Monday, August 31, 2009

Random Blips

***Thoroughly enjoyed my early birthday lunch at Johnny Carino's that my parents treated me to on Saturday.

***Sighed over my brown, dead plants in the front flower bed.

***Watched a couple of kiddos for a neighbor Friday night and then had a listening ear for a couple of friends struggling with some issues.

***Worked on gathering music and ideas for teaching the preschoolers at church for MOPS and development center. Start in the morning!

***Giggled as PandaGirl confessed how she "tooted" in front of her whole first grade class and was so embarrassed when they all laughed. First lesson in how to silently relieve oneself. lol!

***Walked to school to pick up PG on Friday. Couple of miles to and from. Gorgeous green tree trail for half of it.

***Wondered if Face**Book is really worth it when hackers can get in so easily.

***Though I was busy with music preps, I totally enjoyed being a SAHM while PG was in school. Completely new world!

***REALLY want to give more details about our next adoption, but am choosing to wait until more official news comes our way.

***Ached for my friend who should have traveled to China Aug. 13th to pick up their son and now have to wait until, at least Sept. 17.

***Basked in the teeny, tiny drop in temperatures and am looking forward to a wee bit more this week.

***Getting that warm, fuzzy feeling in my bones about fall peaking around the corner. LOVE me some pumpkins!!!

***Realized that fat will crawl back on in a New York minute if I don't watch what I eat. Stupid calories. Darn them!

***Listened to a dear friend give details of his families recent work in Germany with missions and how his family is really struggling to adjust, but God is moving in mighty ways in their ministry.

***Wondered if I will EVER get pictures in the very large tri-fold screen I bought back at spring break that sits in my living room with people's pics in it that I don't even know.

***Cooked dinner several times! Woohoo!

***Accidentally smooshed a little gecko in the door.

***Baffled as to how our huge dog escaped our back yard and is still missing.

***Chompin' at the bit for the rest of our little family to come together!

***Drank in the beauty of these colorful roses that PandaPop brought me just because he loves me. The stunning red one below was for PG. He always brings her one just for her along with mine. Love that man.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Box Schmox....What Does It Really Matter?

Maybe I acted too hastily.

Maybe I'm just too blond some days.

Maybe they should make the boxes different colors.

Maybe if I paid attention things like this wouldn't happen.

Maybe my towels would have come out of the dryer all soft and fragrant if I'd used the Gain dryer sheets instead of the Swiffer floor wipes.

Maybe somebody will get a laugh my expense. ; )

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Am My Beloved's...

Our anniversary getaway to a bed & breakfast couldn't have been more perfect. Our room was exquisite with deep rich dark brown stained hardwood flooring, matching bead-board ceiling, same wood wrapped jacuzzi tub, gorgeous sitting area with loveseat, pillows, red, brown and taupe decor along with a large flat screen TV/DVD player.
(FYI---those two glasses are ones we have used every year since circa 1995 after PP bought them at the grocery store for 98 cents each while we were in Seminary. The bottle in the pic is sparkling grapejuice......even if we DID drink alcohol I wouldn't because I think it tastes sooooo gross! lol!)


We have been on our honeymoon to Dis*ney World in 1992, a semi-bed & breakfast (cottage at an encampment for ministers to "retreat") on our 6th anniversary and we went on a cruise in 2002 with our BFFs. That would be the extent of our vacations over the past 17 years. With summers being the busiest time for PandaPop's ministries over the years and living away from all our family, we have only been able to use vacation time for holidays and such. Not complaining, but I have often wondered if we'll ever get to "vacay" much. With all that goes on in the world I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it. ; )

At our mid-morning breakfast in the main house we met a retired couple from Florida and a young couple who actually lived just 30 minutes away from us though the B&B was two hours in the other direction! LOL!

PP and I had a very relaxing time just hanging out, doing "some other stuff"**wink**and not being pressed for a scheduled. We both very much needed some real down time and couldn't have asked for a better way or place to have it.

"I am my beloved's and he is mine."
Song of Solomon 2:16

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of First Grade

PandaGirl was so excited, giddy and just a doll this morning getting ready for school, during the quick Jeep ride to school and walking inside the school. However, once we started to walk the halls with all the commotion and the many people wandering around we noticed her confidence waning with each step until Miss Independence was grabbing my hand unknowingly all while saying, "I don't think I want to go to first grade anymore" with wide eyes and an ever-increasing grip on my hand.

She made it into her room, found her locker, labeled seat and a few friends from last year's class and all of a sudden was back to being "so big" and didn't want me taking any pictures. I took pictures. She'll appreciate it when she's grown. ; )

Her new teacher will be delivering a baby in two weeks so a long-term sub will come on board for awhile. Hope this goes OK.

After school, PG had picked up some kind of smart alec attitude that had to be brought back to reality very quickly. Not the best of evenings as I had planned and hoped for, but we are all fine and ready for a new day of first grade.

Yes, she got a darling new hair cut in order to "look" different than a little ol' Kindergarten kid. I also LOVE this neon hot pink shirt against her summer-tanned skin. She was quite a cutie-pie, despite being a little turkey after school. LOL!

A Bouquet of Freshly Sharpened Pencils

So excited for PandaGirl to start First Grade today!! I'm sure there will be stories to tell later, but for now we are off to a great start for a GREAT year!! I am ecstatic to NOT be working full-time, but rather will be teaching music classes to the babies through age four at our church's child development center on Mondays and Fridays. This is the place where I worked two days a week teaching four year olds the year before last and LOVED every second of it!! I can't wait to get that ball rolling. Living on a budget again begins, too. YIKES! Last paycheck from my "job" came last week. : ( NOT sad about the awful full-time work schedule being gone, though. Thanks to all of you who listened to me whine my way through that ordeal all last school year. ; )

More to come from the Tales of a First Grader...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

17th Wedding Anniversary

August 22, 1992

Celebrating 17 years with my best friend

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cat & Mouse

PandaGirl has begged for some time for the game Mouse Trap. Apparently, Miao is happy about the purchase as well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Revelation Overload!!!

I am quite sure that PandaGirl is feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the information overload she has experienced within a few days. The last two posts are relevant to this post. She has had to process big revelations in her little life and now....


***She lost her 8th tooth yesterday. Awesome!!!

***She put it under her pillow like the previous seven teeth so that the wonderful Tooth Fairy could leave money or a surprise.

***She came into our bedroom this morning like every morning, got on the bed where I was sitting and said in an upbeat tone,

"Guess what the Tooth Fairy left me?"

and she held out her little hand as she was saying---with really quite a hilarious perturbed tone and slightly annoyed look on her face---



The cat had my tongue, because I couldn't believe I had forgotten and stunned that my kid was actually on to me! I wanted to ROTF&LMBO, but I held back as best I could and only let out a nervous giggle which prompted,

"Mo-uhm, it's NOT FUHHH-NNY!"

"Ummm.....ummm.....well, ummm....." "HONEY, come help me please!!!" as I called to PP to come take some heat with me and to not miss this great moment.

PP caved immediately and looked at PG sheepishly and revealed the whole ugly truth and proceeded to hand her two golden dollar coins.

However, on the 7th lost tooth two months ago, PG tried to pinpoint my actual dealings with the "Tooth Fairy" and asked if it was me. I never told it wasn't me, but I also did a really good job of skimming right over the question and moving on to a new subject. For the most part she was totally fine this morning and we made a big fun time out of it. We also told her that she COULD NOT let on to her friends that their parents do the same thing and we don't want to spoil the fun for them.

(We'll just stick to spoiling all the fun for our own kid! lol.)

So, not only did she find out this week that she was in another woman's tummy & her beloved birth country isn't all it's cracked up to be, but to pour salt all over the wound she finds out that the Tooth Fairy is her parents! AHHHHHH!

I guess I'll be using the cute Tooth Fairy stickers on a scrapbook page in a different fashion than I originally envisioned. Now, I will reveal the whole truth and nothing but the truth about my own failure as the TF. ; )

No worries---PG still has her fun giggles!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Just Thinking About It

Thank you so much for all your kind words about the last post. It really was an emotional day and I do believe it transferred over to yesterday as well. I paid extra attention to PandaGirl's "ways" yesterday and noticed a melancholy spirit about her all day. Nothing over-the-top, but definitely different than her usual jovial self. My sweet baby was carrying the news given to her in her own way.

Honestly, I think the news that China isn't all we've built it up to be was more shocking to her soul than the fact of being in another woman's tummy. She already thought she was in the nanny's tummy so that wasn't so hard, but finding out that there are really awful people in the place where she thought everything was like Mulan and Kung Fu Panda was quite devastating to her fun-filled Chinese bubble we just popped.

I know full well that she has to live her own life and feel her own feelings, but by the time I laid my head down on my own pillow last night, my heart was just too heavy FOR her and I cried as PandaPop prayed over me.

Today she is back to her "old" self, but I think she's had her first taste of life. The life that is fun some days, boring some days, busy some days, over-flowing with blessings some days and just plain painful some days. I trust that God will carry her just as He has me. She is a Believer and she is a daughter of the King of kings. He has better plans for her than I ever could and He loves her more than I can ever try.

As for me, I actually felt a huge release from my shoulders. I can't explain it, but I "feel" more like her mother now than before our conversation on Tuesday. Don't try to figure me out! LOL! ; )

All in all, I am glad that we have moved past that necessary milestone and are working towards the next. There will always be a "next" until we all get Home.

Thanks for caring about us and our family!!!! I promise to post more later about our current adoption process. I just need to wait a bit longer before giving all the details.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Red Thread Kind of Day

Today was the day that it happened. The red thread loosened some of its tangles.

No, the Lord God opened up the doors for my baby to know something He already knew a long time ago.

PandaGirl has known from the get-go that she is "adopted" from China. Whatever adopted means to a toddler, preschooler and six year old. We have glamorized that country and capitalized on all the cuteness of the unique foods, dress, architecture, marketed toys, the whole adoption "world". All of it. That was so our sweet baby girl would know how excited we are about her being from China. Building part of her self-esteem, if you will.

We never told her the truth about their government, the persecution of Christians, the horrid mistreatment of children and women and lower class men. Never mentioned the extreme poverty versus the facades put up to "look" like they have it all together. No--that is information not suited for a child. She needed to know the good things about her birthplace. About the people there who loved her so much.

Last week PG and I were giggling over belly-buttons.

Yes, they are funny, ya know. ; )

We recently kept a toddler who had an "out-ie". Here's some TMI, but PP, myself and PG all have "in-ies". She'd never seen an out-ie and asked why it was sticking out. I just laughed it off saying that all people are different. Last week, however, she caught me off guard with a balloon.

We were tossing the balloon and she noticed that the tied part was protruding like an "out-ie" and so we laughed some more. Then she asked why we have belly-buttons. The teacher in me just started explaining to her that that's where a baby gets it food....from the umbilical cord that is connected to the---------

World stops and all is slowly spinning about my head while I'm thinking of a response in the nano-seconds following.

"Ummm...the...ummm...the doctor cuts it off." said the wide-eyed mother.

PG then got all grossed out by that and was giggly about all the yuckiness of that.

Whew. Close call on that one.

As I was giving the scientific explanation for the umbilical cord, it was dawning on me right in the moment that I'd have to finish the statement with...."connected to the mother." As I scrambled to recover, I was glad that I didn't have to have THAT talk just then. PP wasn't home, I was worried that it was too much info. right about now with this whole adoption thing we're doing (another post later about that) and I just wasn't ready to tell my six year old that she was born to a woman in China. Period.

Fast forward to this morning. She and I were hanging out in PP's office at church and noticed a Chairman**Mao watch on his desk that we'd gotten off the street for a buck while in China over five years ago. There's a pic of him on the face and his arm clicks kind of like Hit*lers followers. I hadn't seen it in FOREVER and there it was clicking away on PP's desk. PG noticed it and for the first time ever PP and I started talking about how that man was not a good man and how he did things in that country that hurt people.

A few minutes later---and I have no recollection as to what even brought this up---PG said to me, "Well, you were born in someone's tummy."

ME: "What? What do you mean?"
PG: "You were born in Grandma's tummy and I wasn't."
ME: starting to sweat..."Where do you think you were born?"
PG: "In my nanny's tummy." That would be "the nannies" that took care of her in the orphanage that we have told her about numerous times.
ME: "Oh my. Let's have a conversation that we haven't had with you before now."

...and so started the discussion that I knew full well would have to come "one day". I truly felt the peace that passes understanding and the anointing of the Lord who gave me the words to say as our sweet six year old baby girl sat on her daddy's lap while she made the connection for the first time that there was/is another woman (and man) in China who had her first. She was in that woman's tummy.

I instantaneously remembered that PP had a copy of I Love You Like Crazy Cakes on one of his shelves. I grabbed it and reminded PG that I hadn't read that book to her in a couple of years, but that it would explain almost exactly our journey to get her.

Through the next fifteen minutes we would tell PG how that the man on the watch was part of a group of people that were not nice and made rules saying that a family couldn't keep a baby if they already had one and that the babies needed families who would love them. Of course, there were lots more in-depth words spoken. Spoken on her level of understanding and not too much information. Enough to make her tear up when she made the connections. We were all three choked up with red eyes brimmed.

We didn't make up any false answers that might have sounded good. We told her the truth. We told her we don't know what happened, but God does and He knew that we needed a baby girl and she needed a mommy & daddy.

We were able to remind her that all her Chinese friends have similar stories and I saw in her eyes that THAT was a revelation to her as well. I could see her brain working on this info. We were also able to bring in the reality that the little brother that she will have needs a mommy, daddy and a big sister who will love him and keep him safe, because the mom or dad he had hurt him badly. (Again, another post will explain all about that part of our life.)

I can't explain how thankful I was for the balloon and the belly-button incident last week prepping us. The watch on the desk. All three of us were together. The book was on the shelf. The reality of how our family has come together and is still coming together. I had the words to say.

Thank you, Lord, for our daughter. What a privilege to be "barren" physically in my own womb for I'd never know PandaGirl if not for that brokenness. If not for her own brokenness, she'd not have us. I was reminded today that what the Enemy means for bad, YOU, God can turn to good. How blessed we are. Thank you, in Jesus Name, Amen.

We prayed, went our ways, had lunch a bit later. Life went on. You find out major information in your little life and yet the world still moves on. Six is a young age to find out that the world doesn't stop for your struggles.

I could tell that PG was carrying the information learned earlier. Though we have prayed with and for her to be filled with peace--I could see the heaviness weighing on her little soul.

I know, because I KNOW her. I'm her mother.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aloha, White Swans!

Last Friday we were blessed by being with our old playgroup, The White Swans. We hadn't seen them in well over a year. It was the Hawaiian Hula Birthday Party for one of our friends so the girls were all done up in these darling hula skirts and ready to party! LOVED being with these friends, but terribly missed MommySpice and SpicyGirl not being there. It was so crazy seeing how all the girls have GROWN!! There were about three or four new members of the playgroup that I didn't know, but all that mattered to me was catching up with my girls and their girls. So much fun and so many fabulous memories with this group!

These cuties got in a little pool time as well. I was so irritated at myself when I realized that I'd left PG's swimsuit laying on my bed at hour away. PG was able to borrow one from her friend, but it was a wee bit too small and she HATES exposing her belly button. ; )

The darling decorations were perfect for our little dark-haired, almond-eyed beauties! The little hula girl on the napkins and plates looked JUST like our daughters!! I'm just sad I didn't find it first! LOL!! ; )

You were SOOOO missed MommySpice and SpicyGirl!!