Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Is it too late for Halloween?

I came across this picture from Halloween, and I couldn't resist posting it. Rick and I spent a relaxing weekend at Rough River with some of our closest friends this past October. Jennifer brought along pumpkins for us to carve. Here we all are smiling with our creations.

Good times.

Good Friends

My Mom used to quote old sayings to me when I was growing up. She always had the perfect one for any situation. One that stands out is "Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, the other gold." When Rick and I moved 750 miles from home nearly 16 years ago, that saying stayed in the back of my mind. We left behind many good friends, but we've made so many new ones along the way, too. The only "old" friend (all the way back to junior high!) that I've kept up with is Darcie Cash Johnson. We don't talk as often on the phone anymore, and we only see each other once or twice a year, but when we do see each other, I get that comfortable feeling that I hope never goes away -- a feeling that means "I know you and I love you no matter what." Thanks, Darcie, for being my comfortable, old friend!

Elianna's First Christmas

Elianna Ruth Mansfield is not even born, yet, but she had a wonderful Christmas! She received three dolls, three books, a lullaby CD, and a family heirloom nightlight. One of the books is a children's Bible with her name printed on the front cover given by Rick's Mom and stepdad, Sonny. Sonny also gave Elianna his very own duckling nightlight that he used when he was a baby. The family heirloom is over 60 years old and still shining bright!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Elianna's Shelf

Our nine month "Paper Pregnancy" is almost over. Most folks take about 5 or 6 months to get their paperwork completed for a Chinese adoption. Our ordeal has turned into a nine month process. The nine months will actually be over at the end of February. That's when our dossier will hopefully be completed, authenticated, and sent on its way to China. Then we have about a year and a half of waiting before we actually travel to China to get Elianna.

All that has not stopped us and our family and friends from welcoming the new baby with gifts galore, even now. In this post you will see pictures of Elianna's book shelf (she has approximately 20 books already). Also on the shelf are a couple of back packs, two dolls, and a cute little pair of black patent leather shoes. She also has enough clothes to fill two rubbermaid storage containers (given to us by friends with three little girls from China) and two bags of essentials from my boss who has two little girls from China.

Two of the photos are of a doll my Mom ordered for Elianna. The doll looks and feels like a real baby. It's hard to believe that we still have almost two years to go before Elianna gets to enjoy her new things, but we're certainly having fun collecting them all! We're planning a book character-themed nursery, with Curious George as the featured book character. We already have a Curious George-themed guest bathroom with CG border, pictures, and accessories, so a Curious George nursery won't be that much of a stretch! Other characters will be prominent as well, including The Cat in the Hat, Madeline, and Pooh. We've even started a baby registry at The link is:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Elianna Update #9

In Elianna Update #8, I mentioned that our final Home Study visit would be last week. We had to reschedule, and we just completed that final Home Study visit today (Sunday, December 10)! Now we wait for the report to be completed and approved by our adoption agency. We have a couple of other items to send to the adoption agency for our dossier to be complete, then we begin waiting for everything to get sent to China (DTC -- "Dossier To China"), and then we wait for our LID ("Log In Date"). The next long wait is for a referral for Elianna. Right now that is taking an average of 14 months after LID.

I've included a picture in this post of our social worker, Amber, sitting with me in our living room and a picture of Amber with Bessie. Bessie immediately fell in love with Amber, by the way. The other picture is of our family all smiles after the Home Study visit. Amber was gracious enough to take a picture to commemorate the occasion!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What Kind of Reader Are You?

Great quiz. I'm "Dedicated Reader." Rick was "Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm." Click the link below to discover your description.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

HT: Paul Roberts

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Elianna Update #8

Our final Home Study visit is scheduled for tomorrow, December 4! One step closer . . .

Countdown to Elianna!