Friday, June 29, 2012

Red Thread Proverb Interpretation

Enjoy Lily's interpretation of the ancient proverb of the red thread!!!  I know I did!  (Oh and her accent is too much; I could just eat it up!)
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Door is Up

Our new closet door, with Amadeus guarding it.
My husband got the door on!  We're that much closer to a closet!  Yay!!  We now have to mud it and sand it and paint it.  Then is the shelving and ventilation.  Sigh!  I just want it done and clean!  But we can see the finish line.

My husband has been in full building mode all week.  I just hope we can get it done soon!

It'll be another scorcher today.  But very slim chance of rain.  I so hope it does!

I'm also hoping I'll get a chance to start working on the rug again.  I only got 1 day in on it.  We'll have to see how the weekend goes.

My puppies were so cute last night.  You could tell they really missed me while I was in Iowa.  They just clamored around me and curled up with me most of the night.  Let me tell you a house just doesn't feel like home without my furbabies!  Kiara was even being extra cute!
What a face!
Kiara's summer cut is already grown out so much. I think this weekend is a bath, brush, clip weekend.  Dawson and Kiara get summer cuts.  I do them myself.  It takes forever, but I think it's good for the pocketbook and bonding.  Kiara loves being bathed, brushed, hairdried... but not Dawson.  It's polar opposites.  Actually, none of the other dogs really like getting bathed either... just our Kiki.  She's definitely one who goes to the beat of her own drum.

I'm so TGIF today.  I am still exhausted and I know it won't be a slow, lazy weekend.  I have to get the house cleaned up, dogs cleaned up, get suitcases out, do laundry and start packing for Finland.  Yay!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Half of It Behind Me

I'm so exhausted!

I mentioned in past that I've been working hard on the User Conferences.  We'll we had our Indianapolis one last week and our Ames, Iowa one this week.  I'm now back and tired!  But I have the conferences behind me and two 50th anniversary shindigs to get ready now.  (That is what is half behind me.)  But more exciting is my trip to Finland is just around the corner!

As for my paperwork at the Houston Chinese Consulate... I'm just waiting for my father to get an opportunity to pick up the stuff.  I'm hoping he can make it a priority this week.  Other than that, I think everything is ready to get translated at our agency so we can get our dossier to China, (DTC).  A HUGE step.

Last Saturday I was at 2 birthday parties.  I went to my cousin's daughter's 4th birthday party.  She had a princess theme and piƱata.  Then we went to my friend's Ms. M's daughter's 1st birthday.  Her theme was pink lemonade.  I had the best strawberry and lemon cake EVER!

My husband has been working on the closet too.  He has gotten quite a bit done.
I should be able to post a door added tomorrow.  I hope we can get this done before the trip to Finland!

It's 104° degrees here, that's 40 for you celsius folks :)  We haven't had a lick of rain forever!  All the grass is brown.  I really hope it cools off soon and we get rain somehow.  I'm worried that the 4th of July fireworks will cause fires otherwise!  Just too easy.

That's it at the forefront right now.  Just praying for my birth certificate back from Houston, too hot, just finished 2 user conferences, preparing for the 50th anniversary parties, and getting ready for Finland!
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Ms. M

Dear Ms. M,

I just want to say "Happy Birthday" to my bff!


We met in high school my senior year.  I was at my 3rd high school and didn't know anyone (I was an ARMY brat).  So my first day as a Senior I went into the cafetria during lunch, dreading the "where do I sit" part.  Everyone was with their friends, but I saw you all alone, with no one yet.  I thought I scored, thinking your friends hadn't joined you yet.  I asked if anyone was sitting with you.  You replied, "What?"  That got me nervous, I thought this popular girl, all California looking is playing the I can't hear you card.  I asked again, and you said what again.  But this time I heard an accent.  So I slowed down my speech and you understood me and said no.  I sat down and the rest is history!

We did everything together!  We even double-dated European boys, went to prom together and had our graduation party together!  You were my maid of honor at my wedding, and I "officiated" yours.  I'm the Godmother to your child as you will be mine!  You're an amazing person!

Sometimes in life, you find that special friend, like I found you. You changed my life just by being part of it. My life is infinitely better because of you. You make me laugh until I can't stop. Because of you I believe that there really is good in the world. When I’m down and the world seems dark and empty, you lift me up and make that dark and empty world suddenly seem bright and full. Compared to other friends in my life you know all my secrets and still think I’m wonderful. You make yourself at home in my house and go anywhere in the world to celebrate important moments with me. You grew up with me and helped shape who I am. When I see any flamingo (plastic or real), a Robert Downey, Jr. movie, cupcakes, floorball, New York, “Pulp Fiction” and reindeer, I think of you! When I get any important news, you’re the first I want to share it with. Life is complete with you in it! Happy birthday my angel! I can’t wait to come to Finland in a few weeks and celebrate you, your family and your country! Have a large cupcake for me!
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Sunday, June 17, 2012

I've Started... Day 1



I started it.  I bought all the supplies and began the tshirt rug... or rather bedsheet rug.
I got the supplies that the website mentioned.

Supplies:
 Latch hook canvas
 latch hook tool
 jersey sheets
 scissors or rotary cutting tool/mat
 seam binding
 masking tape

I found the canvas, seam binding and masking tape at JoAnn Fabrics and the latch hook tool, sheets and cutting tool and mat at Wal-Mart.

Then I began following the directions, to cut the material in 1 inch strips.  Here I found out I need more "supplies".  Being that I have never done this before, I wasn't aware I needed a bit more "stuff" to get it done right.  So for those who are like me and never attempted this before and thought, hey this is simple, I could do this... buy a pencil to mark the cuts and a ruler.


So far I've cut up half of the pillow case.  This cutting takes a long time.  I did some of this while my hubby works on the closet.  Yes, as usual, it's still being worked on.  I tried to hold pieces or drill parts to help.  He put up the ceiling and is hanging drywall right now.  I'm hoping to have a closet by fall, when we'll actually need it. :)
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Hello Kitty

Went to my husband's parents' house yesterday.  I was going to be taught how to sew.  On our way there we stopped by a fabric store.  My husband fell in love with a jungle pattern.  So he bought it hoping to sew it for his little girl as a blanket.  I found a pattern I loved, but it was fleece, and I was told his mom didn't know how to work with fleece.  So I didn't buy it.

We got to his mom's house and worked on trying to pin the backing to the front of my husband's jungle blanket.  There were so many problems with the piece after several hours we decided to set it aside and worry about it another day.

In the mean time, we found an old blanket his mother did years ago... (we'll call her Nana, as that is what she'll be called from Ashton's perspective).  It's about 2 years old.  It's a soft lavender with angel Hello Kitties all over it. 

We loved it and told Nana that Hello Kitty is popular in Asia.  Yes, Hello Kitty originated from Japan, but it is popular in China!  Well, of course Nana said we should take it then.  We were very excited to do so.


Nana has made baby blankets for years for the orphans all over the world.  She takes great pride in them.  So it was wonderful to have one for our girl that her Nana made.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Delightful Night

I've been working extra long hours lately for our User Conferences coming up the next 2 weeks.  I worked almost a 12 hour day yesterday.  So when I pulled up to the house a little after 7pm, I was ready to eat dinner and just veg in front of some TV.

However, when I got home, I saw my husband's car home, his laptop on the front steps, his iced tea and papers.  Now my husband may leave stuff lying about, but not on the front step.  I was a little worried.

I looked all over inside.  I scanned the neighbors front lawns in case he was engaged in conversation.  I didn't see anything.  I decided it wasn't too big a deal, but just seemed odd.  It wouldn't have struck me so odd, but I know that he gets home a bit before 5pm.  So the stuff would have been lying there for over 2 hours.

I decided to take the dogs out, as I could see it hadn't been done yet and they were doing the pee-pee dance.  As I did so, Amadeus shot like a bolt of lightning across our yard to the neighbors back yard. 

There I see my husband drinking wine with the neighbors Mrs. M and Mr. J.  I told him why did he leave his stuff on the front porch.  He apologized and told me to join them.  I said I would after I finished up taking the dogs out.

As I was gathering the dogs, I wasn't looking forward to socializing. I had a long day at work and just wanted to eat, not drink wine on an empty stomach.  I just wanted to veg, maybe take a nap.  I didn't want to be social. 

However, I did.  But once I sat down, it was fun.  We were sitting on her shaded deck drinking wine and talking about their 2nd home in Minnesota and all the work they put into it.  We found out that they will be selling their place and moving to another home a few neighborhoods away.  We were very saddened to hear they will be moving. 

Then we talked out her trip to China 10 years ago and were talking comparison stories about what we knew from reading and what she saw. 

Our neighbor Mrs. M said that she knitted and would love to make an afghan if I would go online and pick out the pattern and go shopping to find yarn to match the room.  I thought that was so sweet!! 

I asked her in my haste finding out that she knitted if she would for a fee also knit a pattern of a pirate doll that I've been eyeing for years.  (I was thinking about this doll for my Goddaughter Ms. S, that was until I knew I would be getting a daughter of my own!  As we LOVE pirates, this would be the perfect doll for her!)  I didn't know anyone who knitted, only people who crocheted.  I showed her the pattern online on her laptop.  She said, "Buy the pattern, send it to me and I'll do that and the blanket, no charge!"  I was shocked.  She said it would take her a good year at least to get it all done.  I told her, we'd be lucky to be matched then and that was fine.

She then showed us photos on her laptop and her souvenir books all from her China trip 10 years ago.  All her souvenir books she gave them to us!  She also gave us an amazing scrapbook she got from Beijing!  I'm just so overwhelmed by her and her husband's generosity.


We talked until 9:30 when all of us got severely hungry and decided it was time to go home and eat.

I'm going to have so much fun picking out an afghan for our little girl. Mrs. M sent me to a few sights to look at.  We'll see what we can come up with!

So even though I was tired and hungry, I was able to have a lovely time and push it all aside for friendship.  Sometimes what you think you want isn't truly what you need and what you get is even better!
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Houston Consulate Papers Dropped Off

My dad called today to say he finally dropped of my birth certificate off at the Chinese Consulate in Houston.


The lady behind the counter said that they needed $5 to authenticate the envelope!  Never heard of that... but okay.  Used to "last minute changes".  


So we have to get a money order for $5 and mail it to Dad to give to the Chinese Consulate when he picks it up next week.  Silly!
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chicago Chinese Consulate Forms are Back

Yay!  I'm so excited all our forms we sent to the Chicago Chinese Consulate is back.  So the physical forms we redid are more correct than ever!

Now all we are waiting for is my dad.  He has my birth certificate for the Houston Chinese Consulate. 

I sent it to him a few weeks ago.  He's been busy with work and travel.  He tried to go yesterday, but said he's going to try tomorrow.  Hopefully, he can make time to get it done.

I'm just glad that the Chicago forms made it through.  We're that much closer!

Last Consulate was from Denise.  This one is from Connie.  It's the only parts I can read :)
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Update on Grandma

Today Grandma went into surgery for her catheter to put a stint in.  However, once the doctors we're scoping out her veins during the surgery, the doctors found her veins to be too many blockages that were calcified.  They couldn't put the stint in.  They said she was too old for open-heart surgery.  So they're just going to send her home.

She's resting today and will be discharged tomorrow.

I'm glad she isn't worse, but I'm saddened that they couldn't help her.  I pray that she can eat right and exercise and that hopefully any new medication will help her.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grandma is Back at the Hospital

Grandma had a heart attack around 3am this morning.  She is back in the hospital.  They are going to put a stint in.. 

I hurried through work best I could.  I got 1 proposal done (12 pages), 1 interview introduction (16 pages), and random stuff to a firm, with us as a sub.  After that I took off to go see her.

She was asleep when I arrived, sometime around 2:30ish.  My mom and two aunts were there (all three of her girls).  I went to get a bite, and when I got back after a few minutes she stirred.

We chatted a bit, and after a few hours, we found out sometime tomorrow morning around 9ish, we should know when she is scheduled for her stint.

Everyone left to go get some sleep as they were there since 4 am, but my husband and I stayed behind.  We watched her eat.  She loved her potato soup! And we chatted some, about Grandpa, about her mother, about favorite moments, and about life.

She's scared about tomorrow and during her heart attack, she truly thought she was going to die.  I can't imagine what that feels like.  I really hope this stint works, that the surgery goes well and that she'll feel better.

She's a wonderful woman!  Lucy showed a new side of herself today, a more vulnerable person, but still a loving, strong and amazing woman. 

Any thoughts and/or prayers are welcome.  I know God has a plan for her, but it doesn't mean I don't worry about my Grandma.  I pray she has peace and strength to get through tomorrow.
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Dawson and Skylar

Today is Dawson and Skylar's birthday!  They aren't from the same litter, but still were born on the same day.

I only had one dog in my life and that was my then senior-aged, Pekingese, Tai-Pan. I didn’t want another dog. My Mom did. She wanted a Tibetan Spaniel. She knew of a breeder who had 2 litters born on the same day. One litter was a black and white parti litter. The other was a tan/red parti litter. I was with Mom when she was looking at these Tibbies.

I couldn’t help but notice this black masked boy from the black/white litter. He followed me everywhere. He was the only boy in his litter and all his sisters picked on him. (He still gets picked on now, at home, by his fur sisters.) I thought he was adorable. I loved his little mask. But I wasn't looking to get a dog. I already had the perfect one, Tai-Pan.

So I told my Mom that she had to buy him. I wanted her to have him because he melted my heart. So did a blue-eyed girl, from the tan/red litter, (this being Skylar) that meowed instead of barked, but she was already spoken for (At the time).

Anyhow, Mom chose Kai-Li, a red parti girl that was the “leader of the pack”. We visited often as they grew up at the breeders and the breeder knew how much I adored this black masked boy. I would have him come out to play with me, the blue-eyed girl too, when Mom had Kai-Li visits.

The breeder noticed the boy was very short on leg, therefore not show potential. She told me if I wanted him I could have him for pet price instead of show price. I told her Tai was all I needed. However, Mom told me that Tai wouldn't last much longer and with him in wheels, this dog’s company may perk him up more since I was working more to pay for his wheels, meds, check ups, etc... I said then it would be Tai-Pan's decision.

I asked the breeder if I could do a trial weekend. Because I didn't want to say yes, if Tai rejected him. The breeder loves her dogs and only wants good homes, so she said yes. I took him home to meet Tai-Pan for the trial weekend. On the ride home I had him in my lap and he whined and whined. I finally held him, but he continued to whine. So I had my Mom stop the car and I tried to see if he had to go to the bathroom. Nope, so the drive continued on, as well as his whining. I finally got him to stop whining by holding him one-handed, in the air, over my head. He's such a baby... then and now. At home I introduced the two dogs and both their tails wagged crazy! So Dawson stayed.

He is most like Tai-Pan, God rest his soul. I think Tai had a lot of influence on him since it was just the two of them for a few months. Dawson loved to lick Tai-Pan's ears, and when Tai had enough he would bark for me to take Dawson away. When Tai-Pan would bark, Dawson would raise his little paw and put it on Tai's mouth trying to shut him up. It was very funny to watch.


Dawson is such a Mama’s boy. He is happy go lucky and loves attention. He is always on the look out for fun or food. He get jealous easily and Father’s everyone. He bathes all the dog’s ears constantly. Arwen's ears get so wet they fold back.

He gets picked on by the pets too. It’s like he’s an easy target. He’ll play then get chased until he tucks his tail between his legs and comes running to me. He’s very intuitive and knows when you want company. He loves to cuddle all the time. When he sees treats he tries to do all the tricks he knows all at once. He gets so excited he trips over himself trying every trick until he hears the one I want.

He's also Houdini.  He can get out of most crates, jump gates, he's amazing.  We have to find creative ways to keep him in from getting into trouble.

He loves Skylar. She is his best friend. They are usually joined at the hip. Dawson has a nose for trouble. Skylar doesn't, but she'll follow him in it. Dawson is always looking at the lawn that is greener. He loves what he doesn't have. But he is a dear boy. Kisses everyone he sees. Dawson is very loyal.  He's my big baby!

As for Skylar, she was born from the other tan/red parti litter.  Mom ended picking her Kai-Li from this litter. However, 2 dogs stood out to me, a black and white dog who became my Dawson, and a blue eyed girl.

What was really amazing was she didn't bark, she MEOWED!! I adored her sweet disposition. However, she was already claimed by someone in Canada. I got Dawson and Mom got Kai-Li.

I would ask the breeder about the blue eyed girl anytime she called to check in on how our puppies were transitioning. Well, to make a long story shorter, Skylar couldn't go to Canada.  She became available again.

My mother knew that my dog Tai-Pan wouldn’t be around forever. He was getting old. She also knew Dawson needed a companion. Also a dog that could run like Daws could since Tai was on wheels.

So I got an early Christmas gift: Skylar!  What's cute is Dawson and Skylar are both the runts of their litters! Skylar was the perfect fit for Dawson. She gets along better with Dawson than she does with her own litter mate sister, Kai-Li! It was a match made in heaven.

I named her Skylar, because of her sky blue eyes. She meows and cries like a cat. She loves cats too. Maybe she thinks she is one. Also, Tibetan Spaniels should have brown eyes. She has blue, a huge fault in the breed. However, I see them as Bette Davis eyes. She just gives you this incredible look, just like she did.

Dawson and Skylar are best of friends. And they became very close when Tai-Pan passed. Sky is laid back and quiet. She loves belly rubs. Food (unlike my other 4 dogs) is not the world for her. It’s hard to motivate her with anything but praise or a belly rub.

She loves to make you happy. She and Dawson will chase each other around sometimes. Now and then she plays, but only on the winning side. She watches Kiara, Dawson, and Amadeus play. Once she sees someone starting to go down, she joins the winning side and helps them. (She's not into hard work, the easiest route is best).

She’s very mellow. She's perfectly happy lounging. She gets into trouble only because she follows it. Dawson just has a nose for trouble and she is his shadow. But you can just give her a look and she lowers her head. Dawson you can jump, scold, shame, and he still has his silly grin on his face. She is also so polite. She asks if she can jump on the couch first. Dawson just jumps up and plops down. Skylar looks at you and you have to tell her it's okay then she jumps up happily and cuddles with you. She's such the lady. Skylar is the most gentle, quiet and soft dog I know. She's an absolute doll baby and we love her so much!

Happy birthday my two amazing Tibbies!
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

50th Anniversary

A while back we tried telling my husband's parents about the adoption.  We pretty much brought up "What would you think of us adopting?"  It was a segway for us to tell them we started the process.  They weren't receptive.  So we backed off.  They never really knew we decided to go through with it.  So it was dropped so to speak.  But I felt terrible inside ever since about it.

Since then my husband has been dropping hints about China, adoption in general, buttering them up so to speak.  When we sponsored Kajal, we really think we turned a corner as we heard his mom say she wished we could bring her home with us.

Today was their 50th anniversary.  So we decided today we would tell them.

I brought his mother a photo of the country of China as an ultrasound.  I handed it to her and said, "What does this picture mean?"  She looked at it, puzzled and said, "I don't know."

I clarified, "It's an ultrasound of China."

She replied, "I don't know.  Give to D." (her husband)

I did, he was just as perplexed.

I then handed her Chinese pajamas for a girl that my husband was holding.  I asked, "Does this help?"

She had tears in her eyes.  "This is for a little girl."

I told her, "Yes, we're adopting a little girl from China."

They couldn't have been any happier!  What a change from last year!  She was so happy.

She said for the family photos we're going to take late July, she wanted to leave her a space in the photo.

We're so relieved and happy that it's all good!  I told K. (his mom) she'd have to teach me to sew a baby blanket for her like she does for all the orphanages all over the world.  She seemed very excited about the idea.

Today was a very special 50th anniversary for us all!
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