Wednesday, February 28, 2007

OK - The Curiosity is Getting To Me

This may seem like a silly thing but thought I'd try anyway. On almost every post I receive an anonymous comment from 'Janet.' My problem is I know a few people named Janet so am not too sure who you might be. I'd love to know who you are as you visit often and leave comments.

Enquiring (read: nosey) minds want to know so I thought I'd come out and ask.

Feel free to email me if you prefer! Looking forward to solving the mystery!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Off to a Good Start!'s a slow time in my blogging land so I give you, 'Rrroll Up the Rim' Update #1. It's gotta be slow if all I've had to blog about in 3 days is a silly contest!

Anyway, let's just say we're off to a much faster and more encouraging start this year having won a coffee after only 4 purchases. Wahoo! I purchased over 20 last year before the first big win so finding a winning cup on Day 2 was fun! Norma has also won and here is Randy proudly displaying his 2 winning cups that he got today! (I'm thinking he wishes I didn't carry my camera everywhere and not keep asking him to pose with his Timmy's cups!) He won a coffee in the morning and then a donut when he used the tab to get a free Mochachino.....which sounds much more intersting then plain old coffee. Think I'll treat myself to one of those some afternoon with my winning tab.

Current stats 1/4. Yeah!

Now...out to hynt for some more intersting ideas for this blog before all of you revolt out of sheer boredom!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Canada's Newest National Holiday?

Canadians have long said that we need a National Holiday between New Year's Day and Easter. In years like 2007 it's a long 3+ month wait for a holiday. Many have had great suggestions. What about a flag day? February 15th is the day the Canadian's were introduced to our beautiful flag. Sounds like a great day for a holiday! Is it a holiday? No.

Second great idea: Family Day! Saskatchewan and Alberta recognize the third Monday of February as 'Family Day!' A day intended to celebrate families. What a great idea! Is it a holiday for the rest of Canada? No.

I have now come up with a solution as to what our new national holiday should be since neither of the above very worthy causes have seemed important enough to deem them as national holidays. When would this holiday fall? TOMORROW! More importantly, what monumental achievement is being celebrated tomorrow?

Tomorrow is the first day of Rrroll Up the Rim to Win!! Wahoo! What's more Canadian than Tim Horton's I ask you? When you think of returning home from a trip abroad, what is one thing many of us think about? Our first trip to Tim Horton's! Many I dare say don't even exit the airport before indulging in their first cup 'o Timmy's coffee!

Knowing that this very important day was coming up, it was the talk of the office on Friday! In preparation for the many (extra) trips we'll be taking across the street over the next 6 weeks (give or take a few), people could be seen stretching at their desks, polishing their running shoes and most importantly, practicing their rrroll up techniques (on just regular ole Timmy's cups!) Here Randy demonstrates the 'squeeze and roll' technique which works well for him. I often forget about this tried and true method and use the (don't tell my mom) rrroll up with the teeth technique. (Not recommended by the Canadian Dental Association...or moms!)

So tomorrow is a proud day in Canada. It's a day when once again we stand in unbelievably long lines to indulge in a Canadian tradition....Rrroll Up the Rim to Win! Good Luck everyone! Sadly I'm only hoping to improve on my embarassing 4/91 record from last year. LOL! (Yes sadly 4/91 means I won only 4 measly cups of coffee or cookies from the 91 cups of coffee/tea/hot chocolate I boughght during last year's contest. Yes, I have a problem! :o)

So raise a cup of coffee with me and proudly say, 'I am Canadian....let's Rrroll up the Rim!'

Friday, February 23, 2007

Celebrating 11 Month LIDiversary!

Yeah!!! 11 months closer to Hannah!

What a Beautiful Surprise!

We had an absolutely beautiful snowfall yesterday morning! The snowflakes were the size of quarters! It didn't last too long but while it did it was breathtaking! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Yeah!! They Found It!

This is the adorable picture I was looking for at Target. Love it! I found it in Washington when Dawn and I were there in January but decided not to pick it up due to the size (2 ½’ x 3 ½ ’). Flying home with something that size would have been a challenge on our full flight.

Soon after leaving the US I realized I should have bought the picture. You know when you remember every detail of something and will be looking for an exact replicate of it? That’s what this picture was to me. Oh well, I knew I had another opportunity in front of me. The following weekend I visited with Julie and Tess and we looked for it. (I figured if I found it I could bubble wrap it, check it as a fragile item and hope for the best!) But, nada…couldn’t find it.

When I got home I placed a SOS call to my parents who were driving back from Florida and would be in the states for another 2 days. I explained the picture’s many details (ladybug, daisies, colours, size, price) to my Mom and she wrote them down as they drove home. The really cool thing is that just 2 hwy exits after we hung up the phone they spotted a Target just off the highway. Off they hopped (thanks dad!), made their way into the store and would you believe this was the last one they had in stock? I love it when that happens! Mom pulled out my description and sure enough they knew they’d found the picture. Yeah!!!

Another bonus, Mom was looking for a ‘little treat’ to bring me home so she and dad bought this pic for Hannah’s nursery! (Shhhh….don’t think dad knows that yet! ;o) Wow!! Now that’s some treat!

Thanks Mom and Dad!!! Glad you had a great trip…and thanks for the picture!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Thank You for Praying!

My how he’s grown!

You may remember a prayer request I posted last August for a coworker’s baby boy who was born prematurely at just 28 weeks gestation. Little Liam was in the hospital for only 2 months when they allowed Cindy and Sean to take him home!

He’s still a fragile little guy when it comes to his immune system so spends much of his time at home with mom and dad and occasional trips to grandparents. They’re hoping this will change in a couple of months but until then they’re happy to stay home enjoying their little guy.

Last night we had a belated shower for Cindy and we were thrilled when she and Sean brought Liam with them! My how he’s grown! He’s now a healthy 14 lbs. and about as cute as they come!

God answered so many prayers and for those of you who prayed, thank you!!!

Beautiful Blessings for Hannah

Wanted to share more of the blessings that have been so carefully and beautifully created for Hannah's Blessings Book. Each one a gift of love!

This first blessing was sent by my friend Lee-Anne in Australia! G'day Lee-Anne! I love that she included a picture of her beautiful family. Her LID is one month + 1 day ahead of me so she will be traveling a month or 2 before me to meet her precious daughter. Thank you Lee-Anne!

This next blessing was made by my wonderful 'Motor City Mama Meet-up' friend Krista! She gave it to me at our meet-up in November but sadly it's taken me this long to catch up on my blessings book posts. (Really need to stay on top of these! Between Hannah's Blessings book, friends with 100 Good Wishes Quilts, Tag Toys, and Tracking Referral Stats I'm quickly mastering the art of spreadsheet organization 101! Too bad my posting organizational skills aren't as current.) Anyway, Thank you Krista for this beautiful blessing! I absolutely love the fabric you've chosen for Mia's room and the fact that you used some for Hannah's blessing makes this extra special.

This precious blessing is from Norma who is a fellow Canadian gal who's dossier was recently sent to China. Congratulations Norma and thank you for the beautiful blessing!

These last 2 pages were made by fellow adoptive Mom Trish. She and I had the great privilege of meeting in person in December and she gave me these blessings at that time. Thank you Trish! I look forward to getting together again.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Waiting and Trusting

‘Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.’

‘Isaiah 40:31

A couple of years ago my friend Joy gave me a beautiful perpetual desk calendar for Christmas. It’s been on my desk at work ever since and over and over I’m reminded of God’s perfect timing as to what verse or saying is assigned to a particular date. Once again today as I turned it to read the verse above, I am reminded that I am to wait. And trust. God is my strength in everything.

This verse means so much to me. It always has, but it’s taking on an all new meaning these days.

In years past as I reminded God (I know I didn’t need to but I still did anyway!) of my single status as I watched friends marry and then become parents, that verse was my encouragement. There were tough days for sure and I cried myself to sleep more times than I can count after the emotional joy and excitement of sharing a friend’s wedding day only to drive home alone…but not alone at the same time. God was in control of my life and He had a plan. A perfect plan. And He was always there right beside me, holding me close.

Today it reminds me that God is still leading each and every step of my life. He still has a plan. A perfect plan and I wait upon Him to bring it to be. In His time. His perfect time. And He is still here right beside me, holding me close.

People sometimes comment about the positive attitude I have about the wait. I give all the glory to God for that attitude. He is leading me each and every step of the way through this adoption journey and I don’t for one minute want to run ahead of Him. I want to wait upon Him. Trust Him. Lean on Him and fall more in love with Him. The wait for Hannah is long and yet God shows me over and over…and over again that this is His plan. His timeframe. And He is always here right beside me, holding me close. On the nights when tears soak my pillow as I wait for Hannah (and a husband should that be God’s will) I am reminded…

‘Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.’

‘Isaiah 40:31

And I give it all to Him once again.

Thank you Lord for the way this walk of faith is deepening the relationship I have with you. I love you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Coming Soon to a Sidebar Near You...

...Referral Statistics!

I'm experimenting with saving a document into a format that can be easily viewed online. I am often asked for the referral stats document that I keep current so thought I'd add it to my sidebar and allow you to view the information too.

Here's the current version that tracks referral stats for the past year.

PS - If it's a little blurry when you first pull it up, hover your mouse around the bottom right of the screen and a box should pop up that allows you to increase the size and see it clearer. Anyone know how I can just have it pull up in the large size so that it's clear right from the beginning?

CNY Luncheon!

What fun this will be!

At work we occasionally like to have a pot-luck lunch to celebrate special occasions and get to know new people that may have joined our group. What fun it was today to get an invitation to a CNY pot-luck lunch. Yumm!

They're asking for Chinese dishes if we can bring them so if you have a favourite (easy) recipe you'd like to share with me that would be great!

I'll let you know how this celebration goes after the luncheon.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Awww...What a Wonderful Surprise!

Happy Valentine's Day friends! Hope today was extra special for you!

This afternoon I was wonderfully surprised when my mom, dad, brother Dave, niece Rebecca and nephew Noah showed up at work to bring me some Valentine's Day treats! Wow....what a great surprise! They brought me this beautiful red rose, a chocolate heart and a card. Awwww....such great gifts but even more special was their visit! My friend Norma and I grabbed our coats and the gang of us headed off down the street for coffee. Thanks everyone! Love ya!

I wanted to share this fun pic of Rebecca. I just learned how to make the korker bows and made the first ones in Valentine's Day colours for Rebecca. She was so excitied to wear them and looked adorable dressed for church on Sunday with these bright, fun ribbons in her hair.

Question re: Comments in New Blogger

Ugh! I'm having a bunch of trouble commenting on friend's blogs and am wondering if others are having the same trouble here? (That may be a void question if you can't post a comment telling me it's not allowing you to post a comment!)

Anyway, when I go into friend's blogs and attempt to comment I have 2 different problems.

1) The word verification box is empty with just a red X
2) When I enter the correct word I'm told it's wrong and won't accept.

Anyone else having this trouble? Any resolution suggestions bloggy friends?

Happy Birthday Emma!

Saturday donned bright and sunny which was a wonderful invitation for Becca and I to travel 1 ½ hours north to attend my cousin’s daughter’s birthday. (Not too sure…does that make her my 2nd cousin?)

Before heading north I packed in a couple of other fun times which is pretty much my normal thing to do. I met a friend for coffee at 7:30 and then at 9:00 went to the church to attend a great parenting seminar. My eyes welled up as I was registering as I realized that after 40 years I was attending a Parenting Seminar!! The speaker was Dr. Marv Penner who is an author and speaker. Even though I’m not technically a parent yet I was able to pick up on some helpful tips to use later and also learn some things about what the youth of our day are facing. Let’s just say that the stuff they’re dealing with on a regular basis are things that I didn’t have a clue about as a teen, or even as a young adult. Our youth need our prayers and support as they face their day to day lives.

I picked Rebecca up at 11:00 and we began our drive north. About a half hour into our drive I thought we might need to turn back as we faced very snowy conditions and the car immediately in front of us spun into the ditch. I kept my speed slow and left a ton of distance between me and the car in front of us and we moved forward….slowly.

I have to say that I love the times we share together in the car. We talk about so much and it’s a great way to keep in touch with my Boo and learn what’s happening in her life. We enjoy playing some Disney games that we’ve made up. The ‘Disney Alphabet game’ is one where we go through the alphabet and try to name as many Disney characters that start with each letter of the alphabet as we can. Another game we’ve called ‘The Mickey Mouse game’ where we take turns describing Disney characters and see if the other one can guess who we’re talking about. It’s lots of fun and often brings up memories of our trips that we love to talk about. Talking about sunny Disney when you’re driving through a snowstorm is a great way to keep the memories alive...and remember warmer temps!

We arrived safe and sound at the party just as everything was starting. Emma was turning 4 years old and really wanted a ‘surprise party.’ She was so excited when she arrived home and everyone yelled ‘Surprise!’ and blew birthday horns! I guess she’d been at other surprise parties and figured that by the time she’d reached the grand old age of 4 it was her time! :o) When we’d surprised her she looked at her Mom and Dad and said with all sincerity, ‘It was just like I’d hoped for! You listened to me…thank you!’ Too cute! Happy Birthday Emma!

Rebecca loves her Uncle Tim and was so excited when she found out he was going to be at the party too! He and Aunt Chris had made the 5 hour trip the day before and also brought 2 of Emma’s cousins for the party too. Our family may be spread out a little but we’re still very close and I always love the time we share together!

I couldn’t believe the difference in the amount of snow after just a short drive north. Here’s the beautiful scenery Sean and Trish are able to enjoy each morning as they sit at their kitchen table. A little piece of heaven on earth!

When we arrived home Saturday night it was time to call it a night. You may remember Rebecca’s desire to sleep in a boxin December. This time since the box was in the basement safely storing Hannah’s stroller, she decided to make herself a haven of pillows to sleep in. My friend Deborah has often teased that I have way too many pillows in this room and I guess she’s right but for this one night, Rebecca loved them. Sweet dreams Boo. I love you!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Saving Blog to CD

Hmmm...After the responses to yesterday's post about preserving our blogs I started to play around a little bit. I'm guessing there are companies we can pay to preserve our blogs but I'm not sure who nor am I sure it's where I want to put my $$ right now.

Anyway, this isn't an 'easy' solution but at least it's a bit of a solution. I'm going to work on creating a Word document for each month and then burning those onto CD's. My concern is how long will Word documents/CD's be readable? Will they go the way of 8-track (oh myself), cassettes and floppy discs? I'm concerned that they will so I'll probably still venture into paper printing my blog entries as well as creating a Word document for each month.

I've found a way that I can create the document and include the pictures and comments in it so thought I'd share it with you here. I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this but wanted to share anyway just in case it helps someone out.

To create the Word document:

1. Open a new Word document

2. Go to the 'Edit Posts' screen of your blog

3. Click 'view' beside a blog entry. Your entry, pictures and comments should be displayed.

4. Highlight entry, pics and comments.

5. Right click and 'copy'

6. Go back to Word document

7. Right click and Paste entry

8. Repeat again...and again.....and again!

9. Save document and burn to CD

I realize this is a long, slow task but hopefully if we eat away at it little bits at a time we'll get it done.

Does anyone have any better ideas or suggestions for preserving our blogs? All ideas welcome!

Monday, February 12, 2007


OK - just noticed something I really like about new blogger. I can see all my old posts. With the old one I couldn't figure out how to see anything past the most recent 300. Yah, yah...I talk a lot and am closing in on 400 posts so had no way to access the 'behind the scenes code' for the older posts.

Glad to have you back old friends! I'm still working on printing them all off to put in a binder for later. Originally I thought it would all fit in 1 binder. I'm working on #3. Oops! Chatty Cathy strikes again!

A GREAT tip for China

A friend is in China right now and I read the very best tip on her blog.

When you're in China, to read your blog posting information in English, go to: ttp://

Now that's a tip worth filing away!

Oooo...Got Me!

OK. I must confess. As I've read person after person saying that they we're 'forced' into using the new blogger I gloated (just a little) in the safety of my 'old world' until moments ago when I too was forced to switch over. OK - not gloating any more. Eating humble pie with my friends.

We'll see how it goes. Most of you have had fairly smooth transitions so I'm hoping for the same. I'll let ya know if it gives me any grief.'ll hear me whining.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Great Weekend with Julie and Tess!

Had an absolutely wonderful weekend visiting with Julie and Tess! It was bright and sunny the entire weekend which made up for the c-c-cold -33oF temps. Julie’s house is cozy and bright which is something I really like. I’m a windows kinda gal.

Sunday morning found us heading to The Cheesecake Factory for brunch. Yumm! Did I have cheesecake for breakfast? Ummm…no….but I did make sure to take a piece home for snacking on later. After breakfast Tess settled into her carseat for a nap as Julie showed me around her beautiful city. What a pretty city with little lakes and rivers throughout it.

We headed home where Tess enjoyed playing as Julie and I chatted and flipped through scrapbooking magazines. Once again I peppered her with adoption and China questions as they came to mind. She was great and had lots of useful information for me. (Uh oh…can’t remember specific examples right now but just remember filing a lot of information away in my head for later.) We also went through some of the legal docs that she’d been given in China. How neat to hold Tess’ actual Chinese passport and see her sweet little picture in it.

After lunch we hit the road once again – destination Target! (What’s a trip to the US without at least 1 trip to Target?) I was able to pick up some gifts for my SP as well as a couple of things for myself. I looked for a canvas picture I’d seen in Washington with Dawn the previous week but wasn’t able to find it. :o( You know, one of those things you look back on in your memory and wish you’d picked up? That picture was one of those things for me. My parents are in the US until later today so I put a call in to them Tuesday to see if they could find it. If they do I’ll be sure to post it here as I really liked the pic and it would be perfect in Hannah’s nursery. Ya snooze ya lose I guess!

After Target I was introduced to the Mall of America! Can you believe this Canadian gal didn’t even know I was going to the city infamous for this great mall? Whoeee is it big! And fun! It houses an indoor amusement park similar to the West Edmonton Mall. We only dented the surface of the mall it in the couple of hours that we were there.

Taking a little break from our shopping I was introduced to Julie’s infamous Caribou Coffee drink – Light White Cinnamon. (Hmmm…think I’m missing a word in there but oh baby, is it yummy!) Tucked away an Oreo cookie sandwich treat with my coffee and it was a great afternoon snack.

Once again I found myself buying up a supply of liquid soaps at Bath and Body Works for myself and my friends. We need these stores in Canada! Let’s just say I bought 8 more + a hand sanitizer and I’m thinking the luggage handlers at the airport who have to move my suitcases are also voting for moving these stores to Canada so that my suitcase doesn’t end up heavier because of all the soap I keep buying! I now have a variety of scents tucked away and should be set for the next 2 years!

Sunday evening we enjoyed a quiet evening at home playing with Tess and visiting. Just like Julie was told in her referral info, Tess loves her baths! She happily plays in there for as long as Julie allows her and splashing just adds to the fun!

Monday was another bright sunny day. Julie had introduced me to a great iced tea that was delicious! (Have some brewing at home even as we speak!) She popped out to the grocery store to purchase a couple of boxes for me and Tess and I enjoyed some playtime together. More fun with the Fisher-Price activity table and her pal 'Taggie.' A girl after my own heart, Julie showed up with Caribou Coffee when she came home. What a great treat!

As I packed up to leave it was hard to believe our visit was almost over. Had such a great time! I guess Northwest thought we needed a little more time together too as they cancelled my flight and sent me home a few hours later than expected. No problem! More time to spend with my new friends and it was all good!

Julie, THANK YOU!!! I had an absolutely wonderful time with you and your beautiful daughter! You are an AMAZING Mom and Tess is blessed to have you as her Mom! I thoroughly enjoyed the time we shared together and learned so much from you. Looking forward to the time when we get together again…with a new playmate for Tess…my Hannah!!

And Julie...yes that silly song is still in my head...and it makes me smile and think of you and Tess each time I hear it! 1-2-3-4-5......LOL!!!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Mailbox Fun!

Hannah has received some wonderful treats in the mail the past couple of weeks! Chinese New Year (CNY) is celebrated on February 18th and this year will be the year of the pig. January’s Secret Pal gift theme was CNY and my SP found some adorable gifts for Hannah! The big pink pig pillow is soft and squishy. And, check out that adorable Piglet bib! How perfect! (You’re so creative SP!) Included in her gift was also a pewter friendship charm, fortune cookies (that won’t last long around me!), jasmine tea and Chinese candies. Thank you so much SP for your handmade card and all the thoughtful treats you sent for Hannah and I!

I’ve also received a couple of packages of hair accessories lately. December’s colour choice was red and Medeah found some great bows! I love this style of bow and haven’t been able to find them around here so was so thankful to receive these in the mail! Thanks Medeah!

January’s hair accessory colour was white and I was excited to be matched with my friend Doris again. Look at the great assortment of white accessories she found for Hannah! The little crown clips say ‘Princess’ on them and I know during our Disney trips I’ll refer to Hannah as Princess just as I do Rebecca. Thank you Doris for the beautiful clips and cuties you sent for Hannah! Ooo...can't wait to put these in her hair!

Thanks everyone for your beautiful, thoughtful gifts! Marching Pandas Rock!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Better Late Than Never

Last week was a busy, busy week so I ran out of time to post about the last bit of the trip that Dawn and I shared together.

After our adventures in China Town and the homeless area of Vancouver on Friday we decided we were better off with our own wheels below us. (I think our family and friends felt better about this too. When they heard the part of Vancouver we'd been in and the fact that we'd been walking, many said prayers of thankfulness for the safety that God provided.)

Saturday morning (Jan 27th) dawned bright and sunny and off we went. We visited another Babies 'R Us and added a few things to our gift registries plus hit another more exclusive baby store in New Westminster. Let's just say we enjoyed 'window shopping' there and Dawn bought a gift for her friend.

On Friday I'd purchased some Murchie's Tea for Sharon and since it would make nice souvenirs, Dawn and I sought out another location and purchased more.

After that we headed to the movies to see, 'The Painted Veil'. It was a beautiful movie that Dawn and I both enjoyed as it was filmed in China and featured beautiful photography of China. A real treat if you can catch it on the big screen!

The movie is based in the 1920's and is about a couple who go to inland China during a cholera epidemic. The movie even showed many scenes that took place in an orphanage. It's a movie I would highly recommend. If you'd like to read a review click here.

After the movie it was time for Dawn and I to say out good-byes as I was flying out the following morning and she in the evening. We had an absolutely wonderful few days together! We often commented on what a gift from God our friendship is. He has taken 2 waiting moms who are living across the country from one another and allowed us to become great friends sharing this adoption journey together, but more importantly, sharing our faith together.

Dawn, thanks so much for flying to Vancouver so that we could meet in person! It was a great time and I look forward to the day when we do it again....with Hannah and Annaliese! Blessings friend. Love ya!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Having a Great Visit with Julie and Tess!

It's been a perfect weekend! My flight arrived 45 mins early (who's ever heard of that?) but Julie and Tess were waiting for me when I reached the baggage claim. Julie is wonderful and Tess is even cuter in real life than she is in pics if that's even possible?!! She hasn't made strange and even reached out to me at the airport and I held her for a moment but I've chosen to be a 'friend across the room' for the majority of the weekend. Julie is an amazing mom and doing so well with Tess! I haven't wanted to do anything that could change the great attachment that is happening between them. When Julie leaves the room occasionally, she always calls out to Tess and Tess crawls to see where mommy is then normally comes back into the room and sets to doing one of her favourite activities...playing! She has a really cute Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Table which she loves to play with.

Can I just say that Tess is the most amazing little girl? She's fun, happy and just loves to be out and about doing whatever Julie is doing. It's c-c-c-c-COLD this weekend (-30oF!!) yet everytime we go out she laughs and smiles when the cold air hits here cheeks. Julie laughingly reminds her that she's a southern Guongdong gal but the cold doesn't faze her one bit. Now I'm from the Great White North and I must admit it's been pretty chilly! We've had a fairly mild winter at home so this weekend has reminded me of how thankful I should be for our warmer temperatures. Oh well, at least it's a dry cold here rather than a damp cold which makes a ton of difference.

When I first arrived yesterday we settled my stuff into the house and then headed to PF Changs for a yummy Chinese food lunch and then did a bit of shopping. Once again I'm stocking up on Bath and Body Works hand soap for myself and friends. At least I've only packed enough in my suitcase for a weekend this time so the weight of the suitcase shouldn't be a problem going home. That's a good thing as I have 9 soaps to carry home with me! Gotta stock up on a good thing while we can. Sure hope they start bringing these stores to Canada soon.

Another afternoon stop was at Joann Fabrics for you guessed it - more ribbon! This time it was for grograin ribbon as I've recently learned how to make those adorable korker bows so want to make some for Hannah and Rebecca has also said she'd like some. Will try my hand at making those sometime this spring.

Our last stop was at Babies 'R Us (yes...again) to try and find some Gerber 'Snap 'n Store Toddler plates' my friend and I were looking for but sadly Gerber has discontinued them. I received 1 set from my Secret Pal and really like them so hopefully they'll make them available again before Hannah arrives. I can find them on ebay but the shipping makes them too pricy for what they are. Oh well, we each have 1 new set so that will do us.

Upon arriving back at Julie's we settled in for an afternoon and evening of visiting. Tess is amazing! She's as happy as can be and you hardly know she's around except when she lets loose with a contagious giggle on babbles about something very important! And, those cheeks of hers! Oh man....those were made for kissing! She loves to play, walk around the furniture and get tons of cuddles and snuggles from mom!

I guess that it's time I head for bed so that we can make the most of our last day tomorrow before I have to head back to the airport. Sadly our weekend is all too quickly coming to an end.

We've had a wonderful time together and I've learned SO MUCH from Julie! I thought I might drive her crazy with all my questions but she's been great at sharing as much with me as she could. It's neat that she's been home such a short time as her China trip memories are still fresh. We've talked about a ton of great stuff and we really are quite similar in many, many ways. We share many of the same values which makes it special too.

I'm going to miss both of them for sure! Looking forward to the day when they head north of the border and come for a visit. Hopefully the summer of 2008 when I'm home with Hannah, Julie and Tess will come for a visit. Oh what fun that will be!

So much more to share with you....tomorrow. (And pics too! Need to get home to my adapter before I'm able to download them)

Hope everyone has had a great weekend too. I look forward to catching up on your blogs and see what's been happening with my bloggy friends.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Just What the Doc Ordered!

Why is it that God's timing still surprises me? I know it's perfect. I'm constantly tell myself it's perfect and yet when he shows it in a very tangible way I'm still a little surprised. Ugh....glad He understands me.

How is it that His timing is perfect this time? This picture says it all!

Bright (actually, dark) and early tomorrow morning I'll be heading to the airport and flying south of the border to visit my wonderful friend Julie and her beautiful daughter Tess! Julie and I have a really neat story of how God used her in a very important way in my adoption journey...

In January 2005 Julie posted on a scrapbooking website about the call she'd just received from an agency inviting her to begin her paperchase for a baby girl from China. The title of her post caught my eye so I went in and read it. I was excited for her and said something like, 'I'm so happy for you! Adopting a daughter from China is something I've considered in the past but never really pursued. Congratulations!'

That was January 6, 2005. After that, God quickly and consistently began working in my heart and the thought of adoption was never far away. On January 11, 2005, just 5 days after responding to Julie's post, I knew that International adoption was the route I should take to mommyhood and that my daughter would be from China too! God was leading me and I was so excited! I called my parents and their 100% support was also something God used to confirm that this was indeed His plan.

So, long story short, shortly after beginning my adoption journey I went back to that scrapbooking site, found Julie's post and emailed her. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that has grown deeper with each passing month. Tomorrow, for the very first time, Julie and I will meet in person and I'll also have the amazing pleasure of meeting God's gift to her...Tess!!!

If you read last night's post you'll hear my sadness in missing the Review Room cutoff by only one day. So why is God's timing perfect? Because He knew long ago that this weekend I would need to see in person how trusting Him each and every step of the way (as Julie has) brings together a mother and daughter who just months ago lived half a world apart from one another. Today they are a family. This weekend they will be living testimonies of God's faithfulness. The wait for Miss Tess was much longer than expected but Julie has said from the very first moment she saw her picture that she would wait all over again for Tess. Yes....that's the kind of reminders I need right now!

Can't wait to see you Julie and also get a little baby fix! Thank you so much for this very special gift hat you are sharing with me Julie!

Thank you God for this precious friendship.

23 hours and counting!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Oh So Close!!!

Almost made it! CCAA updated their information box tonight. It was a nice surprise as they've said it will be removed from their site so we're never sure if it will be updated again. The last time the Review Room information was updated was November 3rd so it was great to see it change.

Sadly I missed the cutoff by 1 day. Oh well, better missing getting out of the Review Room by 1 day than missing referral cutoffs by 1 day. The cutoff dates for the review room has not been linked with where referrals have cut off in the past so I'm not concerned that this will happen to mine.

What does this mean for me? My file is currently in the hands of a China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) official who is going through each and every piece of information contained in it with a fine toothed comb. I'm not concerned. This portion of the adoption process is in God's hands too just like the rest of it. He's overseeing the entire process. Actually, it's kinda exciting to think that after 10 months of sitting on a shelf my little file is being dusted off, opened and soon I will be one step closer to sweet Hannah! After the Referral room it's onto the Matching Room (to wait yet again)! Yippee!!!

But, If ya think of it, can ya say a little prayer? I'd be lying if I didn't say missing the cutoff by 1 day has been a hard pill to swallow tonight. For the longest time the cutoffs have been at the end of a month so it was a shock to the system to see March 22nd as the date. Kinda feels like this 'stroller coaster' just took a dip that neither my head nor stomach were prepared for. Doing fine...just a little sad tonight. Thanks friends!

PS - I'm still believing in a December 2007 referral. That hope hasn't changed one bit by tonight's news!

God's Blessings Abound in the China Adoption World!!

There is so much wonderful news today that it's hard to know where to start!

OK - Let's start with friends in China who met their babies today! 2 of my local blogging buddies met their precious baby girls earlier today! Debbie and Kirk now have the adorable Miss Olivia in their arms! Look at those kissable pink cheeks!

And, the Carmody family are now holding beautiful Miss Samara in their arms and close to their hearts! Oh, is she cute!! Check out the beautiful smile she has already blessed her Daddy with! Praising God for the way He has brought these babies and their families together!

Another reason to celebrate today is that the stork has arrived safely from China once again and February Referrals are being announced! It's easy to tell when it's referral time because the Rumor Queen's site is busy, busy! One time when I checked in today their were 347 other people visiting her site at the same time! In the China adoption world, the Rumor Queen's site is the hot spot for the latest and greatest information available! I'll admit to being scared off by the title when I first heard of the site but after following it (read: stalking it mulitiple times daily) for a while now I've found her to provide accurate and informative rumors and facts. It's weird to say that a rumor can be accurate but I find hers to be exactly that. I am so thankful for her site and very excited for she and her husband (whoever they are as we don't really know!) because they are anticipating receiving their referral today! Each hour more and more families are hearing about their babies and catching a glimpse of their beautiful children for the very first time! The Rumor Queen has an up to date listing of families that have just received their referrals so if you want to take time to oooo and ahhhh over some adorable little ones, take a gander at her site.

The final reason for this celebration post today is that this group of referrals covered 16 days of log in dates (LID's) and that is very important in my personal timeline! Any of you who know me or have been visiting here for long know that I tend to calculate the numbers carefully and cautiously predict my referral month. Just ask my friend Dawn. She hit my personality on the head with her 'Dog or Pig' post on Wednesday. :o)

So, doing my calculations once again today I am beginning to believe in my heart for the very first time that I could receive Hannah's referral this year...this year...THIS YEAR!!! Not next year. Not in 2008 but my heart is finally beginning to believe that it could be this December!!! Can you imagine what a Christmas gift that would be??? It feels like forever to me (any probably many of you too) that I've been saying, 'Oh...about a year from now.' Well guess what friends?! I believe I may receive Hannah's referral this about 10 months! Wahoo!!!

Now, don't think this conservative girl has gone all wacko on you and isn't staying cautiously optimistic. Nope, I know it could still happen early in 2008 and I'm just fine with that too. But for today I'm allowing my heart to open to the possibility of seeing sweet Hannah's face before we ring in 2008 and oh baby does it feel AMAZING!!!
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