Friday, August 31, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Joanna - (Please open your bibles to Luke, Chapter 24, Verses 9 through 12) When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, (the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household) Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
For me, Joanna was a person of incredible faith and boldness. In those days, she risked her life for her faith in proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus.
Joanna - an incredibly passionate song of unrequited love from the Stephen Sondheim musical "Sweeny Todd"
Mei - Be's mom's name was Marie and her family called her Mae. We chose the Chinese sound-alike Mei in her honor. Mei in Chinese means pretty/beautiful.
Monday, August 27, 2007
***Looks like we get the checkbook out again***
After the saga described below, we received notification from USCIS that our fee waiver was denied. Apparently, anyone applying initially for their I-600A are granted a fee waiver -if- the paperwork begins on or after July 30, 2007 - so those already in the process are subject to the renewal fee for both the orphan petition and re-fingerprinting. This is lousy - way too many fees.
In a document issued August 6, 2007, USCIS announced 1 free extension of both the Orphan Petition and fingerprinting requirements ....... see the following ......
So, Ive been putting off the renewal of these documents as the waiting time for referral turns into a new brand of Chinese torture - there is no need to re-do them just yet, and I'll have the $800+ in renewal fees a little further on down the line. I pull up the above info on the internet yesterday, and rejoice in the fee waivers. I put together all the docs, drive by my agency for a copy of the updated home study (nice to have my agency 7 miles from my home) and with completed docs in hand, I drive them to the USCIS office (12 miles away in heavy traffic - heat index - 103 degrees - please, God, don't let my a/c break down) as my current documents will expire Monday, August 13.
I get to the USCIS office and "Char" (complete with ball-bearing tongue piercing) tells me "Oh, those documents need to be mailed in." I stood there momentarily frozen stupid.
"Char. You must appreciate how silly this sounds to me. So, I cannot give you the same documents today, that the post person will deliver tomorrow?"
"Those documents need to be mailed in."
"Char. When the mail person arrives tomorrow with my documents, will YOU be signing for them?"
At this point, I thought I should just shut my cake hole and leave because Char could really screw up the process. After complimenting myself on having the presence of mind not to blow up, I went out into the 103 degree heat and started to see those planaria & paramecium looking creatures in my eyes and thought my head was going to explode off my pencil neck. For 21 years, I worked a freak show at an airline ticket counter and NEVER heard anything so extraordinary. How friggin' absurd!@#! I dared not drive, I was so incensed! As I waited for the air conditioning to cool things down a little, I punched the headliner of the cab, said "Argh!" repeatedly and thought my head would do complete revolutions.
Composure regained, I ventured out onto the road to the main post office - 1 friggin' mile up the same street! I filled out the express mail label and the receipt for registered mail and brought the goodies up to the postal worker. When he saw the address, he says "Don't tell me.... You brought these documents to the USCIS to deliver them personally and the girl told you that they have to be mailed in, right?"
"Don't worry. We'll run them up the road in the morning. That'll be $18, please."
........and so.......we merrily skip down the pathway to adoption......
Friday, August 24, 2007
began in April, 2005
with our initial agency informational meeting.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
In Ten Little Ladybugs, one by one, ten tactile bugs disappear. Where did they all go? Young ones will love finding this out as they feel their way through the sturdy, colorful pages of this innovative book. The cute critters provide a hands-on learning experience and the rhyming text reinforces the counting concept. Interactive, educational, adorable - this magical countdown book adds up to a whole lot of fun. See why over 800,000 have been sold to date!
WARNING: Choking hazard. Small parts. Not for children under 3 years. (Looks like HOMEDADDY monitors the use of this one....)
Shaoey and Dot help children conquer their fear of the dark.
When the lights go out one stormy night, Shaoey becomes frightened. Dot, her little ladybug friend, humorously explains that there are some things to be scared of-like if there's an elephant in the bunk bed above you or if you're with a bunch of monkeys and only have one banana. But, as Dot tells Shaoey, dark is just a place with the lights off, and God is in the dark just like everywhere else.
A Thunder and Lightning Bug Story, with adorable characters illustrated by Jim Chapman, was written from the experience of Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman and is sure to comfort any little one who is hesitant to turn out the lights.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
At the beginning of the cattle call, the guy in charge came out and addressed the 200+ singers (I was number 67) telling us that the need was for singers who could blend - so, since it appeared that I didn't need to "pull out the stops" and wow them, I chose my wild card. It paid off as I was called back for the next cut on Monday.
I have wanted to sing this Christmas music again for the last 20+ years and on Monday, after singing an old Rogers & Hart song "Without A Song" (selected by the panel) they will work with the remaining singers who survive Cut #2 as a group focusing on the group's blend. By the end of the day, the panel will make their decisions.
So, I'll be working the weekend on getting everything in order for Monday's call back. Keep your fingers crosssed for me, blogsters, and lift up a prayer or 2, please. I'll keep you posted. If I get the gig, it will be a great diversion for 3 months during this painful wait for Joanna Mei.
Your Humble Blogman,
..........and so, we merrily skip down the adoption pathway.......
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Dear God . . .
Instead of letting people die and haveing to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you got now? (Jane)
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that OK? (Neil)
In bible times did they really talk that fancy? (Jennifer)
I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying. (Elliott)
Thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy. (Joyce)
I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. (Nan)
Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now. (Ginny)
If you give me genie lamp like Alladin, I will give you anything you want except my money or my chess set. (Raphael)
We read Thos Edison made light. But in Sun. School they said you did it. So I bet he stoled your idea. (Sincerly, Donna)
If you watch in Church on Sunday, I will show you my new Shoes. (Mickey D.)
I think sometimes we take ourselves and life too seriously. “Out of the mouths of babes,” may we have a simpler week!
Friday, August 10, 2007
difficult time leaving our former church on the northeast side of town. But living on the southwest end of Orange County in central Florida, travel time was about 25 minutes on a Sunday morning ...... and about to get a bit longer with another move into a permanent building ..... both of us were involved in the set up and workings of our portable church requiring a report time of 7 AM if we were going to get everything going right and do a rehearsal as well. I was doing worship leading and Be sang on the praise team as well as alternating on the sound board. I was doing more whining than worshiping ....... as we went east on the expressway, I missed the exit one morning ...... I felt a calling to a beach ministry, apparently ...... free parking at Ron Jon's in Cocoa Beach? It was time to make a break and after we were sure that all areas of responsibility were covered, we said bye in July of 2003.
Several events in the following days proved that the decision was not our own ........ dad came to live with us, we got Diva with her ministry of hospitality ....... walking her in the 'hood' gave us the opportunity to meet our neighbors (we had lived there for 15 years) who were attracted by her welcoming presence. Also, Be's cancer was diagnosed and subsequent surgery was necessary. (Cancer free for over 3 and a half years, praise God) It was evident that a church much closer to our home was in our future.
Eight minutes from our driveway was Windermere Baptist Church ...... me? a Baptist? you've got to be kidding! ..... alright, I'll give it a try. After having witnessed some shaky theology at a previous church, we reviewed their (WBC's) statement of faith ...... well, I sure can't find anything wrong with this! ...... and we joined several months later. We both took part in singing on the Saturday evening praise team, and just recently, I (Don) bridged to Sunday mornings where I sing in both the choir and praise team. I actually leave the house half an hour or so before report time just to enjoy the morning drive to Windermere. The streets of the town are tree lined and there are lakes everywhere. The morning sun creates beautiful scenes, filtering light through the trees and glistening off the water. The speed limit is 30 mph, & the police don't have much more to do on a Sunday morning, so they are quick to nab you faster than you can say speeding ticket if you go more than 2 mph over the speed limit. Knowing this, why rush to church? Enjoy the incredible sights around you.
Now that I am retired, the aspect of using my time to God's honor & glory has me jazzed. I have been approached about heading up the board for the choir (about 40 singers and 10 instrumentalists), lead worship for a group called "Celebrate Recovery" and possibly lead worship for an 'overflow' service. With plenty of time on my hands, I don't see anything standing in the way of any of these possibilities for the present ....... until Joanna Mei arrives. SHE is going to be the focus of my life. So, I have advised those concerned that my participation would be conditional and we could re-evaluate as our lives change dramatically. We will be praying specifically for these items ..... right now, I don't see anything standing in the way.
In the picture ........ entry to Windermere Baptist Church
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
These words from Ecclesiastes 1:2 came to mind when I had to get a "head shot" for this audition.
Our friend, Jo-Ann, came by and snapped away and I chose this one for the 'jury' at Disney.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
off a slab of frozen meatloaf, slapped it on a slice of bread, added ketchup and chowed down.
One family member asked "So, who wants to bag this afternoon?"