.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Sometimes You Have To Be Strong
I know this may come as a shock to some of you. You probably think that your husband is the best. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that just isn't so. How do I know, you ask? Well, it's simple. The best is my husband.

He has a lot of really good traits. He's considerate. He truly believes that since we both work the same hours, we should equally share the housework. He does all the really yucky stuff like take out the garbage, mow the lawn, deal with bugs, and the rare dog poop issues. He brings me breakfast in bed...a lot. He can tell when I've run dry in the cooking department and cooks dinner. If I cook, he does the dishes. If he cooks, he does the dishes. (It is amazing what he can do to a kitchen while cooking. I'm afraid to watch.)

But more importantly than all the above things is this. Earlier this month, I blogged about meeting a friend for lunch at the mall. I said there was a story to come, but I had to wait for the pictures. Well, the pictures arrived, and I think they speak for themselves.

Daddy picks out a Tiger.
(okay, it's a kitty cat with aspirations)

Build-a-Bear lady fills him up.

Daddy picks out a song. Can you guess it?
(yep, Take Me Out To The Ballgame)

One stuffed Tiger with wardrobe standing by.

Daddy practices dressing a little body.
(Just wait until it's a wriggling one!)

Kaline, made with love by Daddy

We have a winner...the world's best husband and daddy!

What really made this so special was the look on his face as he carried the box to me. I could tell from across the mall food court that he was up to something. He had that "little boy at Christmas" look on his face.

P.S. In case I haven't mentioned it lately, he's a huuuuuge Detroit Tiger fan. Can you tell?

Works For Me Wednesday!

What works for me? Office 2007 does! You might think I'm jumping the gun, but I found out about it this summer when I attended a workshop. Since I teach computers, among other things, I got to see a beta version. I also found out that you can download the beta version at www.microsoft.com, if you can't wait. Be warned that it doesn't have all the abilities the final product will have.

I blogged about this last month when I first learned about it, but wanted to share with the WFMW world. One of the really unique features that Word 2007 has is the ability to work with blogs. You can create your posts in Word and set up a relationship with your blog service to publish with a click in Word. Of course, you have to have Internet access at the time for the programs to communicate. You can't include pictures in the beta version, but that is supposed to be corrected for the final version that will be available in January 2007. When I tested it, I just went in to Blogger and added my pictures the regular way.

Office 2007 is much more intuitive than the older versions. I think most people will find it easier to use. It also allows you to add some really fun effects to photos without having to have a photo-editing software. It doesn't replace that software, but it gives those who don't have it some options.

For more WFMW tips, visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer!

Monday, August 28, 2006
Carnival of the Vanities

I'm participating in my first carnival. How scary!

There are a variety of posts by a variety of people. In fact, like a real carnival, there is something for everyone!

Visit here to see more.

A Year Later
A year ago, the world turned upside down. Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and caused devastation. I am from the Gulf Coast. As much as I've moved in my life, if I had to pick one place as home, it would be New Orleans. I've lived there more than any other place. My mother's family was there. I have memories there as a child, as a teenager, and as an adult. I love New Orleans.

My heart hurt to see the wreckage last year. Though I live a 20 hour drive away from there now, I wanted to jump in my car and go home. Instead, I lived on nola.com. I refreshed that site a hundred times a day.

I don't have many family members left who live there. Most had already moved on for various reasons. The only one left now is my cousin, and she has been there through the worst of it. I admire her courage and stamina in sticking it out. She lost her home. Her career is tourism related, and the stress is unbelievable. What she has gone through over this last year is daunting, but she is still there helping to rebuild New Orleans and make her better than ever.

New Orleans went through hell. There's no other word for it. Many neighborhoods are still going through recovery, but the city's coming back. The areas most familiar to tourists and convention-goers are back, and they need you. Tourism is New Orleans' blood. If you want to help that city, go there! Bring your tourism dollars. Visit the French Quarter and see the other exciting sights of New Orleans. Experience the unbelievable meals the local chefs provide. Feel the excitement millions have felt before you. New Orleans is a city that just oozes with history and charm. That is still there. It was not lost.

There is no other place in our country quite like New Orleans. Go see for yourself!

For more information on this great city, visit the New Orleans Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Standing in the kitchen of his namesake restaurant, Chef Emeril Lagasse invites viewers to visit New Orleans.

Saturday, August 26, 2006
If I Only Had A Brain...

Yay, I do! And I have medical proof.

Thursday was a day like any other: Get to school around 6:45am and organize my day. Teach my first class, an introduction to business class. Teach my second class, digital communication tools, formerly known as keyboarding, formerly known as typing It's time for my prep period; I work on future lesson plans, break for lunch, and then finish my prep. Time to head to my third class. I'm a little early.

I like being early to class. I don't have a classroom to call my own as I change rooms every class period. I used to wheel around a suitcase-like briefcase that I called my office on wheels. This year I graduated to a cart. The briefcase just wasn't going to cut it anymore. I wheel my cart to the back of the room and decide to log in to the teacher's computer real quick before the bell rings. That way I can check my email and have the attendance program up and ready to go. I go to sit down at the table when.....whoosh.....the chair slides away. Cue the laugh track. The fall was nothing, except that there was a built-in bookshelf right behind me. After I hit the ground, I fell backwards and smacked the back of my head, just above where your skull and neck meet, against one of the shelves. I screamed something no one should scream in a school-setting. No one was near, so no one heard. There I was, sprawled on the floor. The room was spinning, and the pain was intense. Not exactly the scene I want my students to walk in and see.

What do you think my first thought was? This is proof I've been watching too many crime dramas. My thought was, "wow, if this were CSI, I'd be dead." It was just like the tv shots they show when someone falls, hits their head, and dies. I gingerly touch my head. No blood. Phew! Then the bell rang. I knew I had seconds before my class arrived, so I quickly stood up.

The room was still spinning, and I didn't have my balance when my first student arrived. I grabbed the chair to sit down. AH HA! That was the problem. Someone had switched out the chairs, and it wasn't the one that was usually there. The shape was wrong; the height was wrong; in fact, it was one of the chairs I disliked because they were too slippery and moved too easily. I called my student over and sent her down to get ice for me. The rest of the class filtered in. With the usual alertness displayed by teenagers, my students went to their computer stations and got ready for class. E. returned with the ice and a message from the school nurse that she needed me to come downstairs and fill out some paperwork as soon as I could get away.

Once the class was underway, I slipped out to my office next door. I knew I had some prescription strength Motrin in my purse left over from my tendonitis flare-up in July. I had never taken the pill bottle out of my purse. I took a Motrin and went back to class.

When I finally made it down to the nurse, I had to fill out an accident report. I felt like such an idiot. My chair rolled away, and I fell down and went boom. I went back to my last class of the day. Not five minutes later, the nurse came running in flushed and breathless. Our school's administrative office had told her that they wanted me to go to the emergency room because I had a head trauma. I convinced her that it could wait one hour until my class ended, and then my husband would take me.

So, that's how I spent my Thursday afternoon. I had a cat scan, and the doctor confirmed that I do have a brain. No serious injury, just a big bump that is very tender, and a headache that is now on day three. Gotta love that Motrin.

Now if this had been a Lifetime movie that cat scan would have revealed a huge tumor or a nail that had been imbedded since I was three years old and that we had never known about. My life is dull, and that's how I like it!

Friday, August 25, 2006
Latest Update

Wow, what a blow. Each month I've said that we'd know more the next. It doesn't appear that is going to be the case. For reasons known only to them, but I have my suspicions, China does not appear to be increasing the referral speed. Referrals arrived yesterday with no warning. That was the good part. Unfortunately they only included the dates between 7/14/05 and 7/22/05. It was hoped and predicted throughout the adoption community (okay, the RumorQueen's site)that this batch could include some, if not all, of August. That July has now been split into three months is a very bad sign.

There are many theories as to the slow down. The one I'm believing the most right now is that China does not like all the attention it has been receiving. It embarrasses them. They're have been some high profile adoptions (Meg Ryan), a huge scandal involving an entire province (Hunan), and documentaries outlining the effect of too many boy children. Add this to the increasing media attention as we get closer to the 2008 Summer Olympics, and you have motivation for China to make this program less enticing. I believe the slowdowns are intentional. I haven't always, but I do believe now.

When our paperwork was submitted in October 2005, I never dreamed the possibility that we would not receive a referral until 2007. That seems a very real possibility now. This, of course, will mean that we have to re-submit a lot of paperwork as our immigration approval will probably expire before we complete our journey. There is a bill in Congress addressing this issue. I will continue to hound my congressman, who has yet to acknowledge my letters, to support this bill. See this post for more information.

Sorry to end the week on a bit of a downer. I'm really not as depressed about this as most people who are responding on the adoption boards. We're in it for the long haul.

Five Ingredients Friday

I'm a Southern girl. I lived most of my life in the deep South. One of my favorite childhood memories was being taken out to dinner by my mom and dad when I was very young, probably around 5. By that time, two of my younger three sisters had been born, so going out to eat with just my parents was a huge treat. They took me to Fitzgerald's in New Orleans. This restaurant was right by Lake Ponchartrain. In fact, it has or had (not sure if it's still there) a dock and boats that went out on the lake. They would line the table top with newspaper and pour freshly boiled shrimp right on top. I remember sitting there ripping off those heads, tearing away the legs and tails,(Have I lost you yet?)and eating away. I still love boiled shrimp just as much today.

Once upon a time, I managed a restaurant called the Cabana Cafe. It was in a resort that was located on the Gulf of Mexico. For years, we had a Seafood Buffet that featured boiled shrimp, plus they were a standby on the menu. Most people prefer to eat them chilled and with a fancy name like Shrimp Cocktail. Me? I like them best still warm from being boiled and waiting to be peeled. I also like them seasoned. Seasoning your shrimp makes the cocktail sauce totally optional. Here's the recipe we used to use, or at least the closest I can get. For best results, use fresh Gulf coast shrimp.

Shrimp Boil
2 gal water
¼ c Zatarain’s liquid crab boil
¼ c Old Bay seasoning
¼ c lemon juice
½ c salt
10 shakes Tabasco
Pour ingredients into large pot and bring to boil. Add whatever seafood, potatoes, corn, etc... that you need to cook. Remember that shrimp doesn't take long to cook. As soon as the gray is gone and you see all pink, it is done. Cook it longer and you'll have rubber. I recommend fresh Gulf shrimp.

Visit Overwhelmed with Joy for more recipes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Works For Me Wednesday!

Time for second venture in WFMW-land. If there is one chore that I absolutely detest, it is paying bills. I'd love to pawn this one off, but I'm way too much a control freak. I like knowing what we have and where it's going. I found a trick, however, to making it as painless as possible, and it saves me money! It's BillPay. Your bank may call it something else, but I think every bank offers it.

This is not to be confused with Automatic Payments. I hate those. Talk about lack of control. Who can keep track of dates when they're just going to come take money from you. Not me. No, thanks! With BillPay, I decide.

I set it up through our credit union. I entered all our standard monthly bills and pick the day of the month I want it paid. Every two weeks, when we're paid, I pick up the stack of mail and verify that all is good. I make sure the date is scheduled with plenty of time so there are no late fees. I then make sure that the next month's scheduled payment occurs a few days after the previous pay. This allows me time to get in there and adjust, if necessary. What's nice is so many bills are the same amount and due on the same day every month. They don't require any adjusting. You can also schedule them to go out when you're out of town. This is great for an extended absence. The payments go out and you don't have to worry about them. No return address labels needed. No stamps needed.

To help me keep track, I set up our budget in Excel. I list our paychecks at the top and then total them so I have all our income for the two week period. Here's the formula to total a column series.

I then list all our bills. Below these, I total all expenses. I then have a formula that subtracts all expenses from total pay. Below that I have a line where I can list the actual amount left, if any, to see how close I'm budgeting.

(This is where the lovely screenshot of my formulas would be if Blogger would have loaded.)

Each time I pay a bill in BillPay, I go to Excel and change the font color to red. This way I can quickly look at our budget to see what's been checked. The bill is scheduled automatically, but when I see the red, I know that I've verified that month's payment. When I'm ready to start a new month, I highlight the last two dates, place the mouse in the lower, right corner and drag to create a series of dates. They will automatically follow the same sequence. If they were two weeks apart, they will create a series of dates that are two weeks apart. I can then highlight the columns below the two dates, copy and paste. Make sure you change the font back to black since they are in the future. It's easy to insert and delete rows to add and subtract expenses. You can also take this out to the future to see who things are looking long term.

(And here is where the screen shot of the Excel budget would have lived. Apparently my limit is two today.)

It now takes me about 20 minutes twice a month to pay our bills, plus I don't have to pay postage.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I'm Not Just Old, I'm Senile, Too!
Okay, I must admit. I've been feeling very unloved. I've been posting away, and no one was commenting. I was playing around tonight trying to figure out how to set a post to post later when I stumbled upon a huge list of moderated comments. I don't moderate, how did that happen? I don't know, but I published them all and changed the setting back.

I can't tonight, but I promise to follow up on my comments tomorrow like a good blogger.

I'm heading back to Blogging 101 now.

How To Age In One Day

Today in class, my students were trying to talk me into letting them listen to music. Our school has a policy that does not allow them to play their various iPods, mp3, cd players, etc... during the day. They can listen to their music during lunch in the student center only. I volunteered, as I usually do, to bring in my boom box, but warned them that they'd have to listen to my music. That usually ends the discussion, but not always. Sometimes they ask me what kind of music I like. I'll list my favorite Broadway and Disney musicals as well as the music of my youth, 70's rock and 80's pop. I'll have students who like this music, but I always have some who prefer their music to have the more modern hip-hop tempo. Since I won't play my music unless everyone agrees, I rarely play my music.

I started listing some of my favorite groups today: Queen, REO Speedwagon, Heart, and then I got to Journey. Journey's great, right? One of my students laughed and said, "my grandmaw likes Journey." Ouch! What makes it even worse is that the student who said this is one of my nicest. She wasn't even trying to make a crack. When they dish it out I can take it, but it zings when it comes like this.

I knew I was over the hill, but I still thought I was near the top. Now....where did I leave that walker?

P.S. In case you are concerned, I'm not really upset by this. In fact, I've been chuckling about it all afternoon. You have to remember that to teenagers all teachers are ancient. Another time I'll share what I respond when they say that I'll be the cool teacher, if only....

Sunday, August 20, 2006
Things You May Not Have Known About Me

This comes from my friend, Lori. I met Lori when we were both in the 10th grade in Panama City, FL. We had some classes together, and we rode the same bus. We were the kids who lived in Panama City Beach as opposed to the kids who lived in town. Even though we’ve never lived in the same town since high school graduation, she has remained one of dearest friends. Time passes between contacts, and even more between visits, but each time we talk, it’s like no time has passed at all. With Lori, I can talk about our lives today or, in a flash, be back to our silly and rebellious 16-year-old selves. We’ve both taken very different paths, but have both ended up as teachers in the Midwest. How odd is that?

Things you may not have known about me....

A) Four jobs you have had in your life:

1) Jack’s, a fast food chain in the South – this was my first non-babysitting, getting a paycheck job. It was right on the strip in Panama City Beach next to Miracle Strip Amusement Park. My friends and I spent lots of summer nights in that park. I was hired the summer I turned 15, though I was still 14 when hired. I was too shy and wouldn’t ask the customers what they wanted at the register, so I became the fry cook instead. Went back the next summer and the new manager wouldn’t hire me because I wasn’t 16 yet. How ironic.

2) Children’s recreation program at a beach resort – Since Jack’s wouldn’t hire me, I got another job at a beach resort. I'm sure that Dad being the General Manager at this resort had no impact on me getting the job. I was a counselor at the children’s program. Parents would drop off their kids with us while they headed off to shop, golf, tan, etc… We did crafts, made sand castles, read stories, and went swimming. It was a great job, and the only time in my life I was able to maintain a tan.

3) Banquet server – I worked banquets for years through my teens and early 20’s. It was hard work, but great money.

4) Telemarketer – I did this job for about four days in college. It was commission only. I don’t even remember what we were selling. There were about six of us in a room; each with our own phone. We were given long lists of names and phone numbers. When we made a sale, we were to drive to the buyer’s house and get the money that night. On the 4th night, I made my first sale. As I was driving around trying to find the person’s house, I decided it was insane and not safe. It was certainly not worth the money. I just drove home. I’m sure they figured out I quit. It’s the only job I ever walked out on.

B) Movies you've watched more than once:

1) Gone With the Wind
2) You’ve Got Mail
3) It’s a Wonderful Life (yes, I’m a sap)
4) Fever Pitch

C) Four places you have lived:

1) Mexico City, Mexico
2) New Orleans, LA
3) Pine Mountain, GA
4) Panama City Beach, FL

D) Four television shows you like to watch:

1) Gilmore Girls
2) Lost
3) Deadwood
4) Anything on Food TV

E) Four places you have been on vacation:

1) The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island
2) Disney World
3) London, England
4) Paris, France

F) Four Web Sites you visit daily:

1) China Adopt Talk – to learn the latest adoption rumors
2) Bloglines – it keeps track of about 20 blogs I follow
3) CNN/MSNBC – for the latest news
4) Yahoo Groups – more adoption friends

G) Four of my favorite foods:

1) Chocolate
2) Shrimp – all styles, though my favorite is well-seasoned and still warm boiled shrimp
3) Mashed Potatoes – in all their ooey, gooey, creamy comfort foodiness
4) House Special Fried Rice with shrimp, chicken, and pork. It’s not just a side dish anymore.

H) Four places I would rather be right now:

1) China
2) Northern California – love the red woods, the wine country, and San Francisco
3) Closer to my sisters. We all live too far away from each other.
4) Home – I’m really a homebody. I like being in my home with my husband, our dog, and no where I NEED to be.

I) Five friends I think (hope) will respond:

1) Marcia
2) Jessica
3) Kati
4) My DTC friends
5) and you! If you’re reading this, I hope you respond. Leave me a comment, if you do, so I can read your responses.

Friday, August 18, 2006
Five Ingredients Friday

I'm going to get kicked out of Five Ingredients Friday for inability to count, but this recipe is too good to not share. This comes from a restaurant that catered my wedding and all three of my sisters' weddings. Though not usually offered on their catering menu, they've made this Apple Cheese for us each time. It's one of their Sunday Brunch items. To us, it's a family favorite. I hadn't made it in a long time as I lost the cookbook years ago in a flood when I lived in New Orleans. My step-mother got the recipe for us after my sister's wedding last May. I hadn't had it in years, but it was just as good. It sounds strange, but you have to taste it.


9 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
13 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
1 sleeve round, buttery crackers, crumbled
1/2 cup margarine, melted

Simmer apples in boiling water until tender. Remove from water, drain and place a layer in buttered casserole. Combine remaining ingredients and sprinkle over apples. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes.

Check out Overwhelmed with Joy to find more Five Ingredient recipes.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Works For Me Wednesday!

I've been reading the WFMW tips for a few weeks now and have loved them. I thought it was time to jump on board. Actually, I planned to jump on board last week, but went out of town instead.

My problem was coming up with a tip for this group of people. It seems like everything is pretty much covered already. I did, however, think of one that I started when I was single and lived alone. It's still handy today. When I cooked for one and a recipe called for chopped onions or green peppers, I rarely used a whole one before it would go bad. I got into the habit of chopping up the whole thing and tossing the extra into a small freezer bag. Then the next time I needed chopped onions or peppers, I could grab a handful from the freezer. If you're cooking with them, you can't even tell they've been frozen. I still do this because sometimes I'll notice that my bag of onions is on the verge of growing or the peppers are starting to wrinkle before I've used them all. Chop them all up and into the freezer they go!

For more tips (and they'll be good ones!), head over to Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Are They Worth a Penny?

My thoughts, that is.

I’ve had a lot of going through my mind about our adoption process that I haven’t blogged about. It’s been hibernating in there while I read and think.

These thoughts have led me in different directions. The most obvious one to others would be the change in name and focus of this blog. When I began it, it was going to be a tool to update friends and family on our status. It was also meant to serve the adoption community. I’ve spent many hours reading others’ stories. They’ve helped me along the way. Now, I realize it’s for me. It’s about my thoughts and interests. It gives me an outlet. It’s introduced me to a different world out there. I’m learning from people that I would never have met in my daily life. Even more importantly, it’s exposing me to people and ideas I might never have reached out to in real life. People I might have pre-judged or who might have pre-judged me and not shared their thoughts. I will update our adoption status for those following along for that reason, but the focus will be on my thoughts. My child, whether living in my home or not here yet, does have the right to some privacy.

Most adoption blogs are filled with the fantasy of adoption. Our language is filled with red threads and ladybugs. Most of us, however, know that this is the fluff, the fun stuff. We stamp ladybugs on cards and swap gifts with our Yahoo groups as an outward positive symbol of the path we’ve all chosen to walk. There is a darker side. There are issues that we must learn about and prepare for, and most of us do. One does not negate the other. It’s easy to disparage the pre-adoptive parent based on the superfluous fluff, but that would be as wrong as it would be to judge anyone on any surface issue. I don’t go overboard with these symbols, but I knew I was being affected by the attitudes when I almost asked that ladybugs not be included in my nursery theme. Helloooo??? It was a garden theme. I was mad at myself for even considering leaving them out. I love ladybugs. Always have; always will. Should I pretend now that I don’t because some consider them to be a symbol for all that is wrong with adoptive parents of Chinese children? That would be as wrong as believing that adoption truly was about ladybugs and red threads instead of flesh and blood children.

Through these blogs and boards, I’ve also read about the less than happy side of adoption. Adoption is as much about loss as it is about gain. As wanna-be parents, we had to address and grieve our inability to give birth. In all honesty, we didn’t grieve very much. I’ve known most of my adult life that becoming pregnant would be extremely difficult. Any grieving I had for that aspect occurred back in my twenties. Jim was previously married to a woman who didn’t want children. He gave up the dream at that time. It was after we experienced a temporary parenting situation (almost 2 years), that we acknowledged that even though we were fine with the idea of not giving birth to children, we really wanted to raise a child.

We discussed and researched various ways of making this happen. The path we choose was to adopt from China. The reasons were many and they matter only to us. The bottom line is we are parents without a child waiting for a child without parents.

It is my hope that though adoption is a journey born in loss, it becomes a path filled with promise.

We are not naively going into this situation. We are both trained educators and have seen for ourselves the children who struggle. We’re further educating ourselves on the issues of becoming a multi-cultural family. We’ve read the attachment books, learned the stories of adoptions that didn’t go as planned, and researched local options for early intervention services. We’ve attended Chinese school and branched out of our routine to learn the culture as best we can. I’ll admit it. We’ve barely scratched the surface. We will not be perfect parents. We will, however, do everything we can to be the best parents we can be. I guarantee that I will never speak Mandarin without sounding like a fool. Our teacher was kind and generous in his praise, but even he was shocked that we got through our end of school year recital without totally humiliating ourselves. We will, however, continue to embrace this community that has opened their arms to us. Our child will attend this language school. She or he will learn Mandarin from native speakers, participate in the New Year festivities, eat Moon cakes, and watch the Dragon Boat Parade. We will do what we can to expose our child to the culture of her native land. He may have lost his birth parents, but she will not lose her country. We’ve already agreed and will plan on a trip back to China when he is around 12 years old - an age where our children are old enough to appreciate and remember, yet young enough to be interested. We want to go before the teen age years kick in.

In some of our preparations, we’ve read about the disrupted adoptions. The parents who went expecting the Asian version of a Gerber baby and freaked when they received a child who was not what they expected. A child who may have been ill or in shock and didn’t react the way the warm and fuzzy stories led them to believe. They believed the fairy tales without preparing for realism.

When we made the decision to adopt, we saw the lists of children and learned of the requests we could make. We made the decision to not make requests. We both felt uncomfortable with the idea of choosing a child or saying we wanted a girl or a boy. Parents don’t normally get to make those types of choices, so we decided not to either. I respect and understand why others choose to do so. It just wasn’t right for us. We did make one request, and to be perfectly honest, I regret that request now. We requested as young as possible. At that early stage in the process, we believed that a younger child would be less likely to suffer from attachment issues. I don’t believe that to be the case any more. We will accept the child that is matched to us. This will be our child just as if we’d given birth. You can’t give the child back because of unexpected difficulties – be they emotional, physical, medical, etc…

I doubt anyone is still reading this, and that’s okay. I’m writing this for me. Sometimes you need to get those thoughts out of your head and out on virtual paper.

The wait is hard. It’s just past 10 months that our dossier was logged in. It’s been over three years since we decided to adopt from China. The path has been neither quick nor easy. And I don’t think it should be. Our child’s path sure hasn’t been. Our child is not out there waiting for me. Our child is living her life. He is learning to do what he needs to do to survive in an orphanage with well-meaning, overworked aunties. She is living with a foster family who loves her and is missing nothing. His world will be turned topsy-turvy when these two strange people show up. We won’t look, sound, or smell like anyone she’s ever known. If we do our jobs right, he will blossom with our love. She will grow to be kind and inquisitive. He will treasure his history: the country of her birthparents, his Hungarian grandfather, her Irish grandmother, his Midwestern grandparents, including the grandfather who liberally embraces his Native American heritage.

I teach high school and often have students who question the point of education. They give me examples of parents or relatives or friends who are doing just fine and never finished high school. I agree with them that it is possible to be successful without a diploma. Graduating from high school guarantees you absolutely nothing. But it opens a door. The more education you have, the more doors will open. It is still up to them to go through the doors. If my child learns to open those doors, I will consider us to have been successful parents.

That is what I wish my child – many open doors.

Sunday, August 13, 2006
Longer than an Atlantic White-sided Dolphin

Out of curiousity, I looked up what animals have a 10-month gestation period. The first one I found was the Atlantic White-sided Dolphin. Today is 10 months for us since becoming "paper pregnant."

At this point, I would say the best case scenario would be an October referral. The more likely scenario is December. The worst case is March-April 2007. Since we were originally planning a March-April 2006 referral, I still can't believe it's come to that.

The nursery is making more progress. We now own a crib! It's in the garage in pieces right now, but will be assembled soon. I promise to put up more pictures when everything is finished.

I'm also sporting lovely new highlights. I had my back-to-school cut and color on Friday. I love getting my hair done. It's just so relaxing. My hair looked so great when I left that I tried to convince the woman at the salon to come to my home every morning at 6am. It's hard to imagine, but she turned down my offer.

It's back to school tomorrow for two days of meetings, catching up with fellow teachers, and getting our rooms ready. Kids start on Wednesday.

Friday, August 11, 2006
Five Ingredients Friday

Okay, I can’t count. This is just such an easy and adaptable recipe. You can add or decrease ingredients to taste. It’s also a very kid and husband friendly main course. All the measurements are subject to change according to your tastes. I’ve never actually measured any of them myself. I eyeball it.

Hot Dog Casserole

2 lg cans baked beans
6 hot dogs
2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped onions and/or green peppers
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (or ketchup and mustard)
boxed corn bread mix, prepared according to directions

Mix the first five ingredients and pour into a casserole dish. Pour prepared corn bread batter over the top of the casserole, and bake according to box directions until corn bread is cooked through and brown.

For more Five Ingredients recipes, visit here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Dedicated to Jim and Jeremy (I assume Derek and Vincent are past this point)
Well, YouTube isn't cooperating, so here's the link instead.

Monday, August 07, 2006
More From Tech Camp

I showed off the Office 2007 stuff I learned at Tech Camp, but never showed what I went to learn. Here's a little peek at something I learned in PhotoShop. It's really nothing big, but it's fun. If you can't tell what I'm talking about compare the background to the flower.

New Friends
If you look on the right side of my blog, you'll see that

Saturday, August 05, 2006
Meeting an Old Friend for the First Time

The Internet has been an important part of my life for a long time. There's a story there, but it can wait for another time. Today, Jim and I met an old friend - for the first time. We've known him for a few years. In fact, we meet him every Wednesday evening to get together along with several other friends. We meet in an online game and play together for several hours. There are about a dozen of us who belong to this group. We don't all meet every week, but there's a good variety who meet most weeks.

These are mainly old friends of my husband. I'm the token girl in the group. At one point, they all lived here (except for one). Though their lives and careers have taken them to various other parts of the map, they meet once a week to play a game, insult each other the way guys do, and catch up.

The friend we met today went to high school here and was one of the other guy's college roommate. He left the area before Jim moved here. The one who never lived here went to college with Jim about an hour and a half north of here.

There's a very special story about today, but it has to wait for the pictures to arrive.

This is what I love about the Internet. You may move away, but you're never gone.

Friday, August 04, 2006
Five Ingredients Friday
I’m new to this, but those who know me know how I love to cook. The challenge is going to be limiting to five ingredients. I like the challenge. My first offering isn’t really original, but it’s a favorite around here.

Pulled Pork BBQ

1 pork shoulder
2 T vinegar
1 cup of water
clove of garlic
1 btl of your favorite BBQ sauce (I recommend Sweet Baby Ray’s)

Place first four ingredients in a crock pot. Cook for 8-10 hours on low heat. Remove meat and drain the crock pot. Shred the pork and return to empty crock pot. Add the bottle of BBQ sauce and cover. Cook long enough to heat through, approximately 30 minutes.

I like to make this ahead as it freezes beautifully. It tastes as good as any restaurant pulled pork, but so much cheaper. Place it on buns, add some cole slaw, and you are set.

For more Five Ingredients recipes, visit here.

Slight Glitch
For some reason, the address www.kaffee-klatsch.blogspot.com isn't working all the time, but http://kaffee-klatsch.blogspot.com is. I'm hoping it smooths out. For those of you who found me, thanks for following along.

I have nothing witty or interesting to post today. Our wireless Internet access is back up, and I went shopping for my niece's birthday as well as my Travel Swap pal. I love Target!

Thursday, August 03, 2006
Changing Address
Just a reminder that I'm changing the address for this blog as of tomorrow. If you're wondering why, it's not just to confuse the friends and family I've given this address to. It's because I've become more aware of how far reaching these blogs are. I can check my blog stats and I've had people from all over the world visiting. I'm sure for most of them, I was just the "next blog" on the Blogger header. Even so, I've decided that a little more discretion can't hurt. The new address will no longer contain our name, but will be the name of the blog instead. I'm sorry I had to add the hyphen, but could you believe kaffeeklatsch was already taken?

If you've been reading and plan to come back. You are more than welcome, just change your bookmark to the new address.



Dark Ages

Wow, I am spoiled and an Internet addict. I need to find a 12-step program or something similar.

We had bad storms around here last night. Being cautious people, we turned off the computers and unplugged the wireless modem/router whatever it’s called. (I am so not the hardware person.) This morning Jim reconnected us and everything looks good. All the right things pop up on the screen telling us we’re connected, but no Internet. I had to dig out an old phone cord and find some local access phone numbers. We’ve never even used dial-up with our computers, so we weren’t sure it would work. It does, but boy is it slow.

I’m spoiled.

Comcast will be out tomorrow. I’d have paid extra to have them here today.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Where In The World Have You Been?

I found this fun link on another blog. I definitely need to expand my boundaries world-wide, but I’m over halfway to seeing every state in the U.S.

create your own visited countries map

create your own visited states map

Blog contents copyright © 2010 Kaffee Klatsch Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape