Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I'll try again with the pictures tomorrow!:)
I just love Halloween. It is so fun and I like how it's not SCARY in my neighborhood...if you know what I mean. This Halloween was lots of fun! I got lots of candy, too. I just can't wait for next Halloween when we'll have AnnaClaire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Status: Out of Foreign Customs
Your item cleared customs at 8:45 am on October 30, 2006. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later.
YAHOOOOOOOO! AnnaClaire's care package has cleared customs in China!!!! YAY! Now it'll go to our Chenzhou sweetie! ~~~should get there on Wednesday~~~
Monday, October 30, 2006
Hmm... From the Madsens... what could it be?
Whatever it is, it sure is wrapped prettily!
A birthday present: An ADORABLE little lamb and sweet little card for AnnaClaire's!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNACLAIRE, JESUS LOVES YOU!!!!!! (the lambie plays "Jesus loves you")
A little surprise for AnnaClaire's 1st birthday was in the mailbox... a box with a soft lamb that sings "Jesus loves me". And a really nice card. Thank you Aunt Linda, Uncle Peter, Chris, Matt, and Ryan for this sweet gift. We can't wait to see AnnaClaire with her little lamb. I know she will always treasure it. :)
Nothing about TA today... Someone with an 8/11/06 LID (we are 8/11 LOI) posted TA. Still waiting to see who. AWAA is saying TAs this week or next. They also told someone that they would try their hardest to get us into the Nov. 16 group even if TA is of late notice. COME ON TA, I'M READY TO GET MY SISTER.
81...and still waiting. It's the beginning of "next" week. (Last week they said end of this week or beginning of next) hoping with all my heart to hear something THIS week. This is our week for TA. This IS our week for TA.
.......slowly getting impatient...........
people are posting on rq about TAs coming. Someone with an 8/25 LOI got it. We are 8/11 LOI, WHERE'S OURS? Atleast no one from AWAA has recieved them so we aren't worried. COME ON TA.
the phone is ringing...could it be IT? (10 seconds later) nope. looks like our next chance is tomorrow.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
About yesterday, as promised. White water rafting was SO much fun. I was freezing cold. They rented out wet suits, but I just got the cool like coat thing because my coat had a cotton inside. It was so warm. I literally wanted to buy one!!!! Anyway, I got on a boat and got in the back. The water that would come in through the bottom was SOOOOOOOOO cold. We went on one of the smaller courses once. We all got soaked, went down one drop backwards, and were screaming our heads off. (Guess that's what happens when there are 5 teenage girls in a white water rafting raft!) We went down and down. It was such fun. I was ready to fall in. I asked the guy if I could "fall in" at the end in the calm part, and he said not technically, but he couldn't stop me. So I planned on falling in after. Well, we went on the hardest, funnest, wettest, course last. It has class 4 drops on it. We got through it, and got to the biggest drop of the entire course. Well, (I promise it wasn't on purpose!) we took a curve, all I saw was a wall, me headed right into it, and OUT I WENT! Brr. It was so cold. I don't remember much after that... There was a huge drop, I was dangling from the guys hand on the raft, parents were snapping pictures (not of me, lol), and they leader flipped me into the raft JUST in time before we got down the drop. I was stuck and he was screaming "GET DOWN" (It is realllllllllllly bad to go down the drops sideways, and that what we were doing...) Anyway, we all survived, lost 4 of 7 paddles, got them all back, and thanks to Jeremy, I was saved... Phew! (Not that I would've died...) It was REALLY scary... Someones dad got pictures of it all... Can't wait to see those! lol! Anyway after freezing out toes off, we got food and all drove home. The car I was in (we all carpooled up there) was so fun. We had a blast driving home:) I got home, watched a little bit of the USC/OSE (Oregon not Ohio) game and then Stephanie called and asked if I could come over and spend the night. If course I said, "yes." We had a lot of fun last night, had pancakes for breakfast, and I went to Church this morning. After Church, we went to Five Guys..YUM, then we got home and I went to the Pughs to make Halloween costumes with Meredith, Emily, Elizabeth, and Sadie. The other Elizabeth and Sydnee made us these really good pumpkin cookies. YUM! (They aren't trick or treating this year. They say they are too old...14. I'll have AnnaClaire to keep me trick or treating for awhile more!) Anyway, we are being iPods!!! I'm so excited. I LOVE our costumes, they came out so good. I'm not going to show any pictures until Tuesday though! Then I went to Timothy Project. It was so much fun. I look forward to it every week:) One of the leaders, Ashley, even brought DELICIOUS brownies that were still warm. Caroline and I had a lot of fun screaming (we were supposed to) one of my favorite songs, No one like You:). (Caroline, that's for you because I know you are reading this.) I got home and had some leftover pizza. Mushroom pizza- my fav. Now we are watching the Panthers vs. Cowboys. GOOOO PANTHERS! They are winning 10-14 at the moment. I hope the keep it up.
Well, hopefully we'll get that TA call this week.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Look at that sweet baby,
Cute as can be...
She has a little Asian look,
Why... She's Chinese! IT'S A MEI MEI!!!!!!
swim practice was cancelled this morning because a tree fell on a powerline and there's no power at mac. I love swimming, but a Saturday practice being cancelled without having to skip is a nice surprise. Anyway, that's why I'm home. We're going to Walmart and Chickfila in a little and then I am going whitewater rafting with my swim group this afternoon! It's gunna be C-O-L-D. Check back later!
Friday, October 27, 2006
This video is of us singing happy birthday! We are singing pretty quitely, but also the video is on my camera so it's not the best... Until Dad (the one videoing) starts singing, it's a louder since he was holding the camera. (Sorry you have to click to view it, I tried to get it to show up, but it wouldn't except the HTML.)
*TURN YOUR VOLUME UP* oh and as I said for the other, I made the video public so if you couldn't view it before, you should be able to now.
Here's the video of our waiter bringing the cake and the cake. Having a problem getting the HTML to be right, so you'll have to click on it to view.
*TURN YOUR VOLUME UP!* oh and I did make the video public so if you couldn't view it earlier, you should be able to now.
HuiHui the dolly, from Mom and Dad
Sweatsuit from Grandma
Cards (in order... Aunt Deanna, Uncle Bill and the cousins, The Stephens, me, Grandma)
here's the presents and cards AnnaClaire got! She also got quite a few emails and e-cards we have saved for her.
What could it be?? (see below)
Blankie from me...Wonder what this one is! (see below)
Mom, Dad, and precious Hui Hui (the baby doll) with AnnaClaire's picture.
Here's the sweatsuit and card from g-ma! Thank you!
**MORE PICTURES FROM OUR PRINCESS' FIRST BIRTHDAY!
"LADIES AND GENTS, MY MOTHER HAS MASTERED CHOPSTICKS"
"...thanks to the instructer"
"Here's your cake and one of your brothers and your sister, AnnaClaire! We LOVE you!"
Present 1: From Grandma! A cute little sweatsuit :)
Well! We got home about an hour and a half ago and boy did we have a GREAT time?!?!?!!!!!!!!! We brought all the presents in our AWAA tote bag and packed a candle too. I included two pictures to prop up on the table. Right when we got there, I propped the pictures up and right when the waiter came up he saw the pictures and here's our conversation....
(waiter)"Ohh what a cute baby!"
(me)"Thanks! We are celebrating her birthday!"
(waiter)"Well, where is SHE?"
(mom)"She's in an orphanage in China, waiting for us!"
(waiter)"Well then you picked a great place to come celebrate... PF Changs... The CHINA bistro!
(waiter)"Oh! Adoption? What a great thing! So who? You? (looks at Will and I.) **My Mom must've looked horrified because he said...
(waiter)"Or your family?"
(me and mom)"OUR FAMILY!"
(Will)"OH MY GOSH, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"
(waiter)"Oh... you are her brother."
(Will, me, Dad, Mom)"that was just a bit awkward..."
Okay well not to distract from ANNACLAIRE'S celebration! So anyway, we had the NICEST waiter ever! He was quite... femine... to say the least... But he was SO nice. He went on and on about how great adoption was, how he couldn't wait to see AnnaClaire and that we'd HAVE to bring her to PF Changs sometime...etc. We ordered lettuce wraps first, which were DELICIOUS. Mom and Dad got green tea in a REALLY cool teapot. We joked around that they were being very Chinesey with their tea. :) After we finished our lettuce wraps, the waiter cleaned up our entire table after that. It was funny because he kept coming back to our table and wished us good luck in the adoption process. The we ordered our meal. We got delicious meals and MOM MASTERED CHOPSTICKS. She said she was determined to finish her whole meal with chopsticks... "just for AnnaClaire" and she did! Aren't you proud of my no-longer-chopstick-challenged mother. :) Anyway after our DELICIOUS meal, we ordered the Great Wall of Chocolate. We gave the waiter our candle, and he said he'd light it. I got the video camera on my digital camera all ready and videoed him bringing the cake with one candle to our table. He did quite the pose for the picture... I'm going to try to post that video along with the one of us singing later. Yes, much to Will's dismay, we sung. As Will said, we sung to a picture. But we sung, and I don't care that every single person were staring at us... with 2 baby pictures on the table...more on that in a momento. Anway, we all split the DELICIOUS Great Wall. Oh my gosh, it was better than last time. It was SOOO good. We ate the entire thing and were gorging for the last crumbs. :) Then it was PRESENT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First we opened all the cards. Thank you Stephens family for the LOVELY card. We loved the cover and what you had to say was so sweet. Thank you Aunt Deanne, Uncle Bill, Kenny, Danny, and Michael for the "ONE!" card. It was so sweet and so thoughtful. Thank you Grandma for the sweet card you sent. Then it was presents... Thank you Grandma for the adorable sweatsuit for AnnaClaire. It looks so COZY!!! I gave her a blankie and Mom and Dad gave her the doll I told you all about the other day. Pictures to follow! (More about the staring... we had a table of all these kids and families right behind us and with all the flashes, EVERYONE was staring. They were staring really strangly when I opened the baby doll... haha I don't blame them! I don't care, staring was NOT to stop me from C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-I-N-G! wink wink)
After that, the waiter came out with fortune cookies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (As I said the waiter was nice..........) This was one of my favorite parts of the entire dinner... There were 4 fortune cookies unwrapped (that's how they serve them there) and then 1 was wrapped up... "For the baby!" he said. And of course, we brought it home and are saving it just for AnnaClaire. :)
AnnaClaire's birthday was FABULOUS. It would have been better if she had been with us, but it was so much better than I thought it would be. Celebrating was such fun too. I did leave the candle at PF Changs. I'm very upset about that. :( But it's not like Mom saved the candles from my first birthday... Anyway, we had lots of fun celebrating. Thanks for all the "happy birthdays" and prayers for peace on this day. We had such a great time celebrating.
NOW, BRING ON THE TA! I CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER FOR MY SISTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...Maura, I hope you had an EXCELLENT-O birthday celebration! :)
Well, it's still AnnaClaire's birthday in China and it's now AnnaClaire's birthday in the USA! (If only I knew what time she were born. I think it was later at night because she wasn't "left" until October 28, 2005. I think if she had been born earlier, she would've been "left" the same day as being born. I think she was born at 8:09PM in China. I have no way of knowing, but I have been wondering for a while now what time she was born. This morning, when I woke up at 8:09AM, God whispered that she was born.) So a HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY birthday to our little princess. It is also my good friend Keara's little sister, Maura's first birthday. So happy birthday to the "China twins!"
I wish AnnaClaire were here to enjoy her day with us, but she's not. It's going to be a sad and happy day. Thank you for all the comments yesterday, I enjoyed reading them! (Can you tell I like comments?) They really brightened my day this morning. And also a thank you to Mrs. Byrne for the fun e-card. My mom showed it to me and I really liked it:)
One year ago today, a baby girl was born. She was "left" the next day. Her parents had no choice of leaving her, because they were probably really poor (AnnaClaire was found in an old, black coat.) or maybe they needed a boy. That day, they probably had the toughest decision to make. There was no joyful celebration as a little girl came into the world. There was no calling the relatives, and no pitures taken. Just sad tears at having to leave their baby. Instead of choosing a different option, they left her. Maybe they already had a child and couldn't afford the fee to keep another. I don't know. They left her to be found. They risked their lives to give AnnaClaire the life she deserves. Never will those parents have a chance to celebrate AnnaClaire's birthday with her. Never will they even see her. But thanks to them, in a few weeks, we will be holding her forever. I wonder what AnnaClaire's birth mother and birth father are thinking today. I hope they feel peace on this day.......
**I use left, because I don't like the term abandoned. AnnaClaire was left to be found, and I believe it was a choice her parents had a lot of trouble making.
As I said yesterday, I pray someone at the orphanage remembers its her birthday. I just have to remember, we don't have her for her 1st birthday, but think of all the people she's going to make happy today (there are over 200 kids in the orphanage plus nannies and directors!)
Now the best birthday present (besides having her home with us...) would be if our TA would come today. As the train always says, "I think I can, I think I can." well... "I know it will, I know it will!" day 78 and really thinking today is our TA day! :)
With that, I'm off to begin school. I'll post about the celebration tonight after we have it. I can't wait!!!
UPDATE: thank you Keara and Maura for the e-card and encouraging e-mails. They meant a lot. Also, Mom received a special email today and I just have to share. She called me over and showed me because it was so thoughtful... A family from Holland has been following our website for awhile now. They have a little one, Kim, from AnnaClaire's same orphanage who has a VERY similar name as AnnaClaire. Her birthday was on Feb. 9, and they traveled to get her in March (this year.) So they missed out on the #1. She sent a very encouraging email and said she was thinking of AnnaClaire today. Just wanted to say thank you to our new friend over in Holland!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISS ANNACLAIRE CHENHUI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE CAN'T WAIT TO HOLD YOU FOREVER! and...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISS MAURA XIAO MEI!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE CAN'T WAIT TO MEET YOU AND FOR YOU AND ANNACLAIRE TO HAVE A "TWINNY" PLAYDATE!
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I've thought from the get go that 77 would be our lucky TA day. Not to be. We should be coming to our "due" date really soon!!! I have also always thought it would come on her birthday, so maybe it will come tomorrow. Of course I have also been thinking it would come with the TAs for the last referral batch. Those came for AWAA today, and our TA wasn't with it. :( Maybe tomorrow. I sure hope!
COME ON TA! Day 77 and (not so) patiently waiting.
On another note, it is after 10AM in China, meaning it is sweet AnnaClaire's first birthday (in China.) I doubt there will be much celebration. I really wish that she could celebrate her special day with us. Be thinking of AnnaClaire. So a year ago today, there was some mother over in China just about to have a baby. At this point, a year ago, she probably didn't know she was to have a girl. I bet she and her husband were thinking of what they would do if they had a girl. I'm glad they chose to leave AnnaClaire to be found. More about that tomorrow. Just wanted to say a happy birthday to my sweet sister. She deserves a HUGE celebration. When she gets home, I'm going to give her that celebration. :)
I'll post more tomorrow, I need to go to bed. When I wanted to post today, blogger was down, and since I've gotten home from swimming, I've been having trouble with blogger.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
*Above* Here's a shot of what's in the care package. (stuffed lamb, blanket, photo book, Dum Dums for the other children, chocolates and nuts for the nannies and directors, a letter and picture of AC.
Here's me and the fully covered care package!
Today we mailed AnnaClaire's care package to her!!!!!! It only took about lets say... 45 minutes to complete the process! The day began with school. Then we went to Chickfila for lunch and Walmart after to get some Dum Dums to put in the care package (for the other kids). After that, I had a piano lesson. Then Mom and I went to the post office to mail AnnaClaire's package. We packaged it up all nicely while in the car. At home, we had put labels on all the items in the package so the orphange will know who it's all for. We got it in a nice way, added pink tissue to the top, put the letter w/ AC's picture at the very top and sealed it up really well. We got in and there wasn't too long of a line. Phew. I checked over the entire box to make sure it was sealed well. I found a hole on the edge so I taped up all the edges. We were called up and we had to fill out this form for International shipping. We did that and they weighed the package. It was 6 pounds. The lady told us it would cost $41 to send. Then she started telling us the difference between priority and express. Well, express was $4 more and it would take 3-5 days as opposed to 8-10 days. Plus, with express you get a tracking number whereas priority you don't. We decided to go express. For only $4 more, I think it was a smart decision. Also we get an automatic $100 insurance. Although we couldn't declare it because then the package would cost money to receive and so the orphange wouldn't receive it, we still have it. Especially since when we are paying over $40, what's the difference between $41 and $45? Not much. The lady kindly did all the stuff, taped all the labels on, and she was even able to get a guarantee for it since we had the postal code. It should be there before November 1!! So, AnnaClaire will see her new family for the first time in about a week!!! (we have pics of us in there.) It was so exciting to send something to her. The lady was kinda wondering why I was so excited and getting my pic taken with the package etc so we told her that we were sending a package to our baby in China. She was so excited and said we'd have to bring her in to the post office once we get her. :) I'll keep you up to date on where our package is. Oh, how I love tracking numbers!
So that's one thing we can check off our list. I hope it gets to our sweetie.
A little while after we got home, Mom went to get the mail... It was a good mail day for AnnaClaire! Someone sent a bib for the bib swap, we got a really cute Texas flag and blue bonnet quilt square from someone in our DTC group, and... 2 BIRTHDAY CARDS AND A PRESENT FOR ANNACLAIRE!!! YEA. Mom is making us wait until her birthday to open it... but one card is from the Stephens and the other card and present is from my Grandma. I'm so excited she got cards/presents. I also wrapped the present from me. It's something we got awhile ago so when you see it on Friday, you might recognize it. She has a nice little stash going on sitting on the fireplace!
Day 76ish for TA, honestly I'm losing count. I know I could just check what I had yesterday but I really think its day 76.
Well I better get to bed. Today was such a good day. Now... BRING ON OUR TA!!!!!!! I WANT MY MEI MEI!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Baby girl clothes are spinnin' round and round!!!!!!!!
Mom doing some baby laundry! Gosh, the last time she did this was when I was a baby! AnnaClaire's Christmas dress! You'll have to wait until Friday to see the doll with matching dress... She's all wrapped up!
Soft blankie folded for the care package!
Well, I'm sick. And I'm not enjoying it one bit. I guess sleeping outside in 23 degrees wasn't such a great idea, but boy, was it FUN! I woke up with THE worst stomach ache. It wouldn't go away. For almost 4 hours I moaned and groaned, and Mom, worried about appendicitis, so she took me to the doctor. They checked for strep throat and appendicitis and a bladder infection. All was fine. There is a stomach virus going on, so we think that's what I have. It's been on and off in pain all day and tonight it is bad again. :( I don't have a fever though! :) I hope I feel better realllllllly soon.
Being sick wasn't to stop us from a little shopping though... We went to the Kids Place and Walmart. We went to Wally World to get a few other things for AC's care package. We got candies and nuts for the nannies and orphanage directors, 2 disposable cameras, and a blankie for AC. We are going to get suckers for the children as well. After going to Walmart, we stopped in the Kids Place (the boutique I talked about awhile back) to look for a birthday present for AnnaClaire. Yes, although our sweetheart is halfway around the world waiting for us, we are still having a birthday celebration. I think AC will enjoy looking back at us celebrating her 1st. Our plans are to go to PF Chang (Chinese) for dinner. We are going to order the "Great Wall of Chocolate" for desert and are putting a "1" candle in it! We are going to open her presents at dinner and I am the designated gift opener and candle blower outer! I'm excited about our celebration night although it would be 100 times better if AC were with us for it. Anyway, we found some cute things for her at the Kids Place. We decided we'd get her a smocked dress. Mom found THE cutest Rosalina Christmas dress for her (and for a great price!). The dress is great because it doesn't scream Christmas. So it's a Christmas dress that can be worn into Spring! Anyway, I was thinking okay, I guess we are getting her a Christmas dress while we are here. Mom's plan was that this would be AC's birthday present though! I was DISTRESSED. We would buy her a Christmas dress for AnnaClaire anyway so we HAD to get AC something else too. I got Mom to let us get something else, and I picked it out. It is a littly baby doll. She has almond shaped brown eyes and is bald. A little Asian doll. And best of all... She had the matching Christmas dress we were buying AnnaClaire! So AC and baby will match! I can't wait to snap pictures of AnnaClaire holding the doll. So precious. (The doll is yet to be named. Maybe Mei Mei or Hui Hui)
When we got home, we labeled her name (IN CHINESE! well her Chinese name. We found it on a sheet that came with the referral package) on all her care package things, labeled the other things with "for the orphange directors and nannies" in Chinese and printed the letter saying what it is all for (in Chinese). I found a GREAT website to translate things into Chinese. I know there are quite a few, but a lot of them don't actually show up in Chinese. I had to install a language pack for it to work, but got it. If you ever need to translate, the website is http://dictionary.reference.com/translate/text.html.
We were especially surprised when we passed Dad driving home on the way to errands. Dad home at 3? Amazing. We didn't even believe it was him, but when I turned around and saw the hornsr#1 and longhorn thing, I knew it was him. So Mom planned leftover pea soup and bread for dinner. It burned. Dad and Will got Taco Bell and Mom and I had soup here. (I wanted Chickfila soup, but they ran out! The canned soup was just as good though.)
We did some AnnaClaire laundry tonight. All her things smell so nice. All Baby is the way to go!
I'm so excited. Tomorrow we are sending Miss Xun Hui's care package!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope it gets to her mighty soon.
75th day in this LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG TA wait. Will it EVER come?
Monday, October 23, 2006
Well. I took a little blogcation (vacation) didn't I? On Saturday, I was gone all day with my friend. After swim practice, I watched a little bit of the Texas game, then went to Sadie's and watched the rest of the Texas game. We went to Target to get stuff for our Halloween costumes. I conversed with Dad the whole way there because we left 2 minutes before the game was over. It was quite the nervous game, but thanks to a fumble recovery, those horns won!!! Right when we got home, Mom, Dad, and I drove to Concord because AnnaClaire's chair was ready! YAY! We picked it up and also got a Johnny Jumper thing. It's realllllllly cute. Then we went across the street to Concord Mills Mall and got dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Yuu-umm. After a yummy dinner, Dad went into Books A Million while Mom and I just peeked into Strasburg Children-my fav store. :) We got to chatting with the worker there (who we now know!) and were disappointed because they ran out of the Christmas dress we wanted to get AnnaClaire! We quickly got in the car after running a few minutes later than we should've and we sat in a traffic jam for a little. We finally got on our way and Mom and Dad dropped me off at my babysitting job which was great. The 1 year old was in bed the whole time and didn't make a peep. The 4 year old was only up for 35 minutes while I was there. She was so sweet and smart! She went to bed right when I told her to, read me a book, and we colored. I, of course, drew her a ladybug. :) After I put her to bed, I just watched college football, Deal or no Deal, and Sports Center and checked sites on my laptop until just after midnight when the parents got home. They took me home and I watched a few more college football recaps and then was out. I was happy with $30 for 4 hours!!! Especially since S. was only up for 30 minutes! While I was babysitting, Sadie called me and asked if I wanted to go camping on Sunday! Of course I said, "Yes!" Afterall, I've never been camping! (Well, Mom said I did when I was 2. She said Dad took me with the cub scouts.)
Sunday. Packed up for camping. Went to Church and ate at Five Guys after. Then I went to the Pughs house. We watched some of the Panthers game and then left. We got there around 4:30 and while Mr. P and Ben mountain biked, Sadie, Liz, Mrs. P, Millie (the dog) and I "hiked". I would call it more of walking around a beautiful trail. It was sooooo pretty. We were in Ashville. It was beautiful. All the trees were filled with color and it was such a nice walk. We headed back and went to La Paz for dinner. Yum. They have good food. After, we went to Starbucks and got hot drinks. I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte which was good. Then we drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway to the camping place. It was SOOOOOO cold. As we gained altitude, it got colder. (The high 20s) We found a good camping site (it was hard considering it was after 9:30 and pitch black!) We set up the tent, changed into layers of PJs, set up a fire and roasted s'mores. The fire didn't work so well. We only had one log and it was a "earth friendly" log aka fake. It has a little flame, but the s'mores were still delicious. After a little time around the fire, we got in the tent and turned out the lights (latern) after 11. I don't think anyone could sleep. It was so cold. The hotel people said it got to 14 degrees out. Although the car temp said 23. Who knows, maybe it got 14 whiel we were sleeping. Either way... BRR! I was wearing flannel PJ pants, a long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt, a heavy coat, 2 pairs of fuzzy socks, a hat, and gloves while under my reallllllllllllllllllly hot sleeping bag with a fleece blanket on top and was still frozen. It didn't get much better all night. By morning we were all freezing. Funny story. Ben woke up around 5:30AM and was so cold so he got in the car. He didn't realize it, but he started it (he is 16) and fell asleep! When we woke up at 7:30ish, we realized the battery was dead! Yikes. Mrs. P stayed at a hotel nearby but still a half mile/ mile walk, so Mr. P found a random person to help us. We packed up camp, drove to the hotel, ate a yummy breakfast, packed up the car, caught some falling leaves, looked at the beautiful surroundings and were off. We dropped Mr. P and Ben off at the mountain biking trails while all the girls went to the Mast General Store. We ended up stopping at a really crowded place called "Discount Shoes". It was overwhelming. They had every type of shoe imaginable. They had Uggs for $25. REAL Uggs! It was crazy. We decided to go the the MGS but couldn't find it so went back to the Discount Shoe place and almost got in a wreck. It was so scary. But we are FINE! We went back in, found some cute shoes, bought nothing, and went back to pick up the guys at the trails. Then we were on our way home. It was so much fun.
We got home and guess what?! THE BEADBOARD IS UP IN AC'S ROOM. It is so cute. I'm about to add pics to the nursery blog if you want to go there.
Last week Mom told me that we were probably not going to send a care package to AnnaClaire because we aren't supposed to sent it until we get TA and it takes 2-3 weeks to get there. Well, we went on and decided to send her one. We spent tonight getting it all ready. I put pictures of Mom, Dad, Drew, Will, me, and Maggie in her "who loves baby?" We got a letter in Chinese to send with the package, thanks to Mrs. B. Mom filled that out. Mom and I picked out a little Beanie Baby out of mine to send her. We decided on a little lamb. We decided on this because in the Bible it talks about how if 1 sheep out of 100 sheep was gone, the owner would search and search until he found the one lost sheep even though they had 99 others. Not that AC is 'lost' but she is far away from us, and we are 'searching' to get her. She is an important 6th member of our family! We thought a lamb was a perfect thing to send, and it is realllllly cute We are also going to buy some cameras to put in. We are going to get that package mailed tomorrow. I'm excited! Meanwhile, it is day 74 (I think) and AnnaClaire's 1st bday is on Friday. We sure are getting excited to meet our sweet pea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on TA.
I'm afraid to say it because last time RQ was NOT right. But check out Rumor Queen. Agencies are expecting TAs to be in the mail right now... And AWAA has already let us know they think TAs should come end of this week/early next. Hopefully we will have it by the end of the week!!!!!!!!!!!!! OHH let RQ be RIGHT!!!
(My mom says I spelled the word "know" wrong a few times. So... sorry if you come across one. I do know the difference between no and know!)
Friday, October 20, 2006
Today was a fun day. This week has droned on and on and on. I am SO glad it is FINALLY the weekend. And to make it all better, NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY OR TUESDAY! YAY! I hope the weekend doesn't go by too fast, but yet I hope it does so we can get to the week and get our TA, already! Day 71. (for all I know!) Anyway. After doing school and eating some of that delicious Harris Teeter Natural (with organic cream) soup, we went on errands. We were off to start getting gifts for all the Chinese officials. So far we just got some good smelling, made in USA lotion. We are going to give that (lotion), chocolate, and maybe those smelly goody stuff to the ladies. I think we're going to just get candy for the men, but maybe like a baseball hat or t shirt or something. We're going to add a North Carolina postcard, also. From what we've heard, they like Americany stuff, candy, makeup, and smell good stuff. We are going to bring red gift bags and red tissue to put it all in and wrap it all in China to save room. We're going to get a few manly gifts and a few womenly since we don't no how many men and women gifts we need. We can use/return what we don't give out. So that was exciting. While at Target, we got the mini toilet paper rolls for while we are in China. OH MY GOSH, they are the cutest things. I had never seen them! We got quite a few, because it's better to have to many than to run out! (So when you are looking for purse sized toilet paper rolls, go to Target!) We ran to Pier 1 Kids to see if they had any chairs (for AC's room). We already ordered the cute BRU one, but we wanted to look at our options. They didnt have any. But we did find an ADORABLE Tic Tac Toe game. It's a flower board with ladybug (!) and bumblebee playing pieces. It's wooden! We just HAD to get that to set away for when little AC is a little older! I LOVE getting stuff for AnnaClaire. I just LOVE it. Can't wait until we have her here. Then we won't need to buy things to make it seem more real. (Of course, we'll still need to buy her things, and it will still be lots of fun to do so!)
AnnaClaire is all I think about. Every minute it is like "Soon I'll be doing this with AnnaClaire on my lap!" or "I wonder what AnnaClaire is doing!" or "I wonder what she looks like now, when we'll get to hold her..." I just love her so much and want to go get her NOW. WHY do we have to wait for the CCAA to send TA? WHY can't we just get her!?!?!?! I love her and it's so hard to have a sister but not have ever met her or not even knowing when we will get her. To have pictures, but pictures that our 6 months outdated. Uh, this waiting for TA must stop! We MUST get TA. That exciting update yesterday really made me want her even more. To know she has 4 teeth, is 18 pounds, is getting taller. It makes me want her more. Oh I love her. Come soon, TA, come SOON!
Oh. Check out the Baby Girls section on Gymboree.com! The model looks Asian to me... Maybe I'm wrong, it's kind of hard to tell the way her face is, but boy is she cute. She looks Asian! Oh and to think our AnnaClaire will look like that! :)
My header was made on Photoshop by Caroline W.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Well some new news totally makes these pictures seem like nothing, but here is our fall decorations. And AnnaClaire's pumpkin. Now for the good stuff (not that our fall stuff isn't good!)
WE GOT UPDATED MEASURMENTS ON MISS ANNACLAIRE CHENHUI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
She is... 28 inches long! (25% for Chinese 11 month olds)
She is... 18 pounds (with clothes)! (50% for Chinese 11 month olds. However she was measured with clothes on)
She has... 4 teeth! (4! OH MY GOODNESS!! Four teethies!!!)
Her foot is... 4 inches long! (So LITTLE!)
SHE IS GROWING... without her mama and baba and ge ges and jie jie to watch. :( But. Atleast she is growing! The update was such a surprise and I am SO happy. I think just to know that the orphange knows she's getting a family and that we know she is doing well and all. Now I just want to go get her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She's getting so big. Aww I love her even more!!!!!!!!!!
Not only that, but our visas came today! We are all clear to go to China once that TA comes! Oh.. It's day 70!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The big 7-0!! Come on, TA!!!! (By the way, the usual is 70-75 days.)
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Today was fun. After a morning at home, I had piano. Then we went Walmart and Michaels to get some stuff. At Walmart we got some pumpkins for our fall display. How sad is this... We LOVE fall. We are always the first people in our neighborhood to decorate for fall, and the last people to un-decorate. We decorate the entire house, pretty much as many decorations as at Christmas, and the outside. But this year, fall is not exactly on anyone in this houses mind (Miss AnnaClaire Chenhui is!) so we are just getting started. I hate to say it, but we are the LAST people in our neighborhood to decorate. At least our house won't be bland this fall! :) So of course we had to get mums, a scarecrow, 3 pumpkins, and a haybale for our outside decorations. ****THIS IS OUR LAST YEAR GETTING PUMPKINS AT WALMART!!! NEXT YEAR WE'LL GET TO TAKE ANNACLAIRE TO THE PUMPKIN PATCH AND GET THEM THERE! :)**** We found a little pumpkin for AnnaClaire. It's SO cute and is now sitting proudly on the haybale next to the little basket of mums. We lucked out with the scarecrow we wanted... Too bad last years got molded, and this year Michaels is TOTALLY out of scarecrows. Even the ugliest one!!! Guess we really are decorating late... I would post pictures of our lovely fall display and of AC's pumpkin, but it'll look cuter with the scarecrow, so I'll post those tomorrow (if we can find a scarecrow.......)
day 69 for ta and hoping beyond hopes to have it by AnnaClaire's 1st.
End of next week TA means we would get TA on AnnaClaire's 1st birthday! (78 days) That's been my guess since the very beginning, and how big of an exciment would that be?! PLEASE pray that that is *the* TA day. (Or earlier =])
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Today after school and Grace and Latin, Mom and I drove in the pooring rain, 30 minutes away, to Babies R Us to get AnnaClaire's chair. Hey-- the day after we got the carSEAT we got AnnaClaire's referral! Maybe tomorrow (day after getting the chair) we'll get TA?! Anyway, we had been looking at the PB Kids Dream Rocker, but they discontinued the hot pink, and it was like $1,000 for just the CHAIR (that is with shipping.) At Babies R Us, we have been looking at this green gingham glider chair (for WAYY less including chair and ottoman!) and went ahead to get it today. We had to order it, so it should be here in 7-14 days. (the picture taken is the one in the store and the shiny thing on the ottoman is a cover, that won't be on ours.) Then we have to go back and pick it up. Somehow, I got Mom to park in the "expecting mothers" parking. She claims it was because it was pooring rain, but I don't think that's why. ;) Anyway, this thrilled me beyond words, so I got a few pictures to capture the "event". Since it was pooring rain, they aren't the best pictures, but you can tell what it is, I hope! One is taken from in our car which is why there is rain drops on it. So. I can officially say "We have parking in the expecting mom's parking place!" YAY! It's such a small thing, but small things please me. :) While at Babies R Us, we got some baby proofing stuff so we can start that task. We also got the ADORABLE ladybug brush and comb. I have been wanting this brush forever and finally got Mom to get it. I completed that task by saying, "Mom, AnnaClaire's hair needs to be kept. I will brush it and everything, if we can just get this brush." She gave in. It was only $3.99, I mean come on! And... It is a ladybug brush!
I am sad to say that no TA came today. I'm still not losing hope, because I have a strong feeling that maybe ours will be included with awaa's nsn TAs which haven't come in yet either. I still have reason to be hopeful of 10/26 travel, right? That's 9 days away. If we do get TA this week, we have a LOT to do to get ready! Anything to go sooner, though. Day 68. Come ONNNNNNNN!
Monday, October 16, 2006
...coming home from swimming and seeing THIS!
Do you know how long I have waited to see a highchair at our table? A long time. Not just that, but do you realize it's been 2 months since we've had a table in our kitchen, aka since we've eaten at our table?! Anyway. OUR HOUSE IS PRETTY MUCH BACK TO NORMAL! AHHH!
Today was a depressing day. I really had the "feel" that TA would come today. Each time the phone rang, my heart would skip a beat, only to be disappointed when it was someone other than awaa calling. The rain didn't help the day be much better. We did go out to lunch and on a few errands, which I enjoyed! Swimming was also fun. But the best part of the entire day... Walking in from swimming to see the table returned to it's normal spot... and the high chair set up at it! Right across from my seat! YAY! WHO'S GOT THE BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE?! :) Now we just need HER to sit in it. Come on TRAVEL APPROVAL, come ON! Not really anything else going on. Really wanting TA, really bad. I'm about to update the quilt blog and nursery blog if you want to go check those out!
Sunday, October 15, 2006
No, our travel approval hasn't come. Yes, we are still waiting for it. No, we are not getting worried since we haven't gotten it. Yes, we are in the normal time frame for receiving it. Yes, we will inform you right away once it comes. It seems like I am using those answers DAILY. Every single day, 2 or more people ask me if it's come. We PROMISE, we'll inform y'all when our glorious call comes!
66 days. The first thing that came to mind when I thought of 66 days, was none other than Route 66. So that's my 66 picture of the day! :) 66 days of every night coming to a close, and being sad because no TA call came that day. 66 days of phones ringing and thinking "MAYBE ITS TA!" (okay not all 66 days have we been thinking that...) 66 whole days. Soon it'll be 70. Although you never know, maybe we'll get TA on day 67,68, or 69. I sure hope! Remember.. the average is 69!!! The most common for now is 70-75 days. So we're pretty much in the common range!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on TRAVEL APPROVAL!
My meet was fine. I didn't to so great, but it was our low expectation "intersquad" meet and most everyone added. All the times were from JOs (jr. olympics), sectionals, and one of our other state meets (all three of our season ending big meets) where we wear our "fast" bathingsuits, taper, and all that good stuff, so yea. It was still a fun meet though. It was a REALLY long 5.5 hour meet though! Guess that's what the 1st meet is always like. After, Mom and I went to Qdoba and then I had Timothy Project until 7:30. That was great!
My poor doggie. She was just drinking water out of the toilet (funny thing she is) and I realized her water bowl was BONE DRY! She was a dehydrated little thing. When I was filling up her bowl, she was crying away, and didn't even let me put it on the ground before drinking it. (Random paragraph, I know.)
Oh and I'm happy because the Panthers have gone on to 4-2!!! They beat the Ravens 21-23 today. I didn't get to see the game... but, at my meet, there was a lady listening to it on the radio, and keeping score for everyone. :)
Nothing else much in our household. Just picking up the house, picking out paints, waiting for TA, preparing for China, waiting for TA, looking at AnnaClaire, and wanting TA even more. There's still a chance to get it in time to travel on the 26th of Oct. If we don't get that, we'd probably leave on Thanksgiving. I want to go ASAP. I REALLY want to go on the 26th, but if we can't go then, I will be slightly disappointed. Not because I don't want to go to China, because I REALLY do. I REALLY want to get my sis! But... Drew is coming home for Thanksgiving and I haven't seen him for awhile and I really miss him. Anyway, I would also way rather go on the 26th because it's SOON!
So.. Please keep praying for our TA to come *THIS WEEK*. Thanks!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Nothing else much else going on here. Just chilling and waiting for TA, getting the kitchen back to normal (and putting AnnaClaire's highchair in it!), hopefully starting to pack later, just in case our TA comes in time to go on the 26th, and writing baby shower thank yous. Fun stuff.
TA day 65. COME ON, TA! I have to admit, it's nice over the weekend not thinking every time the phone rings, "Maybe it's TA!!!!!!!!!" But I am also anxious for the week so that there is a possibility to get it!
Texas won 63-31 (souldv'e been 63-24, but they called a last minute not TD a TD even though the guy only got to the 1. Still, domination!)
Friday, October 13, 2006
day 64. ta...come, come come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've always wondered what happened while we wait for TA. I found this on someone elses blog, but I'm going to word it differently.
First, our dossier is reviewed. After that, it is sent to a department and goes to the sn director. She checks our file status and makes sure all is well. If something isn't checked, it stays at her desk until it is checked. Then it goes to another diretor for "the" signature. HOPEFULLY this person isn't on vacation or unavaliable. After getting the signature, it goes to the administration office, which is where you are logged in at the beginning. There, they print out your TA which is then mailed to the agency. The mailing takes 3-4 days, and right when the agency receives it, they call us with the happy news!
This is not directly from our agency. It is from a blog of someone adopting sn. I'm sure it works the same for everyone, and I doubt their worker is wrong about all this. Lucky for this person, they know where they are in the stage.
Come on TA, come on. I'm sick of the "w" word. (as in "wait") Oh... I had the "feel" for TA today. It didn't come. Maybe Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday. That's the latest we can get it to make the Oct. 26th group, so I've heard. PLEASE GOD!
I really should get to bed now. I have to wake up in time for swim practice 9-11. Later than normal, thank goodness. And as my mom says, I'm very "last minutey" so I can wake up at 8:35 and be ready to leave at 8:45. That's later than I wake up for school! :) Besides, at night (as long as someone else is awake, Will is.) I LOVE to stay up late and read blogs. It's my addiction. We need AnnaClaire home to busy me away from my addiction of the computer.
Oh... Today we had our bookclub at "Carolina Cafe and Bakery." After, we shopped around a little. Guess what I got? A HAND HELD ELECTRONIC SUDUKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I found my plane-to-China activity! :) It's SO awesome! (Suduko is my other addiction.)
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Please let our TA come soon, Lord. I'm sick of counting the days. I want to count down to when we travel...not how long we've been waiting to hear!
Sorry about all the complaining. This is hard to wait. Very hard. We're coming, AnnaClaire, we
On another note... We've been busy looking at colors for the house. We've decided on Sherwood Green for the foyer and halls, Windmill Wings (periwinkle) for my new room, Petunia Pink for AnnaClaire's nursery, undecided for Drew's new room, and Bird's Egg Blue for my bathroom!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Nothing much else to report today. I'm SO excited because my piano teacher got me the Sound of Music book!!!!!! I've been dying to learn how to play all the songs, and I'm so thrilled to have the whole book!!!! :) The drywallers came today and did the drywall in ACs room. I'm having so much trouble with pics on blogger, so that is why there aren't any on the nursery blog. We've been looking a lots of paint samples for the rest of the house. We're getting everything done before AnnaClaire comes. Other than that, nothing else is really going on. As for the floor situation... they did the last coat of poly yesterday. Or so we thought. This morning we went down to look at them. ThEY LOOK LIKE A BASKETBALL COURT! LITERALLY! hehe... they put the wrong coat of poly on. So now begins the 5th coat. They did that today, so we should be walking on them tomorrow, and get everything back together over the weekend! YAY! FINALLY MY HOUSE BACK!
AnnaClaire is going to have a coming home dress. I searched all over all websites today, but of course all the red white and blue is gone. I found a really hilareously cute smocked dress. There was one with donkeys on it and one with elephants (democrat, republican) that that was so funny. They were really funny. And cute. But not for ACs dress... I have something else planned...............................................
Well happy 2 months to us. The usual timeframe is 60-90 days. We should hear something any day now. Come on TA!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
^Toys, toys TOYS!
Pink/white stipped Osh Kosh dress! So cute, isn't it?
Precious flowery dress from Gap. Love the grograin ribbon...
...and the bow in the back is what sold us on it! Isn't this the sweetest dress?
Adorable ballerina play dress from the Gymboree Outlet! (If you look closely, you can see that the girl on it has black hair. Her eyes are closed which make them look almond shaped... aka, it's a China ballerina! *that's what I think!*)
Yipeeeeeeee! I FINALLY got the cute things of AC's posted! And you must admit... it's all so cute! It's now all nice and folded in the dresser! :)
Today was fun. I woke up and did school in my room, because Will was home sick and since G-ma was here, he had to sleep in the bonus room. It was fine though because I like to do school in my room! (Will is feeling a lot better now!)After doing it, Mom and Grandma took me to Grace for my design class. It was great!!!!! Hope, the girl "doing" my room has all these awesome "plans" for it. (I'm talking about the designing eachothers rooms on a $2,000 budget. Of course it's all fake, but it's still a lot of fun!) She found all these pretty fabrics for it, and I'm excited even though this won't really be my room! After class, Mom and Grandma picked me and Caroline up and took us to a nice lunch at Chickfila. I was craving a milkshake, and of course got one. Cookies & Cream...yum!!!!! Then Mom dropped us off at Latin. I said bye to Grandma because Mom was taking her to the airport. Latin was fun, we played a game to make sue we all knew the vocab, and Caroline, Cory, and I beat the other 4 kids! Woohoo, that's us Latin scholars! ;) I went home with Caroline since Mom wasn't sure when she'd be back from the airport. We worked on another design project that we have, and it's looking GREAT! I am almost done with it. It's 3 canvas' just totally decorated with all kinds of pretty papers, stickers, magizine cuttings, anything appealing! Mom picked me up around 4 and she got subs for dinner at Harris Teeter (they laid the last coat of poly today, so we are almost through with the floors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I finished up some remaining school, ate dinner, and went to swimming. Swimming was fun. I had a horrible cough during it. I think it was something with the chlorine. I got home about an hour ago and have just been hanging around. I'm about to get ready for bed then read a little.
Still waiting for TA! Day 61... The average is 69-72 days, so maybe we are going to see some light at the end of the tunnel?! Oh I hope they come this week or next week so we can travel on the 26th! Of course, it almost makes me feel bad saying that because there is a family who I have been following for awhile now. They were LID in March, and got a SN referral in April. They sent their LOI at the end of April. So it's almost been 6 months, and they still have no TA. There was a problem with their paperwork, but they discoved that awhile back, and were told everything would be okay. I feel so bad that they have been waiting for 167 days. That is TOO long. Please pray that their (AND OUR!) TA will come really soon.
Monday, October 09, 2006
**this should be ACs toys
**this should be ACs new Gap dress
**this should be ACs ballerina dress
**this should be ACs Osh Kosh pink striped dress
*but I can't get the pictures to post... I'll try again tonight!
You can probably tell what we did today... Shopping! We drove to Concord Mills Mall about 30 minutes away. We ate at Olive Garden...yummmmm and had their chocolate gelato which was SO AMAZING! After at delicious lunch, we went to Babies R Us to get a baby moniter with the gift card from the Statons and Burkharts. We also got baby gates (2, one for the top of each stair case), another changing table pad so that when our awesome one from the Pughs is dirty, we'll have a backup, and some other things. Then we ran to the mall to look at all those precious baby stores. First we went to Gap. They had the cutest floral dress with a grosgrain ribbon around the waist and a pretty bow in the back. We went around the entire the entire mall and went into each baby store. At Osh Kosh, we got that pink/white stripe jumper, at Gymboree (outlet) we got an adorable, soft, ballerine dress. We went in a few other stores, but saw nothing to our liking. Then we came to Strasburg Children. Oh my goodness, I love that store. They have the absolute prettiest dresses! Of course I was so not expecting to buy anything... We looked at each beautiful dress and I though to myself... Wow, I wish we could buy this store for AC! Then we came to the sale rack. (Now, you must realize that my mom had JUST said that we had to come here to get AC's Christening dress) Well... we got to the sale rack, and Mom held up the most beautiful dress. It was on sale PLUS another 25% off. The dress, marked at $96, we got for $42 *with tax!*I am not going to tell you anything about it nor post a picture. It will be a surprise and you will just have to wait till AnnaClaire is wearing it for her baptismal to see it. I will tell you it is smocked and it's BEAUTIFUL. Plus, it was the only one there! Mom said even if it weren't on sale, we would've gotten it because THAT'S the one she wanted. I'm sorry to put everyone in suspense on seeing it, because I hate it when people do that to me, but it will look much better on her, anyway! As we were leaving, we went through TJ Max and found some toys for AnnaClaire: a lace up farm, "Are you my Mother?", and a calender magnetic thingy. AnnaClaire is literally going from nothing to everything!
Sunday, October 08, 2006
AnnaClaire and me with all the opened presents! Thanks everyone!
More of Mom and I opening. This is the Lindbloms gift to us: an adorable coat from London, books, and blocks!
Ladies watching the gifts being opened!The rainboots from the Crenshaws (with the Mulan bag behind!) Thank you!
Cool, I got these posted on the first try! Yet again, pics from our wonderful shower. Read about it a few posts down!
Thanks again, everyone! We loved our shower...
Thanks Liz for documenting the gifts, Sadie for doing the trash, and all our many photograpers! A big thanks to Mrs. Hutt for putting them on a c.d. for us so quickly!
And.. THANKS FOR ALL THE WONDERFUL PRESENTS AND QUILT SQUARES! WE LOVE IT ALL!