Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas

This is quite possible my last post of 2009. Just wanted to send my friends and family our wish for a Merry Christmas. My family's hearts are heavy this year as my brother Rick, battling lung cancer, has been given just months. We were able to raise enough money for his dream trip to Brazil, but not certain he'll be able to go now. We are praying for a Christmas miracle and would appreciate your prayers as well.

Mailia and I will be traveling 'home' to Michigan (aka the frozen tundra) to spend time with family, and especially Rick. Mailia is truly hoping for some of the white, not so much.

May you and yours have a blessed Christmas holiday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

History was made tonight.....

Jimmie Johnson won his 4th consecutive Nascar Championship. Has never been done before in the 61 year history of Nascar.

And Hendrick Motorsports finished the year with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place points finishers. Total domination of the sport this year.

Now we have to wait til mid-Feb. to see our favorite drivers again. Hoping to be trackside at the Daytona 500.

Mailia is of course on top of the world about her Jimmie. She's been wearing one of his t-shirts all day and flaunting his victory in our faces. lol
Congratulations Jimmie and the entire 48 team!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quilt Raffle Update

The quilt is finished and it is BEAUTIFUL!

If interested in winning this heirloom quality quilt, please click on the chip-in on the right side of this page..."My Brother's Wish".

My brother has stage IV lung cancer and this is his family's way of trying to raise funds in order to allow him and his wife to take a mini-vacation together, while they still can.

More information can be found at our quilt raffle site:

Suggested donation for the raffle is $5 per entry or five entries for $20.

And again, if you cannot donate monetarily, we welcome your prayers.

Thanks so much!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Her First 5K

When she first brought home the registration form for this 5K, I initially said "Oh Mailia, I don't think so". My concern was that she wouldn't be able to finish. She, of course, was sure she could. So I told her I would talk to her coach and see what he thought.
He convinced me that she could do it. He said that she wouldn't finish near the front, but she wouldn't be in the back either. He thought she would probably finish around the 35 minute area.
I don't know what "place" she finished, but she finished with a 29:39. Her coach was stunned! There were over 1500 people running this morning and she finished somewhere in the top 1/3.
We are soooo proud of her, her coach is proud, and I think she was pretty proud of herself.

Pictures are before the run, during the run, and then after with her very pleased coach.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Brother's Wish

I have added a chip-in here in order to hopefully raise enough funds to allow my brother and his wife to take a mini-vacation to some place warm this winter. My brother has stage IV lung cancer so a trip like this will not be possible in the near future. We are hoping to make it possible through donations. We are truly grateful for any help you can lend, whether it be financial or in the form of prayers.
Thank you and God Bless!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Quilt

Wow! Apparently I've been running an illegal gambling operation. I received a notice from PP threatening to close my account, because I referenced them and Chip-In for the quilt 'ra**le.
I was informed that ra**ling is a form of gambling and is not legal. I sent an email to my adoption yahoo groups alerting them to this policy since ra**fling has been a popular way to raise funds for adoption costs. You should have heard/seen the uproar that has caused.

Anyway, I have removed the chip-in as well as all references to PP. I have also removed anything that mentions a ra**fle.

We will still be awarding the quilt to one lucky winner, but the entry process has changed. It will now be through DONATIONS but we must express that anyone wishing to enter our contest is NOT required to Donate! A simple comment or email is all that's necessary.

So, anyone wishing to enter our quilt event please either leave a comment here on the blog, or email me at and I will provide more details.

I'm sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And then she was mine......

Five o'clock came and went........we got word that they were still at another hotel where more little kids were meeting their new parents. Didn't know until much later (days) that Mailia's friend Sara was one of those kids. I knew Sara's parents from the orphanage yahoo group, but we had never met. Days later, while in Guangzhou, our final stop in China, we all met in person quite by accident while our girls were getting their medical exams. Coincidence? I think not. lol We remain friends to this day.

Anyway, the minutes and hours dragged by and then FINALLY we were called and told to wait down in the elevator lobby. Even then we waited and got to watch another family receive their little girl first. And then time stood still...........I watched the elevator lights as it made it's way up to our floor........the door finally opened and out stepped my daughter.

Her first word was "Mama" and her next words were "where's Baba?" (daddy) Daddy was waiting at home but we called and talked to him very soon afterwards.

We had about 20 minutes to ask all those questions I had prepared, and then the orphanage rep. and our Chinese speaking guide both left. This little girl who didn't speak a word of English was suddenly left with total strangers. Silent tears ran down her cheeks for a minute or two while I tried to hold her and comfort her the best I could. My heart was breaking for her and I was scared to death that I would not be the mom she deserved. But........

Within about 30 minutes this kid was laughing, giggling, jumping on the bed, eating snacks we'd brought, trying on new clothes I'd brought, and on and on and on. None of us were able to sleep for hours that night. We were all on a huge, huge high.....running on adrenalin.

I could write about the rest of our trip for hours, but I won't. It's just been an awesome trip down memory lane today. I remember all the feelings and emotions like it was yesterday, instead of three years.

Thanks for going along with me for the ride. LOL

I'm posting a few pictures here too:

One when she stepped off the elevator and then one taken today, 3 yrs later, in the same outfit.

Then one in the little red, white and blue dress she wore home to the USA, and then one today, 3 yrs. later in the same dress.


3 years ago 10-29-06

Three years ago today, I woke up in Beijing on what would be the day I became a mom. The sight-seeing behind us, I was now scared, apprehensive, nervous, you name it. Would my daughter hate me? Would I really be a good mom? What have I done?!?!?!? Thoughts of what might be going through Mailia's mind on this day also kept running thru my thoughts. Is she scared? Is she nervous? Does she realize that after today she will leave all she's ever known? Is she heartbroken or is she anxious? Does she wonder why she has no say in all this?

My friend (and travel companion) Audra and I spent the 3 hr. flight to Nanchang making a list of questions to ask the orphanage representative who would bring my daughter to our hotel that night. My one and only chance to learn as much as possible about my daughter-to-be.
I wish I'd kept that list, but I remember some of the obvious questions:

Did she know I was coming for her?
Is she happy or sad about that?
What is her personality like?
What foods does she like/dislike?
Eating habits, sleeping habits, potty habits, etc. etc. etc.

It was a fairly long list but like I was my only chance to ask about the first six years of my child's life. As I learned, very quickly, there was just no possible way to ask all the questions that would come up from that day forward.

We got settled into our hotel in Nanchang and began the wait. Word came that she would arrive around 5:00pm. It was only noon. I tried to eat, but my stomach was in knots. Tried to take a nap....not possible.
So we walked. And walked. And kept checking the time. It was going soooo slow, no wait!, it's going so fast. What was I thinking???? There's still time to change my mind. OMG when will she EVER get here?!?!?!?!?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three Years Ago..........

Three years ago this week, we were tourists in Beijing.
I was not yet a mom. But oh how my life was about to change.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cross Country

Her school hosted a neighboring school for a one mile run. She finished 11th and her best friend (since K'garten) Allan finished 12th. Guess you know he took some grief for that. lol

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mailia's "Jimmie"

Once again "her Jimmie" is on his way to the Championship. And just like the past 3 years, he is on top of the leader board. We all have our favorite drivers, and fortunately they all drive for the same team......Hendrick Motorsports, so if our own favorite is not faring well in a particular race, we ALL cheer for Jimmie. Jimmie Johnson #48. Mailia LOVES Jimmie and the 48 car. She doesn't sit and watch an entire race, but will check in periodically to see where the 48 is. When the closing laps are near she stands in front of the tv and screams and cheers him to victory. And it works most of the time. :-)
Nascar fans around the country have been complaining that the racing has become 'boring' because Jimmie wins all the time. No such complaining in this house! Five races down and just five more to go..........will Jimmie win his 4th consecutive Championship? At least one of us hopes so. LOL

Monday, October 19, 2009

Petting Farm

We finally got some cooler weather, so we headed out yesterday to a local petting farm. She had a blast. She chased and caught chickens and ducks, held baby ones, milked a cow, rode a pony. The day finished with a hay ride and a pumpkin patch. She was the most fascinated by the tractors and wished she could drive one. :-) Very nice day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just practice

This is what 'my little girl' chose to be for Halloween this year....Cap't Jack Sparrow. (sigh)
We started searching for the costume early, fortunately, since it was hard to find her size. But we finally found one and she loves trying it on and practicing her "ahoy maties". :-)

She joined the running club again this year. First meet was yesterday morning. And then she was called out of class later and awarded "student of the month". She brought home a progress report yesterday and once again it was all A's and B's.

Yeah, she's our tomboy....but we are so proud of her!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Much better!

Today's skateboard attire.

Words can't express.....

This is how I found her in the kitchen yesterday, making a sandwich. My first reaction was "omg, you weren't outside like that, were you?!". Of course she says "yeah mom, I was skateboarding". After my initial horror wore off, I learned that the helmet was hot, but wet washcloths help. sigh.......

Ted Kennedy

I didn't agree with Ted Kennedy's politics most of the time, but acknowledge the good things he did do. I didn't approve of his lifestyle most of the time, but acknowledge that he had turned his life around. Listening to his sons and his nieces and nephews the past few days has given me new respect for Ted Kennedy the family man.
While watching a lot of the coverage of his funeral yesterday, I kept asking myself "why". I couldn't seem to stay away from the tv or computer screen. The only answer I could come up with was that being a child of the '60s, the Kennedy legacy is instilled in me forever. The images of the family during their greatest tragedies are forever burned on my brain. I think the elaborate funeral was a little (ok a lot) over the top for a senator. But it was befitting a Kennedy. Poignant and comforting to know that the brothers are together again, at last. May they all rest in peace.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Night Launch

It was a SPECTACULAR night launch of space shuttle Discovery. Quite possibly the last night launch. Will be sad to see the shuttle program end.
Mailia and I stayed up to watch this one. Liftoff at 11:59 pm. Not quite the view as this picture, but still spectacular.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of 3rd Grade

Well, she was right! She couldn't sleep. lol She's been up since 5:30. Could not wait to put on her new clothes and GO! I bet she sleeps tonight. lol

Sunday, August 23, 2009

All Ready for 3rd Grade

I just don't remember ever being this excited for school to start. She had her clothes laid out about 6:00 tonight, got her shower out of the way, and then came to tell us when it was 9:00 and time to go to bed. She was giddy with excitement all day. Her only concern was that she was so excited she might not be able to sleep. lol
She's riding the bus for the first time this year and she is also super excited about that. I know it will all wear off, probably sooner than later, but it makes me happy to witness her excitement.
Here's to a great year Mailia!
Love, Mom

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just 6 more days....

I think I can make it now. lol

Took her to the park today to wear off some of her energy. The playground equipment and the splash pad were not enough, however. She also took her heelys, her skateboard, her in-line skates and then decided to climb a tree after that.

If only I had an ounce of that energy.

There was a wonderful breeze coming off the lake (compliments of TS Ana) and lots of big shade trees, so it was a nice quiet respite for me. Ahhhhh.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Two Weeks Until School Starts

Hope I can hold on that long. lol It's been a long, hot, 24/7 summer.
I sooooooooo need adult conversation. lol

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Girls Day Out

Took Mailia to see UP 3D this morning.
We'd both been wanting to see it all summer. What a cute movie. Haven't been to a theater in a long time, but wanted to see it in 3D. It was cute, it was sad at times, and SQUIRREL!!! it was funny! lol
We went to see it out at Downtown Disney and we were the only 2 people in the theater! Must be the tourists don't get up very early, or they go in the evenings. We went to the 10:30 am showing because it was cheaper.
Now we're looking forward to see Ice Age:Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 3D.
After the movie we went to Starbucks for an iced mocha latte (me) and a strawberry/banana smoothie (M). Thanks Aunt Linda!
Made for a nice and fairly inexpensive girls day out.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Now this is CREEPY!

Stepped outside the back door tonight to take a picture of our pond that reappears after our summer rains.
Nearly stepped on this perfectly intact snake skin. He (or she) had to have JUST slithered out of it, as I had been out there maybe an hr. earlier to bring a cat in. Took all the courage/guts whatever I had to pick it up, but felt like I had to measure him.
lol Darrell says it's a black racer or a king snake. Either way, it's from a snake that is harmless, unless you're a lizard or a frog or some such.
Still gives me the willys though, just looking at the pictures. He measured 51" long. M. would have screamed and had nightmares and and then vowed to never to go outdoors again...........but I didn't let her know I found it. I'm thinking of sending it to a nephew that I know would think it's the coolest thing ever. LOL

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Two days at the beach, two days at home in the pool, and two days at Universal Studios.....having cousins come to visit is AWESOME! They headed home to Michigan this morning :-( so Mailia slept until noon. Playing with cousins is also exhausting. lol