Thursday, August 31, 2006

Last Panthers pre season game goes their way!

Well, the Panthers game just ended. They won!!! :) I know it's just pre season, but hey- they beat the Steelers! And it was all because of that guy up there. John Kasay kicked 5 field goals including one 54 yarder! (By the way, his kids go to Will's school!) Final score: 15-13. It looked like the Steelers had won it until a few passes went their way, and lined them up for FG position with 4 seconds left! Woohoo, I don't care if it's just preseason. Football is football!

Football=LOVE

In honor of college football starting today, here's the adorable little Texas cheerleading outfit I want to get for AnnaClaire. She has to match us all in our Texas gear! (My dad went to Texas and my mom went for 2 years) Texas' first game is on Saturday!!! :)

Right now, we are watching the Panthers vs. Steelers! So lots of football all around! For now... GO PANTHERS!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

16

(don't pay attention to the "Dana" part, its the "SWEET 16" that counts!) Well... It's the "Sweet Sixteen" day for TA. 16 days down... ? to go!

My good friend, Keara, is leaving for China TOMORROW to pick up her sister, Maura!!! I'm so excied for you, Keara!!!

Nothing much else going on here in Charlotte. It's very hot outside... I think I like Massachusetts weather better! I'm talking to my brother on IM right now. He starts classes today and his first one is Mandarin! I told him he'll have to teach AnnaClaire how to speak it someday!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

FIFTEEN!!!!!!!!

15 days since our LOI was recieved AKA, day 15 in the big TA wait! Maybe we are 1/2 of the way there, maybe 1/3. Maybe 1/4 or 1/5 or 1/6 or even 1/7. We have no way of knowing at this point. We can only pray it won't be much longer!

Swimming started back today! It was fun. I'm happy because my coach was going to leave, and she has decided to stay. My friends and I are so out of swim shape from being off for a month. It will take awhile to get adjusted!

Pictures see website!

Okay, well Blogger is being annoying, and I can't post pictures from the trip. I have most of them on our website, so go there to see them. They are under "Photo Albums" titled "Massachusetts pics"

Monday, August 28, 2006

THANK YOU, WHITES!

LOOK WHAT WE FOUND ON OUR MAIL STACK FROM THE WHITES!!! The cute little Anne Geddes ladybug doll! PRECIOUS! We DEFINATLY have the best cyber friends! Thank you SO much, White family! We LOVE this little doll!!! She will look so pretty in AC's nursery!!!

NEW CAR!!!

OUR NEW CAR! It's a 2006 Toyota Highlander Limited! (in bluestone) Isn't it pretty? I LOVE it! ...back to that in a second...

We got home from taking Drew to college at 3:30AM this morning! Massachusetts was SO much fun, I don't have batterys right now, but I'll post pictures tomorrow from the trip. I am missing Drew a lot... I love the college he is going to! It is SO pretty, small, and nice. And far. It tooke 21 hours (including the car troubles, and meal stops) there, 17 back. We left at 11 on Sunday after a nice brunch at the hotel. We admired all the beautiful houses there on the way. Then it started POURING. Absolutely POURING. The entire time, it was pouring. It was kinda miserable. We had been researching cars on CarMax and had found a green Highlander in Conneticut. In fact, it was in Hartford, right on the way. So we stopped by to look at the car. The one draw back was it had cloth seats. We were thinking we could live with that, but really wanted leather. We looked and there was no way. In the back was a huge mark on the seats from a car seat. We were not going to spend money on a har with a HUGE mark on the seat! We went back on the way in the pouring rain... We drove and drove (and I slept) until we got to a Macaroni Grill in Hershey PA, where we ate dinner. Then back on our way... I fell asleep from 9:30-1:30 which was nice. We pulled into our house at 3:30AM. We woke up at 9AM this morning to deal with our car situation. We still wanted a Highlander, but wanted it with leather. We went to CarMax first, asked if they were interested in our engine free Navigator, and asked if they had Highlanders. None. So we went to the Toyota dealer next door. We had in our mind that we were not going to buy one yet. We wanted to look around at a few cars. But we test drove one (a white one) and loved it. They guy told us about a blue Highlander they wanted to sell us. Mom really wanted green w/ tan, this was blue w/ grey. We saw it and liked it a lot though. We knew it was our car. It had cloth, but the man said he would put leather in- no charge PLUS he would add floor mats! We really wanted those, so we wouldn't have to worry about messing up the carpet. Well, we LOVE our car! Funny story... we decided to buy the car and were filling out paperwork. All of a sudden, we saw a lady get out of OUR car! She had been test driving it and she wanted to buy it! (Her saleman didn't know it had already sold!) Our salesman went over and told her we bought that car 5 minutes ago. She was disapointed and couldn't believe it! I LOVE our car! I can't wait to put AnnaClaire's carseat in it!!! Well, I'm really happy with the new car, and it is nice to have something other than green and tan. YAY! Blue and grey!!!

Yesterday was AnnaClaire's 10 month birthday. I can't believe it. I am sad that we are missing so much of her little life. I want to get her now! TA, COME SOON!!! (2 weeks since it was received at the CCAA!!)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Drew's at college!

Today, we woke up and ate breakfast at the hotel. We ran into our friends bringing their daughter, Laura to Gordon, and talked for a really long time. Then we got showered and stuff and went to the campus. There was a nice picnic lunch for families with boxes with sandwiches, ceaser salad, fruit, cookies, and a drink. It was really good! Then we went and looked at Laura's dorm and realized how much more space they had than Drew. We went and re organized Drew and his room mate, Jason's dorm while they were gone. We fit all the furniture really nicely, and hung up the pictures. We really surprised them and they were excited with all the space! I will add pictures when we get home. We stopped at the Bookstore again to get a Gordon bumper sticker for the new car. We also bought Will a sweatshirt and I got a waterbottle to add to my Gordon gear! We toured around a little with Laura's family (who by the way, it was her mom's idea to re arrange the dorm like we did!) and then there was a little service in the chapel with a speaker, hymns, and a freshman scroll signing and then we said goodbye. It was not bad. We had 30 minutes to stay on campus, so we saw the old house that owned all the Gordon property. It is now the administrations office. It was so pretty! We took a few pictures of the campus and even went back to Drew's room to get some advil... Then we were off! We went to a beach in Manchester. The water was SOOOOOO cold! I can't imagine, especially because this is the warmest it gets. On the way back, we ran into a family who just brought their daughter to Gordon. They live in Nashville and go to the same church as Steven Curtis Chapman!!!! They said his China daughters are adorable! We talked with them for awhile and then went to Glouster. It was really cool! I saw a draw bridge go up and down for the first time! It was very cool. The water was beautiful! We found a nice restaruant called Amelias. Mom and I got chowder and fried clams and dad got a huge seafood platter. I tasted squid, octopus, clam, scallop, callamari. (it also had fish, shrimp, fries, and onion rings, but I had already tasted all that.) It was all quite good! Of course it was all fried so maybe that is why! we went into Rockport and did a little bit of shopping. The town was really cute. We got AnnaClaire a fun bib and dad got a sweatshirt. We ended the day with some hot chocolate (and coffee for dad) at a coffee shop. I am surprised how cold it is here! We are wearing pants and sweatshirts! I am really enjoying Massachusetts. Tomorrow we head home in great hopes of finding a car quickly! We'll see how that goes...

When we got back to the Hawthorne, I realized I lost my favorite necklace. It's a red ladybug one I beaded. I think I didn't get the clasp done all the way and it slipped off. My mom doesn't remember me having it on, so maybe it fell off at thee hotel... I am really dissappointed, but am hoping it will turn up........



I will post some pictures of the trip once I have a cord and it's not so late. We just finished researching cars so... I'd better get to bed! We looked at some peoples referrals pictures today... So cute!!! AnnaClaire turns 10 months today... Can't wait to be with her!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Posting from Salem

Yesterday was a long day. Very long. We were on the road by 7:30AM to take Drew to college in Wenham, Massachusetts. Somewhere just across the NC/VA line, our car started knocking and died on the highway in the mountains. We tried to stay calm and we called AAA. They got a tow truck for us. Meanwhile, Dad and I took Drew's car to see if there was a service station on the next exit. The gas station said to go up the road. There was some really run-down place with one person working in it. I don't know if you've ever seen the movie Cars, but if you have, think of Mater, and you'll know exactly what I am talking about. The tow truck there literally I thought was Mater. So we asked the man if he had time to look at the car an he said yes. At the time he was working on 3 big trucks! We got back to where the car was and the tow truck was there. I have to say, it was quite funny seeing our car being pulled up the ramp! Where's the video camera when you need it? The tow truck man recommended a Ford place 2 exits away. We went there and waited a little to see what was wrong. Drew's car is fairly small, so we crammed all the stuff in just enough to fit Mom, Drew, and I. Dad decided to stay there and figure out what was wrong and work from there. Turns out, the engine blew and it was a $7,000 repair job. Dad found the best rates possible for a rental car, but the only car they had had a flat tire! Dad ended up waiting 3 hours to get the tire repaired. He started out 3 hours and 20 minutes behind us. We hit 4 HUGE traffic jams, ended up stopping at McDonalds, and what should have taken 12 hours to get to Conneticut, took us over 17! (and with all our stopping, dad caught uo and was 20 minutes beind!) We stopped at a very dumpy Howard Johnsons that was furnished like some 60's hotel (including a broken wooden fridge and ugly brown sink making a "wet bar") and slept for a few hours. We woke up, dad took me to Panera, and we were on our way again. We were to Wenham in 3 and a half hours so this 15 hour trip took us 21. Then we stopped at a cute clam chowder place and got to Gordon 30 minutes early. The people at Gordom were so helpful, they unloaded all the stuff and we got Drew's dorm set up. We toured the college and I got a sweatshirt and some mint ice cream at a food place downstairs. we left Drew to do all he needed, and we came back to the hotel. We saw the news! Referrals are coming!!!!!!!!! CONGRATS, ALL! Then we went to a nice dinner place and went back to Gordon for a talk and desert. Oh my goodness, they had the best desert! Boston Cream Pie was my favorite! Then we went and saw the athletics center and pool (really small...) The gym was so cool though and they had an awesome rock climbing wall! They also had a HUGE weight room for such a small college! Now we are back at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem (right near Wenham). Tomorrow is another day on campus... I'd better get to bed! Today was a MUCH better day than yesterday. It seems like everything went wrong yesterday, but today was all good! Oh yes, can't forget, we have been staring at AnnaClaire's pictures for one whole month now! WE ARE COMING, BABY! As soon as possible, that is. And our LOI was sent 2 weeks ago!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

LADYBUG SIGHTING!


Drew paid me to help "clean" (in that, I mean totally empty out!) his room, pack his stuff, and wash his car. Today was packing day. Yesterday was room and car. Tomorrow is the big 16 hour drive to Boston! **Notice all the clothes piled on top of the stroller**
LADYBUG SIGHTING from Aunt Deanne! Thanks so much for the cute magnet, notecards, and sweet letter!
Up close of these adorable notecards...
Up close of the Brighton ladybug magnet. It is now holding AnnaClaire's picture up on the breadbox!


In the mail today we had quite a few ladybug sightings! My dad's sister (my aunt) sent us some cute ladybug noecards, a Brighton ladybug magnet, and a sweet note with ladybug stickers on it! It brightened this overwhelming day. So thank you SO much, Aunt Deanne!

Why was this an overwhelming day? Well for 2 reasons... 1stly, we are taking Drew to college tomorrow, and while we are there, people are re-doing our hard wood floors. So, mom had to celan out the whole kitchen and mudroom. 2ndly, well, Drew is going to college tomorrow. Enough said, right? Okay, well his room was a diaster. We (Drew and I) had to sort through ALL his clothes, books, junk, EVERYTHING. Then we had to pack all of the stuff he was taking. This sounds a lot easier than it is. Trust me, it took FOREVER! Finally we are close to done. Atleast I got some money out of this deal!!! [;)]

Now we are going out to dinner... At On the Border! YUMM! More later.......

A clothing talk **UPDATED

Last night was the last night all three of us kids were home. Will left this morning for a HS retreat and we are taking Drew to collge tomorrow. The next time Drew comes home will be around Thanksgiving (he's going near Boston) and I am really praying AnnaClaire will be home by then. I think she will! And so then it will be all 4 kids! (until Drew goes back)

I have been checking the Gymboree site everyday because Mom promised me once the squirrel dress was on sale, we could get it. Well it was never on sale so I hadn't looked for about a week. Today I checked and wouldn't you know, IT'S ON SALE! So I'm about to order that! YIPEE! IT'S FINALLY ON SALE!

I am also very excited, because I have been following some people in China now who are adopting babies from AC's orphanage, and Chenzhou SWI gave them the clothes their babies were found abandoned in! I think that is GREAT! I really hope they give us AnnaClaire's clothes! A black cotton hat, a woolen jacket and pants. That would be awesome! I can't see why they would give some people the babies clothes but not others...

DAY 9 FOR TA WAIT! YIPEEEEEE! How many more???

(11:49 AM) Mom and I just ordered lots of stuff from Gymboree! We got the squirrel jumper and matching onsie, 2 other onesies, and the pink lambie pants to match the lamb onesie we got awhile ago. AnnaClaire has some darling clothes. I LOVE baby shopping!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

day 8 or day 11?


Honestly, as much as I research adoption, I don't really know if you count down TA from when the LOI is sent or when it's received. Before, I had ONLY read it being counted when sent, but my mom said that everyone she asked said it's when received. So I have a picture of both. Today is day 8 and/or day 11. I think I will count down from when it was received from now on. It seems more right! Of course, people don't count their DTC from when the dossier was received, they count from when it was sent! That seems different though because that's dossier TO China. Not dossier AT China. So here's to day 8. (Or day 11, what do you think?)

The TA wait is killing me. I hope we don't have to wait much longer! Itis so hard to look at the picture of my beautiful sister and have no clue when we will get her. On rumor queen, I read that most orphanages have no A/C or heat. I sure hope AC's orpanage has A/C! Or else she is going to be so hot! Poor baby! I hope we can bring her home before it's cold... Or else she is going to be all bundled up and un-comfy so she stays warm. Poor baby!

Oh, today would be a great landmark, if we hadn't found Chen Xun Hui! Today is the 1 month anniversary of our LID! But that doesn't really matter anymore...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Package from the Liptacks!

All the goodies! Such a fun idea, thank you Liptacks! I have to say, we have the best cyber friends EVER!
One of my favorite things in the package: baby's first purse! And it just so happens to be the cutest purse in the entire world!


I was so excited to see my mom walk in from getting the mail, with a package from our cyber friends, the Liptack family! (In fact, I was so excited that I cut my finger trying to open the box that by the way, was adressed "To Sisters: Emily and AnnaClaire"!!!!) It contained lots of goodies for both AnnaClaire and I! A notepad, necklace, pin, and earrings for me, and a matching bracelet of AC, a notepad for me, little bows, a ladybug purse-- ANNACLAIRE'S FIRST PURSE... AND IT'S THE ADORABLE GYMBOREE ONE! A ladybug wind thingamabober that's now hanging prettily on our porch, a board book, "It's a girl!" scrap booking stickers, and 2 more quilt squares and a wish from Hailey. Thank you SOOOOO much, Liptacks! This was such a surprise to come home to after school supply & shoe shopping!

WE'RE IN DOUBLE DIGITS!

10 DAYS SINCE LOI WAS SENT!
aka
10 DAYS IN THE TA WAIT!!!
aka
WE'RE IN DOUBLE DIGITS...
and I hope I won't have to write the words "We're in triple digits."

Okay, so it's day 10. Okay, so I have no idea how many more days we have to wait. All I know, is I'm ready to go get my sis! She is growing up without us. She will be 10 months old on Sunday. We have no idea how tall she is, how much she weighs, if she still bald. We have no idea! That's what makes it hard. Is she still small, or has she gained 4 pounds like one of the Chenzhou babies. Is she still bald, or does she have wild hair? Is she tall or a short little girl? The most recent info we have of her is when she was 5 months old. Now she's almost double that! In 2 months and 6 days, our little baby will turn 1. Will we be with her? How I pray we will! To have her for her first birthday, we'd have to get her on Monday, October 23. We'd have to travel on the 19th and get TA around the 5th. That would be 55 days of waiting. Is that possible? Sure it is! Isn't EVERYTHING possible with God? I wonder what AnnaClaire looks like now, at almost 10 months old.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Is AnnaClaire asleep in a rock-hard crib? (orphange pics)

Here are some babies playing at the Chenzhou SWI!
Here's the orphange from a side angle. It looks kind of... sad and dull.
Here's a crib at the orphange. This is probably what AnnaClaire is sleeping in!
Another view of the orphange. I like this one better :)
Here the nannies are lining up all the babies in bamboo chairs. They are giving the babies some sunlight!


These pictures are a little outdated, because they are from 1999 and 2001, but I might as well post them. I have found an answer to one of my [many] questions.*Drumroll please!*
Is AnnaClaire in a rock-hard crib?
The crib in the picture has a matress. It is very thin, but there is a matress.
This makes me feel a lot better. However, these pictures are outdated, so who knows what kinda crib AnnaClaire is sleeping in now. I sure hope it has a matress! I really hope we can visit the orphange. The orphange usually doesn't allow visitors, so I'm not counting on it. But with God, all things are possible!
One more question...
How many days until we can rescue AnnaClaire from her thin matressed crib?
I can't answer that one... It's in God's timing! (Please Lord, let it be really soon!)

Funny story... We were having pizza for dinner a few nights ago, and it was just 3 of us... I asked my mom whether we were eating at the table or just around the house, and she said "Well, I'm going to eat at the computer with my friends." (As in she wanted to eat & email & check websites)
I still love you, Mom, even if you did turn us down for your cyber friends ;-)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Orphanage money!!!!

Dad and I finsihed counting the change late last night... We counted it numerous times and brought it to the bank this morning. The lady at the bank was very patient and helped us count it all. We had a grtand total of $2,125!!! It was good we had counted to make sure, because at first the lady counted $1,836.50. Then we brought it to another bank where our safe deposit box is. (We weren't sure if one bank would take all the coins so we had arranged it to end at the bank with our box.) We got pretty crisp bills, but we might have to order BRAND new ones. In our SDB, there were more $100's so we have our $3,000 for the orphange! We even have spending money! WOOHOO!!!

So after that, Caroline and I met for lunch at Chickfila! It was so yummy! We then walked around the shopping center. We got quite a few things. I found an adorable dress I wanted for AnnaClaire, but they didn't have her size. :( When we got home, Caroline and I set up AnnaClaire's high chair and then went to the pool. Now we just finished a yummy ice cream cone!!! Well, I better go now...

Day 8 for TA wait.................. How many more?

Friday, August 18, 2006

1 week after LOI is now officially AC day!

*FAVORITE FOTO FRIDAY* This is our family at Drew's graduation this summer. I love this picture!





All the stuff we got AnnaClaire at Target today! Whew, that's a lot of stuff!
Ladybug colored bows from the Zimmermans in our swap.
Quilt square and wish from the Towerys!

This morning Mrs. Towery brought over some stuff! She brought a sweet wish and an adorable Pooh quilt square!! She also brought some adoption poems for us. I can't find one of them on Google but here's the other:
ABC's of Adoption
(Jeanne Pettenati)
A is for Adoption...The way my family came together.Did you know that adoption is forever?
B is for Birth mother...the woman who gave birth to me.Birth parents make an adoption plan so that we can join our families.
C is for Children...Hooray for the children in our families!We come from many, many countries.
D is for Daddy...who loves me very much.I really look forward to being with him so much.
E is for Embrace...I was embraced by my family!And it is special because of me.
F is for Foster Family...some of us live with foster families before we are adopted.They nurture us until with our family we are united.
G is for Grandparents...so happy to have a grandchild like me!They are proud of the new addition to our family.
H is for Home...to make sure my home was the right place for me,the adoption agency looked at the plan very closely.
I is for I...I am special indeed!Many wonderful things begin with a small seed.
J is for Joy...my parents jumped for joy when they heard I was born.With a child, their lives took a new form.
K is for Kisses...my mom and dad kiss me a lot.I am sure they will continue even after I am no longer a tot.
L is for Love...all the members of my family love each other!Because of adoption, our hearts locked together.
M is for Mommy...who carried me in her heart and mind before I was born.She wished for a child every evening and morn.
N is for Nursery...The room designed especially for me!Reading and playing there makes me very happy.
O is for Orphanage...that is where some of us stay,Until our happy adoption day!
P is for Paperwork...Mom and Dad had to fill out paperwork to adopt me.They had to record many things about their history.
Q is for Questions...we all have questions as we grow.Your parents will help you find out what you want to know.
R is for Reading...there are good books to read about adoption.I can learn how my experiences are shared with other children.
S is for Social Worker...who helped Mom and Dad adopt me.Social workers are there to counsel our family.
T is for Teddy Bear...my favorite toy.Teddy is always here for me and brings me lots of joy.
U is for Understanding...understanding that an adoption plan is made from love.The angels smile on adoptive families all over the world from above.
V is for Voice...Mom and Dad smiled big smiles when they heard my voice the very first time.Before I was born, they dreamed about it sometimes.
W is for Waiting...my parents waited and waited for me to join them.Hurray for parents taking good care of their children.
X is for eXcellent...adoption is an excellent idea,Here, there and everywhere.
Y is for You...wonderful you if you are adopted too.The world is a better place because of you.
Z is for Zzzzzzz...the soft sound I make while sleeping at night!Now I am where I belong and it feels perfectly right.

Thank you so much, Towerys!

Then Mom and I went out to eat at Qdoba. Later, we had to drive Drew to work at Harris Teeter, because his car is in the shop. So we decided to run into Target! Boy, did we buy a lot! Toys, diaper rash cream, lotion, shampoo/soap, an inflatable duck tub, a travel kit, disposable bibs, bottles and extra nipples, spoons, organic rice ceral, bowls w/ lids (to put snacks in), and a formula seperator so you can put the formula in and easily pour it into the bottle when touring, shopping, etc. I also got some new running shoes, and socks! It was so much fun shopping for AnnaClaire! Now... WHEN CAN WE COME GET HER? It's officially a week since LOI was sent... How much longer will it take? 100 days? 70 days? 50 days? 20 days? How I pray it will be fewer rather than greater.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The bear has a name!


AnnaClaire's stroller came today! I buckled her (picture) in and I think she likes it(her stroller)! She especially likes sharing her seat with her bear! I even put her diaper bag on the back :)
The cutest dress in the world came today, too! (IT EVEN HAS PANTIES!)
Here's the fun care package the Stephen's sent! Thanks SO much!!!

Our sleepover was fun last night! We watched a movie and the girl in it had an adopted sis from China! We woke up and ate pancakes, then we got on the huge raft in the pool. We were attempting to stay dry, because we had our PJ's on, but that so didn't work! I think it was funner that way! Then later we went to the neighborhood pool. We walked home and guess what was sitting in the mudroom? 4 boxes!!!!! 1 had the Ergo, 1 had the stroller, 1 had the ladybug dress, and 1 had my tote bag! I assembled the stroller all by myself!! We LOVE it! Anyone who hasn't bought a stroller yet, I definatly recommend this one! It's the Pliko P3 from Peg-Perego. And of course, we got pink! Okay, so now what you've all been waiting for (wink wink) the bear's name. Her name is Teddie! No doubt about it, I wanted the bear to be a girl. Mom didn't want me to confuse AnnaClaire by naming it something like Ellie because then she would call ALL bears that. So We came up with Teddie. I put the "ie" so it's more girly. Here was my list of names:
Teddi, Teddy, Teddie, Pookie, Ellie, Sophie, Lilly. I think she looks like a Teddie!
We then had a little "girls night out" with the Pughs! It was really fun! We ate at Mcalisters and had Ben & Jerrys ice cream after! :)

My mom just called me down... She just found a FedEx package by our front door! My mom's friend, Mrs. Stephens, sent it to us! It contained lots of goodies including a sweet note, quilt square and wish, earplugs, hand WIPES, barrettes, a bible song DVD, chapstick, and life savers! There is a reason for all the stuff... Like the earplugs to wear on the plane, etc. Thank you SOOOOO much, Stephens family!


Today was so much fun! I don't think we have EVER got so many packages! We also got 2 sets of barrettes from the Balmers and Stallings in our swap! Thank you!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

a bear, a book, and it's day 5!!!

DAY 5 FOR TA WAIT!
This is AC's high chair! We actually got it in July, but I kept forgetting to post pictures!

This is AnnaClaire's bear. Name is yet to be. I also bought her this cute clothe book!
This is the page that sold me on the book. Obviously Miss Bear likes it too :)

I woke up early this morning and a ton of my friends and I walked to a nearby shopping center for breakfast. It was SOOO fun! We went to Manhatten Bagel! YUMM! We then stayed at the Arboretum (the shopping center) for a while. We went into Old Navy, Barnes & Noble and a shoe store. I found the CUTEST teddy bear EVER at Old Navy, and deicided it was time I got AC her first stuffed animal. Isn't it CUTE? It is the perfect size. She is SOOOO fuzzy and soft. I hope AnnaClaire likes it! At Barnes & Noble, I found a really cute clothe book! The colors are so bright and fun, and each animal has some sort of fabric on it so you can feel the animals. The first page is what made me think "I HAVE to get this!" (Notice the ladybug!) I'm very pleased with my purchases! I also got hand sanitizer lotion (I think that is so cool its 2 in 1!!!) and ladybug book clips for myself. Then our neighbor/builder came over to talk to my mom about adding on a nursery! The plans sound so cool! I hope we do it! Well, I'm about to eat then I'm going over to Sydnee's house for a big sleepover with her, Mere, Liz, and Sadie! Fun!!!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Summer days...

AC's ERGO!!! We ordered it today!!!

Her coat, hat, and mittens! TOO CUTE FOR WORDS!! AND SO TINY!!!!!!!
The stroller! My dad is so excited to push a hot pink stroller around ;)
Here's me with the now empty can that used to hold all the change, the machine, a box of pennies that we ran out of rolls for, $315 worth of quarters (not even counting the many rolls of them!), a jar of $1 coins, another jar that used to hold money, and all the rolls and rolls of money. All of this adds up to $828!!! We are probably going to use this money to buy AC, Mom, and I pearls! There is also another jar of money even bigger than this one!Up close picture of the quarters

Wow, is summer awesome or what? Today I saw my friends Sydnee and Meredith for the first time in a MONTH! They have been in Europe since mid July and just got home late last night! Aton of neighborhood friends (Elizabeth, Sadie, Syd, Mere, Abi, Elizabeth C. and I) all hung out. We went to Syd and Mere's pool and made obstacle courses! Mrs. Pugh made us grilled cheese for lunch! Then we sorta wandered around the neighborhood and ended up at the Pughs house. We played DDR and made "Coke Float with a dash of Cinnamon Cookies". Sound good, don't they? It was a made up receipe involving coke, ice cream, cinnamon, and the normal stuff. Plus cocoa, honey, and coconut. They were actually pretty good! After everyone else had to leave, Liz, Sadie, and I tried extremely hard to get a hummingbird out of their garage. It took forty five minutes and involved a huge pole, 3 sets of strong arms, a red towel, and a hummingbird feeder. Oh and sweat! It was so hot!! We finally got the hummingbird on the feeder which was attached to the pole which was being held by all of us. Carefully we lowered down the pole and WHOOSH! It flew away! I came home to see that AnnaClaire's adorable coat, hat, and mittens arrived! Too cute for words!!! My mom also told me she ordered the Ergo baby carrier!!!!!!!!! Yesterday we ordered the stroller!!!!!! Last night my dad and I counted (the easy way... aka with a machine that you slide the change in and it sorts it into rolls and stops when it is at the limit!) all his change! So now you see that the saying "every penny counts" is so true! As you probably read above, we might buy pearls for all the girls of the house (besides Maggie...) with it. We don't know for sure though. I'm enjoying summer a lot, but it is EXTREMELY hard to look at my sisters face and know she is without someone who loves her. I know her nannies love her, but not like a mother/father/brother/sister's love. I want her so badly.

Oh yes, IT'S DAY 4 FOR THE TA WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which brings me to the point of... We "met" a family who lives in the Woodlands. (where we used to live and I was actually born!) They actually are really good friends with some people we know! Anyway, they have adopted 2 China angels. One they just came home with this summer. They adopted her through the WC list. Well, we have a lot in common with them (INCLUDING THE SAME CARSEAT AND BEDDING!!) Ellie is from Hunan just like AC! Their wait for TA was 57 days... Maybe we will have that in common with them too! Wouldn't that be awesome? getting TA on October 7... Wow, that would be amazing. I won't go on daydreaming! But I can keep praying it will be VERY speedy!

I've been tagged!

Mrs. Liptack “tagged” me, so I must finish these open ended statements....

I am…a germafobia

I want…a little sister! (and I'm getting one)

I wish… I could go to China NOW!

I hate…when things are messy. I also hate thunderstorms!

I miss…swimming (I'm on a break right now...)

I hear…the music on my blog

I wonder…when we'll get TA

I regret…when I have too many desserts at banquets. Then I get bad stomach aches!

I am not... a boy

I dance…when I'm playing DDR

I sing…in the shower and at Church

I cry…when I have to get shots!

I am not always…patient!

I make... a lot of stuff (I am very crafty!)

I confuse…the letters G and J

I need…ice cream!

I should…be doing summer reading.

I start... to read adoption websites right when I wake up.

I finish… this tag thing right now! (7:44 P.M.)

NOW I TAG HAILEY AND KEARA!

Monday, August 14, 2006

a LADYBUG puppet! And squares!!!

Our neighbors, the Crenshaws, were in Ashville yesterday and today and came to get their key... And guess who they brought a bag of goodies for?! AnnaClaire!!! They said they went in a little store and asked if they had anything ladybug. The worker said yes and showed them this cute ladybug hand puppet! How cool is that? Plus, it has 6 fingers for right OR left handed people. So now even dad can play puppets with AC!!! They also went into a fabric store and found these 3 Asian fabrics for our quilt!!! The lady who owned the fabric store is also adopting from China! Cool, huh? Thank you SOOOO much Crenshaws!!!

Backround music*

I used to have "When Love Takes you in" on here, but it stopped working. Now I can't find it on the audio codes site... So the new song is "Bless the Broken Road". I hear it on our Christian radio station ALL the time, and I always think of adoption when it's playing. I had only heard the version from Selah, but this is Rascal Flatts (the origanial version). Here are the lyrics... Seems adoptiony to me!

I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you
Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
I think about the years I spent just passing through
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true
Every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

ITS A GIRL! LOI IS AT THE CCAA!


There was one section of non translated stuff in our referral package. A very nice Chinese doctor translated it for us. A few days later he called and said everything looked great. He said that on the bloodwork paper, it said she was a male. He also brought up the subject that her name is masculine. AnnaClaire looks like a girl, but to make sure, we contacted Tabitha. We also wanted to make sure there wasn't a paperwork mess up with AnnaClaire and another child at the orphage. Due to this, we weren't sure if our LOI would be sent on the 11th. We kept trying to ask, but got no reply. So, we went into the weekend not knowing. This morning we got a reply! Our LOI was sent on Friday and has already arrived at the CCAA! (this morning at 10:22) Tabitha also told us that she asked the orphanage, and Chen Xun Hui is for sure a girl, the male thing was just a typo. Her name is kind of like the name Sam. It can be male or female. So, IT'S A GIRL!!! And, IT'S DAY 3 IN OUR WAIT FOR TA! How many more days?

**Chen Xun Hui is pronounced chin (or shin) shoon hway. We are still trying to figure out if its chin or shin. In Beijing it is one and in Hong Kong it is the other.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Expectant mom parking


I totally forgot to post this. Okay, the day we received Chen Xun Hui's referral, we went to Babies R Us. We got there and there were the little signs that say EXPECTANT MOM PARKING. My mom looked at me and said, "We should park there! We are expecting, afterall. Expecting a little China sweetheart." Well our church has those EXPECTANT MOM PARKING signs too. So today at Church, my dad saw the sign and said, "We should park there! We are expecting!!!" (And he didn't even know we had had that conversation, which is another funny thing.) Just had to share that. I mean, we are expecting, aren't we? Expecting a little China angel!! :) :) :)

pool day!



At church, the Pastor was talking about how much he loves little children because of the pure joy they have of singing praises to God. And how much they love Him. Oh, how I longed to be holding AnnaClaire while he was talking. I am so excited to bring my mei mei up to love Him!

Today was a perfect pool day!! Nice and SUNNY!!! (But not TOO crowded, only for a bit...) Liz, Sadie, and I went and read our summer reading... I'm reading the Diary of Anne Frank. It's pretty good, actually. I'm studying the Holocaust this summer. I had to read The Diary of Anne Frank, The Hiding Place, Number the Stars, The Upstairs Room, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabit, and we went to the Holocaust museum when we were in DC getting all the papers authenticated. It's kinda depressing yet very interesting at the same time. Okay enough of that! So, mom came and picked me up and I went to go take care of two dogs. We had a huge key mishap and it took us and hour and a half to finally find a key! (After much house searching and calling people who might have their key!) It was a good, good day!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

3 favorite things: Football, ice cream, and shopping!!!

**SORRY, MY PICTURES WON'T POST!
This is supposed to be a picture of the ladybug dress!
This is supposed to be a picture of my tote bag!
This is supposed to be a picture of Steve Smith!

I know you all have seen the adorable ladybug dress from Gymboree. Well when it was out, I was DYING for it, but we decided not to get any clothes until we got our referral. Well yesterday I went on Ebay to see if they had it, and they did!!! They had ONE! It was 18-24 months which is perfect since it's a summer dress. The bidding ended at 7:07 PM today. I'll get back to that.

Liz called this morning to see if Mom and I wanted to go to the mall with them. It's a yearly tradition thing we have where we all go to the mall. So of course we wanted too. They assured be we'd be home by 7 (so I could bid) because they had a birthday party. We had a great time at the mall. There aren't many sales, but I still found lots of great stuff! We were running a little late, so I called dad to see if he would bid for the dress. He said he would. Well, we didn't want to go over $14 since it was used, so we didn't win. My dad kept trying but got outbidded at $17.58. When we got home, I was checking to see the winner and above it it said "Similar items." Well, I had searched yesterday to see if there were any more of the ladybug dresses and didn't find any. But there it said that there was a BRAND NEW one!!! And better yet, it was a Buy It Now, so we wouldn't have to bid! So of course we got it. The ladybug dress is going to belong to us! YAY!!! And better yet, it comes with panties!! :)

I have also wanted the Vera tote for months (of course, this is something that I buy with my own money). I just never got around to getting it. Well I REALLY wanted it in Apple Green. Apple Green is being discountinued, so I thought I should get it ASAP. They don't sell the retired fabrics in stores, so I went online to order it. They had a few left, so I got it! YAY! It'll be PERFECT to bring my carry ons in for China! (If by that time we can bring a carry on!) So I am thrilled.

All in all, today was a GREAT day. It totally made up for our horrid day yesterday. I think shopping just makes me extremely jolly. Now I am sitting down watching the Panthers game and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. YUMM!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Favorite Foto Friday

It was hard to choose ONE, but I'm still only going to post one so that I have enough for the weeks to come. This is one of my favorite pictures. It is me and my really good friend, Caroline. It was taken on my 13th birthday (March 31) Notice the LADYBUG balloon in the backround?

Today Drew, Will, and I had to go get the Hep A shots so we can travel to China. Everyone says it was painless except me, of course. I am very afraid of needles. I wouldn't worry about it if you have to get it. I think I was just too worked up about it, which made it hurt worse than it would've. Can you tell I HATE SHOTS? We ran into the Kid's Place (different from the Children's Place) and saw a very cute ladybug rain jacket and rainboots! I am DYING to get it for AC!


Now I'm just watching football!!! I love football! I'm so happy it started back again, even if it is just preseason.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Presents for our precious girl!

Beautiful, girly square and wish from the Kallander family! Thank you so much!Fun flowered overalls and Baby's First Bible book from Mrs. Kallander!
Stacking cups and little dolls from Mrs. Huber and Mrs. Edmisten!


Hmm... where to begin?!?! This morning our very sweet neighbor came over armed with a square & a bag! Thank you SO much, Mrs. Kallander for the cute overalls and Bible book!!! Thanks also for the beautiful monogramed quilt square! AnnaClaire will adore it! (see pictures)

But it didn't end there!

Mom went out to lunch with Mrs. Edmisten and Mrs. Huber (fellow NC adopters) and when I got home from the pool I saw the goodies they gave AnnaClaire! Some stacking cups and little dolls!!! And what makes it even better is one of the little dolls is Asian!!!!! Thanks so much! These things make PERFECT toys for Mei Mei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have such wonderful friends! Thanks again!!!

By the way, the pool was great! It was a perfect day for it... I do have to tell a little story. Well, we wanted to play ping pong and you have to give the gaurds $1 just in case you break/lose the ball or paddle. We always give them something random like a shoe. Today I gave them my book which had a picture of AnnaClaire in it. When I put the book down, the picture slid out (and of course I had already showed all the gaurds, but they started ohhing and awwing all over her, again) When we were done playing ping pong, I came back and the picture was gone! I asked them where it was and they pointed. There my little sister was pinned to the bulletin board!!! :) :) :) She brighteded up the WHOLE thing!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

glasses, rain, and straight hair

Today I had a second eye doctor apoointment because my glasses were too strong. They are going to back them down a little so I can actually wear them (which is fine to not have them for a few days since I usually wear contacts). After that we went through the Chickfila drive thru. I have NEVER in all my life seen a drive thru that long! Wow, it was LONG! Then I went to the pool. My friend and I went and we mainly wanted to do some summer reading. It started raining so we went under the shade. In a matter of minutes it was POURING! It had been very crowded and suddenly we were almost the only people there! It got worse and thundered (so everyone had to get out of the pool) and by then we were the only ones there. Then it was crashing thunder, flashing lightning, and pouring rain, so we went home. We played DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) for awhile and Mrs. P straightened my hair :) We even had ziti for dinner! YUMMY!

ONE HUNDRED GOOD WISHES SLIDESHOW

RockYou slideshow View Add Favorite

This is the only way I can get it to work. Press View to see it!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

AnnaClaire's one hundred good wishes book

I worked on AnnaClaire's OHGW book all day today. I made a slideshow showing every page (IT TOOK ME AN HOUR!) and Blogger isn't letting me post it. I'll keep trying though. Her book looks great. I am very pleaseed with my work.Once the slideshow works.............. I wasn't thinking and didn't number the wishes from mom & dad and I. they were the 3rd and 4th wishes, but I was only counting received ones for some reason. There are 59 wishes! Only 41 to go! I'll keep trying with the movie...

Almost to its first destination

(this is supposed to be a picture of a FedEx envelope. It is not posting, so I will re-post it later.)

Well... I slept over at Elizabeth and Sadie's house last night. Fun! We had peach cobbler last night. Yum! Now I'm home and Mom and I are about to run out to get my (brand new) glasses fixed because they are the wrong perscription. We are also going to get some scrapbooking tape so we can work on AnnaClaire's OHGW book. So basically that is all that is up. Nothing much else except that our LOI is on the delivery truck right now! It should get to AWAA at 4:30 PM. Then AWAA will send it to China on Friday!!! YAY! The cutoff to be mailed on Friday is Wednesday (tomorrow) at 2PM, so we timed it to make that cutoff. Well I'm going to go get some lunch now... More later!

Monday, August 07, 2006

What she said

In the batch of SN referrals (the one where AnnaClaire was) there were 4 referrals. 3 baby girls and 1 older boy. The boy is on the list now, but all three girls found families! One is in AnnaClaire's orphanage, and the other is in Kunming . These families will most likely be in our travel group, because they sent their LOI the week before us. Well... the family of the Kunming baby is in our AWAA monthly swap! This is what she said about travel. "We are praying to travel early October. Our special needs coordinator said she's seen TA come in as little as 1 month 1 week to as long as 3 1/2 months."

I thought this was very encouraging!!! Getting our TA in 1 month, 1 week would be September 15. Which means we would have AnnaClaire for her first birthday.

Please continue to pray that we will receive a record fast TA!

I know I am going to drive myslef crazy with all these guesses and rumors. But it really does help me!

Guesses.

(Above) thats my doggie. Isn't she CUTE? I've never really posted a picture of her, and I thought this would be a good time too. I like to start my posts with pics, so heres my dog, Maggie!

I like to guess on when things will happen/arrive etc. Back in March, I guessed AnnaClaire's birthday to be March 27, 2006. (Which we now know, she was celebrating her 5 month birthday on that day!) In April, I guessed us to be DTC on June 17, LID June 30. (Then I later switched LID to July 17 when we were DTC on July 7.) So now, I must guess on when we will receive TA, travel, gotcha day, CA, and home. *These are just random guesses, nothing for sure.*

We will receive TA on October 27, 2006 aka AnnaClaire's first birthday!!! (Day 77)
We will travel on November 16, 2006.
Gotcha day will be November 20, 2006.
our CA will be November 27, 2006.
We will travel home on November 28, 2006.

Sounds nice. Very nice. We'll have to see how accurate I am!

Oh, go look at our website under the referral page!!! YIPEE! (of course there are no pictures, since we are not aloud to post until TA) And we are under "Families with referrals" on the home page of AWS!!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

How many days will we wait?

I had to post this picture. It stands for names beginning with Ta, but it does say TA, so I had to post it, considering this post is all about TA. (I assure you, this picture will be posted again. Not until we actually get our TA though, so when you see it again, you'll know the good news!)

We will count down the days from when our LOI is sent. So, August 12, 2006 would by day 1. I have been researching to find out when other people's TA has arrived. There is no way to know for sure, I just wanted to see a normal time line for TA wait. Here's what I found out: (10 websites)

the least i found is 56 days. That would mean our TA would arrive on October 6.

74 days. I found that twice. October 24.

77 days. October 27 (ANNACLAIRE'S FIRST BIRTHDAY!)

82 days. November 1

83 days. November 2

85 days. November 4.

92 days. November 11.

94 days. November 13.

As of these, we would most likely be traveling in November which is our thought.

Then there was this one.144 days. I'm not even going to consider us having that long of a wait.

I also found this. It is the least, average, and most waiting periods for TA

least- 27 days. September 7. (Definatly not expecting that)

average- 69 days. October 18. (Sounds right)

most- 133 days (which as seen above is not really the most.) December 22. (Definatly not expecting that.)

So on average, our TA whould come sometime in mid October, early November. Please remember, this is just based on when other people received TA. This is no promise, simply a graph type thing.

Also, this is good news. Since we are already LID, we don't have to wait for PA. I read a website of someone who waited 95 days for PA. I'm glad we don't have to wait on that!

Please pray we will have a speedy TA. And remember, these are just a few estimates. NOTHING FOR SURE.

That'll be us next summer!


^here's a ladybug for everyone waiting for something. Whether it be homestudies, forms, fingerprinting, I171H, DTC, LID, referral, PA, LOI, TA, CA, or travel, this one is for you!

Well, the clouds ended up clearing up and it was quite sunny and crowded at the pool. Most of the people there were young familys (as usual for a Sunday afternoon). That means lots of babies! I can't help but think THAT WILL BE US NEXT SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!! I am literally over the moon in excitement about my mei mei. I am thrilled. I love her. I want her NOW. I wish that we would be taking her to the pool THIS summer, even if it were just once. God has timing for everything.