Saturday, January 31, 2009


Whoo hooo!!!!!!!!!! I just got a call that we won the chinese lion puppet! SWEET! It's beautiful and will be an awesome keepsake of our first chinese new year festival!


Today we went down to the Tucson Chinese Cultural center for their family new year festival. The place was totally PACKED! I mean wall to wall people and I don't think they anticipated so many families. Nate was completely overwhelmed and he just looked around wide-eyed, not saying a word to try and process everything. We stood in an incredibly long line for some really great chinese food....ok, Don stood in line, I took Nate to watch the dancers and other activities. I love all the chinese costumes and the little girls with decorations in their hair. They had fun games and things for sale/auction. We put a bid on a lion puppet that was really awesome. It was a popular item so I doubt we'll win but it was fun to try. We were there only 2 hours before Nate gave out. He didn't fall asleep but he broke down because he was so overstimulated and exhausted. I dressed him in his chinese outfit....the biggest one I got in China and the symbols on it mean "double happiness", which is also the meaning of Chongqing (the city where he was born). I'm looking forward to next year when he'll have more energy and be able to enjoy it even more. Here's some fun pics!

I seriously thought about building's just a big 'ol cardboard box!

Big chinese boy!

Good throw Nate!

Dragon heads

Traditional chinese painting

Making chinese dumplings

This was a small portion of the packed crowd. My camera couldn't get them all!


This guy was telling us about the dragon coming to see us at 2:00! In chinese time, that means 3:00. ha.

Oranges are for good luck and propserity.

This was the lion puppet we bid on.


1. I love to climb trees and I've always wanted a treehouse. I'd decorate it so I could climb up there and relax with an iced mocha and a book.

2. I hate wearing shoes and will go barefoot even if it's snowing outside. I always kick my shoes off as soon as I get in the car.

3. I've worn glasses since I was 10 and used to HATE them.

4. I started playing violin when I was 8 and taught myself bass when I was 11.

5. I secretly always wanted to play the alto sax, stopped playing bass after high school and didn't pick it up again until almost 20 years later.

6. I used to go hunting and Don bought me a 20 gauge for my birthday one year. My co-workers called me "Rambette....mild mannered artist by day, hunter by night."

7. I only had 3 dates in high school: One I liked, one was a friend and one I didn't like. Never had a boyfriend and was never kissed until I met Don, 2 weeks after my high school graduation.

8. I admire people with confidence. People tell me I look confident but I'm not really.

9. When I got married, I told Don I never wanted children. But when we were newlyweds, I told a friend if I ever had children I hoped I would have a boy. I don't remember that conversation.

10. I always envisioned myself with a toddler, never a baby. We adopted Nate when he was 10 months old and that was almost too young for me.

11. I love making lists and have done that since I was 8 or 9.

12. For some reason, I taught myself to knit when I was 21 and love it.

13. I LOATHE speaking in public and I would much rather sing in front of thousands of people instead of 150 at our church.

14. I admire how my husband can listen to a conversation, cut through all the crap and get right down to the heart of it and what the real issue is. I don't know how in the world he does that.

15. My husband and I are a solid team when it comes to marriage and parenting.

16. I want people to like me and it bothers me when they don't.

17. I love trying different foods and crave ethnic food.

18. I get homesick for the ocean and try to live within driving distance of it.

19. I LOVE Disneyland and the first time I went, I was 19 months old. I've been there almost every year since then.

20. I am a horrible procrastinator

21. Don and I have our best conversations when we're driving or at restaurants.

22. I can't sit still and am constantly fidgeting.

23. High maintenance girls drive me nuts. Spare me the drama and get over it.

24. I am a sucker for souvenirs

25. I love to be outside, exercise outside. If I sit indoors, I need to be near an open door or window.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Before we headed back to Tucson, we decided to get in some sledding and snow fun. This was the perfect, relaxing getaway and we did everything we wanted, play in the snow, chill by the fireplace and relax. I was sad to see it end.

Best way to transport a 2 yr old

You mean I can eat it??


Don't even think about it!

Long way up.

Catching my breath...I'm not 20 anymore!


I had fun but Nate didn't like getting snow in his face!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009


Don's out fishing..........

Nate's napping...........

and I'm relaxing by the fire with my knitting and homemade hot cocoa listening to old jazz.




I am looking out the window onto a cabin deck in northern AZ, watching the snow come down. After months of pressure and stress, we are taking a few days to refresh our mental state, rejuvenate and reflect. The 3 "R&R's". I know most of you in the cold country are probably chuckling to yourselves that we actually traveled to the cold country to escape. But it's nice to enjoy a fireplace and drink hot coffee to keep you warm, after wearing shorts and flip flops for a couple of weeks. 

My brain is pretty much mush and I'm glad to have a few days to do.....nothing. Well ok, maybe catch up on my knitting. haha. I can't sit still for too long. We are also visiting some friends from our church who recently moved up here and it will be nice to catch up with them as well. Pictures to come soon. Nate is too cute in his jester snow hat and oversized mittens!

Speaking of Nate, that reminds me.....HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!! We will be celebrating in our local festivities this Saturday and I'm very excited about it. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


We are occasionally asked this question and our answer is "no". Why? This is an update from another blogger friend regarding the backlog for chinese adoption:

“The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before February 28, 2006. The next families up for referrals have a LID of March 2, 2006 and have waited 34 months.”

These families were LID only 4 months after we were. They waited nearly 3 years for their referrals! And they were only 4 months behind us in registering. The process is taking approx. 1 month per each week of LID (log in date for paperwork). Needless to say, we have no desire to wait several years for another baby. If we were 10 years younger...maybe...but we are not, so we are looking at other options.

The other question we get is "Why is the wait so long?" It's because China only allows a certain number of children to be adopted outside of the country. There are more couples waiting to adopt than there are children, it results in a back log. This did not happen until 2005. Before that, the ratio was more even and it was much faster to adopt a chinese child.

At this point, we are not really feeling the call to adopt again anytime soon. Not to say we don't ever want to adopt another child, but for some reason, God has not placed that immediate desire or thought on our hearts like it was when we started the adoption for Nate. We've considered adopting an older child and/or from another country, but we'll see. God may want us to be content with one. It's hard to say. At any rate, we are perfectly content and happy with things the way they are and are enjoying every minute with our awesome gift!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


WOW, I never thought I'd see THIS day! What an awesome game! AZ is headed to the Super Bowl for the first time ever. This is as exciting as the Diamondbacks in the World Series. The only professional team we had for years was the Phoenix Suns basketball team. They made it to the playoffs a few times but never a win. We were on a plane coming back from Hawaii when the Diamondbacks won the World Series. As you can imagine, it's hard to yell and scream in a plane...most of the passengers didn't appreciate it (especially since it was at night. haha). 

What I love, is that our quarterback, Kurt Warner, is a Christian. He confidently gives thanks to God...not for winning, but for His guidance, direction and opportunity to be a witness for Christ.

Wish we could be at the Super Bowl game.....but it was awesome to bask in the glory of winning the Conference Championships!! GO CARDS!!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Nate and I went hiking on The Wild Burro trail again. Here are more pics. He found a nice hiking stick that he had fun carrying around and digging in the dirt. The weather's been in the high 70's - low 80's so it's been awesome hiking weather!

Oh mighty Saguaro!

This dead tree looks like something out of a Tim Burton movie.

He was lovin' his stick!

Yellow cactus fruit

Anyone know what kind of bird this is?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I've meaning to write a post for awhile but couldn't think of anything. Not that stuff isn't going's just little stuff here and there. However, I have to write some of the "small stuff", mainly of Nate, because I don't want to miss it. He is changing so rapidly, I can barely keep up. After being immersed in the adult world for so long, you forget what kids see and process in their world. Things that no one ever tells you because it's part of the learning process but it's fascinating to me.

It seems like overnight he went from saying "Momma" to "I help you Momma!" or "Airplane" to "I see a airplane!" His world is making more sense to him and he's stoked about it! He's started recognizing letters and numbers and will point them out on everything he sees....signs, doors, magazines. Our excursions consist of him shouting out letters he amazes me every time. What's interesting to me is he reads his letters left to right instead of right to left and he'll say "C-a" instead of "C" or "B-a" instead of "B". Another thing I didn't know kids do as they learn.

He is talking like crazy! In the car seat he is a non-stop chatterbox..talking to himself or telling us names of objects he sees along the road. I don't notice it too much until I'm on the phone and then I realize how much he's doing it! Forget about telling him "Sshhhh!' It's like he can't help but talk!

His ability to grasp or understand things and retain that information has greatly improved. I can tell him things once and he'll get it. Sometimes, we test him to see how much he is able to handle. Like the other day, he was helping me unload the dishwasher so I put him on a chair, set the silverware basket in front of him and told him where to put the different utensils. He immediately began putting all the little spoons together, the big spoons, all the forks in the proper slots, etc. He was so careful and precise about it too....too funny!

He's also started to pretend play..another first. He was drawing on his Magna Doodle and I asked "What's that?" He proudly said "Horsey!" Then he was building with his cardboard bricks and I asked "What are building?" He said "Train tracks!" Love it!

Just this week he started figuring out how to pedal his Smart Cycle. He tries on his little tricycle but it has more resistance and he's not quite there yet...but it won't be long.

Along with the learning firsts comes the inevitable "owies". Today he had his first good one. He was playing by his Smart Cycle and I heard a he fell...then a "WaaaahhhHHHHhhh!" I went over to him and he was sitting on the floor, crying and clutching his chin and rocking back and forth in pain. At first I thought he'd bruised his chin but he did better than that. Somehow he landed on something and got a quarter inch gash in his chin. It actually looks like a "v". Nothing really looked disturbed so I can only assume he fell on one of his toys. I doctored it up..he's a good clotter..not much bleeding at all. But it looks nasty. To top it off, he kept saying "Sorry Momma! I sorry!" Sorry for what, I have no idea...unless he was doing something he wasn't supposed to and that's how he got hurt. Well like I of many to come.

Potty training is another issue....translation...not happening. ha. He'll sit on his potty but nothing comes out. All in good time. It's fun seeing him grow and I love, love, lovethat he likes to hug me and is content to rest his head on my shoulder with his arms around me. I'm savoring that because I know it won't last.

*sigh* Good times.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


When I was a kid, I LOVED to get milk chocolate gold coins for a treat. I would pretend I was a pirate who just found the treasure. I still love to get these coins and this year, Don filled my Christmas stocking with them! One year, my mom-in-law gave me a purse for my birthday and when I opened it, I found gold coins stuffed in every pocket and crevice of that purse. I turned the whole thing upside down and all these shiny gold chocolate coins poured out of it. I don't know why I love these so much. They're definitely not the tastiest chocolate but for some reason, I can never have enough of them.

What is your favorite childhood indulgence?

Friday, January 9, 2009


Today was beautiful.....73 degrees and sunny. Perfect for a hike so I decided to take Nate out. This is the first time he's been hiking without sitting in the backpack and he did pretty well. We didn't go far...maybe 1/2 a mile roundtrip and we had to stop every 2 ft so he could check out every hole in the trail, every stick and stone. There were a ton of people at the trailhead. I guess everyone else had the same idea but we only ran across a few hikers every now and then. He definitely likes to be outdoors!

He decided this log was the perfect bench to sit on.

A jumping cholla. Respectfully admired from a distance and with a zoom lens!

This is a young saguaro. It still has knubs for arms.