Tuesday, April 28, 2009
When we flew home from China, via LA, we got on the plane, and SAT on the runway for 2 hours!!!!! Problems with the a/c system...oh, isn't THAT nice, to sit on a hot plan for hours! NOT!!!
Anyhow, that was not really the issue in this story. The ISSUE was what ISSUED from ShaoXi! OH MY WORD! A diaper blowout par excellence! NOW...remember I am a new mom. I am on a plane. At LEAST I had extra clothes and diapers, so ya gotta give me credit for THAT! :)
So...I take her to the back of the plane, and then into the spacious bathroom...NOT! Have you EVER tried to clean up a one year old, change ALL her clothes (oh, yeah...up the back, into the socks...lovely!) and NOT get poop all over the bathroom? I had her on the toilet seat (closed), and she was NOT happy, as both her head and feet hung off. Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth! Poor thing.
After an inordinately LONG time, we emerged from the bathroom, to see two flight attendants staring at us, with big eyes. One of them piped up and said, "You know, next time you can change her out here...we have a mat!" Thank you for that information...wished we'd had it sooner! :) The good part of the story is that she never did fall off on her head, the bathroom was left clean (thank you diaper wipes!), and as far as I can tell, the child was not traumatized for life! :)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Now, if only I knew what this strange bump is on my head? And then there's the sprained ankle and scraped knee from my lovely fall in our pitted driveway, yesterday! (sigh)
When I was in Bible College (Valley Forge Christian College, in Phoenixville PA) I was privileged to minister with the Voices of Freedom Concert Choir. Every Fall and Spring we would climb on a tour bus, make ourselves little "apartments" (decorate our seats! I was the BEST!) and drive all over the Eastern Seaboard, and even into Ohio and Western PA, giving concerts. One night we landed in Ohio...not sure where, but it was a BIG church. We trooped in, were led to our changing rooms, etc., went upstairs, did a sound check, went to the Fellowship Hall for supper, and then it was time to get ready for the concert. SO....off we went. At some point, I needed to go to the ladies room. I slipped out our door, carefully counting the number of doors to the ladies room, did my thing, and headed back. "One, two, three, four"...knock, knock! "It's only me!" Trotted in...TO THE GUYS DRESSING ROOM. Thankfully, for ALL of us, no one was in a total state of undress. I stood there frozen for one moment, as they all did...then slammed the door and RAN! Oh, my goodness! I FLEW into the ladies' dressing room, red-faced and gasping. And laughing, but I was SO embarrassed. I blurted out what had happened and everyone died laughing. And in all the subsequent years of Choir, I never lived that down. It could have been worse...but it was bad enough! :)
Monday, April 20, 2009
So our search goes on. I did have a lovely talk with the Pastor's wife, and I was candid with her. I told her that I loved the service, but that I think Shao would quickly hate going to church, and that was something I wasn't willing to do. She agreed that they needed a program for that age group during Sunday Service, and said there are plans in the works. SOOO...we will keep in touch and see what happens. The church is less than 5 min. from our house, which would be SOOO nice.
Plus...please believe me, I am NOT judging!!! BUT...as much as I liked the service, and the people, and the Pastor, who is SUCH a nice guy...he is a yeller, and things were a bit loud. The sermon was long...I truly do believe you can get your point across in a half hour or less! And while I LOVED the worship service and music, their worship leader had a tendency to have the congregation sing the song/chorus OVER AND OVER AGAIN...and you can ask my daughter, I cannot BEAR things that are repetitive! It just drives me insane. SO...maybe not the best fit for me, either. I don't know! I will be praying HARD...because certainly I don't want petty things to stop me from being in the place HE has for me! (sigh)
On a totally different note...it is FREEZING here! HEY...where did spring go? COME BACK! We spent the weekend at the beach...we wore shorts and capris! We wore flip-flops and sandals. Today I turned the heat back on, I am bundled up, and wondering what we did to insult Spring enough to make her leave! :)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Thanks, guys...just feeling a little lonely! And if I was at ALL computer savvy, I would figure out how to put a "hit counter" on...but THAT'S never gonna happen, believe me! I am lucky I figured out how to post pictures...sort of! :)
Saturday, April 18, 2009
We came home, ate lunch, and went to the beach. It is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day here, in the low 70's, hazy sunshine, daffodils blooming, life-is-good kind of day. And the beach was tranquil and lovely...but COLD. WINDY! In the summer, it is such a godsend to be able to head down there...it is always at least 10 degrees cooler, and almost always a breeze. But today, it was a bit much. Even so, we stayed an hour before heading home. I was GOING to take pictures except that SOMEONE took the batteries out of my camera to use for THEIR walkman. SOMEONE had better find batteries of her OWN! Anyways...maybe next time.
We are very blessed to have the use of a little beach shack (and I use the word "shack" absolutely correctly, although it DOES, in season...which it is NOT at the moment...have electricity and a toilet!) a couple of miles down the street. While it has windows and doors, you can see the sand through the cracks in the floorboards. It DOES have a shower, as well, which is a recent improvement. But it is basically just an old wood shack, no insulation, and just one room. We LOVE it! The owners live far, far away, and seldom use it, so we glady DO! We didn't bother to open up the house, just walked around and up onto the porch, where I sat in a chair and tried to stay warm in the sun, while the crazy kids wandered the beach in short sleeves and shorts. I wanted to take a picture of the "Beach Bug"...yep, the shack has a name! But...AHEM...you know the rest.
It's one of those days where you just kind of hang around, don't do a whole lot, but enjoy the day. I like those days. They seem few and far between a lot of the time. And Monday we head back to the grind...driving school van for me, school for ShaoXi. 9 more weeks until summer vacation...but who's counting? :) Much good stuff happens in the summer...Shao's beloved Gramma & Grampa come up to the summer place in NH, and we get to see them (YAY!) We get to go the beach a lot, and enjoy the beauty. And it is WARM! I'm telling you, if you are my friend, and you live in a warm climate, you may get SICK of me in a few years...I think I'll make the rounds of all my friends, Jan. through March, once Shao heads off to college! HA!
Not much else happening here. Tomorrow we head to our (hopefully) new church. After spending Easter Sunday in a wonderful AG church in West Chester, PA, we are looking forward to going to this one, near us. Hopefully it will be our new home. I'll keep ya posted! :)
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
But just to make life more interesting...I had a tube put in my right ear yesterday! Yep, a tube. Shades of being 4 again! :) Actually, when I was four, tubes didn't exist. Which is a pity, since maybe all my ear problems would have been prevented. I had WICKED earaches/infections as a child, and even into adulthood. And for the last 11 years I have endured a clogged ear, popping, crackling, and intense pain upon it opening back up...and don't get me STARTED about flying on an airplane! AI YI YI YI!!!!
So, I've been seen at the hospital's ENT clinic for the past 8 mos. or so. We've tried various things, and while some things improved, the ear did not. SOOO...tubes. Very nice young resident looked at my history, looked in my ear, and said "Let's put a tube in it today!" Okay, no problem. I asked him if it would hurt. He assured me that he would numb it, etc., and it was a simple procedure. NOT. Not for me, anyhow. Oh, the pain! I bawled like a baby, all the while holding still, cuz this guy had a scalpel poking at my eardrum. Not fun. Oh was I glad when he finally was through. He apologized profusely, and I actually felt bad for HIM. Anyhow, once it was done, it was not painful...but now it is. Which does not make me happy, more than 24 hours later. I have a low grade earache. Nothing stupendous, but enough to make me wince a bit. I am putting in antibiotic drops 3X a day, but if it doesn't feel better by tomorrow, I will call. Not sure who I will talk to...this is a clinic, only there on Tuesday PM, so who knows? Meanwhile, I am now sporting a lovely earplug when I shower, and am so looking forward to swimming, etc! But honestly, if I can finally hear like I am not UNDER WATER, and the popping and pain are gone, I will be thrilled!
Other than that, I am just ducky! It sucks getting old! :)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Good friends care. They are there for you no matter what. They will listen patiently and sweetly while you repeat the same story over again. They love you. They will put their arms around you and give you a hug just when you need it most. They GET IT. They know you, and understand where you are coming from. They may not "come from" the same place themselves, but it doesn't matter. They are willing to let you be you, and be different from them, and still be your friends. They love you, as you are. Acceptance...that's the basis of all true friendships.
And in pondering this, I began to realize how very diverse my friends are. They come from all walks of life, from all kinds of different backgrounds, and jobs, and ages. But each is dear to me, and I could not do without a single one of them.
I have my "cat" friends. These are either people who I got to know back in the day when I was breeding and showing Himalayan cats. OR they are just people I have met since who love cats. But they are a loyal bunch, and now that we are truly friends, the cats are just incidental to our relationship. In fact, one of my dearest "cat" friends no longer HAS a cat...nor do I! Sadly, my last elderly Himmy had to be put to sleep last November. It broke my heart, because I knew I couldn't replace her. My landlady allowed me to bring the two old ladies with us, even though she does not allow pets. But the deal was, when they were gone, they could not be replaced. Sadly, a little less than a year after moving here, they are both gone. We have a fish. He's a very nice fish, but not very cuddly. He doesn't purr, nor play, but we like him anyways.
Then there's my college friends. My dear, dear buddies...my pack, my posse. I graduated 25 years ago, but these people are precious to me. They know me, and HAVE known me, for a long time. They appreciate me, and I them. We are there for one another, even if we are separated by the miles. It's just how it is.
And my adoption buddies. First, my Hunan family, the 8 other families I traveled with to China, to adopt our precious daughters. They are family in every sense of the word. Even if some of them have gotten "lost", and I no longer have contact....they are still family. I still love them, and especially those girls, very much. I told them all when we finished our journey, that I "owned" a tiny part of each of those babies, and they definitely had a piece of mine. There are a couple of families we stay in close contact with, and OH, I am SO glad we do! We couldn't do without them. In fact, I am the appointed guardian to two precious little girls, should the unthinkable happen to their parents. What a honor, and what a trust. One that I take seriously, and with great pride. Love you, M family!
And there are other adoption friends. It is amazing to me how many friends you make in the world of adoption. Especially if you make it a point to involve yourself and your child in her ethnic heritage as much as is possible, or as much as is right for your family. ShaoXi is immensely proud of being Chinese, as well as American. She said to me, when she was about six, "Mama, I am 100% Chinese and 100% American!" And you know, I think that says it all! I think she was absolutely right on! So I have many friends who have walked this journey, as well. And I treasure them. It is good to have folks who have traveled the same road, in their own way. We are of immeasurable help to one another.
And my "bloggy" friends. It baffles, amazes, amuses, and thrills me that I count people I have never actually met as dear friends! And some of them I HAVE met. And some I hope to meet sometime in the future. And some I will never meet this side of heaven. But nevertheless, they are precious to me, as well. In some ways I "see" them more often than the others, as they are right here, at my fingertips! :)
SO....today, treasure your friends. Tell someone you love them and are thankful for them.
I am thankful for all of you!
Monday, April 13, 2009
One of our "newer traditions" is to visit a family we "met" through a Yahoo group. They live just a few miles from Kim and her husband Henry, and oh my, do we EVER love visiting the Balmers! First of all, they are a riot! Second of all, they are Christians who truly walk the walk. And best of all, they have THREE precious daughters adopted from China, right around Shao's age, who are 16 mos. apart in age from one another. Busy household, that one! Not to mention some adult, grown kids, one serving currently in Iraq (pray for Nathan!), one newly married and in the process of getting their first apt...you go, guys! And then there is Miss J, who is moony and adorable, and in love...and you had BETTER let us know when you know WHO does you know what! And incidental to all this fun, Dad B. is an INCREDIBLE cook...especially in all things Chinese. So we had a many course Chinese feast, followed by some breathing time, then a chocolate fondue free for all, topped off by home made Peanut butter/chocolate Easter eggs. Can you say STUFFED?!?!?! And HAPPY!?!?! And sugar-loaded!?!?!?!
That was Friday and Saturday. And on Sunday we had the privilege of attending Trinity Assembly of God Church, and hearing the Word of God proclaimed, and the Resurrection message given, and an altar call, as well as some unbelievable music ministry and worship. We were blessed! God is GOOD...all the time! This Sunday we begin attending our new home church (we hope!), an AG church near our home. We will miss the friends we have made at our old church, but there were some things preached/said from the pulpit in recent months that did not line up with my beliefs, and they were major, not minor, so we shall begin a new chapter in our church life. I think it will be good. Shao seems to understand WHY it is necessary to do this, which is great. I am hoping she will make some friends and it will begin to feel like home to her quickly.
So...remember! He is risen, just as He said! Jesus has paid the price for our sins, we just have to accept the gift of His sacrifice, and we are free! He is risen...He is risen indeed!!!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
So I will try..."Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (patience!). But let endurance (patience!) have it's perfect work, that you might be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." Hopefully I did not misquote here...I am too lazy to get up and get my Bible! :) Anyhow...here I am, working on patience! :) Cuz I CERTAINLY have the trial part down pat! :)
Monday, April 6, 2009
Anyhow...I am going to strive to be truly MINDFUL of events where I can see His Hand, or when I've clearly heard His voice (be it by circumstances, or actually audible...and YES, He does speak audibly, at times, even today!)
I think this is a marvelous way to truly be PRESENT in the moment, and savor each day. I suspect there are many "memory box worthy" moments that we simply miss, because we hurry through our days, to just get THROUGH them. It's a challenge, and one I am pondering and meditating on. I'll keep ya posted! On Mondays! Let's see what wondrous thing I REALIZE that God is doing this coming week. I am excited!
This is one of my favorite places in all the world. Not that I've seen MUCH of the world. But Block Island is right up there, nonetheless. This is my happy place...
Gracie's Cove, on the West Side, at sunset. You can't swim here, too many rocks. But the sunsets...oh, the sunsets!!! I particularly love this one because of the sailboat in the background. You don't see that often, at sunset. It was perfect...the perfect ending to a Block Island Day. It doesn't get better than that!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
SO...today, again, she was herself. I have to put one kind of eyedrop in EVERY hour. Do you know how ANNOYING that is? And how easy it is to forget, to not realize how the time goes by? So all day long, without being asked, she has set a timer, when it rings she comes and puts the drop in my eye, and resets the timer. ALL DAY! I love this child. She challenges me to be a better person every day, because SHE is a better person than I. And not too many parents can say that of their 12 yr olds, I suspect. Like I said, I am blessed.
Friday, April 3, 2009
So I continue the drops every hour routine, as well as three OTHER drops at varying intervals throughout the day. And I go back on Tuesday morning. But obviously it is much better! It is not even red anymore! I don't look a Halloween mask! YIPPEE!! But it still hurts a LITTLE...but NOTHING compared to the excruciating pain of a week ago...and even 3 days ago! Thank You, Jesus! Thank YOU!!!!
Shao is at ballet at the moment. I pick her up at 6PM, feed her supper and her friend Krista arrives at 7, to spend the weekend. Shao & Krista haven't spent a lot of time together recently...their schedules just didn't coincide, or by the time Krista called to do something, Shao was already committed or off somewhere else with some other friend. So it will be nice to have Krista for the weekend. She's a good kid, I like her alot. I actually like ALL of Shao's friends, although there are a few I worry about...more for what may happen to them in the future, given the path they seem to have set their feet on. I'll be watching closely. My hope and prayer is that Shao can help them choose a different path, but I won't allow it, to her detriment. So like I said, I am watching...and praying.
That's about it for now. It is raining Persians and Poodles here! We have had lightening and thunder, high winds, and downpours. But it is not really cold...hence the thunder. Hope it doesn't hail...on my way home from the Dr.'s I stopped and bought a flat of pansies. Don't you just LOVE pansies? They have such a happy, sweet face! I wouldn't want them squashed by hail!
Have a great weekend, everybody...
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Meanwhile I have not been able to work, so I have no CLUE how I will pay rent next month...it was going to be tight, as we have 6 days off this month, what with Good Friday and April vacation week. Now it's gonna be impossible. (sigh)
BUT...God! He has never failed me yet, so I will cling to His promises, knowing that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills! Can I have just one cow, Father? :) A Jersey, please...I don't want to eat it, just milk it! :)
Anyhow, I am HOPING the Dr. will release me to go back to work. After all, I have been driving the 1.5 hour round trip to go and see THEM, so I think I am okay to drive!
My girl is busy cleaning her room, as she is having a weekend guest over. Krista is coming tomorrow night after dinner, and staying til Sunday afternoon. Unbeknownst to them, I intend to put them to work a little on Saturday! There's lots to do around here! :) And I might as well take advantage of TWO sets of hands!
Since I couldn't work today, I went to see the babies! Oh, my goodness! They change SOOO much in just a matter of days! They are 2 mos. old now, and weigh 12lb 4 oz, and 12lb 12 oz. They are chunky monkeys. When I walked in, the entire living was covered with either babies, baby equipment (2 swings, 2 bouncy seats, one play mat, one changing table, 2 carseats!), or baby clothes everywhere...clean and in stacks...Jen was folding laundry. She is beginning to weed out their 0-3 mos stuff, as they look like little sausages in them! :)
Gotta go put drops in my eye...or on my eyelid...or on my cheek. I am NOT very good at getting it in my eye. Drives me nuts! :) BTW, MUCH less pain...very minimal now, and very seldom. I am SOOOO thankful!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
What I MEANT when I petitioned God is that Noah wouldn't be going to school, or that his mom was driving him, or whatever...he's the only kid I drive in the morning, so if he wasn't going, I would be free to go to my 8:30 appt. that was 45 min. away.
Guess I didn't make that clear to the Lord. Because this morning I woke up REAL early. It was still mostly dark out. I stumbled to the living room, and put the drops in my eye. I tried to open my eye, which had been very painful to do when I first woke up. But it wasn't TOO bad. But for some reason, I closed the good eye...and could not see out of the bad! YIKES! SO....I called the bus company and told them I couldn't drive. Certainly not this morning, and that I would let them know for the rest of the day.
So off I went to the Dr. I had called my mom and asked her to take me...poor mom. We were there for 2 and a half hours!!!!! The dr. dilated my eyes, and I figured he would, so did not want to drive myself, plus with the bad vision in the affected eye, it wasn't worth taking a chance.
So...FINALLY I have a dr. who is actually DOING something to help me! Thank You, Lord!!! He said that while he did NOT want to scare me, we were going to be very aggressive with treatment, because if we did not, I could very well go blind. DOUBLE YIKES! SO...I was sent home with even more drops. And more prescriptions. I am now putting one thing in every single hour when I am awake. Another 3x a day; another 2x a day; and another at bedtime. That on top of the myriad of meds I ALREADY take is an impressive arsenal, let me tell you!!!
I am not driving today, or tomorrow morning. I have to be back in the office at 8:15!! But MAYBE I will be able to drive my noon time and afternoon runs. We'll see. First I have to see how all these drops affect my vision. It, by the way, is quite a bit better (ie, things are merely blurry now, not like TRYING to see through a frosted glass.) I can actually make out objects and all. I can't read any letters on anything, but when both eyes are open, the good one compensates quite well.
So, I guess this is my present testing of my faith. Hope I remain faithful, and allow God to work through me. I did make the people at the Dr.'s office smile this morning, so that's a good thing! :)