Sunday, November 30, 2008

David Phelps in Concert - What a Treat!

Tonight was an amazing night of praise, worship and celebration! David Phelps was live in concert at our church and oh what a treat it was to attend this Christmas concert! David formerly sang with the Gaither Vocal Band and for the past couple of years has been on tour on his own. A friend's son is his current drummer so their tour headed our way when they were in the area and oh my am I glad they did! The evening ended a little sooner than originally intended when the power went but David finished the concert with 'O Holy Night' Beautiful!! Enjoy.

(Note: Video is not from tonight's concert as recordings were not permitted.)

His tour is heading back to the US so check out the link above to see if David's Christmas tour is going to be in your area.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas House Tour

For years friends have attended a Christmas House Tour that is a fund raiser for a local Christan School but until this year I was unable to attend. All that changed today when Sharon and I enjoyed a wonderful day together touring 8 homes in our area. Beautiful!! For a few hours it felt like we'd slipped into another world as we enjoyed seeing how the 'other half' lives. As much as I had anticipated seeing some wonderful Christmas decorating, it was the homes themselves that caused gasps, oooos and ahhhhhs. If you have an opportunity to go on a house tour in your area I'd highly recommend it! What a great way to spend a day with a friend!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Celebrating 32 months Closer to Hannah!

Another month closer to Hannah and the feeling of excitement is palpable! I believe that there are still 6 plus months ahead of me before Hannah's beautiful little picture will be before my eyes and yet she seems so near! I guess since I'm quickly approaching 4 years since God placed the desire to adopt sweet Hannah on my heart, 6 months is 'doable!' Also, the sheer excitement of friends (Ozimum - LID 02/22/06 and PIPO - LID 02/24/06) being 'on deck' adds to the daily excitement!

Precious Hannah,
Just believing that you're born is beyond exciting!! It may be some time yet before God brings us together but I pray for you daily as do many, many others. May you know love, comfort and so much more as we wait to become a family. Mommy loves you so much baby girl! I cannot wait for the day when you're in my arms and our lives change from those living half a world away from one another to those living as a family! God is so good and I continually trust Him to bring us together at the exact moment He prepared long ago. I think often of what it will be like to receive 'THE call!' How fun it will be to see how it actually plays out. What I do know is that it will be a life changing moment and one I CANNOT wait for!! You are already the love of my life sweet baby girl. Mommy is waiting excitedly to meet you and begin our lives together.
I love you so much Hannah. Love, Mommy xoxo

Saturday, November 22, 2008

China Travel Group Dinner

Our travel group initially met over 2 years ago but hadn't been together for a long time. With our referrals now anticipated within the next 6 months or so, we decided it was time to get together again. We met for dinner and had a wonderful time visiting, getting caught up on what's been happening in our lives and talking excitedly of our upcoming referrals and travels. Those of us who are newbies to IA were also happy to learn from Leslie and Marj who had great tips to share with us. There were a few families absent this time but we look forward to seeing them next time around.

Here are some of the families whom I will be sharing the amazing journey to Hannah with:

Russ, Leslie and Lotus

Robert and Bonnie

Marj and Kayla (missed you Tony)

Peter, Anna and Adam

I am so thankful that our agency forms travel groups made up of families who live so close to one antother. It's great to get to know them now and will be a real blessing in the future when we can get together after our children are home!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Uh oh! We woke up this morning to a beautiful blanket of white covering everything. Although it was pretty I must admit that one of the first things I did was check the upcoming weather forecast to see what the temps are going to be to see if I'd need to shovel or if it might melt soon enough. It's supposed to be sunny and above freezing by Sunday so the shovel still hangs in the garage ready for it's first workout of the season later on.

The thing about the first snowfall of the winter is that people seem to forget how to drive in snow and there are accidents galore. As of this morning the tally in the Toronto area was over 400! Yikes! I know I need to keep reminding myself how much longer it takes me to stop so need to travel slower and leave more space between myself and the vehicle in front. That I remembered.

What I forgot was how slush reaches out into the roadways from the curbs and I received my first 'soaker' of the season this evening on my way back to work. I'm not a huge fan of boots so pushed it by wearing shoes. Oops! For those who aren't too familiar with winter 'fun,' a soaker is when you step into slush and it quickly seeps through your shoe/boot and your foot is instantly wet with cold, slushy icey water. Oh yah...good times! :o)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This and That

It's been a fun, busy week of fun. Just keeping busy doing this and that and enjoying spending time with special people.

Saturday and then again today, Sharon and I took to the malls and stores and made great headway on our Christmas shopping. We've enjoyed taking a couple of days to Christmas shop together for as many years as I can remember and they're always days filled with much laughter, smiles and many trips to the car to drop off gifts to share with family and friends at Christmas. Thanks for another great day friend! The time we share together is always treasured. Next year there will be 3 of us! :o) Next year we'll be the ones with the highchair at our table and people will be enjoying Hannah's antics just as we smiled at the adorable little boy who sat near us today. *sigh!* More fun times ahead! Looking forward to sharing them with you!

Saturday evening Rebecca, Brook and I went to see 'Madagascar 2'. Cute movie made all the better by spending time with the girls.

Shared a wonderful evening with K1 last night. Love ya friend! It was so good to spend time together.

Home renos are still going well but I have to be honest and will be very glad when they're behind me. It's great to have the work done but oh my....the dust! Ugh! Won't be sorry to see that portion of the renos gone. Once they're all done I'll post some pics.

Not an overyly exciting post but with work being extra busy for the next few weeks, spare time is minimal. Happy to take the time I have away from the office and share that time with family and friends. Dust? Yah, it's still there but it will still be there tomorrow so I choose to spend my time with loved ones. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it. The truth? Just plain tired of dusting over and over so pretending I don't see it. :o)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Inching Ever Closer

As we thought might happen based on inital rumours early last week, CC*AA referred 2 LID's worth of files. It was a smaller batch than we'd hoped or anticipated but at least it means I'm 2 days closer to Hannah and that's what I'm choosing to celebrate. There are just 34 more LID's* to be referred before I see sweet Hannah's face for the very first time!

While this small batch was hard on many of us it was also a time of celebration for those whose files were logged in February 16th and 17th, 2006. Congratulations Donna and Joe and Grandma Linda too!! Lauren Elizabeth is absolutely beautiful and I'm so excited for you! Praying that your baby girl be in your arms before Christmas!

Next up in the list of bloggy friends is the amazing, wonderful, fun PIPO! Oh how I would love her to see her baby's face next time round! Praying the next batch covers at least 7 LID's!!

* I've had some people ask me to help them understand what the size of the batches mean. Probably the easiest way to do this is to look at the number of Log in Dates (LID's) that are left to be matched before I receive Hannah's referral. That number is '34'.

Should CC*AA continue to refer approx. 6 LID's per month, it means I taks the number 34 and divide it by 6. This comes to 5.6 which rounds up to 6 months. 6 more referral batches would mean I would anticipate seeing Hannah's referral this coming May!!

Should CC*AA refer only 2 days per month (and I do not, repeat DO NOT anticipate this happening) it would mean I would take those same 34 days and this time divide it by 2 which would mean I wouldn't receive Hannah's referral for 17 months which would be April 2010. I cannot and DO NOT believe that will happen but I wanted to find an easy way to explain how the size of the referral batches affects my potential referral date.

Hope this helps people who aren't living, breathing and dreaming everything adoption understand referral batches a little more.

As always, trusting God's perfect timing. I love surprises and this one must be one of the very best kept secrets! Exactly when will I receive her referral? I don't know, but God does and that's all that matters!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

Bright and early Monday morning Marg and I hit the road. Destination...DISNEY!

Since we only had one day to spend at a park we knew that we wanted to go to the Magic Kingdom!

After enjoying the Magic Kingdom's amazing grand opening we boarded the train and headed around to Frontierland. Greeting us on our way to Splash Mountain was Goofy so I took advantage of a Kodak moment. This was the only character we met this trip so I'm glad we stopped and captured the fun.

The morning was full of rides, shows, fun and laughter and then...IT WAS THAT TIME!! As Marg and I rode Cinderella's Golden Carousel my phone rang and I looked beside me to see....Karen and Gwen (password protected site), Lisa and Gracie! Karen asked where I was and laughing I told her I was just dismounting my horse! :o)

Can I tell you how AMAZING it was to meet Karen?!! She was one of the very first blogs I ever began reading back in 2005 and immediately I felt a kinship. Throughout the past 3 years a wonderful friendship has grown as we've read one another's blogs, emailed and phoned each other. Even though we had never met in person it felt like we'd been friends for years! Truly it was a dream come true to meet she and Gwen!!

An added bonus was meeting Lisa and Gracie. I've read her blog for a few years too and remember following her journey to China. Gracie is an adorable little sweetheart and it was so fun to meet her and her wonderful mommy. Gracie was pretty quiet during lunch but once we got on 'It's a Small World' she entertained us with all her adorable little comments, gasps and excitement! It was wonderful meeting you Lisa! Looking forward to seeing you another time when I'm in O'town.

The group of us headed to Pinocchio Village Haus for lunch. We were lucky enough to snag one of the tables that overlook It's a Small World. We thought it might keep the girls entertained while we visited but I tell you, Gwen and Gracie are 2 amazing little girls and they just enjoyed their lunch and entertained themselves afterwards. Precious, precious little girls!!

While waiting in line for 'It's a Small World' Gwen snapped some pics of Karen. Heh...I think that lens might weigh as much as she does! I love how this pic captures Karen in Gwen. Karen often chooses to take pics on an angle and this is exactly how Gwen in holding the camera. Like mother like daughter!

All too soon it was time to say good-bye. It was hard but I am so thankful we were able to meet! Gwen was ready for a nap and Gracie had a date with Ariel.

Karen and I have tried probably a half dozen times to get together over the years and have always missed one another by a matter of hours. I'm so glad this time that wasn't the case! Love you bunches friend...until next time!

Marg and I continued to enjoy our day at the MK. We watched the parade, rode all the rides our hearts desired and were ready to call it a day just as the park was closing to those not attending Mickey's Very Merry Chirstmas Party. Thanks for such a great day Marg! I'm so happy you and I were able to enjoy this together!

As we were leaving I turned around for one last peek at the magic and what I saw almost took my breath away! This picture doesn't do it an ounce of justice but the little lights that draped the castle were enchanting!

Disney...what can I say? I love all that it is and cannot wait to introduce Hannah to the magic!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lunch with Friends!

When I first arrived in O-town I met Don, Be and the adorable Joanna Mei for lunch and a wonderful visit! We'd met back in August and it was a treat to spend time together again!

Joanna Mei making herself comfortable while we waited for our table. She must have known there was going to be a wait for a table as she came prepared with her own notebook and pencil. It was so neat to see how their little bundle of love had changed in just a few short months! She sure does love you Mamma and HomeDaddy!

It was so great to see you again Don and Be! Until next time...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Golf Cart Adventures of Catherine and Marg!

Oh baby, who knew how much fun it could be hanging out with the seniors?? Aunt Marg and I decided yesterday that we'd head to Tar-jay and rather than take the boring old car we'd hop onto the golf cart and take it for a spin. Tons o fun I tell ya!

First, we decided it was best to assume the names of the rightful owners of the golf cart so 'Chuck and Connie' we became. We'd like to think it was because those were the names plastered on the front of our GC but in reality it's kinda like a witn*ss prot*ction program as our (read: my) driving skills sometimes left a lot to be desired. Heh!

Secondly, the Villages is not a tiny place and our adventurous trip to Tar-jay was a 20 min drive (with the pedal to the medal) and even then we had just dented the surface of this place. I understand The Village has something like 70,000 people living here and I'd believe it!

One of the fun parts about driving here is that there are 'roundabouts' or 'taffic circles' galore. What a hoot they are! Cars and golf carts whipping around, all trying to get on and off in their proper spot while trying not to immitate the Griswold's adventures in Europe. I had to do an extra circle a couple of times but not too often. I was pretty timid of these circles 2 days ago and now I love them. What a great way to move traffic. Wish we had them at home!

At some of the busier intersections there are golf cart tunnels (which I insist mean throwing my arms in the air and shouting 'woohoo!' as we drive through) but they tend to sneak up on me. A couple of times I had to circle back to go through a missed tunnel but we'll just say I'm glad these things were made to drive on the grass when I circled back!

Scooting around, usually on 4 wheels but possibly the odd time I took a corner a little too fast and we might have gone onto 2 for a moment, but in general we rocked the golf cart! We could get from A to B with ease by the end and even mastered the art of waving to fellow golf cart riders as we sailed along the roads and cart paths. At one point we attempted to have 3 of us share the cart and oh my, the looks we got. A couple of guys pulled up beside us as we were just starting out and they did a very poor job of hiding their laughter from us! Heh....guess we should have looked for one of these bigger ones when all 3 of us wanted to ride!

I tell you, never have I ever seen SO MANY golf carts in one place! You'll find a few of the really neat ones scattered throughout this post.

This is a sign I don't remember seeing at home and it made me chuckle. Oh yah, I love retirement living. Bring it on!!

Now, it's time to head to bed as tomorrow is a BIG day! Anyone whose been here very long can probably guess where I'm headed! YIPPEEE!!! You didn't think I could be this close and not go did you?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!!

Last month we celebrated mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary with a party for family and friends, knowing that mom and dad were going to be in Florida on their actual anniversary. Since they were going to be away on Nov 8th, I schemed to see what I could do to surprise them and fly to Florida and join them. Thankfully all went perfectly and last night I was able to surprise them and today my aunt flew in as well! What fun! Lots of happy tears! My brother Dave and his wife Trish wish they could have been here too but with the new baby it just wasn't possible so we enjoyed some time together via Skype. It was good to at least be able to see them and chat with them.

My parents are staying in this neat place called, The Villages. It's a huge place filled with lots of fun, activities and golfing. My aunt and I even took the golfcart out for a spin to Tar-jay this afternoon but that warrants a post all it's own. :o)

One of the great things about being here is that my dad's 2 brothers and their wives are here too as well as a cousin and his wife and some friends too. Tonight 17 of us went out for a beautiful dinner at one of the country clubs and celebrated with mom and dad.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I love you! May you have many, many more wonderful years together!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Anyone Else Ready for a Group Hug?'s news of a probable 2 day referral batch is tough to take! I know it can happen. I know it's happened before but ouch, it stings!

There have been tears here tonight (thanks for the shoulder Bridge) but I know I'm not the only one shedding tears tonight. When I do the math (which you know I do over and over again) a 2 day batch doesn't alter my guesstimation by much but, knowing the larger number of files logged in March compared to February does cause me to feel a little ill. Bridget had the best line when she said, 'Thank goodness February wasn't a leap year in 2006!' Amen!!

I remembember when I first began Hannah's adoption that people talked about it being a 'stroller coaster' of emotions and oh were they right! It feels like I've been on this ride for years...oh wait, I have...but anyway, I'll ride this ride as long as I need to and won't get off until Hannah is with me!!!

Hanging on, ready for the next big hill, twist, turn and loop. Can someone please pass the Gravol?

((hugs)) to all my waiting friends today. We're gonna make it!! Trusting HIM!!!
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