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.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A mother's dream

tonight we had the sweet experience of watching our son John receive the outstanding conduct/ sportsmanship award (for the second year in a row!) at his end of the year Awana awards ceremony. What a privilege it is to be this precious child's mother. As far as his parents are concerned, this was the best honor he could have achieved.

I've posted this picture of John before, but it's such a vision of who he is. We were browsing in our favorite garden shop and I had walked ahead. John called to me and told me he had a surprise for me. When I turned around, he had drawn a heart in the gravel and told me how much he loved me. Who could ask for more?! Thank you God.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Yo mon, here's another...

yo mon, here's another quirky out of the way B+B we loved. You would never know this one even existed simply by driving down "main street". Tucked away in a quaint residential neighborhood of San Rafael California, this circa 1910 stucco and glass establishment has been an icon in the Gerstle Park neighborhood of this popular Marin county town. The Panama Bed and Breakfast Hotel has a bit of a bohemian touch with an eclectic twist.

This B+B is just a short distance over the San Francisco bridge and the historic shopping up and down the streets of the amazingly quaint towns surrounding is paradise! Some of my favorite 'finds' were found shopping here.

The outdoor patio dining is an experience in itself. "Very California" :)

So, the next time you find yourself crossing the San Fran Bridge heading North, pull over. You won't be sorry!

just curious

Am I the only one that never let my new daughter play in the White Swan play room? I could only imagine the little invisible creatures crawling all over the toys from the drool and saliva, the runny noses being wiped by little hands that then played with the toys my new daughter would be playing with and putting them in her mouth..

Don't get me wrong, we LOVED the White Swan!! It was an oasis in the vast desert of an unchartered journey for us, but no matter how hard you try to keep something like the play room sanitized, I'm still seeing all those potential critters! It now reminds me of how I feel about Chuc*y Cheese.. I don't think there has been one time that we frequented the lovely children's paradise without coming down with something in the nasty - trip to the Dr.- category.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Elizabeth on Posh Tots

Shortly after returning from China, Posh Tots sent us some beautiful!!! Asian clothing for children and Elizabeth was to be the 'model'. What FUN! I have so enjoyed these outfits for her and they will be some of the clothing I will keep for her to hand down to her own little girl someday.

I often become attached to special items the children wore or had when they were babies and these clothes are an example. You know the feeling of when you hold something, smell it, feel it, suddenly you are taken back to 'the moment'..

Monday, May 4, 2009

Strawberry cilantro salad dressing

Makes even the youngest ones love salad!
So easy!

8-10 ripe fresh strawberries
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4- 1/3 cup honey
1/8+ cup apple cider vinegar
1 - 2 cloves fresh garlic
opt. fresh cilantro leaves to taste (I used ~ 4 tablespoons)

Puree all ingred. and enjoy! Keeps up to 2 wks. in frig.