Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year's Eve Day!

It's been a fun weekend and there's still more to come!

Rebecca and I had fun with our friends visiting Cullen Gardens. I couldn't believe how busy it was! Guess when word got out that after 25 years the gardens would be closing their doors early next year everyone wanted to squeeze in their last visit...and squeezing is what we did. What normally takes about 2 mins. to park and pay for entrance into the gardens took about 30 mins! The cars were backed up for 1km in every direction just to get into the parking lot! It was a bit of a wait but well worth it. It was fun to take 1 last nostalgic tour before it's closing. The year I was in Bible College across the street from CG we were given annual passes so often wandered over to enjoy the gardens and village. This little place holds a lot of memories as it's also where I got a 2nd job in order to purchase my piano. (Hmmm...come to think of it I think I've been there with every guy I've ever dated. Maybe it's not such a bad thing it's going! ;o) I may not have been there often over the past few years but I'm glad it was there and will miss it.

Saturday afternoon Sharon and I took Victoria and Rebecca into the city to see, 'Disney on Ice - Monsters Inc.' It was a great afternoon and the show was a lot of fun! The girls always enjoy spending time together and last year Sharon and I started a tradition of taking them somewhere special around Christmas. We have fun planning the day and shopping for matching outfits for the girls! Not sure how long they'll want to dress alike but for now it's something they look forward too. They were even excited that their hair happened to be 'a bit up and lots down!' They get such joy out of life and being together and we enjoy nothing more than listening and watching as they spend time together.

The last activity on Rebecca and my schedule for 2005 will be a New Year's Eve party with friends. I've shared a wonderful friendship with Rob and Lisa, Ronn and Heather Lynn for years but Rebecca just me Ronn and Heather Lynn's daughter this year at the cottage. She and Rebecca hit it off right away so R's looking forward to seeing her friend again.

Talk with you again in 2006!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Nothing from the Ministry Yet

I hope everyone had a Merry, merry Christmas! Mine was wonderful from start to finish! Spending time with family and friends is great and I was happy to do that both here at home and in Windsor.

I'm also looking forward to this weekend as it's booked with lots of fun activites!

Since this blog was originally started to keep family and friends up to date on my adoption journey I figured I'd give you an update...even if there's nothing to update. As of yet, I haven't heard if my file has been approved by the Ontario Government or not but if not yet, then I'm sure it will be soon. While I'm waiting I'm working on the documents I need for my Dossier to go to China.

I'll be sure to let you know when I hear anything!

Friday, December 23, 2005

What a Difference 18 months makes!

These 2 pictures speak for themselves! 18 months...loss of 2 front teeth...bangs grown out...she's growing up so quickly! Where does the time go?
The funny thing is, I knew she had grown some but in my head thought, hmmmm...hope I'll be able to keep the pictures from our 2 trips straight. Looking at these pictures I know it won't be a problem! Look how much you've grown Boo!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Disney Trip - Day 1 (Sat. Dec. 10th)

Morning came early Saturday as I got up at 2:30am after only a little more than an hour of sleep. Oh well, too excited to sleep anyway! Mickey and Minnie were waiting for our arrival!

Rebecca was excited and did really well saying good-bye to Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa. Our flight left Toronto at 6:25am and we landed in Orlando to a warm, sunny day around 9:20. It took us about 2 hours to get to the hotel (went throught Customs in FL rather than TO) and by that time Rebecca had already made a couple of friends. Disney currently offers complimentary transportation called the, 'Disney Magical Express' so our luggage was taken care of for us. We were dropped off at the front door of Pop Century. Check-in went smoothly and we were ready to go! Since our room wasn't quite ready yet I checked our carryon luggage with the luggage department and we took the bus to Magic Kingdom (MK). The ride to MK is about 15mins. from Pop Century (PC) which is the furthest park from our hotel. Disney's transportation is super efficient (as is most everything Disney does) so we didn't wait long for our bus. Busses run every 20 mins. so you never have to wait long.

Upon arriving at MK we had a bags checked (a normal process since 9-11) and we were off! Becca was so excited and bounced most of the way from the bus to the park! Minnie was right inside the gate (Minnie) so she was our first stop. Rebecca had coloured pictures of the characters for her autograph album and Minnie was suitably impressed!

On our last trip R's favourite souvenir was a cute little Pooh stuffy who she named 'Squeaky Pooh.' Unfortunately Pooh was lost sometime over the past year and a half so replacing him was top on our priority list. Thankfully Pooh's Thotful Shop had lots so we were off to a good start. The park was somewhat full that day being that it was a Saturday but still the waits were short compared to what they could have been. Our first ride was our traditional, 'It's a Small World!' Last time we were here they closed it the day after we rode while they totally refurbished it; a project that took 9 months. (At the time Rebecca asked where all the boys and girls from the ride would go while Mickey fixed their home. Too cute!) This time we called Grandpa on the cell phone while we were riding the boat. If we were going to have that song in our heads all day we might as well have company! :o)

We then rode the Winnie the Pooh ride, Cinderella's Carousel, Dumbo and met Ariel.

By this time it was early evening and we decided to make it an early night since tomorrow would be a full day and evening with of lots of excitement! We were both asleep by 8:30 and slept until 7:30 Sunday morning. Will share more about Sunday later....

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Princess and Pooh - Off to Dine in the Castle

I love this picture of Rebecca walking towards the castle on her way to breakfast with the other princesses - she was one of them this day! All day long cast members would call out to her, 'Good Morning Princess!' Too cute! You have to know that she loved every moment of it!

I laughed when the train conductor began bowing to us. I laughed and said, 'Look Rebecca, he's bowing to the princess!' He in turn laughed and said to me, 'Oh no, I'm bowing to the Queen!' Ahh yes! This is why I love Disney! :o)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Back from Disney - Had the Very BEST Time!!!

Rebecca and I had an AMAZING week at Disney!!! She's a precious little girl with a great attitude and we did Disney up right! This picture was taken the day we arrived in Florida. After checking into our hotel Saturday morning we hit Magic Kingdom and didn't stop until late Friday night!

I have a ton of stories and photos to share with you but promise not to post all 900+ photos here! :o) Hmmmm....can you say 'scrapbooker?'
Over the next week or so I'll share highlights of each day and pictures too. How I'll fit it all in I'll never know but I want to share as much with you as I can. Tomorrow....Saturday's travel and Magic Kingdom day 1.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

All Packed and Ready to Go!

Mickey is packed and ready to go! Only 1 more teeny, tiny sleep to go. Less than 2 hours sleep it will be! Yikes! What am I doing updating my blog? Am I crazy? Maybe a little but I am also really excited!

In packing for the 2 of us this past week I've come to the conclusion that I'm in HUGE trouble when it comes to packing for China next year! (The suitcase pictured to the left is only my carry-on! I also have 2 huge suitcases packed.) For China I'll need: clothes, diapers, formula, medecine, bottles, toys....Uh oh!!! I'll be looking for packing tips for sure! Hmmmm...How important are diapers, really? :o)

Talk with you soon! I'll be back with stories, pictures, memories and more when we return!

Friday, December 09, 2005

How Packing for Disney differs in December

The excitement is building as my 6yo niece R and I have only 1 more (very short!) sleep before Disney! I'm a huge Disney fan and a dream of mine has always been to see it all decorated for Christmas. Tomorrow that dream will come true! Every Christmas morning for about the past 15 years, after all the gifts were opened and the guys were playing with their new toys, I've watched the Disney Christmas Parade on TV. I introduced R to this her very first Christmas and ever since then we've watched it together.

As I've spent the past week packing for the trip I've noted some of the unique things we'll be taking with us that we haven't in the past: Reindeer antlers, Christmas sweaters, matching red, green and white scarves as well as brightly coloured lights to decorate the window of our room! (Learned that last tip on a Disney message board. Should be fun to see what everyone comes up with!)

Mickey we come!!!

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Yeah! With Christmas quickly approaching it was wonderful to wake up to a fresh covering of snow! What a beautiful sight when everything is still laden and not yet disturbed by everyday events. It meant slower driving this morning but oh what a beautiful sight it made! I love snow before Christmas and then bring on spring! :o)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

My File Is With the Ministry!

Great news! I received a letter in the mail yesterday advising me that my file was hand delivered to the Ontario Ministry of Communitry and Social Services on Thursday, December 1, 2005! According to the current time frames, it is anticipated that their approval will take approx. 4 weeks. Getting closer! Once I receive their approval and send the remaining documents to Open Arms, my file will be ready for China and will join the next group of dossiers that OA sends!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday afternoon we celebrated Mom's 65th Brithday! Happy Birthday Mom!!! Her birthday was Friday but trying to get everyone together in December is a feat! We went to the Mongolian Grill which is a neat restaurant. It's specialty is stir-frys and each person creates their own. You can add noodles, meat, vegetables, sauces, spices, the works and then they grill it on a huge grill while you watch. Kinda a unique restaurant and one that can find something to suit the palate of even the pickiest eaters.

While waiting for David to arrive Becca took this picture of Mom, Dad and I together. Great picture Boo! She's only 6! Hmmm...maybe a scrapbooker in the making? I was really happy with this picture and plan on sending it to China as one of my dossier pictures.

Lunch was a great time of visiting together and celebrating Mom! Dad likes to tease her that now she's an official Senior Citizen just like him! The funny thing is I remember distinctly when my Grandpa Ryan turned 65 because it meant he could get into the Ontario Science Centre at a lesser rate. Wasn't that just yesterday???

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Saturday Celebrations!

What a fun weekend! I shared Friday's fun with you earlier and now I can tell you a bit more about the gift that was purchased. For the past couple of weeks Sharon and I have been checking out snowblowers for her husband. I'll tell you something...that first flake hits the ground in Ontario and everybody sells out of snowblowers! We quickly discovered that when you saw one you liked you'd better grab it quick because someone right behind you was all set to buy it. Friday afternoon we finally found the one we were looking for at WalMart. I secured it by phone but the salesgirl was not allowed to put it on hold so she did her best and I hoped it would still be there when I finished work and made my way across town. After work I quickly went to the library to switch vehicles with Sharon and began my trip to the store. Part way there I realized that in switching keys I also had her house keys! That wouldn't do when she was expecting a piano student before I would get home. So, back I went, we settled the key situation and I was on my way again. I arrived at WalMart to find the snowblower still there with my name on it (phew!) and made my way to the front of the store. It was fun to hear people's reactions as I pulled it behind me. I heard things like, 'Wow...somebody's going to be happy this Christmas!' and the like. At the front of the store a sales person pulled off the ISBN sticker and I joined a line. When I got to the front I gave the girl the sticker and said, 'This is one expensive piece of paper I'm holding!' She laughed and then scanned it. Her expression was priceless! She didn't know it was for a snowblower so hadn't expected quite that price to come up. She was shocked, shook her head and just laughed. It was the most expensive piece of paper she'd ever scanned too. It was fun just to see her reaction!

After the WalMart guys loaded it into the van I headed back to S&L's for supper. We hid the van in the garage and tried to figure out the best way to get it out of the van. Sharon decided she'd surprise Larry in the morning and we set to praying that it would snow. If you look very, very closely you can see that our prayers were answered but I'm thinking she could have bought a broom and it would have done just fine with the amount of snow we got Friday night! Oh well, winter is coming and that always means snow. I'm sure it won't be too long until Larry's new toy gets its first workout!

Saturday afternoon Mom, Dad, Rebecca and I headed north for an early family Christmas party. My cousin and his wife rented a chalet and it was wonderful! There were almost 30 of us there and still lots of room. The kids had their own room to in and the adults visited in the large living room. Children and adults alike also enjoyed the indoor/outdoor pool! Rebecca (Don't you love that toothless grin?!) had taught herself how to swim one day this summer (yes...literally in one day at an adoption picnic we were at. She wasn't going to be the only little girl with a floatie on so she decided that day was the day to start swimming. She never looked back!) I tried taking her into the outdoor part of the pool but she wasn't impressed! My cousin Sean and I loved it.'re surrounded by trees laden with snow, more snow falling gently on our heads and yet...we're in a pool! How cool is that?

It was a great time with family and one I hope will become an annual tradition! Many of us will be together in Windsor at Christmas time but my dad's aunt and uncle visit with their family at Christmas so don't normally go to Windsor. We all enjoy spending time with Uncle Bob and Aunt Edla so I'm glad Sean and Trish organized this celebration!

On the way to the party Rebecca and I watched, 'March of the Penguins.' If you haven't had an opportunity to see it, I highly recommend it. Fascinating and the scenery is breathtaking! (I'm guessing on the scenery part as it lost a lot being displayed on a 7" screen in the car but it appeared to be amazing!) It's a documentary style but one that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. If you want to treat yourself to a family movie night, then this is a movie to rent.

Friday Fun!'s Friday! It was a quick week and work was busy (which I prefer) so it's hard to believe Friday has already come and pretty much gone now.

Sharon and I went to the Oshawa Centre and tried not to buy gifts for people who we had already finished shopping for. Did we succeed? Well, not really but we're happy with our purchases. She also bought an awesome gift for her husband which I'll tell you more about later. Don't want to spoil the surprise!

I got home just after 10 and any sane person would early night. Me? No. Checked my email, read the blogs that I check on a daily basis (See my blogroll to the right) and then decided it was time for just one game of Bounce Out! I got hooked on this game early in the summer and continue to play it a couple of times a week. Am I getting better? Not really but I still enjoy the challenge of trying to beat my high score. Haven't even come close so not sure what happend the day I got that score. If you enjoy a fun game please give it a try. Let me know how you make out.

Oh yah...and if you find yourself playing it when you should be doing other things, welcome to the club!
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