Sunday, July 20, 2008

More pictures from the park

Exploring Colorado

Surrounded by this gorgeous scenery, the kids and I enjoyed an afternoon at the park. Unlike parks in our neighborhood, this one didn't have any swings or slides. What it did have was clear, cold water from the Rockies rushing over rocks worn smooth, as well as mountains soaring high above us on all sides. I have been extremely blessed to live in places where I can see the majesty of God's handiwork, from the vastness of the ocean to the heights of His mighty mountains. Oh, that I would not take His creation, His goodness, His grace for granted.

For the LORD is a great God
And a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth,
The peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Ellie Tian's Bai Jia Bei

To welcome and celebrate a new life, there is a tradition in the northern part of China to make a Bai Jia Bei, or 100 Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite friends and family to contribute a patch of cloth with a wish for the baby. Part of the patch of cloth goes into the quilt for the baby, and the other part of the cloth can go into a creative memory notebook with the wish for the child. The quilt contains the luck, energy, and good wishes from all the families and friends who contributed a piece of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

As promised, here is the picture of Ellie's quilt. We are so thankful to all our friends and family, as well as all of our new friends in the adoption community who helped by sending squares and wishes. Heartfelt thanks go out to Lindsay, who made sure this actually all got put together and quilted. It is beautiful, and it is a cherished gift for our daughter.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

He's back!

Apparently, we have a new pet! Bo & I are sitting down in the family room, and he sees the fox in the backyard again, so I grab my camera and DON'T try to open the door this time. I caught him! I hope he's friendly, since it seems he's going to be around quite a bit!

Friday, July 11, 2008

More wildlife

Okay...the decorations aren't getting put up, but I'm seeing lots of new & different wildlife here! We mostly just saw alligators, snakes, and dead armadillos in FL, but it's a whole new world out here in CO. We took the scenic route up to Evergreen this past weekend, and just as we were coming into town, a bunch of deer walked out in front of us. Thankfully, there were no cars behind us, so I was able to whip out the camera and get some shots.

Our next animal adventure hits a little closer to home. We had promised the kids that once we moved to a house that had a basement that we would again get a cat. Two cats, actually. Mary has been bugging us since before our furniture arrived. On Saturday night, we found three kittens who were littermates on Craigslist. When we called though, two of them were spoken for. We were only interested in littermates (so they'd be used to eachother), but the gal kept our number in case one of the people didn't follow through. Sure enough, we got home from church on Sunday to find a message on voicemail saying that she'd not heard back from the interested parties. Well...the gal talked to Bo, and she surely could see "sucker" tatooed across his forehead through the phone lines, because she brought all three to where we were meeting we "could choose." I said the prerequisite, "Oh, how sweet! How could we possibly choose?" Then, once the kids grabbed the first two and started loving on them, said, "Okay, looks like it's these two!" darling husband (who doesn't have to feed or poop scoop) pipes up with, "We could just take all three!" WHAAAAAAAAAAT? "No honey, really...three...that's a lot of cat to feed up and care for, spay, poop..." To which he replies, "It's just like kids. Once you have two, what's one more?" Pictures to follow (when I finally get a shot of them.)

Now for today's episode of Wild Adventures. A GIANT FOX ran through my back yard today!!! Actually, first he sauntered. I was sitting down in the family room at about 6:20 this morning, and Annie had just come down (yeah...she and Ellie have taken to getting up between 6 and 6:20 these days.) Out of the corner of my eye, through the french doors leading to the back patio, I see movement. I look over and see a HUGE fox! I double take, just to make sure it isn't a dog, but no...definitely a fox. Anyways, I stand up and point him out to Annie as I'm reaching for my camera (which just happened to be on the end table.) He waltzes across the back yard (which is only about 15 steps) and disappears by the pine trees and the shed. I'm panicking, because I'm afraid he's gone for good, so as I'm trying to get my dumb camera to power up, I undo the lock, thinking I'll just step out, and he'll have to come back into the open part of the yard. Well, he obviously heard the lock, because before I can even open the door, he runs back around flies up and over the fence by the shed, and is gone! This, by the way, explains how the feller got in to the yard in the first place. I had been wondering about that in the 5 seconds he was in the yard since every single yard in this town is fenced. And it's not like we're up in the mountains. We're in an area that definitely qualifies as urban sprawl, so I couldn't even imagine that a fox could be in this area to begin with. (Although, we did see the little fox when we were house hunting on a BUSY street in Littleton!) Crazy, huh?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Big Move (Part Three)

Mid afternoon, Thursday, June 19th, we got to Denver! WoooHOOOO! Nobody was actually woohooing though...we were all too tired (from sitting and doing nothing for four days) and cramped. We met our realtor at the new house, since we had closed on the house by mail on Tuesday.

We spent all day Friday cleaning. Baseboards, fridges, toilets, tubs,, Bo got vacuums and floor scrubbers, and carpet cleaners, so he came back and did the floors that night with Clay, while I took the other kids swimming at the hotel.

Our movers could have brought our stuff on Saturday, seeing as how the truck was here in town, and apparently they kept trying to call us. However, the company (the cruddy one in FL) had given them my cell old cell number...the defunct, no longer functioning cell number...the one I told them NOT to use. We had even called the company to see where our truck might be, and when we might expect it, and were told that we'd hear from them. They never did call the driver, but they did finally come on Sunday. They finished unloading the truck around 5:30 PM or so, so we then left to grab a bite to eat for dinner, and came back and started unpacking. I'm happy to say that we got the whole house unpacked and put away by Tuesday. All that I have left really is decorations. Some of them are up, but I'm not quite sure where I want most of the stuff to go yet, but that's alright.

We're settling in, and really enjoying our close proximity to everything. I took Annie and Ellie out for haircuts today, and they look cute as can be, and I think we'll take all the kids to one of the four rec centers in our community tonight.
Hope everybody's doing well! I miss you all!

The Big Move (Part Two)

Day two of our drive to Colorado is pretty much a blur. We drove from Atlanta to St. Louis, and the only things I can recall from that day are driving through Nashville and stopping at a rest stop in Illinois (or was it Indiana?) They had a little park there, so we let the kids out for some sunshine and stretch your legs time.

Day three found us driving from St. Louis to Salina, KS. Let me just is for killing people. (That line is only funny if you watch "The Office.") See...we got this gps-thing for our househunting trip last month. It's real just punch in the address of where you want to go, and it will direct you there. The only problem is, it came preprogrammed to avoid tollroads. Unfortunately, we didn't realize this till after it rerouted us around St. Louis. For the $3 we probably saved in tolls, we got to add about an hour to our drive, which equals...hmmmm...about $15 bucks in gas! (Just as an aside...our kids named the gps Diablo prior to this, and it lived up to its name.) We did arrive in Salina though, safe and sound, and had fun swimming at the hotel with the kids. Oh...another side note. Salina was apparently hit by some nasty tornadoes a week or so prior, and the hotel had a bunch of boarded up windows, as they'd apparently gotten hit pretty hard. (Note to hotel developers...don't build your hotel next to a trailer park in's a sure bet that you'll get hit by a tornado.)

Day four...Kansas...Kansas...Kansas. Which reminds me of a joke. Why is Colorado so windy? Because Kansas sucks.

Okay...that was hateful. It doesn't suck. It just goes on forever. And there's nothing there. I can't say we weren't warned though. I just never could comprehend the nothingness that we'd experience. It started out with these beautiful, lush, rolling green hills, and I thought, "Yeah...not much here, but quite pretty." But just keep heading west, and it just gets flatter and duller. Oy! I did like the fields of windmills though, but apparently PETA wants those gone, because birds will fly through them and get decapitated. Oops! I'd have to imagine that it generates a lot of power though, with the wind sweeping across the plains and nothing (I mean NOTHING) to break it up.

The Big Move (Part One)

Okay...Saturday, June 14th, the slackers, I mean packers, came to pack up all of our belongings. These guys left so much unpacked, and in fact, "finished" before lunch. (Although they did stick aroud to eat since Bo had gone to pick up Subway for all of them, expecting them to be working all day.) Sunday was, last trip to The Loop with everybody after church, and then home to continue the packing that didn't get done (although they assured us the movers would finish up the packing) and then cleared out everything salvageable and took to our friend's house (thanks Skip and Laura!) for dinner. The movers showed up Monday, and it quickly became apparent that there was no way they were going to be done by 3:30, at which time we had to leave for closing.

The plan had been to have the truck all packed and leave for closing at 3:30 (which was located a half hour north in Jax), grab a quick bite, then drive about 5 hours up to Atlanta. Sure enough, the truck was not loaded (nor was everything even packed yet) so we left Clay there with the movers, and headed out, thinking they'd for sure be done by the time we had our closing, plus the hour round-trip drive. We arrived home, and the new home owners were there waiting (with their moving truck) and our movers were still several hours away from being done). To say it was stressful is a MAJOR understatement. I left, took Sam, Mary, Annie, and Ellie out for dinner, came back, and they STILL weren't done! A couple hours later, they finally had everything out of the house (though still not completely loaded on the truck) and we had to leave. We finally pulled into our hotel in Atlanta around 1 AM, and in bed by about 1:45.

Whew...long day!

Access to my blog, FINALLY!!!!

Okay...I finally have access to my blog again, so I'll try to bring this up-to-date. Blogspot wouldn't let me sign in to my blog using my old email address (since it is now defunct), but finally did. I'm not holding a lot of stock in being able to continue to access this though, since they will not allow me to switch my email to my gmail address (even though blogspot is tied to google.) Makes no sense to me, but nobody asked for my input in that decision!