Monday, January 29, 2007

Which Jane Austen Heroine Are You?

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a little too vocal in your honesty. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

Oh, too funny! I saw this on Seraphic Secret and had to take it. I think I'm going to have to watch Sense and Sensibility again. It's been a while.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm Still Here

I wish that were me down on the beach in Belmont Shore, but I'm holed up here at home working on a paper this weekend. I love this shot of downtown Long Beach. If you've never been here before, I must tell you that Long Beach is a great town. I call it a little, big city. It's the fifth largest city in California with nearly a half million residents.

Long Beach is a college town. We have our own airport, a world class aquarium, beautiful beaches, the Queen Mary, pricey real estate, award winning and beautiful neighborhood parks, and lots of great shopping and dining. It also has a little bit of a Midwestern feel to it. In fact, Long Beach has been called the 'Iowa of the Pacific', because so many Midwesterners moved out here after WWII. Because of that, the area of Long Beach I live in is very traditional and modest. People take good care of their homes and take pride in their community, but I don't feel like everyone is quite as caught up in materialism and pretentiousness as parts of Los Angeles and Orange County seem to be.

In the early summer, thousands of Jacaranda trees all over the city come into bloom and they are simply gorgeous. I have grown to love Long Beach in the ten years I've lived here. It's a great place to call home.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

She'll Be Riding in Style

I've been selling the textbooks from my master's program on Amazon, and I've been pretty successful, so far. Amazon gave me the option of taking my payment in gift certificates instead of making a deposit into my checking account, and that's when I thought I might be able to parlay my book sales into acquiring something useful for Jillian.

So, today I cashed in my gift certificates for this snazzy stroller. I did a little research and it's one of the highest rated strollers of its type. I love the color combination! It's feminine, but the brown should hide any stains well.

Sometime next year, Miss Jillian will be riding in style in her fancy stroller.

Monday, January 22, 2007

I received confirmation today that my homestudy update can wait until August. Both AWAA and Adoption Options are in agreement on that one. So, I'm happy this Monday to have that squared away. I'm not happy about all the money it's going to cost to do so, but I'll save that for another post. Thanks to each of you who commented over the weekend in response to my confusion. I appreciate your input and support.

I was also happy to come home today to this gift from my secret pal. This month's theme was Meal Time, and, as you can see, I now have sippy cups, utensils, a plate, and snack cups. My SP also included some cute pacifiers. One of them even has Chinese characters on it.

If you're reading SP, thank you very much!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What Do I Do?

I'm a planner. Maybe you noticed that already? Anyway, I'm looking ahead the next few months of the year and I know that my paperwork will start to expire beginning with the home study in April. It's my understanding that in California the home study has a shelf life of twelve months. I thought I remembered my SW or AWAA telling me that I will need to update it this spring.

So, yesterday I called the home study agency and inquired as to when that process should begin. Turns out that the coordinator who handled my home study last year has left the organization. The new coordinator tells me that I don't need to update the home study except new fingerprints and I can wait on that until August. She sounds young and inexperienced. She also puts me on hold so that she can check with her supervisor. In the end, I'm not satisfied that I've got the right information.

So, after that, I left a message for my SW asking her to call me and clarify the home study update routine, and I emailed AWAA for their input, too.

I just don't want to drop the ball on this end and have to spend more time and money on a new home study.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What I'm Reading Meme

new girl tagged me for this one. I wish I could share something from a more entertaining or meaningful selection, but my pleasure reading is on hold until March 19th!

So, here's how it works:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Turn to page 123.

3. Write down lines 6-8.

4. Tag 3 people.

Scary situations need not be dangerous if controlled, and they can even be fun. A private party can offer some thrilling and terrifying moments that post no danger. If not supervised, however, trick-or-treaters can be in danger from traffic, overzealous pranksters, or the occasional sick mind.

That's an example of how one might use the Concept Development model in a class discussion. Fa-shin-ating, huh? ;-)

Okay, if you are reading something cool, please consider yourself tagged, and let me know that you've done this so I can check it out.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sometimes it's the little things that make me happy. For instance:

  • I've got the day off work. Thank you, Dr. King!
  • The sun is shining and the birds are singing - but they've got to be cold! (And don't tell me that it's not cold here. I know it's probably colder where you are, but it only reached 53 degrees in town yesterday, and that's cold for us! We're just not used to this. Our blood is thin.)
  • My camellias are blooming.
  • I received approval for the final component of my thesis over the weekend. Now I need to write the abstract and have my principal verify my project. Then I'll mail it off to my Academic Specialist and be done with it by the month's end!
  • I also received approval for my final Problem Statement for my current class, and can begin putting that project together.
  • Oh, and my Academic Specialist informed me that the portfolio requirements have just changed, and now I do not need to put all the portfolio pieces together in a fancy folder and have my principal and a colleague verify it for me. One less thing to do!

Visit Terri's blog for more Mirth on Monday.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Bear-ly Surprised... Paulette! She sent me this darling purse/hand-warmer this week for Jillian. It's been so cold here that I think I might start carrying it around with me! Brrr....

Paulette, thank you for being so thoughtful!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I walked into a fabulously clean house after work. My cleaning lady (bless her heart!) came for the first time today. My bathroom and kitchen are sparkling. My hardwood floors are shining. My wood blinds and mini-blinds are dust free and so are the baseboards. It even smells clean!

I feel like a queen in my little castle.

I can hardly wait for her to come back again!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Well, it wasn't easy getting up before dawn this morning to get ready for work, but I managed. I even got out the door on time and found the traffic to be light. So, I was off to a good start.

The best thing about my day today was when one of my students, Rebecca (who is such a sweetheart), came up to me and said, "I just have to give you a hug! I missed you so much during vacation." Then she wrapped her tiny arms around me and squeezed with all her strength. That just melted my heart and reminded me why I get up so early every day.

You can find more Mirth on Monday at Terri's blog.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

It's Over!

Christmas Vacation (yes, I still call it that!) is over... Sob! I have so enjoyed my lazy days. I think there were three or four days on which I was dressed before noon during vacation. I just really took my time each morning, drinking my coffee, reading blogs, and puttering around the house. It's been wonderful!

Tomorrow morning the alarm will go off shortly after five and I'll be out the door at a time when I was still dreaming every day during the last two weeks. By eight a.m., I'll have thirty-one pairs of eyes on me and we'll endeavor to accomplish something educational before three o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

Also, tomorrow is the official start date of my fifth and final class in my master's program. I've got eight weeks of hard work ahead of me until I get my life back. I'm so ready for that!

Thanks, Jen!

Yesterday's mail contained two packages for me. One was from Amazon. It was the TurboT*x I'd ordered. Yes, it's just about time to think about taxes again. Fun times!

The other package contained this baby carrier from Jen. What a wonderful surprise! The cool thing about the carrier is that it's designed to go in the water. I've never seen one like that before.

Jen's blog is a must read for me. She has had an amazing journey this past year and has been so honest about her life. I am inspired by her on a regular basis.

Thanks, Jen!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Minus Two

I know it's not much, but after one week using the Weight Watchers Online program, I've dropped two pounds. I ate way more than my points allotment last week (it was a holiday weekend!), but managed to walk 12 miles. I think that helped. Most of the days this week were just beautiful and I was motivated to get out and soak up the sunshine while it's here.

I like the Weight Watchers site. It's really easy to record the points values for the food I eat and the activity (exercise) I do. I signed up for three months and should be able to reach my goal by then.

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's Been Six Months...

...since my LID! I may only be a third or a fourth of the way through the wait, and I know in just a couple months I have to start redoing my paperwork, but for now I'm feeling optimistic.

I found this quote about hope and it fits my mood today.

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

...Next to Godliness

I am so excited because I just hired a cleaning lady!

I've seen this gal coming and going from my neighbor's house for the last year or so. I finally got the nerve to go talk to her today, and she seems conscientious and trustworthy. She's going to begin cleaning my house every-other week starting next week, and her regular day will be Thursdays. How perfect is that? I'll get to start the weekends with a clean house. The idea of having more time on the weekends for other things is exhilarating!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

January Referrals

America World is pleased to announce the receipt of 9 healthy female referrals today! Families receiving referrals were logged into the China Center of Adoption Affairs on September 9th of 2005. We also received a referral for a family who was expedited dueto Chinese heritage. The little girls are currently located in the Yunnan Province. We are also excited to announce that one of the families received a set of twins! The ages of the children ranged from 6 1/2 months to 16 months. Please join us in congratulating these families, and in praying for them as they prepare to travel.

Wonderful news! Congratulations!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

So, Here's What I'm Thinking...

Yesterday, I took a close look at the numbers RQ has for the months of September 2005 through June 2006. These are numbers that reflect a sampling of how many families have LIDs during each of these months.

  • September 2005 - 378 (possibly referred January 2007)
  • October 2005 - 464 (possibly referred February & March 2007)
  • November 2005 - 519 (possibly referred April & May 2007)
  • December 2005 - 281 (possibly referred June 2007)
  • January 2006 - 259 (possibly referred July 2007)
  • February 2006 - 226 (possibly referred August 2007)
  • March 2006 - 365 (possibly referred September 2007)
  • April 2006 - 227 (possibly referred October 2007)
  • May 2006 - 211 (possibly referred November 2007)
  • June 2006 - 184 (possibly referred December 2007)
  • July 2006 - 122 (possibly referred January 2008)
So, here's what I'm thinking...

I'm thinking that this week's batch of referrals is going to come pretty close to referring all of September 2005, give or take a day or two. Then, I think it will take two months each to refer October and November 2005. After that, if these polls are an accurate sampling, I then think it's possible that they will be able to begin referring whole months, and maybe even more than whole months, once again because there are much fewer LIDs from that point on.

So, working with that theory, I think I'm about twelve months away from a referral. I think it's possible that I will receive my referral this December or next January. Of course, anything could happen, but this seems realistic to me right now.

If I'm right, I feel like I can totally handle that much more of a wait.

Okay, what do you think?

Does my theory make sense?

Or am I way off base?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mirth on Monday

Terri has invited us to blog about the things in our lives that bring us joy.

I'm going to focus on the immediate. Right now I'm finding joy in the brilliant sunshine that is filtering through my kitchen window. That sunshine is such a mood lifter for me. I'm enjoying a delicious cup of coffee and some fresh squeezed orange juice. There's a whole new day ahead of me. Time for a walk with my dog. Time to go to my sister's later and hang out with my favorite people in the whole world. It's a beautiful day - the first day of a brand new year. Anything can happen!