Tuesday, June 19, 2007

All the LOAs

All the LOAs for my travel group were sent off to China yesterday! Now, in the seemingly unending waiting game, we wait for travel approval from China. Then we need a consulate appointment, and then we make travel arrangements. Finally, we'll get to travel to meet Lydia in person. Hang on Sweet Potato, Mom & Dad are coming just as fast as we can! Happy 9 month birthday!

One of my favorite things...

As a little girl, I loved watching my grandmother sew. She was a more talented seamstress than anyone I've ever known. I always wanted to be able to sew like her. It's true that I had 2 weeks of sewing in the 8th grade (I got to sew straight lines on a piece of paper without thread), and after that, I pretty well forgot everything I knew about sewing. In fact, threading a sewing machine was a skill that eluded me regardless of how hard I tried to do it.
Years later, my mother in law tried to help me learn to sew. It's difficult to get past not being able to thread the machine. Someone sold my mother in law one of those OLD Singer sewing machines that folds down into its own table. It didn't even have a foot pedal - you use your knee to make it sew. She once again tried to teach me to sew. Once again, I failed to learn to thread the machine.
Last year, while waiting for our referral for our daughter, I decided I really must learn to sew for my daughter so I could make a 100 Good Wishes Quilt (OHGW quilt). I'd participated in a quilt/wish swap, and I needed a sewing machine and the skills to use it.
Luckily, my friend, Leslie, in New Braunfels was able to help me find a used Husqvarna Designer 1 which sews and embroiders. It came with a video and manuals. Leslie also told me about Sew Much For Retirement where I could get videos of how to use the Designer 1. In no time at all, I was embroidering, then I got brave and tried sewing. My first project was a pillow case. It looked like a pillow case, it worked like a pillow case, it WAS a pillowcase! Finally, successful!!! I can thread my machine and sew!
One of my favorite things to make is customized overalls. I think they're cute and fun. Gina's daughter is modeling my most recent completed pair. Thanks for letting me use her picture, Gina! Most of the other pairs have gone off as gifts, and I haven't seen pictures yet. Some day, I'll get around to sewing that OHGW quilt that started this whole thing!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

One of my very best friends, Lisa, and I believe we are two of the luckiest people on this planet. We've been blessed with really wonderful, loving fathers here on Earth. We knew from the time were we tiny babies what a father's love was, and we have so much confidence because of that love. We also believe our faith in God was shaped by that love.

In honor of my dad, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about him. My father became a dad for the first time when he was 47 years old. His youngest child was born when he was 50. Dad was convinced we'd all be boys, that he was going to have a baseball team of sons. He was still believing this after I, his first daughter, was born. Please don't think he was disappointed. I think I was one of the best unexpected things in his life. My younger sister was one of the others. I doubt that anyone has ever enjoyed being a dad more than mine did.

My dad was a positive thinker, a persuasive person, a comic who needed an audience but not a stage, and one of the most generous souls I've ever known. He knew 3 languages, according to him, "Sane, insane, and profane." He was perhaps most fluent in the last of those three after a tour in the 36th Division driving a bulldozer for the Army in WWII.

I hope that everyone knows the kind of love from a father that Lisa and I know from ours. I hope if your father is still alive that you'll let him know how much you love him, too. Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Easy & Yummy!

We're so lucky at work right now. There are so many reasons to celebrate!!! Today was Lenae's birthday and wedding shower. It was Nicole's birthday, too. Potluck Lunch ensued. You know from yesterday's post that I'd made Cherry Dump Cake - easy! But this morning I really didn't have time to cook or shop.

Drew brought everything I needed to make an easy and yummy dessert: icecream sandwiches, caramel topping, Cool Whip (or whipped cream in a can is even easier), and Heath Bits o Brickle. You just unwrap the icecream sandwiches, line them up in a 9 x 13 casserole, pour the caramel over the top, spread Cool Whip on top of that, then sprinkle brickle over the top. You could substitute nuts, crumbled cookies, whoppers, or broken candy bars (think Butterfinger) on top instead of the brickle. It's a hit, and it couldn't be much easier. If I find an easier dessert, I'll let you know! Feel free to share if you have an easy or yummy (or BOTH) recipe.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Family Reunion Part One

Today was my husband's family reunion (his father's side of the family). This was probably the biggest family gathering outside of a funeral they've ever had since I married Gene.

I used to loathe going to family reunions, and if a pot luck function was imminent, I surely did not want to cook for it. I'm not sure that family reunions will ever be my favorite way to spend time, but I DO love an excuse to make a dessert!!! Today's was just a cherry dump cake, but I think it's safe to say it would've taken the blue ribbon for desserts if one had been offered. YUM!

Gene worked really hard on a family tree and consolidating family photos and historical memorabilia. Everyone was given a CD with all the photos and the family tree. Luckily enough, another attendee had more information about another branch of the family using the same software so they can consolidate their work.

The big bonus? Little Lydia's pictures were added to the CD, and we got to share her with 1/2 my husband's family. Next week we'll do the other 1/2 of his family's (his mom's side) reunion. I'm not sure what I'll be making for that one, but you can just about bet it, too, will be yummy! I have a whole week to plan...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Oh! Happy Day!

Our referral has arrived! We're so pleased to announce the addition of Lydia Grace to our family. She's 8 months old, and we'll be leaving in 6-8 weeks to bring her home with us from Hunan Province, China. Our LID was 11/04/05. We waited 19 months & 2 days to see the precious face.