Monday, July 31, 2006

Worth the Wait

Hot off the press:

America World is pleased to announce the receipt of 12 healthy female referrals! Families receiving referrals were logged into the China Center of Adoption Affairs on July 8, 2005 (group 221). The little girls are currently located in the Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces. Please join us in congratulating these families, and in praying for them as they prepare to travel.

I can hardly wait to see some referral pictures!

Things About Me

Jenny tagged me again! This wasn't easy to do, either. It kept me up late last night. Speaking of Jenny, I'm meeting her this Friday night for dinner. Very cool!

I am... an independent woman by necessity.

I want... a family of my own.

I wish... the CCAA would get it together.

I hate... getting up before the sun rises.

I miss... Paris.

I hear... the clock on the wall ticking, and a cricket outside chirping.

I wonder... when I’ll see my daughter’s face.

I regret... nothing, so far.

I am not... an extrovert.

I dance... around the house with my dogs to country music.

I sing... less now than I used to, and I miss it sometimes.

I cry... when I’m frustrated or sad.

I am not always... fun and spontaneous.

I make... learning fun.

I write... paper after paper after paper…

I confuse... the destination with the journey.

I need… coffee and chocolate.

I should... exercise more often.

I start... each day by checking the Rumor Queen’s website.

I finish... most everything I start.

Now, I'm tagging Julie, , Tamara, and Nicole.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Grammy Goes Shopping

After I finished my paper yesterday, I sprung into action and put away piles of papers, textbooks, sticky notes, highlighter pens, paperclips, pens, pencils, the stapler, stapler remover, and files - everything that had been used almost on a daily basis since my first class began in January. I won't need any of it again until the next class begins in October, and I just wanted to see the tops of my kitchen table and coffee table again. It was such a good feeling to pack it away!

Then I called my mom and asked her if she wanted to meet me at Babies R Us. Of course she did! We wandered around and checked out all sorts of things. Then we went in the mall and looked at Gymboree. I love, love, love the clothes at Gymboree, but I think the prices are ridiculous. I think some of you more savvy shoppers need to give me the rundown on the Gymbucks routine. How does that work?

Anyway, Grammy did purchase this really cute outfit for Jillian at Old Navy. They have the cutest collection right now for little ones that they're calling Vintage Baby. We could have bought lots of things, but I'm reluctant to do so until I have a better sense of when she'll be coming home. My mom likes to refer to herself as the "Clothes Grammy". She's always enjoyed shopping for Rebecca and Sarah. Girls are fun to shop for!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

At the Finish Line!

I. Am. Done!

No more papers! No more books! No more teacher's dirty looks!

I have the next thirty days to just relax and do whatever I want to do. I think I hear the Hallelujah Chorus!!!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Big Bucks for Jillian

I don't really know what this means or what it's based on, but cha ching!!!

My blog is worth $18,629.82.
How much is your blog worth?

I wonder if there's anyway to turn this into a college fund for the kid?

Oh, yeah!

Here's what my professor had to say:
07/28/2006 Hi, Joannah. I have enjoyed reading your literature review assignment – fact finding and selected solutions, Phase 1, parts 3 and 4. Am happy to let you know that it earned all 25/25 points allocated for this assignment! Terrific!! You did a great job of presenting the information in a most capable and cohesive format. The ideas are clear, easy to follow and well structured throughout. Your synthesis of the various articles that you collected and reported is good and the solutions you chose are equally strong. This paper is ready to be filed in your permanent files pending graduation! I look forward to reading exactly how you will incorporate these concepts into your actual implementation activities! Send your implementation plans anytime now, when ready. Sincerely, Dr. Brennan

I'm feeling a great sense of satisfaction and much relief. That was a tough assignment.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Quick Trip to Naples

I decided to take a break from writing today and instead I took Miss Buffy down to Naples for a walk. Long Beach is neat because it has all these different neighborhoods with really distinct "personalities". Naples is made up of multi-million dollar homes built along the main channel coming in off the ocean, and additional canals. It's really picturesque. Many of the homes have large windows to capture the views, and I like looking inside and seeing the decors that seem to range from beach cottage/shabby chic to ultra modern.

Buffy was pretty good on our walk. It was too hot for her to pull on the leash for more than the first ten minutes, or so. We met a few other doggies on our walk. All of them were friendly.

I think I'll take Taylor down there tomorrow morning for another walk.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Two Down, Two to Go!

I just submitted the final section of my Action Research Plan (thesis) before I have to implement my ideas back at school in the fall. It looks like there will be two more written sections required before I'm actually done, but I have months and months to complete them.

Before next Tuesday, I still have to crank out a Course Reflection paper and an Original Artifact Synthesis - don't ask...

I'm almost done with this block!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!

Okay, I am loving this ice cream. I have always preferred Breyers to other store brands, but this one has half the fat than regular ice cream. My favorite Breyers flavors are Natural Vanilla and Mint Chocolate Chip. I love the texture of Breyers because it reminds me of homemade ice cream. Anyway, there are only 130 calories for 1/2 cup, and there's just 5g of fat. Pretty good, huh?

I'm sure I'm serving myself more than a 1/2 cup, but still!!!

What's your favorite ice cream?

And the Winners Are...

Your overwhelming response to the GlobalGiving Open far exceeded our expectations—thanks to all of you who spent hundreds of thousands of "bucks" to vote for projects you felt were most deserving of spots on GlobalGiving's online marketplace!

After tallying the votes, we're pleased to congratulate the winners:

Half the Sky, "Foster families for 50 disabled orphans in China"—winner of $5,000
TOKTEN, "Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals"—winner of $3,000
Coptic Orphans, "Valuable Girl Project: Empower 1000 Girls in Egypt"—winner of $2,000
ASAP, "Rural Family Nutrition Initiative in Zimbabwe"—honorable mention

Isn't that wonderful? Thanks for voting everybody!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Chinese Names

Connie inspired me to try this.

Here's my name in Chinese:

And here's Jillian's name:

Back to Normal

Thanks to those of you who responded to my earlier post. I think the music I had added must have thrown the code off. So, no more music.

Oh, well...

Do You See What I See?

Apparently, those of you running Windows see my blog much differently than I do. I'm using Mac and my browsers are Safari and Firefox. My blog looks perfectly fine to me, but another blogger has told me that my sidebar isn't in the right location. Since I can't see it, I'd appreciate any feedback you can give me if you're a Windows user. I have made one adjustment, but I can't tell if that put everything back in place, or not.

Also, if you have any html expertise and can advise me what to do so that this doesn't happen again, I'd truly appreciate it!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

One Down, Three to Go

There, that's one thing to check off my list.

I just completed one of the components to my thesis and submitted it via email to my professor. This was the research component of the project. I consulted 19 sources of information on my topic and had to synthesize them into my paper. It wasn't easy, but I'm happy with the results. Now, let's hope my professor likes it...

This coming week, I have three more papers to write before this block concludes on August 1st. Thank goodness for my iBook. It's getting a workout, but it hasn't let me down once.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One More Day...

...of summer school. I shouldn't complain, at all, because this has been the nicest group of kids I've ever had in a summer school class. But I am so looking forward to a few weeks off - a few weeks to sleep in, shelve the commute, live life on my own schedule, play a little, and catch up on things around here.

Unfortunately, my master's class isn't over until the first of August. So, this coming week I'll be finishing up my assignments for that class. After that, I'll be a free woman!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

June Bugs & July Fireflies

On the recommendation of several of you out there in the blogosphere, I joined both the June and July DTC groups. However, with a July LID, I think I'm identifying more with that group because I imagine I'll travel with more of them than members of the June group. But who knows for sure!

With the wait times looking so lousy, it's nice to have a group of people to hang with that know what you're going through - that's what makes blogging so rewarding. I'm also looking forward to having some fun with my Secret Pals. I've decided that I'll participate in the July Secret Pals, although I did the first cybershower with the June group.

I think it was my suggestion that the July group adopt the fireflies theme, and while we haven't made a final decision on the logo, there are some really talented and creative people who have come up with several ideas to choose from. Here's the one I like the most right now, but any of the ideas I've seen would be great.

Eventually, once the logo is chosen, we'll be selling items through Cafe Press and donating the proceeds to Half the Sky.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My Clustr Map

Have you noticed my ClustrMap in the right sidebar? I'm fascinated with it, especially since it indicates that readers overseas are checking out my blog. Now, I know some of those European hits are from Terri. Hi, Terri! But what about that one over there by China. I'm thinking that's Hong Kong. Who's browsing my blog in Hong Kong?

Looks Like We're Really in for a Long Wait

From our favorite rumor mill...

This is not a rumor, this is officially from Australia. They do not have individual private agencies, their government relays all information that they get, and this comes from their government.

The statement basically says that they are aware that there were encouraging comments from the CCAA delegation about the wait times. However, they state that the CCAA advised their departments that the waiting time from LID until referral will now begin to extend beyond 12 months. The wait is expected to extend to 18 months over the coming year.

The email notes that it is terribly disappointing, but that they want their families to have a realistic assessment of waiting times.

Sheesh... I'll be forty by then. Not to mention the expense and hassle of having to redo the HS and the I-171H.

What to do?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Worthy Cause

As a monthly contributor to Half the Sky, I received this email today. Please take a moment to read it and participate in this wonderful competition - all you have to do is vote. You need not make a contribution. Fifty Chinese orphans with disabilities may benefit from the time you take to participate. Voting ends on Thursday, July 20th.

Okay, now my long-dormant competitive nature is waking up. Remember the
Global Giving competition?

HTS was selected by to compete for funding and a spot on
their donation website. Only the top 3 of the 35 finalists will join the
projects donors can fund on the site. Voting ends on July 20.

After I wrote to you last week, we speedily soared to first place. Then,
a few days later, we slipped to second. Then to third. Now we’re in
danger of losing altogether.

This is FREE. It takes a minute. China’s orphans will be the winner.

Right now we’re falling way behind a project to provide technology access
for Pakistani youth and another to halt the brain drain in universities in
Mali. Those are, no doubt, worthy projects.

But it’s such a simple thing to cast a vote for our children — the only
China project in competition. Anyone with an email account can vote.
Your kids can vote. If you’ve voted already, won’t ask your friends to
pitch in?

Just go to, create a free account,
and vote. At this point, as voting draws to a close, we’d love for you to
look only for the project that’s called “Foster families for 50 disabled
orphans in China” and spend your “$100”. That’s it.

Note that if you find the Foster Family project and then go on to the next
page without voting, you can’t go back. And our project appears on a
different page with each new visitor.

So find it and vote. Then tell a friend to do the same.

It’s not real money. It’s easy. And over time, your investment of 1
MINUTE could be worth a great deal to China’s orphans.

Won’t you give it a try?

Come on, folks. I know we can do this for the children!!

Thanks so much,


Jenny Bowen
Executive Director
Half the Sky Foundation

New Things For Jillian

I have pretty much stopped purchasing clothes for Jillian. With absolutely no idea how much longer the wait may be, it just doesn't seem like a good idea to keep buying clothes. If I had a better idea of the time of year she'd be coming home, I'd keep stocking up! However, I was at Target yesterday and these little slipper/boots were inexpensive and way too cute to pass up!

Baby dolls seem to be a safe purchase, so I keep adding to the collection. This baby is La Newborn, by Berenguer. I found her at Mandy's Moon. That brings the doll count to five.

I just started reading Zoey's Adoption Journey. Stephanie is a photographer and an artist. You can see her collection here. I love her work! I've already purchased some Mary Engelbreit prints for Jillian's room, but several of Stephanie's pieces are really tugging at my heart. Maybe if I purchase the right kind of frames, I can rotate out a couple sets of prints...

Other than that, I'm just trying to write the research component of my thesis. I'm finding this to be the most challenging writing I've done so far. It's difficult to take 18 sources and synthesize that information into a report. This class will be over two weeks from Tuesday, and I will get a breather in August. I think I can hang on for just that much longer!

Friday, July 14, 2006

No Surprise Here

You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

Happy Bastille Day! I was in Paris last year on Bastille Day. It was hotter than aych ee double hockey sticks! I was on a Rick Steve's city tour, and our guide, Arnaud, decided to take us down to the parade. But because he didn't want to get up too early to get a spot on the Champs Elysees (he was a bit of a prissy, little guy), we ended up on the banks of the Siene. It was so hot! Oh, did I mention that already?

We did get to see a parade of jets and other flying vehicles over the Siene that was very impressive. Arnaud reminded us repeatedly that we were seeing "zay best" military jets in "zay world"! The French are very sure of themselves.

After that, I spent the afternoon in my hotel room with the AC cranked up trying to recover from my heat rash and terribly swollen ankles - I don't do well in extreme temperatures. I did make it out for a delicious dinner with my group, but missed what I later found out was a spectacular fireworks show at the Eiffel Tower - which was just down the street. I do regret not seeing that.

Paris is a beautiful and amazing city. I loved it, and I hope to see Paris again someday with Jillian.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mystery Solved

I took Paulette's advice and posted to the June 2007 DTC group about my surprise package. Sure enough, Karen emailed me today to tell me she was my July Cybershower match this time. So, there you have it, mystery solved!

Karen, thanks again for the Mary Engelbriet birdhouse and mini teapot. They are both so cute!

New Header

I felt like I was ready for a little change of scenery around here since I've entered a new phase of my adoption journey. So, I dropped an email to Cheryl Flaim from Northern Town Productions and she whipped this up for me in no time.

However, I gave her the wrong LID date! Ack! She is going to correct that for me. Thank you kindly, Cheryl.

Thank You, Julie!

Julie sent me this cute shirt for Jillian, a little photo book, and a beautiful handmade tag to celebrate my LID.

Julie, you are so talented and thoughtful! Thank you, friend.


Julie sent me something else really special, too. Click on the Good Wishes for Jillian link in the sidebar to see!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Kim M. tagged me for this one. By the way, did you notice that the ladybug has seven spots?

Seven things I want to do before dying:
1. Raise my daughter
2. Be married
3. Have/adopt more children
4. Travel Europe more extensively
5. Drive across country
6. Walk a marathon
7. Learn to speak a foreign language

Seven things I cannot do:
1. Speak a foreign language (yet)
2. Play the guitar
3. Surf
4. Sleep with the light or TV on
5. Sew
6. Touch my toes
7. Watch a Michael Moore movie

Seven things I can do:
1. Teach
2. Sing
3. Write songs
4. Write a thesis (apparently)
5. Wait
6. Hope
7. Dream

Seven things I find attractive in a man:
1. Great sense of humor
2. His smile
3. Intelligence
4. Optimism
5. Humility
6. Compassion
7. Generosity

Seven things I say most often:
1. Boys and Girls!
2. I need your quiet attention.
3. Are you tattling?
4. Where’s your homework?
5. Buffy, what are you doing?
6. Buffy!!!
7. Don’t be naughty! (said to Buffy, of course!)

Seven books I love:
1. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon (that’s six books right there)
2. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffeneger
3. Big Stone Gap Trilogy, by Adriana Trigiani
4. Marley & Me, by John Grogan
5. The Best School Year Ever, by Barbara Robinson
6. Barefoot in Paris, by Ina Garten
7. Daughter of Fortune, Isabel Allende

Seven movies I love:
1. O, Brother Where Art Thou?
2. Seabiscuit
3. Finding Neverland
4. Sense & Sensibility
5. Walk the Line
6. Groundhog Day
7. The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ME Mystery

I was eating my 2 point Weight Watchers Giant Vanilla Fudge Ice Cream Sundae Cone, when the UPS man knocked on the front door. He left behind a very large cardboard box. I looked at the label. It was from a company called ENESCO. I didn't think I had ordered anything from that company, but it was clearly addressed to me.

I went about opening the package carefully, all the while glad to know that the Uni-bomber is already in jail. Once I had the box open, I could see that there were two items in the box.

I was delighted by the cute little birdhouse and July mini teapot. I racked my overworked mind to be sure that I hadn't ordered anything from the ME store lately. I'm sure that I have not.

So, now the question remains. Who can I thank for sending this package to me?

Confessions or clues may be posted in the comments section.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Good Wishes for Jillian

For those of you who emailed me requesting quilt squares, they are on the way to you as of today!

I've decided not to make a OHGWQ for Jillian. GASP! I know, I know... I have my reasons and they mostly have to do with the fact that I don't quilt, or sew, or knit, or anything along those lines. I had a hard enough time cutting out the quilt squares with pinking shears. You should have seen me...

What I'd like to do instead is fill this

with as many good wishes in the form of scrapbook pages from family, friends, maybe even my students, and my blogging buddies as possible. I just loved the beautiful embossed cover and the floral design. I was able to personalize it with Jillian's initial, too.

If you would like to contribute to Jillian's Good Wishes Book, I'd be delighted. Just design a scrapbook page to fit. The scrapbook holds 8.5" x 8.5" papers. Make sure you include your name and where you live on the page, and a picture of you and yours would be great, but isn't required. Email me if you have any questions.

p.s. I have lots of fabric left over. If you still need quilt squares for your OHGWQ, email me with your address and I will be happy to risk my life again with the pinking shears to send one to you! ;-)

Merci, beaucoup!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

LID - July 5, 2006

Congratulations again!

We have received confirmation that your dossier was logged into the CCAA on July 5, 2006. Right now the wait time between your log in date and referral is approximately 12 months. Please note that if you are adopting a special needs child this time frame does not apply to you. Wait for special needs families from the time the CCAA receives your letter of intent to the time you receive a travel letter is about three months.

If you have any questions or need anything during the wait time, please feel free to contact your Family Coordinator.


Melissa B.
Asia Family Coordinator
Dossier Coordinator

I looked back at all the guesses for my LID, and Sandy was the closest with her guess of July 4th. Thanks for playing, everybody!


p.s. I finally have one of those tickers on my blog! I put it at the bottom so it wouldn't overlap with my header, though. It's so cute - check out the butterfly!

I Hate These...

My neighborhood is besieged by crows, and I hate them. They are so noisy and aggressive. I think they are the bird equivalent of rats. And to think that they are classified as songbirds! What song? That's a squawk!

A few years ago there was a crow in the neighborhood that I got a big kick out of. It knew how to cock-a-doodle-do like a rooster! It was hilarious! I've heard they are smart (yeah, smart for a bird...) and that they can learn to mimic. This bird must have spent a lot of time over at the equestrian center about a mile away where they keep chickens and roosters as part of their petting zoo. I don't know where else he would have learned to do that around here.

My grandfather was also one to hate crows (maybe it's genetic?). He loved songbirds, and crows prey on baby birds. Of course they do! They're pure evil! Anyway, when my sister was a kid, our grandfather was driving her to her piano lesson and there was a crow in the street. He aimed for it and hit it with his car! I think he was surprised that he actually hit it, and he might have felt a little bit badly for doing so. He told my sister not to tell anyone what he'd done!

Now please don't flame me for my crow hatred, or try to convince me that crows have some hidden worth. I'm not buying it! They are nasty little creatures.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sweet Success

Here's what my professor had to say about my 28 page paper:
07/05/2006 Good Morning, Joannah. Your paper is very strong – good attention to the content requirements, as well as to mechanical format. You did a beautiful job in attending to the various “sections” and your structure was just fine. I enjoyed the reading and found your writing very informative. Your description of the writing problem is clear and straightforward; assessment procedures appropriate and objectives well selected. Just a great job all around. I am happy to award all 20/20 points for this first submission, and look forward to your research assignment.

After feeling totally intimidated about this undertaking and working my you-know-what off this weekend, I feel really good about this!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Happy Birthday, America!