I'm learning all I can to be best prepared for her. We will meet one another in His perfect timing! That brings such peace.

The wait has now officially begun as the next 'official' thing to happen will be my Referral....and Hannah will be worth waiting for! I can't begin to imagine how exciting that's going to be! What will it be like to look at a beautiful little picture and realize that it’s not somebody else’s child that I’m looking at? The eyes that I will be gazing lovingly into will be those of my daughter! Wow!!!!! Last week I asked if it was possible to miss someone you’ve never met and realized the answer was YES! This week I’m realizing that it will also be possible to fall in love with a picture!

Thank you to all of you for your continued love and prayers! This is a long journey and each of you plays an important part in it!

Have a wonderful day! I’m off to get myself some pickles and ice cream (thanks Marian!) ….although I might have to suffer through a DQ Peanut Buster Parfait instead…Mmmmmmm.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hannah's First Layout

Yeah!!! Hannah's first layout arrived today for her 'Blessings Book!' I couldn't wait to get into the house and see it. It's beautiful!!!

The ladybugs and plants are made of quilled paper. Wow!

Thank you Sara and Brian!
Jefferson City, MO

Hannah's First Piece of Mail!

When I went to the mailbox today I was excited to see an envelope that I was guessing contained a layout for Hannah's Blessings Book. What I wasn't prepared for was to see my daughter's name on the envelope! It was a wonderful surprise that caused my heart to flutter with excitement! Thank you Sara for making today extra special - both with your beautiful layout and the extra surprise of Hannah's first official piece of mail!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Treats for Hannah

Today is the first official holiday that has taken place since my file went to China a little over a month ago. Even though it's still quite a while before Hannah and I will meet, the Mommy in me wanted to buy her a couple of things for Easter. (Ok, ok, you got me....any excuse to shop for Hannah works and I wanted to buy her far more than a 'couple' of items!)

Most times I can control myself and get my 'baby fix' purely by walking around the baby dept. of a store, touching things, holding them, smelling them, sighing a little and yes, even tearing up at times, but at least I usually leave the store empty handed.

Not yesterday. After dreaming about my little girl in every Easter dress I saw, I controlled my urge to buy any of them. Not knowing when we'll meet or what size she will be is proving to be a very good thing for my budet.

Hmmm...what could I buy that I know she will eventually use? I know....a bib! From what I've heard, she may need 1 or 2 of these. LOL!! What do you think? This particular brand of bib comes highly recommended by my friend Michelle. She's used them with both of her kids and can't say enough about them. Not only is is wonderfully cute but it can also be bleached and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Sounds good to me!

When shopping for this bib at the SuperStore I also noticed they had some that were almost like a rain coat that fit on the child backwards. Now that sounds like my kind of bib but I'm looking for them in adult sizes rather than baby sizes. From my babysitting experience I've learned that anything orange or red (ie. carrots or spaghetti sauce) that is placed in a baby's mouth somehow generates the sneeze reflex and that stuff flies everywhere! Wonder if I can buy myself a hasmat suit before it's time for us to tackle carrots? Come to think of it...that suit may even come in handy when I have to change some of those nasty diapers! Wonder if I can add that to my gift registry when I register at Toy's R Us?

The other little items I picked up were a couple of Rubbermaid bins for Hannah's toys. The bins were on sale for 70% off due to a tiny bit damage the sun had done in bleaching the lids but otherwise were fine. A friend gave me some of her children's toys that they had outgrown so Hannah's collestion is already beginning. Might as well begin storing them in toy bins already. I'm sure we've just begun our toy collection and will have many more in the days to come. There is so much cool stuff out there for kids and some toys that I had as a child are still popular today! Who ever thought I'd be considering purchasing a Cabbage Patch Doll for my baby girl more than 23 years after I bought my first one?'re doing the math correctly...I bought my first Cabbage Patch Doll at 16! Truth be told...I think she's still in a box somewhere in my basement even now! My goal is to clean out the basement in the near future in preparation for the garage sale my Bible study group is holding is support of Hannah's adoption. I'll look for her but only to bring her upstairs, not to add her to the sale!

He Is Risen!!!

"On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words."
Luke 24:1-8

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Spring Storms

Like daughter. I love a thunderstorm! My mom taught me to enjoy these and I'm glad she did because I can see how they could easily be something scary. The only part of a storm I'm not too fond of is when it gets too windy. That part I don't like. I think it may go back to my days of watching 'The Wizard of Oz' when I was too young. Seeing it once as a child was once too often for this kid! After that, I remember going to call on friends to come out and play when the movie was on (yup....waaaay before the days of VCRs and DVDs!) but they were all braver then me and were inside watching it. Nope...not me. I happily skipped or rode my bike on my own but under no circumstances was I going to watch that movie. For years afterwards I remember being terrified of storms because I always thought they'd become a tornado and sweep my house away. To be honest, I didn't sit down and watch the entire movie until I was in my late 20's and even to this day it's one I don't care for at all. I was glad when Mom finally helped me enjoy as storm and 'listen to the angels bowling.'

Last night as I was checking up on blogs (quell shock!) a wonderful thunderstorm ran through our area. When the power went off for a quick bit, thus knocking out my blogging fun, I was quick to take up my usual perch and watch God's display! (What a wonderful reminder as this storm took place of Good Friday.) My favourite place to watch a storm is sitting on my bed with the blinds up and curtains pulled back. When the power goes out for a bit it's even better since the street light's don't take away from the great lightening show! (This picture looks bright but it's just the flash lighting up the room.)

At times, the rain came down so hard it was bouncing everywhere! It's amazing how much water can fall in such a short amount of time! The clouds can only hold it up there so long and then down it comes with a vengeance!

Today the grass is greener, the flowers are taller and the buds on my lilac bush are fuller! I love a storm!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

"At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' - which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?'

When some of those standing near heard this, they said, 'Listen, he's calling Elijah.' One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 'Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down,' he said.

With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, 'Surely this man was the Sod on God!'" March 15:33-39

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Couple of Logo Ideas

Last night I played around a bit with creating some logos for one of our possible group names using a graphic that features Chinese umbrellas. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to save them as jpg files without printing them and scanning them back in so they're not very clear here. I have 'Works Suite' on my computer so do not have Works Painter which is what I think I need. Oh well, here are the 2 ideas I came up with and submitted to the group for them to consider.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Confession Is Good For the Soul…

…and I’ve also learned for blog content! :o)

Today’s confession has to do with another one of my weaknesses – I looove cake batter! A cake itself I can take or leave but ohhh the batter! Yummmm! Come on, I’m sure I’m not alone here folks!

2 weeks ago at scrapbooking, we were talking about this and I found out that I have a fellow partner-in-crime in my scrappin’ friend. We talked about it so much that when she came back last night she confessed that she held out for 2 or 3 days after our last crop but then just had to have some batter! Don’t I know what that’s like! I get something in my head (localized in my taste buds) and it’s game over! Dr. Phil recommends doing something to distract yourself that cannot be done while eating, until the craving goes away – take a bath, knit, swim. Truth be told, I could knit while taking a bath and swim across an ocean and then I’d still want whatever craving I had when I started distracting myself. I’m a tough cookie…mmm…cookies! ;o)

When we were on the batter topic at scrapping, I mentioned to one of the girls from work who was at the crop that on those occasions when I take cupcakes to work it’s not because I was in the mood to bake, it’s because I was in the mood for a batter snack. Fill those cupcakes up then while they bake, sit down to clean the bowl which happens to have a little more than just the edges and beaters to clean.

I remember being a teen and Mom wondering what kept happening to my cakes in that they didn’t seem to rise very much. I feigned an ‘I don’t know’ face and just shrugged my shoulders. Yup…bad!

My bad habit was made ok a number of years ago when I found out that my ‘Grandpa’ is also a fan of cake batter. If it’s good enough for him then it’s definitely good enough for me! He and I have teased that some day we’ll get together and make up a mix that will never make it to the oven! :o) What a fun memory that would make.

Until then…It’s spring……batter up!

PS - By the look of me in this picture I'd better lay off the batter! Ah, to be that size again...sigh................

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Wish for Lauren

My first introduction to creating a scrapbook rather than a quilt came when I read about it on Donna's blog. She is creating a Good Wishes Album for her daughter Lauren and I immediately fell in love with the idea.

I like quilts but due to the fact that sewing on a button can prove to be a challenge somedays, I felt tackling an entire quilt would be beyong my good senses. I could hire someone to make it for me but just couldn't justify the costs. So, realizing my lack of quilting experience and abundance of scrapbooking experience, an album for Hannah was the perfect solution!

Tonight was our scrapbooking night at the church so I worked on a wish for Donna's daughter Lauren. I'll pop it in the mail to her this week so that she can add it to her album. A few friends at scrappin' tonight were asking about Hannah's Blessings Book. I look forward to sharing her pages of blessings with you as they arrive


This past weekend my friend Sharon and I had the priveledge of attending a 'Downpour' seminar in Hamilton, Ontario hosted by James MacDonald of Walk in the Word ministries. It's pretty much impossible to sum up all I learned as it really is something that is to be experienced rather than shared through another person.

If any of my bloggy friends live in Indianapolis, Minneapolis or Miami, I highly recommend you look into attending 'Downpour' when it's in your area! It will be a life changing couple of days that you will never regret!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

March DTC Group - What's In A Name?

Today we found out the 3 finalists for our March DTC Group name poll and I was excited to read that my 3 favourites made it! Each family was allowed to vote once. Some of the suggestions were:
- Fortunate Parents
- Good-Luck Pups
- Lucky Parents
- March Firecrackers
- March Ladybugs
- March Madness
- March Mandarins
- March Miracles
- Marching Pandas
- Spring Dreams

What would you have selected?

I wavered betweed March Miracles and Spring Dreams but I can't remember what I finally selected.

The final 3 options are:

March Miracles

Marching Pandas

Spring Dreams

The logos have yet to be finalized but one of the girls was nice enough to create these as suggestions. Designing a logo sounds like fun and I have a few ideas floating around in my head but just don't know where to start. Might play around a bit with it over the week.

Once a name and logo is finalized, we will have things such as t-shirts, pins, caps, etc. made that we can purchase. They will be fun to wear now but will also be a good thing to have in China to help us meet one another in person.

Now for my own mini-poll, based on name alone (ie. not logo) which of the 3 choices do you like best?

I'll post our group's winner here next week and we'll see how close we are. I will be happy with any of the 3 names so I think for me it will depend on what kinds of logos people design this week. If any of you know how to design a logo and want to have a go at it, please feel free to do so and email it to me. I'll put it forward to our group as a suggestion.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Today is one of those days....

...when I physically feel an emptiness in my heart. It's not there everyday but today it is.

Don't get me wrong, Hannah is never far from my thoughts or prayers (just ask my family and friends who have to live with me every day!) but some days it physically feels like a part of my heart is hurting. If anyone ever asks me if it's possible to miss something you've never had I can honestly answer with a resounding YES!!!

Part of the missing her is just because I do, but another part is because the referral times are just getting longer and longer. In October of 2005 people whose files were logged in China in March 1 - 31, 2005 (31 days of files) received their referrals. 6 months from LID to referral.

In March of 2006 people whose files were logged in China May 26 - 30, 2005 (ONLY 5 days of files!) received their referrals. 10 months from LID to referral! :o(

If the 6 month trend had continued then the March referrals would have been for LID's in October 2005 rather than way back in May which means all those with May, June, July, August and September LID's would have their referrals. Rather than that, these files are either hanging out in the Matching Room or the Approval Room...or still waiting to go to the Approval Room.

Talk about confusing!!! Probably the best way to understand it is that rather than a 9 month pregnancy I am expecting I'll have the gestation period of an elephant! Sometime in the next 14-18 months I should meet Hannah!....I think...maybe...probably.......... sniff......

Will I? YES!!!!!!!!!!! When? Honestly, only God knows and His timing is perfect! This is what keeps me going as the delays happen. GOD'S TIMING IS ALWAYS PERFECT!!!

See why my heart hurts? Now I've probably caused your head to hurt with all these speculations and numbers...sorry!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

You're Invited to Participate in 'Hannah's Blessings Book!'

Ok, so here's a new project to keep me busy while I’m waiting for Hannah to arrive. Actually, it also gives YOU an opportunity to play an important part in the 'Journey to Hannah.'

To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the Northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or "100 Good Wishes Quilt". In China these quilts were originally made from garments of family and friends, which would surround the child with blessings. The custom is to invite 100 people to contribute a single square patch of cloth and a cloth scrap. The 100 patches are then sewn together to make the quilt of blessings. The little, cloth scrap goes into a memory book with the wish or blessing.

Rather than create a quilt I'm going to make a ‘Blessings Book' for Hannah. I'm not asking for fabric but am picturing a scrapbook filled with pages of prayers, blessings and good wishes. It will be filled with pictures/mementos from family, friends, co-workers, and anyone following the Journey to Hannah. If you would like to create a page for the book that would be wonderful! The size of the pages will be 8" x 8".

There are a few options available to you:
1. You can create an 8x8 page from papers and materials that you have at home. No boundaries. No limitations. Let those creative juices flow!

2. I can send a kit to you that will contain a background piece of paper, some coordinating scraps and embellishments to start your page. You can add some journaling, photos, mementos...anything goes. It can be as simple or as fancy as you like. I bought one of those big slabs of coordinating scrapbook papers in both solids and pretty prints with pinks, lavenders, blues, greens and yellows.

3. If scrapping is just not your thing, please feel free to send me your prayer, blessing or wish and I will make a page for you.

Please incorporate your name somewhere so Hannah will know who created the page. Also, if you would like to include a picture of your family on the page that would be wonderful! No boundaries…no rules…just have fun and enjoy being a part of the Journey to Hannah!

Scrapbooking experience is NOT needed. This is a gift from the heart! My goal is 100 Good Wishes, so if you'd like to join in you can let me know by either adding a comment to this post or e-mailing me here.

I can’t wait to see all the wonderful Blessings! One day Hannah will be able to read this book and see how many people were praying for her and anticipating her arrival!

Thank you in advance for sending your love in the form of ‘Hannah’s Blessing Book!’

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Anyone have a spare LID?

I know it's still relatively early but thought I'd ask anyway.

Does anyone have a spare LID?

For most people in the world a lid is just a metal piece that is used to keep things contained in a glass jar. Lids are very useful when it comes to jars that fall over. They keep pickle juice inside and sticky maraschino juice inside. They can also be used to create very cool scientific experiments in glass jars. I seem to remember finding some of these in my locker in my high school days. Finding such 'experiments' usually led to head scratching, closer inspection and often the question, 'I wonder what this used to be?' I'm sure all you Mom's who have to deal with kids lunch boxes know exactly what I mean!

Now, in the world of International Adoption, LID has taken on an all new and very important meaning. LID stands for Log-in-Date. A LID is the day that China logs my file into their system and the countdown officially begins. Referrals are all based on LID's so each and every day counts.

Now, by 'normal' standards it's still quite early for me to be looking for my LID. More than likely my file has been logged but I'm not positive. This is one area where it's not always first in - first out. Sometimes files get switched around a little. Only time will tell.

I guess the main reason I'm starting to look already is that some of my US friends who were DTC anywhere from a week before me to 2 weeks after me have begun announcing their LIDs! It's exciting to celebrate with others. I'm just ready to do some celebrating of my own.

Until then, I think I need a pickle. (Hmmm...not really in the mood to mix it with ice cream though. Guess I might not be 'Paperwork Pregnant' yet!)

So Very Thankful.... be Canadian. I know we pay high taxes (currently 15%) but I believe this money is well spent.

I've been reminded of this today as 2 different people have asked about the maternity leave that I will be eligible for. I will have 35 weeks (roughly 8.5 months) off with Hannah before I have to go back to work. As I understand it the first 4 months is topped up almost to my normal salary and the remainder is at about 66%.

As a single Mom, work will not be an option to me as will be the case with many online friends who are also adopting as single Moms. I'm very thankful for the gift of time I will be given with my precious baby girl and don't ever want to take that for granted.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Snow? In April?? Not again!

Ah man!! When I started teaching tonight I noticed a little bit of this stuff falling from the sky but tried desperately to ignore it. I understand it's only the 4th of April but I'm sooo ready for spring! (Guess you can tell that by the number of posts I have about a few little flowers that are trying desperately to brighten up my little corner of the world.)

When I finished teaching I opened the front door and was sadly surprised by this light sprinkling of s**w. Yah, yah...I know it won't last but I'm just so done with winter!

The crocuses probably only have a week or so left in them and then the wait for the tulips to bloom will begin. That's probably a month+ down the road but that's ok. While we wait the trees will bud, the grass will begin to turn green and the beautiful lilacs will begin their salute to spring! Yeah!

It's spring which means my body is ready to head south but alas, not this year. If I want to tan any of this transparent skin before the month of June, it will be via 'Fake 'n Bake.' It may smell like suntan lotion, the tanning bed may feel a little like the sun, but without adding in the great shopping available in the sunny south it will still be just a session in a tanning bed. Hmmm...wonder who I can persuade to go on a mini-vacation for a few days? Any takers?

Monday, April 03, 2006

March DTC Group

One of the many fun events related to my file going to China has been joining an online Yahoo group of other families from around the world who also have March Dossier to China dates! So far there are over 175 families who have joined this group! We may live around the world but some of us could possibly meet up in China when we receive our babies! What a fun thought.

I didn't really know what a DTC group entailed, just that I couldn't wait to be part of one. (Oh yah, that's me for sure!) What I've learned has been wonderful and there is much to become involved with!

Message Board: An online message board discussing everything from DTC date, family info, baby names and much, much more.

Group Name and Logo: We're in the process of determining a group name and from that a logo will be designed and merchandise will be available for us to purchase. My favourites so far are 'Spring Dreams' and 'March Miracles' from the 21 options. The poll opened yesterday and will close on Friday. After that the top 3 are posted and we revote on what we want to be our name.

When they narrow it down to 3 I'll post it here and see if my gang comes up with the same name as my online group!

Secret Pal Gift Exchange: In mid-April I will be sent the information for a fellow March DTC Mom who is also participating in the exchange. I will learn the colour(s) of the nursery, her likes and dislikes, age of baby requested, etc. My information will also be sent to a different Mom. Each month for the next 6-8 months I will package up a gift to send to my Secret Pal and in return I will receive a gift from the person who has . April's theme is 'Bath Time Fun' so I'm looking for a few small items I can mail to her.

In January we will have a 'cyber shower.' I will find out who has been sending gifts to me and in turn I'll introduce myself to the person I've been sending things too. Should be a lot of fun!

Walk Across China: One person has organized a walk across China. She has done a lot of research about different places in China. Each person is invited to walk around their local neighbourhood and log their miles on the master form. Our goal as a group is to walk enough miles to walk across the entire country before we travel! It's a great way to learn things about China and at the same time get in shape for next year's big journey!

If you're a family in the adoption process, I'd highly recommend finding a group like this. It's fun sharing the waiting time with others who are on the same timeline as you.

Material for Hannah's Crib Quilt

When I first started planning a nursery for Hannah I did lots of searching for a crib set. But, as time went on things changed. I decided after a lot of reading that I will put her in my room with me. Also, since it's not recommended that older babies have bumper pads, I changed from looking for a crib set to looking for only a comforter. I found some that I liked but then while out shopping for material with a friend I came upon this fabric and decided it could be perfect for Hannah's crib. I'm going to put a lace ruffle around it and then back it with flannel. It's a project I haven't tackled yet but still have lots of time to do so.

As for Hannah's room, I've decided I'll set it up into her 'Big Girl Room/Play Room' to begin with. Not sure when she'll move into that room so there's no big hurry to get it ready, just planning at this stage. Another item I would like to add to this room is a glider rocker as many of my friends have said this was a 'must' in their nursery. I plan on lots of cuddles and bottles in that room (probably in the middle of the night) so might as well be comfortable! I'm still playing with all my options and until then, it's fun to dream....

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Dave!!!

Happy Birthday Dave!!!

Today was spring Birthday celebration day for our family. We finally had an opportunity to get everyone together so celebrated the birthday's of my niece Rebecca, Dad, and 2 brothers David and Ken. They all have b'days within about 6 weeks of one another so it works out well to celebrate them all together. David's son Noah wanted him to put on this b'day hat while we were at Swiss Chalet so like any good Dad, he did it for his son! Thankfully the camera was out to capture this fun moment!
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