Monday, April 30, 2007

Friday Night Fun!

Friday night I hung out with Norma and John and their family as we celebrated John's retirement! (Can you believe he worked for our employer for over 35 years?? Wow!)

I love spending time with this great family and Friday night was no exception. Here are some of my favourite pics from the evening. As you can see, there was lots of time for baby snugglin and I took full advantage of it!

Thanks for such a fun evening Norma! Happy Retirement John! Are you finished Norma's list and ready for my 'borrow-a-honey-do list?'

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Congratulations John!!!

Today my friend John (Norma’s husband) bids adieu to life in the workplace and begins a life of retirement! Ahhhh… what a feeling that must be! Yes, this young guy has done his time and put in enough years to retire!

It will mean changes for Norma too as she and John have worked in the same location for as long as I’ve known them. They drive in together, eat lunch together and are an amazing couple! One of those couples I look at and think, ‘Someday if/when I meet Mr. Right, I hope to have the type of marriage that this great couple shares!' They remind me very much of my parents only a generation younger.

A couple of years ago John and Norma purchased this amazing car! Oh baby does it move! Ummm… not that I’d know… living in the city like we do. We wouldn’t go from 0 to 100 (km’s…don’t worry) in ummm…5 seconds would we John? Wheee! What fun! This summer John and Norma are taking to the road in this great car and heading across our beautiful country of Canada! Oh, I can only imagine how breathtaking it will be to travel through the Rocky Mountains with the roof down and the wind blowing in their hair! Hey….do you think they'd notice if I camp out in the back seat?

Until the big vacation there’s lots to keep John busy I’m sure. Since Norma and I will be holding down the fort at work I’m sure she can dream up a ‘Honey Do’ list for him at home. He’ll also be finishing the basements in his kid’s homes. Think he’ll notice if I add mine to the bottom of the list?

So John…..this post is to celebrate YOU! You’re an amazing guy, wonderful friend, tons of fun and an encouragement to many! The friendship I share with you and Norma is priceless and I cherish your family. You will be missed in many ways by many, many people!

Enjoy retirement! Snuggle those wonderful grandkids you’ve been blessed with Papa! It’s a whole new life opening to you and you deserve it! Cheers! Love ya.

PS – Give your wife a little push out of bed in the morning, ok? I have a feeling it will be much tougher for her to get up in the mornings for the first bit and I still need her here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thank You Mystery Gifter!

I've noticed a number of these cute little picture holders popping up across bloggyland lately and thought how fun they were! When I went to my mailbox yesterday I picked up the package on top and said (to myself as nobody else was picking up their mail at the time) 'Yeah! A gift from the Mystery Gifter!'

I was excited to open it up and see what the message at the bottom was and also on the little card. The message on the bottom is, 'Baby Love' and the little handmade card reads, "'...words and pictures can work together to communicate more powerfully than either alone.' Willim Albert Allard, Capture all the moments!"

Thanks so much Mystery Gifter! I can't wait to display pictures of sweet Hannah in this! It was such a treat and honour to receive this precious gift! Hopefully some day you'll reveal yourself so that I can thank you personally but until then...Thank you!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Final Tim's Stat's 2007 - Congrats Norma!!

Yes, my friend Norma cleaned up during this year’s Roll Up contest! With an astounding 13 winning cups she’s officially been crowned the winner of this year’s contest and Queen of the Golden Roller! (And as a bonus, is guaranteed not to sleep for the next 2 weeks while all that caffeine floats around her system! :o)

I ended up placing 4/7. Oops! The bad news is that I was demoted to the ‘House League’ (see below) but the good news is that I won the House League! Since Norma won the ‘Competitive League’ and I won the ‘House League’ we’re taking ourselves out for lunch. (Well…we’re just going out for lunch but it’s much more fun to think it’s a Victory Lunch!)

My final stats: 8 winning cups out of approx. 65. A huge improvement over last year’s dismal 4/91! Alas, the Rim Roller has officially been retired until late February of next year. (Between you and I…I’m hoping to miss 2 weeks of the fun next year while in China but that seems virtually impossible right now. Oh well, miracles still happen! And my strategy to stay in the running even if I’m in China ? Take Norma and Russ with me! Norma will be traveling with Mom, Dad and I and Russ and his wife are in my travel group. Pretty good strategy eh???)

Lastly, this was the first year that we had a ‘contest’ and oh what fun we had with it! I’ve mentioned before the fun emails that we would send to one another throughout the contest. For your reading pleasure I leave you with some of my favourites!

Seeing as the roll-up season is drawing to a close, I thought I’d mention that handicaps will be applied next season based on standard mean and deviation.

Do you think that we could maybe split this up into two charts? One could be the 'Competitive' chart and the other could be sort of a 'House League' chart where you are just playing for fun. You could put Me, Russ, Catherine and Norma in the 'Competitive' chart and You, Nancy and Cory could be in the 'House League'.

Maybe Norma could give us a talk at the end to tell us some of her secrets.
i.e.. 1. How she selects the winning Line/Cashier.
2. Her technique for rolling up the rim.
3. How to spot a winning cup.
4. Does she count cups?
5. How to move ahead in the line to get a winning cup.
6. What cup size does she drink?

Are you picking cups out of the garbage again?

I've also found a few on other peoples desks!!! Let's just say Cory's winnings would be a lot higher if he wasn't so inattentive.

Oh yeah - I almost forgot that I won a donut today! Ken can vouch for me - its in his tummy.

It was great fun while it lasted! See everyone next year. I'm off to use up some of my winning tabs before they expire!

Monday, April 23, 2007

13 Months Closer to Hannah!!

A day of celebration! 13 months of waiting are behind me and in my heart I feel I've passed the half way point. (Hopefully more but we just don't know.)

What a treat it was when Rebecca arrived this weekend with these beautiful roses from herself, Grandma and Grandpa to celebrate my 13 month LIDiversary! Thanks Mom and Dad! I know you're really excited about Hannah joining our family and I'm glad you'll be in China with me when that happens. Love ya!

To all my 03/23/06 LID buddies...Happy LIDiversary!

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Phew...It sure did take a long time to get here but finally spring has arrived! Ahhh...warmer days, cool rather than cold nights, birdies (not in my vent!) and buds on trees. Oh yah....can you hear the smile in my voice?

This weekend is another one to be celebrated because my niece and I spent it together. Errr...rather....she and her friend Victoria spent it together and I played hostess.

Friday night Sharon and I took the girls to see a local high school's production of 'The Wizard of Oz.' They did great! It was extra special as Sharon's nephew was playing keyboard for the musical and did an amazing job! Way to go Chris!!

Saturday morning Rebecca and I headed to a local public school and watched Victoria compete in a judo competition. She won gold in her division! Way to go Tor!

Later Saturday afternoon my mom and I took the girls to see 'Meet the Robinsons'. We all really enjoyed it. It's about adoption and I believe it gives a positive spin. I'm thinking it's not for the very young but for older kids is great! I was curious to see what questions the girls might have as they are very interested in Hannah's adoption but surprisingly it didn't raise any questions. We talked about the movie but they didn't question any of the adoption issues.

After the movie it was still bright and sunny so we headed to a local park to spend an hour of fun. I enjoyed my book (when I wasn't pushing the girls on the swings) and they ran and ran...and ran around. Yup...Auntie Cathy was working on tiring them out before bed.

After supper we watched a little TV then called it a night. Surprisingly they were asleep by 10:30 which for a sleepover night is early. Yeah for the park!

We had a great weekend together and I look forward to our next one...after I recuperate! ;o)

Friday, April 20, 2007

With a smile on my face...

...I listen to a surprise baby shower for a coworker happening in the section next to my office.

It's lunch. All was quiet and I was enjoying catching up with some of my bloggy friends when suddenly I hear, 'SURPRISE!!!'

I sit here suddenly I realize something that is genuine and from my heart. A smile is on my face! I can't begin to tell you (although I know many of you can relate) to the number of times I cried on the way to a bridal or baby shower. Arrived in the driveway, freshened my makeup, took a few deep breaths, and pasted on a smile while I willed myself to walk to the door. I'd keep that smile on my face for the next few hours only to leave afterwards, get back in the car and cry my way home again.

Did this happen with every shower? NO WAY! (Very rarely in fact but still those times that it did I remember well.) There were many showers for friends and family that I smiled to, at and on my way home from. I was happy and excited for them but sometimes even though I was happy I still hosted a pre and/or post pity party for myself.

Guess what? I can finally allow myself to believe that someday I will walk into a room and rather than shouting, 'Surprise' I will be the one stepping back in shock and amazement (with a SMILE on my face!) that family and friends are celebrating with me! With me!!! Celebrating the new little life that God is bringing into my life. Celebrating Hannah!!!

So for now I wait....with a smile on my face!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Survivor China!

Yeah! I heard on the radio this morning that the next season of Survivor is going to take place in CHINA!!!

I've enjoyed Survivor since it first began many, many moons ago so now that the next season will be in China I'll be watching with great anticipation! I'm guessing it will be set in rural China but could be wrong. Maybe they'll need to survive crossing the crazy traffic I've heard about!

Regardless, I'm happy to hear that 2 of my favourite things will be joining together.

For your entertainment pleasure I give you a sample of driving in Nanchung, China! Phew....not going to try driving there, that's for sure!

Driving in Nanchung. (Can't seem to grab the code for the video so you'll need to click above to see it. WELL WORTH going to see!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Commute? NO Thanks!

One of the parts of my new job (12 month acting position but hey...took me 5 years and 10+ interviews to get) is to write something called 'Use Cases.' I'm really enjoying the new job and the challenges it brings and was happy to take a course that would help me out with what I'm doing. It was so neat to sit in class for the past 3 days and see things I've been working with for the past 6 weeks come alive before my eyes. ' that's what that means!' Kinda like a whole bunch of lightbulb moments stung together over a couple of days. In fact, I think I could light a small Christmas tree with the lightbulb moments I had!

It was also neat to get to know 4 ladies at my table who work for a major Financial Institution in the city. I shared my adoption with one of them will be a mom to twins soon too! (Congrats Dayna!!)

Heading into the city is fun but I must say I am very thankful that I don't have that commute every day. I am blessed to live 15 mins. (door to Tims to desk) from my job. These past 3 days I was on the road by 6:20am and commuted for and hour and a half to get downtown. My hat is off to people who do this every day!

Anyway, it was fun. I passed. And tomorrow I'll make sense of the documents I've been reading. Yeah!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Baby Care Seminar

Updated Post...

This afternoon I attended a very informative Baby Care seminar offered by my agency. It was a good learning tool and may be something I attend again between now and going to China. We learned a lot in the 2 hours we were there and sometimes I missed things.

We covered:
- nutrition in China and at home
- attachment
- travel medications and what to look for while in China
- child development for a child who has been in an orphanage
- a variety of other issues.

It was good and I learned a lot.


If you've read this post before you'll notice that a portion has been removed. It's all good.

THANK YOU to all who posted your encouragement and support.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The End of an Era

Sadly my neighbours are going to need to find another source of their spring entertainment. You may remember this post from last year. You know…the annual ‘Stretch as tall as you can to cover the stove vent with Duct Tape’ event which has been happening at my home every spring for ummm…11 years! Yes, you read that right, 11 years. Did I buy a ladder in any of those year? Nope! Did I learn any new techniques to make this job easier? Nope! Did I even for 1 single year think to put the duct tape up prior to hearing wings a flappin in my vent? Ummm…that would be nope again!

So this year I once again gathered my trusty supplies together:
- Duct Tape…check!
- Scissors…check!
- Broom…check!
- Camera…nope…this is last year’s pic

I was ready. I was set. Look out birdies…here I come! Monday evening after teaching I made my way to the backyard to begin the calculated application of adding duct tape to a vent 8+ feet above my head! Uh oh…problem #1. The sun has begun to make the plastic vent very, very brittle so it took a number of tries to get the tape to stick but eventually…success. Ahhh….mission accomplished for one more year!

I thought...

Tuesday I’m teaching and what do I hear? Dem birdie wings a flappin in my vent again! Whaaaaat? Opening the 3 sliding doors and 5 locks the builder installed thinking I wanted to live in Fort Knox, I peek my head out the door and what do I see? Problem #2 - Dem birds have gone to ‘Duct Tape Removal School 101’ and that tape is a flappin in the breeze just like dem dere birdie wings and...listening very carefully...I was sure I could hear dem birds a laughing at me!!! Taking back the control, I flip on the fan above the stove (all the time hoping I don’t have feathers floating down having created birdie fricassee) and decide I’ll deal with it the proper way…the correct way…the way I should have in the first place 11 years ago. Call 911 DAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDD!!!

I pick up the phone and begin with the words I know will get his attention….How long can I leave the stove fan on before it overheats and starts a fire? Fire? Yup, he’s listening and probably thinking to himself, ‘What has she done this time???’

I explain my situation and Dad realizes that since those birds can now remove the duct tape (after 11 years of practice, who couldn’t?) that this year was the year to do something about the situation.

So, soon after I’m finished teaching my own personal cavalry drives up with a ladder (phew!) and plans to rid me of the birdies for good. He scurries up the ladder, measures the vent and promptly exclaims – this vent is huge! Yup….it’s huge…it’s birdie size! No wonder dem birds like it! We measure it and make our way up the street to Canadian Tire. Sure enough it’s not a standard size so we can’t replace the one that is there and need to go with ‘Plan B.’

What is Plan B? This is. It’s a pest cover that is applied over the vent. We head home, I rev up my cordless drill that I received for Christmas and up the ladder goes Dad.

I’ve now learned what it is I don’t like to hear. What is that you ask? It’s ‘Ahhhhhhh’ when Dad is up a ladder. Unfortunately I do hear 'Ahhhhhh' and flip around to see him flying off the ladder heading for the ground about 5 feet below him! Oh noooo! Thankfully he was able to push himself off the ladder when he realized he was losing his balance, land on his feet then roll into a ball. OK – now that we’re both much grayer than 10 seconds earlier and shaking like leaves and contemplating needing 'Depends' I ask him if he’s ok. Yup! Phew!!! Thank you Lord! A bit shaken but all in all, just fine.

The pest box is now up, the vent caulking replaced and with Dad safe and sound with 2 feet on the ground I decide to whine just a bit and see if together we can accomplish another little fix-it job I have up my sleeve.

Part of the main floor redo besides painting is to install a large mirror I’d purchased last week. Surprise, surprise…I’d picked up the drywall hangers needed to hang the mirror while we were at Canadian Tire! Dad and I decided to give it a whirl. After only 2 trips to my neighbour’s place to borrow a level and drill bits we were all set!

Before you knew it the mirror was in place and Dad was striking his ‘Vannah pose’ showing off his handiwork!

Gotta love a man who even does windows! Is it any wonder I’m still single when I want a guy just like my dad? They’re not easy to come by and I’ll wait as long as necessary to meet him.

THANKS DAD!!! Couldn’t have done it without you!

PS - Note to self: Go outside and get scissors off window ledge. You think I’m kidding right? Ummmm nope! I give you Exhibit A! (Discovered at 10:30 last night when I was wanting to open a new bag of milk. Hmmmm…bagged milk. Now that’s a whole new blog entry as I don’t think many places buy there milk in bags. Only in Canada, eh?!!!)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Blessing for Hannah

What fun it was to receive this beautiful blessing for Hannah's Blessings Book today. It was made by my new friend Liz. It's absolutely precious but you know the most exciting thing? Liz leaves tomorrow (which is almost today as it's 11:30pm!) to travel and meet her sweet Ava! How wonderful is that?!!!

Have a great trip Liz. Praying for you and Ava. Looking forward to meeting our sweet new neighbour. Yeah!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Gift from the Heart

I have the wonderful privilege of teaching children to play the piano. I began teaching 8 years ago and quickly fell in love with it. And with the children who enter my home each week. Each one has their own personality, learning style and interests which makes teaching such a wonderful privilege!

Two of my first students were K and W. They began taking piano lessons in September of 1999. Two shy little girls entered my home and the teaching and friendship began. Over the past 8 years we have had many laughs, some tears but more than that, a friendship was born. Now each girl has grown into a beautiful young lady and each play piano beautifully. In fact last June I had to say good-bye to W as I had taught her all that I was qualified to teach. This year K will move on to my teacher who will take her wonderful places with her music!

Last week the girls came to my home for K's lesson and they brought this most precious, beautiful gift! A hand painted picture by K with a poem on it written by W!! The beauty of it took my breath away and this gift of the heart brought tears to my eyes.

The poem reads:
The world so cold it sits and cries.
Missing hope reality denies.
I've had hope never asking why.
I see hope as the night draws nigh.
I want hope as faith does rely.
As hope grows tall,
as larks do fly.
Angelically in my China Doll's Eyes.

Thank you K and W for this precious, beautiful gift! It is a are each of you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Meet Sweet Madison!

What a treat it was to wake up Monday morning to see this precious baby girl! She is the new daughter of my friend's Ming and Lorraine. Ming and Lorraine were originally going to travel with my group but due to their Chinese heritage they were expedited and are currently in China! I am so happy for them and look forward to meeting Miss Madison in person!

Congratulations Ming and Lorraine! Your daughter is beautiful!

PS - I laughed when I opened the picture to see that Madison and her tag toy had already become good friends! It's been fun to see these little toys showing up in pictures all over the place! In Minneapolis, PEI, Saskatchewan and now...China! I think I've made around 35 of them in the past year and it's fun to see where they end up...normally in mouthes of babies! :o) Yes...they sure do love their tags!

Skating Fun with Friends

Thursday night Norma and I headed into the city with her sisters and friends to enjoy dinner together and watch Stars on Ice. What fun we had!

The fun started out at the restaurant where we remembered to ask for separate cheques before placing our order. Wouldn’t you know it….4 of us ordered the exact same things and all of our bills ended up being within $0.50 on one another! We couldn’t have done that if we tried! (Pictured left to right: Marg, Marie, Shirley, me, Donna and Norma)

After supper we braved the cold (the calendar reads ‘April’ but you’d never know it from the cold temps and flurries!) and headed to the ACC. We arrived with the perfect amount of time to find our seats, settle in and then enjoy the show. It had been years since I’d been to a skating show and oh did I enjoy this one! It featured Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Jamie Sale and David Pelletier (see video) plus many others. Many were just back from competing in the World’s in Japan just the week prior. Cool!

Norma's sister Donna and I sat together and were the perfect pair....'Who's that?' 'I don't know.' 'Ask Marie'...and so it continued like that through much of the show. LOL! A great time was had by all!

When we got back to Norma’s we visited more (since Friday was a holiday so we could sleep in) and I finally headed home sometime around 1am. Thanks for the invite Norma! Same time next year?

On another note, when we were at Norma’s she showed us this great ‘Towel Cake’ that her daughter made as a wedding shower gift. Isn’t it beautiful? So many pretty details and it looks almost good enough to eat. :o) Bonnie has started to make these and diaper cakes too to sell as shower/wedding gifts. If you live near me and are looking for a beautiful, unique gift that a few people can purchase together, let me know and I’ll be happy to give you more details.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Sadly it's been confirmed on the CCAA website that they only matched 2 days of Log In Dates in this most recent batch of referrals.

I'm not often speechless but today...yes. My new guesstimation of travel time to meet sweet Hannah? Hopefully sometime before I retire! :o)

Once again trusting and leaning on Jesus. And...allowing Him to collect my tears tonight because they're very, very real.

(((hugs))) to all my friends who are waiting. Especailly 'mystery mom' whom we were so sure would have been included in this batch of referrals.

Phew...Wasn't That A Party?

What a fun weekend! My cousin Bridget and her 5 littles (Mackenzie(9), Liam(8), Molly(7), Quinn(5) and Bailey(2) arrived on Friday and we spent a fun-filled weekend together! I laughed when I walked by the boot tray soon after they'd arrived. Look at all those little shoes. :o)

When they got to my place they'd spent 5+ hours in the car and had energy to burn. It was a cold Good Friday afternoon and with not much open and parks not being a real option because of the ummmm...SNOW! we headed to McDonald's Playland. Great idea Bridge! They ran and jumped; Slid and played for over and hour and were able to use up some of their excess energy. We headed back to my place and hung out for a while before it was bedtime.

You need to know I have a teeny, tiny town house and it was wall to wall kids this weekend.....and I wouldn't want it any other way!! Sleeping bags and blankets were spred from wall to wall and everyone settled in for the night.

Saturday we started with breakfast and games then headed to Bridget's Aunt's for a family Easter. Fun! (More in another post)

Saturday night the Easter Bunny arrived and managed to hop around the sleeping children to leave Easter baskets for everyone. I think this pic is all the evidence needed that he had arrived!

Thanks for coming Bridge! It was so good having you and I look forward to when we do it again! Maybe by then we'll have one more little one in the mix? Hannah won't know what hit her! :o)

Love ya Bridge!

If you can't beat em....

...join em! Uncle Tim and I tried to convince Bailey that his glasses might be a little more comfortable on the other way but nope, he was comfy just as they were. So what's a good grandpa to do?
Well, switch his so they're just like his grandson! (Must admit, with Uncle Tim's being bifocals he's gonna be reading the newspaper suspended from the ceiling today!)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Praise God!! Look at Beautiful Brea's Smile!

Isn't that the most beautiful sight? Just 5 short days after her heart replacement Brea is off the ventilator, has no more chest tubes and is even sitting up for short periods of time in a Bumbo Seat reading and playing!

Praising God for the healing He is already performing in little Brea's body and continuing to pray for further healing as her little body adjusts to her new heart.

Thank you for all your prayers!

All is Well...

...just busy! I feel like I've neglected my bloggy friends this past week but life is just a bit busier than normal right now. It will slow down again shortly and I'll post as soon as I can. Hopefully in the next couple of days. Have been trying to keep up on blog reading, just sadly lacking in posting.

Thanks so much for those who have checked in. I'm doing great...just a little short of having enough hours in the day/night to do all I want and squeeze in a little sleep too.

Will be back soon...very soon. I miss you all too much to leave for long.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Our Secret Pal Strikes Again!

I want to say a huge THANK YOU for March's gifts and apoligize for taking so long to post here. Life just seems to be crazy busy right now and sadly my blogging is taking a beating.

I absolutely love all the adorable ladybug and panda things you found for Hannah and I last month! Hannah rec'd an adorable, cuddly panda, Fisher Price panda with moving feet (I know...because I've played with it! :o) and child chopsticks that are joined at the top! SP - I've looked for months for children's chopsticks - Thank you!!!

As always, my thoughtful SP remembered Mommy too. Bright, fun tea towels with spring flowers and ladybugs, some beautiful stories of pandas and ladybugs as well as tissues with ladybugs that are just too cute to use! And lastly mmmm....chocolate!! I'm not sure if that's for baby or mommy but since it won't make it through the weekend I'll say it's for mommy! LOL!

Thanks again SP for your always thoughtful and special gifts. Even the box they came in was dressed up with pandas and ladybugs.

You are so kind and Hannah and I so appreciate your generosity.
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