Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the Cusp of New Things


It is always so exciting to be just a few days away from the New Year!! Are we really heading into 2011? That sounds so space-age-ish to this 40 year old!

We are sitting at home today with PandaGirl, who has THE FLU instead of being out of town with our extended family to finish up Christmas with them. We were all packed in the Tahoe ready to go when PG threw up yesterday. I had treated her for fever for two days, but it had gone down and she had no other symptoms.

Sure enough, the flu bug hit sweet girl. : (

PandaPop and I are also on Tamiflu for preventative measures. Hopefully tomorrow morning we can head out to give and get the rest of our Christmas gifts.

Then comes: 2011

I am looking forward to what the Lord has in store for our family. We have cried so many tears waiting on our little family to grow past 3 and now with new realities in sight we are filled with JOY!

Of course, at the top of my to do list for the new year is to eat more healthy food, exercise more and get. it. together. in that area of my life. Always, always a struggle.

Next, I am pumped to spend a 4-Girls Weekend with my college girlfriends. We are all turning 40 (well, I'm the only who's already hit the mark so far.....they all are this spring) and want to celebrate our wrinkles and joys together. We had a fabulous weekend that I blogged about a couple of years ago. I was so hoping to be skinny for the next reunion and instead I have managed to put back on every stinkin' pound I lost over a year ago. Way to go, Me!

They love me no matter what and I just can't wait to spend time together.

Also planned and hoped for is the New York trip with my friend who just hit her 40 mark last week and is the self-proclaimed President of Club 40. We are shooting for April, but we'll see.

My photography business has me giddy! There are so many things I want to learn and do and try and......oh, it's endless there. Santa brought me a new software program that will help me tremendously with organizing and editing my photos. I REALLY can't wait to see what unfolds there!!! However, I am a bit curious as to how my life will look with PandaJOY and PandaDoggie at my feet during the day. I'm thinking that my photography work will take place in the middle of the night. Very interesting since I'm not a "night person".

We are currently ripping off all the THREE LAYERS of wall paper in our kitchen from previous owners and excited to do something new and fresh in there. I love warm, rich colors, but I am seriously toying with going all white in there with some dark accents. Hmmm...

Well, I need to go help remove the wall paper, dole out more medicine, keep the dog off the cat, get the smell of bacon out of the air and brush my teeth......then have more Irish Sweet Cream coffee.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

365 Photo Blog!

I have been wanting to do a 365 Photo Blog for most of this year. I started out strong in January and February with another online site, but then I realized that all the wonderful pics that I was so faithfully taking and posting were going to stay put on the site where I posted them.

No, thank you.

I lost interest once I started playing around with my "real" photo projects. Now I am so excited to get started taking a pic-a-day for a whole year. I do it anyway so why not post them for others to enjoy? I love looking at other people's 365 photos and could easily just sit at a computer all day doing it. I think my family might disown me if I did that, however. Life does exist outside of computers, but I'm not sure I remember what I actually DID without FB, my blog, other blogs and just plain old web surfing. Must have been bored out of my mind. Nah.

If you follow me on here---LURKERS!!!---then have fun clicking over several times a week to see the latest updates on my 365 Photo Blog. The link is over to the right top of my sidebar.

Want to try the challenge, too? Do it!!! Tell me about it though so we can enjoy each others' lives....together!

Blessings on this grey-cold-after-Christmas-but-not-quite-New-Year's-Eve-Tuesday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tangled Me!

::click on collage to enlarge::

Self explanatory collage! ; )

Saturday, December 25, 2010

December Daily 2010-Partially

::click on collage to enlarge::

Just a look into my December Daily scrapbook. I will be doing a bit of regular scrapbooking with cute paper and stickers, etc. along with these collages. Loved doing my first DD last year because of some friends who had done it for awhile. It's an easy way (if you stay on top of it!!) to chronicle the highlights of the month of December since so much goes on in our life. I'll add the rest after Dec. 31st.

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas from The Panda Family!

God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

I hope that you will look for the good that God blesses you with this week. My heart hurts not having PandaJoy with us when the only thing keeping her away from being home with us is someone else's busy schedule.

Just doesn't seem right.

I am choosing JOY through this Christmas season as an offering back to God. He is good to me and my family and to PandaJOY. He sees all and knows all. He blesses me even though I don't deserve it.

I am so very thankful for the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Miss Chic & Mr. Dapper

::click on photo to enlarge::

We had a BLAST last night at our annual church staff Christmas party. Last year everyone was supposed to go with the theme of "Don We Now Our Gay Apparel" only not everyone did it. That meant that PandaPop and I plus our two friends along with our Senior Pastor and Exec. Pastor were the only ones who really looked ridiculously Christmasy. I don't embarrass easily, but I felt very awkward and didn't want the same thing to happen this year when the email came out last week saying that tacky Christmas was "back by popular demand". HA!! Who demanded it? LOL!

I thought we needed to really go all out with whatever we came up with. Our friends pulled in another goober with us and we all showed up like the lovely models you see above.


Already thinking ahead to next year's event and hopefully will turn this shindig into THE EVENT of the year. HA! Not likely, but certainly fun and entertaining as we opened up our white elephants gifts. I got a frame. The glass broke while sitting on the couch. Great. PP got a canister with some Band-Aids. We tried to fix the broken glass. ; )

Below is our gay apparel from last year. Believe me when I say no one else played along like we thought they would. How gay.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Couldn't Make This Up!

PandaPop and I were treated to a great lunch at Pei Wei yesterday by an old friend that I did head shots for that he'll use in an upcoming book he's co-authoring. Cool, huh?!

I do not believe in luck or horoscopes or fortune cookies to tell my future. My future is fully known and safe in my Maker's palm. However, with the timing of this particular little fortune yesterday: I. About. Fell. Out. Of. My. Chair.



We have waited OVER SIX YEARS for child number two to be in our family and had more delays and tears than I can even remember. What's another month, right?

Patience is a key to JOY.

The word JOY follows me more than any word has EVER followed me and it is always in the perfect context: pertaining to PandaJOY.

There is another little weird thing that has followed me for the past several months, but that is a new post and subject all its own. Quite interesting.

Happy Wednesday! Find a blessing today that you KNOW is from the Hand of God, straight to your heart!

Monday, December 13, 2010

To Keep Moving Forward

::click on photo to enlarge::

In order to keep moving forward and living in the present blessings God so graciously gives we decided to make gingerbread cookies on Friday night and then watched Disney's A Christmas Carol all while cuddled up in our living room with the beautiful Christmas tree lights glowing and our crazy, cuddly PandaDoggie by our side.


Our JOY comes from the Lord not from getting our life the way WE think it should be.

This week is with filled exciting Christmasy things to do with a grown-up girls' brunch, parties for PandaGirl, caroling at a nursing home, wrapping gifts, getting our Christmas card in the mail so that I can mail them out (FINALLY, after waiting & waiting to see if PandaJOY would be in the pic), church staff party, a birthday party and hopefully a trip to see the Gaylord Texan's ICE display.

We finished up our church's worship experience over the weekend. Beautiful rendition of the Christmas story told in a unique way. We watched the person playing God personally hand over baby Jesus to Mary and Joseph, as well as seeing an angel drape Mary in a huge royal purple, flowing organza wrap that represented the "breath" of God. Both very powerful images of God's presence and love for us.

Before the performance last night, we got to Skype with PandaJOY and one set of her soon-to-be grandparents. THAT was a blast!!! They've only met her one other time and that was back in the spring. Ohhhh......we are so ready for that baby girl to be HOME.

Hope that your Christmas is full of blessings and JOY. Look for it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Joy of the Christmas Child

That's what those words mean.

Joy of the Christmas Child.

Noel is PandaGirl's middle name and from the moment I laid eyes on PandaJOY I thought it was perfect to give her the middle name of Joy should we get to adopt her.

It is so easy to find and buy anything at this time of year that has "joy" and "noel" for Christmas decorations.

Not so easy is getting unofficial word yesterday that we won't get to have PandaJOY for Christmas. Nope. Mediation is scheduled for mid-to-late January. Can you say tears? I cried so hard yesterday for an hour which caused me to get my insides all twisted up into cramps. That's never happened. I have cried harder, but never had a physical reaction to it.

PandaPop and I prayed after I could finally get it together and I stopped calling God "cruel" and remembered that He truly has been faithful in all my life no matter if things didn't work the way I wanted them to. All my experiences and all of His word prove Him to be holy, faithful, loving, kind, more than generous and full of grace and mercy. He feels my tears, too. This is a broken world with messed up people and flawed systems.

I am not posting this for sympathy, but hopefully someone can be led to His feet through our story and know that everything really is out of our control and only God can direct us.

Keep moving forward.

It's been our theme for the whole year and apparently we are not done. We'll never be done moving forward. Once PandaJOY is in our home, I'm sure there will be something else to trudge through, pray through and wonder about.

Thank you for your love and care.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Here & Now

Outside my window… Overcast, yellowish-brown leaves all over the yard and a few piles of them ready to be bagged, very cold!! ; )

I am thinking…about all the gazillions of things on my to do list for today and wondering how they are ALL going to get done.

I am thankful for…beautiful Christmas decorations around my home, watching cheesy Christmas movies with my family and a warm house filled with the love of Christ.

From the kitchen…I smell apple cider candle wax burning to freshen up the house before a CPS visitor this morning.

I am wearing…brown leggings, green long sleeved shirt, pink fleece hoodie jacket and my new-most-favorite-EVER-moccasin house shoes.

I am creating… Christmas gift tags.

I am going…to open up my business bank account today!

I am readingO Little Town by Don Reid (one of the Statler Brothers)

I am hoping…that we will get a call this week for the mediation for PandaJOY.

I am hearing…the dryer tumbling the towels we used to wash PandaDoggie.

Around the house…presents need to be wrapped, purses need a new storage system, dust needs to be removed and overall feeling that Christmas is here from the looks of all the decor!

One of my favorite things… getting Christmas cards in the mail from families that I took the pics for the card. Too cool!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week… PandaGirl's rehearsal, rehearsal, rehearsal for our church Christmas worship experience this weekend and I'll be taking the photos for the event, prep for in-laws to arrive, wrap gifts, prep for Christmas party to be at our house to honor our children's ministry volunteers on Sunday, more shopping.

A picture to share

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Can Copy From the Best of 'Em

I saw these cute dining chair decorations on a blog the other day, went out and found the needed items and made these little darlings.

Just like that!

I always want to craft and do fun things like this, but never really take the time to get the stuff needed or else I do buy it all and never get around to doing it.

My cyber friend over at Musings from Kim K is FOREVER doing the CUTEST crafts with her girls and I want to be more like that!!

So proud of myself and can't wait to show these off to our Christmas guests.

Also, this weekend on Face*Book people are putting up favorite cartoon characters for their profile picture. Did you do it? Though I have my own personal favorites that represent my childhood better I came up with this little twist that represents my loves: PandaGirl and PandaJOY:

Thursday, December 2, 2010


My darling little Chinese daughter looks just like a darling little Eskimo girl!! LOVE IT!!

On Thanksgiving, the weather was pretty icky in the early morning time. We knew it was going to cool off significantly by lunch with a cold front blowing in, but somehow it blew in a few hours earlier than predicted which caught us all off guard.....but made us all giddy and happy!!! PandaDoggie had a BLAST and I'll post pics of that later, too.

This pic of PandaGirl is so precious to me!! Joy in her eyes does this momma's heart good.