Friday, September 24, 2010

Excuse Me, but Uranus Is Tilted

I have been accused of having a loud speaker attached to my brain. My family tells me I commentate life in real time. Like when you watch a movie and the director is talking the whole time. Words just tumble out of my mouth. Many times they aren't the right words, or even real words. I admire those people who are quiet. They only talk when they have something really great to say. Those are the kind of people who you really need to listen to. They are accused of being shy, but really they are just wise. I am not a shy person. But at times I feel nervous around new people. Usually it is because I am worried I will start to babble. Some people are good at following me, others look at me like I am crazy. I know a kindred spirit instantly. If we are laughing within the first ten minutes of meeting, then it's a friendship in the making.

The kids recently started at a new home school program. Have you spent any time around home school moms? They are so nice. But they are usually so darn perfect. And you stand there looking at them thinking..."Please have just one flaw." Then you say out loud to them, "Are you serious?! You constructed Ancient Rome out of PRETZELS and LINT this morning??"

Yesterday I found myself in the family room surrounded by new home school moms. We don't have to hang out there while the kids have classes, but I thought I would just mingle for a few minutes. They were talking about how sad they were that Winter was arriving. We didn't get much of a Summer. When that happens in the Pacific NW, we all get a little panicky. They were so bummed about it, so I decided to give them a little bit if information I had read  to the kids the night before. I was reading about the planets. I found out that the Earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees. That is why we have seasons. The axle of Uranus is tilted at an angle of 98 degrees compared to the sun's orbital plane. So while the other planets are like spinning tops, Uranus is like a rolling ball going around the sun. Uranus' poles experience 42 years of darkness, then 42 years of sunlight. I was amazed at that. Can you imagine a 42 year span of darkness? Suddenly it didn't seem like we have it so bad. (For those of you who live in parts of the country where you see the sun during the winter, you won't relate to this post at all.)

SO, I say all of this to set up why I said the following sentence to these Moms. I wanted them to feel better about Winter coming. I wanted to give them a little perspective, because sometimes all we need is a little perspective to make us feel better, right?

I held my hands up as if I had a big ball in my hands. And I said to the Mom closest to me,

"You know how Uranus is tilted?"


Well, it was as if all of the air was sucked out of the room. I stood there thinking to myself,

"That did NOT just come out of my mouth."

They had NO idea I was talking about planets. They thought I was speaking about some medical term. I didn't even know how to recover that one.

I quickly said, "I mean the planet! They have 42 years of darkness at a time!"

 I then said, "THEY? I don't know why I said they, I know there are no people living on Uranus,"

They were trying to listen. Nodding and smiling. Then one Mom said,

"Aren't you Beau's Mom?" 

I nodded. I asked what time classes ended. I left. I got into the van and laughed so hard. When I told my sister, Jodi what I said I could barely get it all out. Go ahead, walk up to someone and ask them if they are aware that Uranus is tilted.

I dare you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Pictures of Havensong

Here are some new pictures of Havensong. She is SO cute. I couldn't open my email fast enough. I had goosebumps so big that the kids were freaking out. It is the most amazing feeling looking at her face, knowing she is mine. I am so happy she has gained weight. I hope she doesn't get anymore teeth until she comes home though. Her hair looks wet in the photos. Maybe it was hot out. Or maybe they gave her a once over with a wash cloth before they snapped the photo...

 Here are her updates

68cm, 6.2kg, 41cm head, 41cm chest, 10cm foot, 3 teeth

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Only In Lynden.....

I was trying to find a parking spot today. There were very few empty. I was late (surprise, surprise) and was getting frustrated.  A nearby church was celebrating their 100th Anniversary so there was quite the traffic jam. I finally found a place but needed to circle around the block to get to it. Just as I came around the corner, this guy cut me off and swerved into the spot.
Autumn told me to hurry, but it was too late......grrrr....

Lynden is all Dairies and I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it was a tractor that beat me out.  At least it wasn't a Canadian tractor. All of those were at Target, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My trip to the DMV

If you didn't read my post about how much I hate to wait, you might want to refer back before reading any further.

I am sure none of you allow your driver's license to expire, right? You are diligent and organized and watch for the letter to come in the mail.  The thing is I didn't see the renewal come in the mail. (Well, I did find it yesterday while looking for scissors to open a box of cereal.)  But I didn't realize my license was so past due until I was in the bank last month, notarizing some papers for China. I was there with Scott and our friend Cindee....

Teller: Oh lookee here! Your license is expired!

Michelle: Yep, I guess it is ( with pursed lips)

Teller: You better get that taken care of. I am sure you are going to have to take the whole test over again since it has been so long.

Michelle: I don't think so. I am pretty sure you don't have to take the drive again.

Teller: Oh I think you do! (sweetly)

Michelle: Well then, (insert steely eyes) I hope you are correct. Because I would love to take that drive test again
Scott: You  would want to take the written too?

Michelle: Yes, and I rock at parallel parking, so it would be perfect.

I was clearly being stubborn. I should have gone the next day to the DMV....but I didn't want to wait in that line!!!

Well, fast forward a month. I was on my phone while driving...OH YES, I KNOW......I am not supposed to do that. I admit it. I was wrong. It's just that I have lost about eight of the ear pieces, and I was on a tiny little street, so I did it. I feel bad, and I told that to the motorcycle cop who pulled me over.

 I leaned out the window and said in a bright voice,
"But sir! I was in a school zone and doing 5 under! Doesn't that count for something??"

I think the police have a new tactic these days. Have you noticed they are so darn nice now? He nodded and told me good job. He smiled and agreed that it is so hard to keep those silly earpieces from getting lost....Oh and he also knew how renewing your license can just slip right BY YOU..... YES EVEN if your birthday was in MARCH.

He was so kind all the while writing me a ticket for $ 672.00.  I hate to admit it to you, but I even threw in the I am adopting an orphan and my mind has been on that and all of that paperwork. He said,
"Oh, I KNOW there is so much paper work. I am a notary. Our friends are adopting. I notarized all of their paperwork, even in the middle of the night sometimes."

He told me if I went in the next day the judge would most likely drop the fine. So I had no choice. I woke the kids up and announced we were going the the DMV. They gathered crayons, snacks, the portable DVD and water bottles. I stopped and got them lunch to eat while we waited. I was prepared. And I couldn't wait to come home, and blog about my long, horrible wait. About fighting kids, rude people, and bad photographs.

It was 11:47 when I walked in. I took my number. It was 63. They were currently serving number 62. It was eerie in there. So empty. One man sat to my right reading a John Grisham novel. He had on the darkest sunglasses, I don't know how he could see anything. There were no others.


I began to walk forward. I know this is not a good analogy, but I felt like I was walking towards the pearly gates or something. The huge echoey room, my expired license in hand and a sorrowful face.

"Wow, it is empty in here," I said.
"Don't ever expect to see this again in your lifetime," she said.
She asked me to read the top line in the view finder. I asked her to please attach the little papers for my forehead to lean on. I passed with flying colors. I wrote my name on a piece of paper. I handed her $25.00 plus $10.00 for the late fee ( I told you, Bank Lady) and she told me to take a seat until they called my name. I laughed as I walked over to the seat because there was nobody else there to call BUT me. I barely sat down and she yelled my name.
I walked toward the counter with the camera. There was one lady who just had her picture taken. "62" I assumed. She told me to stand behind the green line.


"Oh whoops, she said. "You have a tiny piece of hair sticking up."
"Thank-you!: I said, fixing my hair in the mirror.
 I looked over at # 62 and smiled. She said how wonderful that was that she actually told me my hair was messy.


"OK! All done!" she said, and handed me my temporary license.
The picture was great! It looked like a glamour shot!
I went out to the kids. It was 11: 51!!!
Autumn was so surprised! She told me we were all prepared for nothing.
And now I can't even complain about long lines, rude people, OR bad photographs.

Now I just hope the courtroom is the same way...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Bending Moon

There seems to be one thing on my mind at all times these days. It's sort of hard to concentrate because part of my heart is in China. The Moon Festival is around the corner. It's a very important time in China. People celebrate the moon at it's fullest...I thought of how envious I am of the moon looking down on my little girl.. I imagined the moon wanting to swoop down and pick Havensong up just like I want to....

So I wrote this poem for her in honor of the Moon Festival. And in honor of how much I already love her.

The Bending Moon

The moon she waits the whole day through
She glides across the sky
She longs to get a glimpse  of you
Although she's way up high

The moon she hides her pale fair face
She turns the other way
Until it's time to take her place
When night replaces day

She bends and leans and dips her head
She squints her pearly eyes
She finds you resting on your bed
And hears your tired sighs

She longs to touch your soft sweet hair
But cannot fall that far
 She tells her secret to the air
He finds you where you are

Through the window oh so light
A breeze to touch your cheek
As you dream all through the night
You make the sky feel weak

The Moon must go, she blows a kiss
And lets the day shine through
When she's gone she'll sadly miss
                      tiny little you

Merry Christmas

This song is so precious. I used to listen to it and cry because I knew another Christmas would pass by and she wouldn't be here. But now I listen to it and know that is not the case.
She will be here.
She won't be in an orphanage a world away.

 For those of you who are waiting still...don't give up hope.

I love this song and wanted to share it with you.

There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms
At an orphanage just outside a little China town
There the forgotten are

But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine
It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow

But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep, I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart

I wish you Merry Christmas

Monday, September 13, 2010

Waiting....I am not good at it.

I hate waiting in lines. I hate waiting at stop lights. I detest waiting rooms. Especially the cold, greasy one where I get my oil changed. I will do anything to avoid it. Heck, I even hate waiting for someone to pick up their phone while it's ringing. So you can imagine how much I have hated waiting in this five year line for our adoption?

 At first I counted down days. The I counted down months. Then the years, and soon I knew I would be counting decades. I bought things for her. I decorated a room in a house we don't even live in anymore. I moved her dusty little dresses to a new closet, but with less enthusiasm. The wait grew and grew until people stopped asking about the adoption. We had a huge concert in May 2005 that raised $5,000. I am sure some people thought we just took the money and ran.

The thing is, we had no control over it. China had reasons for slowing down. They slowed down so much, it seemed we were going backwards. It was the only line I have stood in that got longer the longer we waited. We didn't have any options until our agency began to represent Special Needs. We decided to switch and there she was, within 24 hours.

Now many of you are asking how much longer until we get her. Here is where we are at:

When we got matched with Havensong our paperwork was starting to expire. We have to stay current or we fall under this thing called the Hague Treaty...and that would mean a big headache. More paperwork. More hoops. No Thank You. So we had to have our Homestudy updated....again. We then sent it off to Missouri. Now they will review it and give us an appt. in Seattle to get our fingerprints done......for the fourth time. When they clear us.....yet again, they will then send us our new I-171H. When we have that, our agency can make us an appt at the consulate in China. So I think it will be Mid November. China has sent us our travel approval. She is ready to go....she just waits because of paperwork. And yes, that drives me crazy. But it is what it is. So I wait. But at least I am not counting decades or years. Only months. And pretty soon days.

Hold on baby......we are coming to get you soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

100 Good Wishes Quilt

There is a tradition in Northern China of giving a  Bai Jia Bei quilt to a new baby. It means 100 Good Wishes. As I read about it I found it was mainly reserved for newborn boys. The international adoption community  grasped onto this lovely idea and have used it to also welcome their daughters into their lives. It is a beautiful way for friends and family to work together to create this amazing token of love. It consists of 100 squares of fabric. A piece of each fabric is also placed into a book along with a "good wish" or a "blessing" for the child. She can then look in her book to see who gave each square and then find it on her blanket.

I started working on this five years ago. This morning I looked at what I have collected so far. I have ten pieces from a few friends and family and from adopting families in Denmark and Spain. I need something to concentrate on while waiting for Havensong so I have decided  to collect the rest of her "Wishes." My sweet friend Mary has offered to help me put it together. Tayler and Autumn sew, so I will employ their talent too!

If you would like to help here is what you do.

1. Choose a 100% cotton fabric that you like. It can be from a
fabric store, fabric you already have, or something that is special to you, or maybe even fabric that has special family meaning.

2. Prewash the fabric so it shrinks and is clean; then iron it
so that it is straight enough for cutting.
3. Cut one square measuring 8"x8" and smaller piece to include in our scrapbook with your wish.

4. Add your wish. The wish can be your own words or thoughts, a favorite poem or quote, a blessing for the new arrivals, a prayer, or a favorite verse Place it on a card with a scrap of your fabric glued to the card. Your wish can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. You can also include a picture of yourself so she can see who sent the wish. We'll have scrapbook for the wishes. I am sure she will love looking through it.

Thank you! Oh.... you can just message me through FB if you need my address. :)


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Havensong's new picture!

There is this amazing lady I know. Her name is Ann. She has a company called Red Thread China. I ordered a care package for Havensong from her two days ago. She said she would call the orphanage and asked for updates and new pictures. 

AND SHE GOT THEM!!!! THANK YOU ANN!!!!! She is so cute! And her hair is adorable!

Here is what I now know about Havensong:

height :67cm

weight :5.9kg

head :41cm

chest :40cm

feet :10.5cm

 This is priceless because we have been looking at the same three pictures everyday for weeks. I have wondered how she is, and if she is growing, and all I get for my wandering thoughts is a whole lot of silence. I feel every inch of the ocean that separates me from her.
 I hope that if she wakes up in the middle of the night crying, someone will go to her. I hope she eats until her little tummy is full. I hope she gets played with and cuddled. I hope she stays safe and sound until we get to her. I hope somehow she knows she is loved and wanted....and needed.
I can't tell you how hard it is to wait.
How much I want to have her in my arms.
How long I have waited for this sweet little girl. are beautiful. And you have THREE teeth!! I wonder if they are on top or bottom?
I can't wait to see you smile so I can see for myself.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

There oughta be a law...

That Sun Chip bag is loud.

Beyond belief loud.

Beau was eating them the other day and I got agitated listening to him. I was on the phone and couldn't even hear the person on the other end.
"Stop it!" I yelled.
He looked at me and rolled up the bag....smiling.
It is crazy.

My Mom came over last night. We were standing in the bedroom talking when she started jumping around.
"What is the matter?" I asked her.
"My feet are cramping up!" she said.
She took  her shoes off and walked into the kitchen, curling her toes. She told me it was the stupid cork sole in the shoe. Her feet form to them and then start to cramp up.
"I need to warm them up!" she said,
I told her to get in the bathtub. She hopped in, pulled her pant legs up and ran the hot water. Her friend Melanie was with her. We all stood there, kids included, talking while she un-cramped her feet. Swishing back and forth.

"Hey!" I said. "Have you heard how loud the Sun Chip bag is?"
"No," she said.
"Oh it's amazing! And it is 100% biodegradable so when you can't take it anymore you just toss it out the window!" I said happily.

I went to get the bag to demonstrate. She stood there in the tub, crinkling the bag, now ankle deep in hot water. She couldn't believe it. She ate a chip and crinkled it again, wincing and holding her ear. Glaring at the bag, as if it was trying to annoy her.

It struck me as funny......

All of us in the bathroom.
My Mom in the tub.
Water rushing.
Bag screaming.
Us shocked and angry at it.

"There oughta be a law" she said

Hey, as the saying goes...".Bad publicity is good publicity."
I don't even like Sun Chips. I bought the dumb bag just so I could drag it around and show people. As long as nobody else drags it out while I am on the phone.
Or reading a book.
 Or sleeping.
 Or taking a bath...  :)

Oh, and I hopped in too. My feet were cold.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I thought  this was so cool. I am by no means a Science Buff. In fact, I have to really force myself to get excited about it. But this amazed me. I am not going to try to be technical ....You can easily google it. But from what I read, I discovered that Laminin is a protein in our bodies that holds us together.
 It's our "glue" and it is found in every living thing.
It just happens to be in the shape of a Cross.

Colossians 1: 15-17
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by [1] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pet Cemetary 2

Ok. I have to tell you something. I don't know a thing about chickens. I am sorry if you feel misled, but it's true. I like to WRITE about them. But evidently I don't know how to actually keep them alive. Much less alive and laying eggs. And if they do lay eggs they do it in hiding. Never in the nesting boxes. Honestly...I buy my eggs at Safeway. I treat my chickens like royalty, and then go spend $4.00 a dozen on free range, organic eggs at the store. Some of you are so sweet as to write me and ask me questions about my chickens. It's hard for me not to respond with my own burning question....


This week alone we have lost three chickens and a rabbit. (And I LOVED Edward the bunny. snif...)

Stephen King should base his next novel here. It's that freaky. And the chickens never just fall over dead. They insist on doing it slowly. To torture me. I don't have a hen house I have my own little morgue. We have a cemetery  with little ROWS and a grounds keeper.

Our hen house is clean. The food and water are fresh. They roam and play and run through sprinklers. There is no good reason why they should die. I have one right now looking a bit wobbly. I guess I have no choice but to take her in to Dr. Berry and have him run some blood work. I have to know what the deal is. So far Chick Magnet 2 is happy and healthy. But he could go at any moment. I am tempted to close up shop.

My friend Shelly has great luck with her chickens. In fact, she sent me a picture last week of one of her hens that had just hatched DUCK eggs! Sheesh!

My chickens could never pull off hatching CHICKS much less ducklings.

Am I loving them to death?