Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Twas the night before Christmas.. for the parentless

I am 'borrowing' this from my friend.. Thank you friend.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
there are parentless children, with no toys in hand

No stockings to be hung by the chimney with care
no hopes for a family soon to be there

Their beds are not snug--but cold and quite bare
there are no goodnight kisses--no one to care

While we in our homes, laughing in delight
all settle down for a Merry Chistmas Eve night

When in someone's heart--there arises a clatter
there are children in need--who's lives really DO matter!

Away to the computer please go in a flash
to see the sweet face with whom YOU could be matched!

While a child you see--their beautiful face all aglow
could this be MY child--could I already know??

When in the dreams of the orphan--what always appears
is a family to love them, to care and hold dear

As you stare at that child--your heart beats real quick--
for you know in your heart that sweet face will stick

More dreams sweet children have--to call parents by name-
come mama! come daddy! come family to claim!

To the ends of the earth--your heart seems to call
now child--I'm coming--I wish for you ALL!

So on a plane to your child--over rooftops you flew
to hold this dear soul--a wish did come true

And then in a twinkling-I saw through the door
this child of my heart-that was waiting no more

As I got my camera and was turning around-
into my arms did he come with a bound!

He was dressed in many layers from his head to his foot
and into my heart his life was just put

there was no round face--no plump little belly
just sad little eyes, and legs shaking like jelly

In a swirl of a pen, and a stamp and a seal
my world became brighter--like I could suddenly feel!

We spoke not a word--they weren't needed at all
and I knew in this moment where I got this call

God layed his hands on my heart--and to the occasion I rose
and He could do it for you--this question He'll pose.....

It won't be a shout--no not even a whistle
it won't be real clear--but faint like a whisper

Can you make room in your heart--if you try with your might?
And make a difference for one--help them see the light?

I can see you exclaim as you hold your child tight--
Thank you Lord for this gift--you got it EXACTLY right!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Final Boarding Call..

I feel so much safer now that you can't go to the bathroom, have a blanket, pillow or laptop during the final hour of a flight. It never really bothered me to take off my shoes during security screenings, but if they decide to ask us for our underware this is where I draw the line..

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

...and they shall call His name Emmanuel...

{God with us}
MATTHEW 1:23




Merry Christmas from our family to your family!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Simple Christmas Salad but oh so yum!

1 large pkg. orange pineapple jello
1 lg. carton of cottage cheese
1 lg. can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1 carton Dream Whip (or similar brand)

In a large bowl mix uncooked jello powder w/ cottage cheese. Stir in crushed pineapple.
Fold in the dream whip mixing well. Chill until serving. EASY and Wonderful!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Inspiration: Eucalyptus In the Bathroom


Apparently in Italy this is the rage. Who knew ?! Tie a sprig to the shower head and the steam works to release the fragrant scent! Brilliant! I'm trying it. Just be sure not to get the dyed eucalyptus...

Let him eat cake

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Miss Angie's diet

Well, where to begin?! I have a friend. A very special friend. A friend that came to help me one day with Elizabeth shortly after we returned from China when I was vomiting and very sick with the stomach flu. She came in (risking catching the flu herself) scooped E'beth up, and took her home with her keeping her for several days until I was over the vomiting etc.

Last night, I went to a small gathering to pray for Miss Angie. You see, Miss Angie is having a life changing operation on Thursday. She is undergoing a gastric bypass operation. She is beautiful just as she is in my opinion, but she wants to be healthier when she travels to China as a single mom to adopt her daughter. I left my coat and wallet at the gathering by accident and tonight Miss Angie drove an hour round trip in a chilly downpouring rain to bring it back to me. This is Miss Angie.

Angie is documenting her journey and life altering surgery HERE. Grab a cup something sugar free :) and head over to follow along!

I'm looking forward to dancing with her at whatever God has planned for this very special friend! I'm going to have to have my husband stand guard with a shotgun this time next year! But, If you know anyone who wants to get on the waiting list to be "Mr. Right" for Miss Angie, the qualifications are here :)

Angie, we praying for the surgeons hands, all the medical professionals involved, quick recovery without complications, and desirable results for such a special and dear person.
xoxoxo!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bûche de Noël

That would be French for "Yule Log Cake". I love interesting recipes from all over the world - especially during the Christmas and Thanksgiving seasons. So, when I was tapped to bring 20 cupcakes for our son John's 2nd grade Christmas party I decided we can kick this up a notch!! But wait!!! I don't have HOURS to make this exotic Buche de Noel thing and would a room full of 2nd graders even blink twice? .. probably not, but, what about a take off??
So, I tried, this:



What do you think? These are mini Bûche de Noëls and they were EaSy!!!, QuIcK!!! and look pretty impressive if I do say so!


They are made from "Ho Ho's" and embellished with candy and tube icing you purchase at the cake deco. section at your fav. grocery store. I used caned chocolate icing to "glue" the candy on, then made swirly vines and leaves w/ the green icing. (HINT = Chocolate covered peanut clusters make great "bumps" on the yule log.) In no time we had a pretty impressive little treat! To finish off the presentation, sprinkle confectioners sugar or shredded coconut over the entire platter for the illusion of snow! Our children loved helping make these and there weren't any leftovers! :) FuN!!

If you so inclined and in the mood for the five star 'real' thing just hop over to HERE.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

From toddler to young lady.. a simple but beautiful transformation

I came across these images of transforming your toddler room to a 'big girl room' and loved the simplicity and freshness. It started with this:



And the end result was this:




Sweet!

Every once in a while something crosses my path

that I simply can't resist passing on..


As an adoptive mom, I can obtain a state birth certificate for our daughter even though she was born more than 6,000 miles away in China. This is the same 'short form birth certificate' that the state of Hawaii has produced for the President. I have little doubt is a legit form. Most anyone, born anywhere can obtain a short form state birth certificate. What I am concerned about is why millions of dollars are being spent to keep the official LONG form from the American public?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HaPpY tHaNkSgIvInG... But..


It's beginning to look a lot more like CHRISTmas!!
Here is our Turkey recipe for this year, and next and the next!!

~~Citrus Sage Turkey~~

Serves 8, but we prepare a Big Bird ;) so we will double this..

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (6-pound) bone-in turkey breast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 large orange, sliced
1 large lemon, sliced
4 fresh rosemary sprigs
4 fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 onion, quartered
2 cups chicken broth

Preparation
Stir together 2 tablespoons butter and garlic. Loosen skin from turkey without detaching it; sprinkle salt and pepper under skin. Rub 2 tablespoons garlic mixture over meat. Place fruit slices, rosemary, and sage under skin; replace skin.

Rub remaining 1 tablespoon butter over skin; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper. Place turkey breast on a lightly greased rack in a broiling pan. Add onion and chicken broth.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 30 minutes, basting every 30 minutes. Shield with foil, and bake 1 more hour or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest breast portion registers 170°. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan juices.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A simple breakfast.


Rosemary Scrambled eggs
Turkey bacon dredged in Brown Sugar and Pepper
Whole wheat toast
Orange juice
Coffee with cinnamon
Candles
and
Coneflowers

Elizabeth's Twinkle

video

Thursday, November 5, 2009

For those that do not stand behind our Military,

Feel free to stand in front of them.


Author unknown.

Monday, November 2, 2009

want to check out a new way of meal prep?

What a fab. idea!! Take a look at the recipes like "Sweet Bourbon Salmon" or maybe "Watermelon Salsa", but wait!!- perhaps you are in the mood for "Balsamic Spinich Ravioli with Pine Nuts"?..then they compile a grocery list based on your choice, and best of all,, it's a totally FREE service!

You've got Supper!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's over.


Halloween that is.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

oh so frightful, (and delightful!!!)


Go look at this if you want a jump start for festive ideas this season. Their style is clean, beautiful, and always inspirational! There are lots of wonderful pictures of the HGTV special that is running all week...

I'm off for some spanish moss!!! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

H1N1.. a personal perspective

Last week we were on vacation to Williamsburg Va. The morning after we arrived Elizabeth woke with a fever of approx. 102. She was acting fine, so we opted to 'wait and watch'. We did all the usual things like offer plenty of fluids, alternate tylenol and motrin, etc.. As the afternoon progressed, she fell asleep on my lap and when she woke she felt VERY hot. After taking her temp. again, we realized it had escalated to an alarming almost 105. We immediately took her to a walk in clinic and there they did the nose swab test and it came back positive for the flu.

Tamiflu was given and by the next morning her fever was normal and you would have never known she had been ill. She continued on a 5 day course of Tamiflu but her actual symptoms only lasted about 24 to 36 hours. Perhaps the quick recovery was in part due to the anti viral drug being given so soon after the onset of symptoms, I don't know, but the severity (or I should say lack there of thankfully!!) of our bout was nothing like I would have expected based on all the media reports we have been hearing.

We opted not to vaccinate our children for the Swine Flu out of concerns for the vaccine safety and I was especially concerned when we first got the results last week - but no one else came down with it, and Elizabeth made a complete recovery within a very few days.

Just thought I would pass on our experience so all you Mom's out there won't freak when your children aren't as diligent about washing their hands as you might like for them to be during this "germ" season! I'm resting a bit easier now!! (Still diligent about the germs and washing hands but at least not *quite* as obsessed :)

Friday, October 9, 2009


I didn't agree with you on everything, but yep GW, I miss ya.
xoxo

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stolen babies



"I would never support the baby trafficking and China's greed when it comes to selling their unwanted baby girls".. was the comment we received from a long time "friend" when we announced our plans to adopt. The comment could have turned our decision around but by the grace of God we chose to ignore it. The comment may have been accurate to a degree but we also decided to consider the source as this person was looking for any excuses not to bring a child into their family.

It's been some time ago since we received the "sentiment" about our adoption decision, thus the exact wording may be off a bit- but you get the idea.

So, can we say that here in America we are totally free from crimes involving babies, adoption, and so on? Perhaps there was (and is) a problem with some children placed into any international adoption program but I have to say that most of the dollars spent on our adoption went to U.S. sources and agencies - not China. Our total Chinese Orphanage fee was only $4,000. Four Thousand dollars to feed, care for, clothe, immunize, house, etc.. 24/7 for our child - for almost a year. Our daughter was meticulously cared for during those 11 months living with a foster family under the supervision of the Chinese Adoption Affairs.

Indeed the situation in many foreign countries involving children that are placed for adoption is tragic. I've often thought about that "friend's" comment and played many "what if" games.. It boils down to this - God knows the end from the beginning and whatever happened and the circumstances surrounding her birth and 'finding' .. HE allowed it to occur. The winding path and entrusting from our Almighty Heavenly Father to be her parents happened. Following what we believe was God's direction in our decision to adopt our motives and hearts were pure. Even in the worse case situation, we are comforted in that God has placed our daughter exactly where His plan for Han Li Rong was and we are eternally grateful.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It's Fall Y'all..

and I'm posting my all time fav. ginger cookie recipe. These aren't your average run-of-the-mill ginger cookies, these are the BEST ginger cookies you will ever eat! Don't overbake. They are soft, chewy and perfect for those chilly autumn afternoons. I haven't made these since last fall and there is a reason... We eat them up as quickly as they are made! So without further ado...

Ginger Cookies
Cream:
3/4 cup oil (or shortening - I used oil)
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg

Sift together
2 1/2 c flour
2 t. b.soda
1/2 t. salt
1 - 1.5 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons (or more) cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
2 - 3 Tablespoons vinegar (yep, vinegar)

Combine and mix all of the above.

Refrigerate dough until chilled then roll into small
balls and roll in sugar.

Place on ungreased pan 2" apart

Bake @ 350 for 8-10 mins. (I did 8 mins)
ENJOY
I usually double this and keep the unbaked dough in the frig
or freezer (airtight) and use as needed.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

burning question


Q. What was Johann Sebastian Bach's favorite food?

A. Chicken.

Why? He loved hearing them call his name over and over... "Bach, Bach, Bach"

:)


Well, Elizabeth and I had our 1st violin concert this afternoon (and my last :). My role as a concert violinist is officially over (at least as far as Mr. Suzuki is concerned). It actually was quite a wonderful experience to learn the 'basics' of playing the violin with my daughter. Elizabeth will continue and I will officially pass the violin torch! We were excited that my Mom and our sweet friends came to hear our squeaks!

...and the beat goes on!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the reason I'm up at 4:01 a.m.

is because my friend Angie posted about this. I've spent the last 2 hours reading.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

very special deliveries!

There are a few families currently in China adopting some amazing young ladies! If you enjoy following adoption journey's you don't want to miss these stories! Most of these children are older and some have significant special needs. All are precious in His sight...

click your ruby slippers and go:
HERE
and
HERE
and
HERE
and last but most certainly NOT least!
go HERE!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Life just got easier!

I discovered some apples placed in the produce section of our frig. by accident became frozen solid somehow. I was making some totally YUM split pea soup for dinner this evening (recipe to follow) and add apples to the mix for a wonderful flavor and touch of sweetness. I thought my ingredients were going to be compromised but instead, it lead to an interesting discovery.

I decided to wash off the apple in an attempt to "salvage" it and inadvertently had the hot water on when starting to rinse it. To my surprise, the warm water melted the apple slightly around the skin just enough for it to SLIDE right off! TRY IT!!! Freeze an apple, turn on your warm/ hot water to wash it, and VIOLA! It's amazing! Gently rub the skin and it's GONE!

I chopped it up as usual, added it to the pot of simmering split peas and it was the best split pea soup I've ever made!

Split Pea Soup

1 bag Split peas (rinsed and sorted)
1/2 - 1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 - 3 apples or pears (or both) chopped
3/4 cup carrots
fresh herbs (sage, basil, oreg. parsley, etc.. I use whatever I have in my small herb garden)
1 teaspoon curry
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup long grain brown rice (optional)
~~~~

Place all ingred. (except the rice) in a large pot and add amount of water called for on the bag of split peas. Simmer 2-3 hours and add rice about an hour before you are ready to serve it. Just before serving blend it all with a mixer or hand held blender.

ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mercury in the Swine Flu vaccine


Cure more deadly than disease?

Here is part of another report about the potential dangers of the experimental Swine Flu vaccine..

What I thought was also interesting is the data showing that the vaccine only provides a temporary immunity for a small percentage of a very specific type of flu. Studies are showing that immunizing throughout ones life never gives the individual the opportunity to obtain "natural immunity" that your body develops which is far more effective especially in older adults. Here's a portion of the article..
~
Although White House science advisers have warned that up to 90,000 Americans might die from H1N1 during the coming flu season, BUT- the head of the CDC responded by telling the public to ignore such a high mortality estimate, saying the current H1N1 couldn't kill that many people without mutating.

Use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 resulted in 25 people suffering from severe paralysis and dying from respiratory failure after being injected with the vaccine – more than the number of lives claimed from the virus itself.

Additionally, the vaccine is said to contain thimerosal, a preservative ingredient composed of mercury that has been linked to autism in young children.

The FDA states, "Thimerosal has been removed from or reduced to trace amounts in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and younger, with the exception of inactivated influenza vaccine."

Thimerosal has also been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, or GBS – a serious disorder that occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system and may result in death.

In 1976, health officials found nearly 500 cases of GBS, and the vaccine was withdrawn 10 weeks after the link with GBS was suspected. Following the 1976 vaccination against swine flu in the U.S., a retrospective study found a likely eight-fold increase in the incidence of GBS.

Now that the nation is preparing for another round of H1N1 flu shots, the Oregonian reported that the federal government is urging neurologists to keep a close watch for new cases of GBS.

In a study conducted at the University of Hong Kong, the British Medical Journal reported that less than half of 8,500 doctors and nurses in public hospitals will accept vaccination against the swine flu – even following increases in the World Health Organization's pandemic alert level.

The study revealed, "The major barriers identified were fear of side effects and doubts about efficacy."

According to the following report by Russia Today, investigative journalist Wayne Madsen revealed that even scientists who helped develop a vaccine for small pox are saying they will not take the vaccine and urging friends and family to refrain from taking the injection as well:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

rosin up the bow

I had NO idea how involved holding a violin and bow was... so this is Suzuki. The theory is the parent (that would be me) learns the proper technique of bow holding, violin holding, posture, etc.. and then is better able to make sure the child (that would be Elizabeth) is practicing correctly.

My first lesson was quite a fiasco. Actually, I missed the very first lesson, so technically it was lesson #2. A nasty upper resp. bug had me homebound for almost 9 days and it was my first day "out" in a while. It was a hot hot day and I guess I was still sporting a bit of a fever because about 20 minutes into the lesson and holding the weapon errr I mean violin correctly on my shoulder twisting my neck and head I felt it was either ask to sit down, or I was going to totally embarrass myself and end up passing out.

After a few moments all was well and when we got home Elizabeth had to remind me how to correctly do it all! :)

The "new parents" and students have a concert coming up in several weeks and my husband is delighting in teasing me about my first "concert" in ..xx years!

ahhhh what you will do for your kids!
xoxoxo
~
UPDATE:
Violin is actually going quite well and I now see the benefits of this method. Elizabeth is taking her violin playing VeRy seriously and I think this will be a wonderful addition to her talents. She is very responsible with the care of her tiny little Klaus Muller Etude (1/16 size) violin and loves to practice - so far.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Alaska!

Won't you join me here?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

a dirty joke

..pig jumped in the mud.

I'm very curious to know why we haven't heard more about this in the US. This is a UK news article..

Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease: Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America. Read More:

A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.

The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.
It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.
The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.
It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when:

More people died from the vaccination than from swine flu.

500 cases of GBS were detected.

The vaccine may have increased the risk of contracting GBS by eight times.

The vaccine was withdrawn after just ten weeks when the link with GBS became clear.

The US Government was forced to pay out millions of dollars to those affected.
Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown.
It is being developed by pharmaceutical companies and will be given to about 13million people during the first wave of immunisation, expected to start in October.

Top priority will be given to everyone aged six months to 65 with an underlying health problem, pregnant women and health professionals.
The British Neurological Surveillance Unit (BNSU), part of the British Association of Neurologists, has been asked to monitor closely any cases of GBS as the vaccine is rolled out.
One senior neurologist said last night: ‘I would not have the swine
flu jab because of the GBS risk.’

There are concerns that there could be a repeat of what became known as the ‘1976 debacle’ in the US, where a swine flu vaccine killed 25 people – more than the virus itself.
A mass vaccination was given the go-ahead by President Gerald Ford because scientists believed that the swine flu strain was similar to the one responsible for the 1918-19 pandemic, which killed half a million Americans and 20million people worldwide.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Late Summer Chicken Salad with a twist :)

I have taken this Chicken Salad to so many people and it never fails that I hear it's the best they have ever tasted! Here ya go:

Cook Chicken and tear into small pieces (abt. 4 -5 cups +/-) Note: This is even better if made substituting Turkey for Chicken!

1/2 cup (or more) chopped seedless red grapes
1/2 cup chopped apple
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped pecans
opt. 1/3 cup dried cranberries, raisins, celery, water chestnuts etc..
I often use all of those!
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss all of the above together. Then mix the following together and add to chicken.

1/2 cup mayo
1/8 - 1/4 cup of cider vinegar
1/3+ cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
and.... drum roll please....
3/4 - 1 teaspoon curry -the secret :)

Chill several hours and serve on lettuce wedges, pita bread, or rolls etc..

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Panel that could decide who lives and who will die

Obama health-care policy advisor Ezekiel Emanuel announced a new "Complete Lives System" for selecting which sections of the population should be killed, in his article "Principles for Allocation of Scarce Medical Interventions." Published Jan. 31, 2009 in the British medical journal Lancet, Emanuel's euthansia-selection article appeared 11 days after President Obama's inauguration.

Then on March 19, Emanuel was appointed to the Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, to begin the design of a Federal system for withdrawing care from those chosen for death.Emanuel sums up who is to be treated, and who is to die:

"When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated." This may be justified by public opinion, since "broad consensus favours adolescents over very young infants, and young adults over very elderly people."-Obama health-care policy advisor Ezekiel Emanuel. (Brother of Rham Emanuel White House Chief of Staff to President Obama)

These quotes are something you would expect from Dr. Mengle of the Nazi Germany years, or perhaps the ultra progressives from earlier years who were pushing Eugenics.

But they are not. These are the words from the chief advisor to the President of the United States on health care and a chief architect of the health care plans being forumlated by the Obama administration and the Democratic controlled Congress.

Next, examine Mr. Obama's choice for Science Czar, John Holdren. Mr. Holdren is a population control zealot who believes the Constitution justifies *mandatory* abortions on a world wide scale and advocated a global police force to keep populations down. He has even gone so far as to examine putting sterilants in public drinking water in his 1977 book he co authored entitled ""Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment".

Then move on to his "Green jobs Czar" Van Jones. You don't hear much about their radical agendas via liberal news sources but You can be sure Obama knows exactly why he chose these individuals for such high and powerful positions.

Jones, Obama's new environmental adviser, recently was as an admitted radical communist and black nationalist leader. He boasted in a 2005 interview that his environmental activism was a means to fight for racial and class "justice."

These are absolutely un-American, far left, radical views. The Health Care Plan developed by the proponent of this thinking is sure to contain provisions, processes, and planning for the longer range implementation of these steely-eyed, radical goals and principle of its inventor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel.

Something else that disturbs me about the Obama's Health care agenda is they certainly weren't able to manage it while Michelle Obama held her 3-400,000K/ yr. job at a major Chicago hospital. The hospital turned away scores of uninsured (mostly black) patients needing urgent and non urgent care. Please do the research on all this yourself or feel free to start here.

This is the biggest attempt by Govt. to takeover since Social Security and we all know as much as we have paid into SS over our lives there will be little left for our generation. Speak now.... and Speak LOUDLY ... or I shutter to think that our tax dollars will be used to fund abortions on demand, but won't be available (allowed) to help a 73 year old mother if she is in need of advanced medical care.

Monday, August 3, 2009

new directions

The Summer has been filled with incredible activities for our children and I have enjoyed so very much watching them blossom and thrive at what they are attempting. From Ballet to Karate we are watching our children grow up before our eyes. Blink and they are talking, blink again and they start school, blink once more and you are looking eyeball to eyeball at them! John lost his first tooth today and I'm waiting up to be the tooth fairy for the very first time! :) :) He is so excited that he can't sleep and has been coming in every 1/2 hour telling me he can't sleep. Finally a bowl of cereal and a few smores via the microwave has seemed to help! .. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as this tooth fairy is pretty tired!

One of the most interesting things was John's participation in a Summer Challenge program at a local school. It was called (CSI) after the Crime Scene investigation program and they stretched the children's thought processes. For example, if a crime was committed and they found female footprints from high heels, would that indicate the crime was committed by a female? The answer = no. A male criminal could purchase women's shoes/ clothing to mislead the authorities. There were lots of interesting lessons in the 2 week CSI camp. Hopefully we will do this again next year.

John (who turns 8 in Sept.) has been asking many many questions about life and our conversations have become much more sophisticated. Elizabeth in turn has been "listening in" and generally parrots the topics we cover to all that will listen. We need to work on a bit more restraint when she is in public pointing out tattoos, spiked blue hair, and people who smoke to me :)

We just returned from Destin Florida (had a fab. time btw) and one night we were at the pool. A beautiful mother of a little girl from China walked into the pool area and of course Elizabeth's (and my own) radar went straight to her. She had on a very tiny bikini (and it looked very nice on her) but I could see Elizabeths eyes taking in every inch of skin showing.. Finally, she couldn't contain herself any longer and blurted out (I'm holding my breath as she began her comments to the lady..) She says .. "I like your ...um, umm .. tatoos. Then E'beth asks what the pierced thing in her eyebrow was there for..? Yikes. Thankfully the nice lady was very gracious and laughed as she attempted to answer why she had the tattoos and pierced eyebrow ring.

We traveled to Destin and Ft. Walton to watch John participate in a National Karate Demo team competition and John came in 2nd nationally in the "form" category! He missed 1st place by one vote even though he was the youngest competitor~! We were so proud that he is trying new things and is exhibits such great sportsmanship.

We now look ahead to the start of school and a flurry of other activities! Elizabeth will continue with her piano, ballet and jazz. This year she is adding violin and this particular method requires the parent ( um, me) to learn it right along with her in the beginning. So, I'll be learning to play the violin at 40 something! yee haw~!

John will dive into school, continue his boys gymnastics team, karate, possibly soccer, and so many other little things.

Will I once again overextend? Who knows, but we sure are having fun overextending!

Friday, July 17, 2009

anarchy - American Suicide - how to destroy the USA

Wherever you stand politically, please take the time to read this; it ought to scare every citizen in our nation.

We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Recently, there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington , DC , filled to capacity by many of America 's finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked a bout his latest book, "Mexifornia," explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal - was destroying the entire state of California . He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America . The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States . He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy America . It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'"

"Here is how they do it," Lamm said:

"First, to destroy America , turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bi lingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: 'The histories of bilingual and20 bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.' Canada , Belgium , Malaysia , and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

Lamm went on:

"Second, to destroy America , invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. Make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal; that there are no cultural differences. Make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds."

"Third, we could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multi-ethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.' Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

"Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

"My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."

"My sixth plan for America 's downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that i s, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia , threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" -- From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'Pluribus' instead of the 'Unum,' we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

"Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits. Make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immi gration has been good for America , it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed.

Finally he said, "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book 'Mexifornia.' His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America . If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book."

There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into20the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America . Take note of California and other states. To date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democ racy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Movin' on up!


Don't mess with this new brown belt holder in a dark alley!

Elizabeth chose a brown sun dress to wear in celebration of her brother's achievement this evening and cheered him on from the front row.

John will be traveling to Florida in a few weeks to participate in a Karate demo team expo! We will be making it a family get away for a few extra days and are looking forward to Summer's last big bang there... did I just say that??? WHERE DID TIME GO??!

Congrats John!







T/Y to our sweet, wonderful friend and house guest for the week (Mike) for the pics! We will miss you!

Friday, July 3, 2009

"God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things" - Noah Hutchins

This family needs prayer tonight.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

an hour of your time


And you fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4
Recommended Reading
Matthew 11:28-30
A man came home late from work to find his 5-year-old son waiting for him at the door. The first thing out of the child’s mouth was, “Daddy, how much money do you make in an hour?” “If you must know, I make $50 an hour” said the man. “Well, can I borrow $25?” the boy asked. “For what?” replied the man. Without saying a word, the little boy went to his room, removed some crumpled money from under his bed and added it to the money his dad gave him. He came back and said, “Daddy, now I have $50. Can I buy an hour of your time?”
Sometimes, balancing the responsibilities of providing for our children and making time to invest in their lives can become overwhelming. Being a godly father is a huge responsibility. But it is also one of life’s greatest joys. As we raise our children in the love of the Lord, may we not become discouraged as the pressures mount; rather, let us look to our own Heavenly Father for the strength, love, courage, and discipline needed to carry out this high calling.
“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”
Billy Graham

This was from my daily devotional here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

bathroom matters

I've thought about whether to post this but keep coming back to being so very thankful we live in America. Kelly's Korner is hosting a 'tour of homes' and this week it has been about the bathrooms. I sometimes grumble when I enter a public restroom and try to make our children wait until we get home to go to the bathroom (aren't they sometimes sooo nassssty?)

My perspective changed one day in Central China as we were visiting our daughters finding spot. We were in a group of about 6 families traveling about 2 hours outside of the capitol of Hubei China. As far as China was concerned, it was a "small village" of several million. On the way back to our hotel, the bus made a stop. It was a bathroom break. As you could imagine, everyone was thankful for the stop... until we walked into the bathroom.

This is what we saw:



The smell was beyond anything I could ever describe. After walking in, I simply couldn't bring myself to go further. I returned to our van without participating in the rural China squat potty experience. Dave on the other hand decided he would participate and to make matters worse, the water from the sink was filthy. It was a brown murky color with another kind of odor, and of course no soap, towels etc.. (or toilet paper)

Prior to this, we were at a popular tourist spot a few days before and I thought I lucked out when a local sandwich shop had a public restroom! It was a unisex one, but hey... The sandwich shop reminded me of a Chinese Panera Bread and was relatively clean looking from the seating area. Well,, I walked to the back and down a narrow hallway. Once again, there was "that odor". I opened the bathroom door and was feeling the wall for a light switch. Suddenly I realized I was standing in the dark and felt something squishy under my shoes. It was a 1/2 inch or more of human waste from the overflow of the facility. It made me so queasy that when we got back to the hotel, I took off my shoes in the lobby and threw them in the garbage can.

Maybe this is where the custom of taking off your shoes at the door in Asia came from?!

I noticed from the very beginning of entering China that there was an unpleasant odor throughout most of the outdoor areas we walked around. It seemed to be everywhere - in every Province we visited. I suddenly realized why:


I can't say I blame anyone for not using the public restrooms in China! :)

When we experience the comfort of our home bathrooms and enjoy the warm clean water of a shower in the morning, I often reflect back to our time in China and remember the most basic things are extreme luxuries to many others in the world we live in.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

At first, I thought this was a joke... it's not.

ABC TURNS PROGRAMMING OVER TO OBAMA; NEWS TO BE ANCHORED FROM INSIDE WHITE HOUSE
Tue Jun 16 2009 08:45:10 ET


On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!

Highlights on the agenda:

ABCNEWS anchor Charlie Gibson will deliver WORLD NEWS from the Blue Room of the White House.

The network plans a primetime special -- 'Prescription for America' -- originating from the East Room, exclude opposing voices on the debate.

MORE

Late Monday night, Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay fired off a complaint to the head of ABCNEWS:

Dear Mr. Westin:

As the national debate on health care reform intensifies, I am deeply concerned and disappointed with ABC's astonishing decision to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue on June 24, 2009. Next Wednesday, ABC News will air a primetime health care reform “town hall” at the White House with President Barack Obama. In addition, according to an ABC News report, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS, NIGHTLINE and ABC’s web news “will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.” This does not include the promotion, over the next 9 days, the president’s health care agenda will receive on ABC News programming.

Today, the Republican National Committee requested an opportunity to add our Party's views to those of the President's to ensure that all sides of the health care reform debate are presented. Our request was rejected. I believe that the President should have the ability to speak directly to the America people. However, I find it outrageous that ABC would prohibit our Party's opposing thoughts and ideas from this national debate, which affects millions of ABC viewers.

In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers. President Obama does not hold a monopoly on health care reform ideas or on free airtime. The President has stated time and time again that he wants a bipartisan debate. Therefore, the Republican Party should be included in this primetime event, or the DNC should pay for your airtime.

Respectfully,
Ken McKay
Republican National Committee
Chief of Staff



Developing...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the Mother of all comments to date.. UPDATED w/ my response below

A young man probably in his early 20's came up to E'beth and I this afternoon and started chatting. He was very curious and inquisitive about "us" and so we talked about how Elizabeth is adopted from China and now she lives in America with Mommy (me) Daddy, and her brother John. The topic of traveling to China for a cultural visit someday eventually came up and this is what he said directly to Elizabeth (age 4):

"You better not ever go back to China because you will break your Mother's heart when she sees how pretty and polite you are now".


I'll post my reply, but would love to hear what YOU would have said before I tell mine. I have comment moderation on, so if your comment doesn't show up right away it's because I haven't had a chance to see it yet. Please leave your thoughts on this one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks friends for taking the time to respond with your thoughts on this.

Obviously, the comment took me completely by surprise and I only had a few seconds to "think" about my reply. In those few seconds I was staring at a young man that was still in that crossover period of boy to man IMHO. I decided to put his "youth" and lack of polish in other areas I was staring at in my main thought process over those few seconds. I realized that his lack of social graces was something that perhaps I could excuse because 1. his age, and 2, his gender.

Most young men I know are not as savvy in the world of adoption comments made to families as are women aged 30-90. Why should they be? They are busy with so much more at that time of their life... OK, I digress.. so I simply said..

"*I* am her Mommy, the one and only"- as I gave him a stern gaze with wide eyeballs that E'beth couldn't see.

He continued to follow us and would jump from behind things and scare and tease E'beth. I really don't think he meant to scare her but it was. We were in an art supply store and each time I would go to the front to pay for our items, there he would be. I would walk back so that he would leave the store, but he kept following us. I was determined not to leave until I was sure he was gone. It took about 30 minutes.

Very weird.

Sneaky kitchen and baths


I'm always looking for ways to hide great nutritional foods and incorporate them into ordinary meals. We have come up with a few tricks that work such as grinding whole flax seeds and mixing them with foods such as peanut butter, applesauce, cereal, etc..

Tonight we had organic ground beef that I made taco's with and sprinkled the taco meat with nutritional yeast. The kiddos never missed a beat. They had no idea what was in it. Check out the back of a nutritional yeast container the next time you are in the grocery store if you haven't already. The funny thing is, if they *see* me grinding flax seeds, or sprinkling the nutritional yeast in something, suddenly they TASTE it.. but if I manage to get it in without them seeing all is good!

In addition, now that Summer is here we also wanted to continue the interest in reading that John (7 yrs.) has developed. Rather than constantly pushing a book under his nose, I've decided to leave "interesting" books in strategic places.

I've put them in front of the toilet in the bathroom, on his booster seat in the car, on the kitchen table, and so on. At bedtime sometimes we give him the choice of "going on to bed" or being able to stay up an additional 30 minutes to read a chapter book.

So, if you ever come visit, you have a choice of reading Veranda mag. or Shark preditors if you wish when you are in the bathroom. :)

shhhh. It's working!
here's a great fake cheese popcorn recipe!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
air popped popcorn
place it in a paper bag
spray it with Pam OLIVE oil spray
sprinkle nutritional yeast all over and shake well
ENJOY!
This is actually so good and tastes very much like
cheesy popcorn!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Not your typical baby nursery

Perhaps you have come here from this very fun linky from Kelly's Korner thinking you will see a beautifully adorned nursery for a newborn after waiting 9 months for the blessing of placing that tiny baby in its crib for the first time... or seeing a beautifully slipcovered rocker in the corner of a freshly painted room especially prepared for this new life... or a mural on the wall painted by a talented local artist... or the mobile from Pottery Barn dancing above the custom bumper pads...

no. this isn't what our daughter had. It would have been my dream for her, but it wasn't to be. What she did have was a blessing beyond measure though. Our daughter was found when she was 4 days old at the entrance gate to a Nursing home in central China. It was a chilly late November morning and she was wrapped in a white blanket with blue animal prints on it. There was no note according to the gentleman that found her. From her finding spot, she was taken to a local orphanage and almost immediately placed into the arms of a loving Chinese foster family.



We will be eternally grateful to this precious family for taking in a tiny baby who had no one to love her, hold her when she cried, feed her, rock her, and care for her needs. This family took her into their home - and their hearts. When Elizabeth was placed in our arms 11 months later, it was obvious she had been very well cared for and loved dearly. She was immaculate and the clothes she came to us in looked like they were brand new and picked out for this special occasion. They were anything but fancy, but they were clean and neat. Her tiny fingernails were freshly painted and sure enough, when we took off her socks-- so were her toenails.

She had a tiny yellow bottle that her foster family had tied a simple blue string around and slipped over her neck to keep it with her. We soon learned why. This was the ONLY bottle she would drink out of and it was a lifesaver those early days in China with her.

After returning home, we were able to obtain some images of her very early life. These few pictures are precious and offer a tiny glimpse of early roots she would never remember. Her "nursery" consisted of what looked to be a family heirloom antique Chinese Cradle. She had one tiny yellow stuffed toy puppy that she carried everywhere. Here, she would spend the first months of her life. It could have been so much worse. Praise God for his divine intervention and mercy on our daughter. We are forever thankful for this simple cradle and the hands that rocked her while in it.






Saturday, May 23, 2009

Show us your Dining Room Linky

I'm a sucker for looking at design mags., blogs of all sorts, and love inspiration from them. So, if you enjoy snooping into other peoples homes, here's a great "linky" and the theme this week is Dining Rooms.

Here is ours. We were having a baby shower for one of my best friends so it was piled high with yummy goodies in celebration of their 2nd daughter's adoption from China. We even made a "Dining Room" outdoors for both adults AND the sweetest children you would ever want to feast at your table! We simply took the inside furniture outdoors!



Our dining room table dates to the late 18oo's or early 1900's. It belonged to my husband's parents. We have many wonderful memories around the table but when it was time for it to "live" in our home, it really wouldn't have been my choice. I thought it was quite dark and a little Victorianish for me, but when I paired it with some contemporary slipcovered chairs and... VIOLA! I loved it! It was exactly what the table needed. I can change the slipcovers depending on the season or on a whim for an entirely different look and feel.