Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of First Grade

Annalee started school today. What a difference a year makes! Last year for the first day of kindergarten, I was an emotional wreck, and Annalee was not quite herself. Our emotional ups and downs seemed to last for weeks.

This year, it was all smiles on both our parts, and even Ron's before he left for work.

After picture taking it was off to school. We had to park a block away, since it seems like EVERY family drove today. Then, Annalee and I half ran-half walked to get to the building.

We found where her class was grouped in the hallway, and she sat down. Within minutes, she made friends with a girl sitting next to her. I think making a new friend made everything about first grade feel good.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's a Girl!

We have had Mei Mei in our hearts far longer than the three years, five months and one day that we have waited for our referral from China. Today, we know the life she lives in China and soon with us forever. God has blessed Ron, Annalee and me with a beautiful baby girl. We are so very proud to share with you our news - finally!!!

Our daughter lives in Yunnan province in the city of Zhaotang. Her Chinese name is Cui Na. It sounds something like Zhwee Nah. She was born on Dec. 27, 2007, which makes her just about 20 months old. We are thrilled beyond belief!

We will get more information about her as soon as the translations are completed. We'll also get her picture at that time. We chose not to receive it via e-mail, and, unfortunately, our agency is not allowing families to go to the office and pick them up. So, we will wait some more. But, this time, the waiting is so much better!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guests in the Garden

I was watering the hanging plants today when something started crawling out from the ivy geraniums to escape the downpour. I ran to get the camera, then had to search to find him again, since he blended in so well. Just after I took this picture, he just eased his way back down the flower stem to be covered again by leaves.

Then I moved on to our other planters and this guy crawled out of the regular geraniums. Once he curled up onto the leaf, I almost couldn't detect him. Can you?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Friday, Aug. 7, 2009

Aug. 7 was a very special day for us: we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and renewed our vows at our church. In 1999, we were married by a JP on the porch of a Door County bed and breakfast. We weren't part of a church family at the time, so getting married there with our immediate family around us was perfect. Now that we are very active in our church, renewing our vows with our extended family was especially meaningful.

Annalee served as our ring bearer; she was very proud and excited for 'our' anniversary.

The blessing was one that we've used in church before, but it's so wonderful I want to include it here again:

Life is short,
And we do not have much time
To gladden the hearts of those
Who travel the way with us.
So be swift to love.
Make haste to be kind.
And as we go, may the blessing,
The peace, the love, and the joy
Of the Holy One who is in the
Midst of us
Be among us and in our hearts
This day and always.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer's Bounty

Finally! Our first tomato came close enough to being ripe for picking last Thursday. Truthfully, it could have used another couple days to get really red, but I think Annalee liked it all the same.

This year is our first real foray into gardening. Usually, I plant, water for the first month and then never make time to continue watering when things get really dry. So, my little plants just shrivel up and croak by about this time of the summer.

This year, with all this new time on my hands, we planted. And planted. Actually, I was still planting on July 21! We have five tomato plants. Two are flourishing; the other three are not so good. The two in the ground have four tomatoes among them and no prospects for more. So you can guess how bad our soil is. The third is in a topsy turvy. I'm not impressed; a couple flower buds but no signs of any output. The two I planted in a pot are going gangbusters. Well, at least they're loaded with tomatoes, green as they are, both big and little cherry tomatoes. That's where our first tomato came from. Annalee will be in tomato heaven when they start coming in!

In case you're wondering, we also have four jalapeƱo plants, four tomatillos, lots of herbs and strawberries. The strawberries are a bust, as far as I can tell. But, everything else is coming along. Especially the basil and 'tea' herbs. Can't wait to dry and brew them! And, most exciting for me are all the flowers that are still pretty and blooming. I'll have to take some pictures to share. Well, I think it's time to get out and do some watering...