Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Diva Does Dinner

Diva, the multi ethnic canine love sponge dines at her favorite eatery, The BowWow Bistro ....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Man Behaving Badly

....up 3.4 pounds this week ...... making the total weight loss 10.6 pounds ...... oy! ..... I was bad all week bringing my weight right back up to the previous recording 2 weeks ago ..... perhaps that extra serving of grapes brought me right over the top ..... back on track today ..... morning weight already saw a 2 pound decrease ..... strange things, these bodies of ours ...... well, maybe mine ...... can't speak for everyone .....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Patti LaBelle Singing The Alphabet Gospel Style!!

Get your singing pipes oiled up and start teaching the ABCs to the kids - I met Patti LaBelle some years ago and she treated me like royalty for the 2 minutes or so that I was able to talk to her. Her voice is amazing!

CCAA Updates Review Room Processing .....

The CCAA has updated the Review Room processing date ......
All reviews for 2006 have been processed (up to Dec 31, 2006)
Referrals remain at January 9, 2006.
The above was forwarded to us by our agency.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome To Joanna Mei's Room of Whimsy

We finally finished Joanna Mei's room and are happy to share it with you.
Although it will serve as a nursery, we chose to fix it up for a toddler and older.
Joanna Mei will be about 18 months when we are able to bring her into our family, so
her time in a 'nursery' as such will be limited. We even bought her bed so that it will be a familiar item in her day to day surroundings when she arrives. Then the transition will quite possibly go smoother from crib to bed.
Most of the furnishings were purchased in the IKEA children's furniture collection.
What incredible imagination went into the design and artwork of their offerings.
Their prices are quite affordable as well.
We hope that the room will serve as an open door to inspire JM's mind to creativity and new ideas. At the same time, we added in some elements of her culture - not a whole lot as she will be an American when she walks through our door - but just enough to represent a part of her life that is a time in her history on this earth. The predominant color of red in China represents courage, loyalty, honor, success, fortune, happiness, passion, and summer. We also included a beautiful hanging of Chinese children.
Diva welcomes you to Joanna Mei's Room of Whimsy

Organizer for toys.

Bookshelves on the wall above JM's chest of drawers.
Frame around the shelves is painted the color of the adjacent wall.

Joanna Mei Qiongxaio Schafhauser

The chest of drawers is from the same series as the bed.

The wall hanging was given to us by our wonderful friend, Deb.
Again, we painted the frame in the color of the adjacent wall.

The canopy over JM's bed is in the shape of a giant leaf.

Mr Moonlight

Good Day Sunshine - Ceiling Light in the Room of Whimsy.

The patterns in the curtains mimic those in both the baby & big girl spreads, sheets and pillow cases. The baby blanket on the rocker also contains elements of the curtain pattern.

One of the characters on JM's baby bed spread - a dragonfly playing an accordion.
Other drawings include a beetle carrying a star and a moth juggling flowers. Total whimsy.
The baby bed spread will be used in her crib (not pictured) on loan from a friend. When we're done with it, we pass it on to the next person who needs it.

We will have the crib in her room along with her bed. We will play on the bed and relax and read stories to acquaint JM with her big girl bed, possibly making the time in the crib minimal.

JM's "Big Girl Bed" - again, from the IKEA children's collection.
A cartoon-like headboard & footboard with oversized 'leg' supports.

This is one of the characters on JM's "Big Girl" Bedspread -
a clown on a bike with orange & lime slce wheels, tickling the nose of a big cat with a flower.
A girl balancing on a ball with a giant sundae is one of many other illustrations on her bedspread.
We're hoping her room will encourage her to use her imagination and dream of everything she can be - then we'll be there to encourage and support her to achieve her maximum potential which very well may have it's start in her Room of Whimsy.

Our Family Prayer Quilt - made with love by our wonderful friend, Nancy.
The colors compliment the scheme of the room and wall color beautifully.

Joanna Mei's Changing Table - when she outgrows having her diapers changed,
the table top can be removed and it becomes a TV table.
The storage below will hold diapers & supplies initally.
Later, it will hold about 60 Disney videos which were given to us in VHS format.

The Rocking Chair that Mom used to rock the 4 Schafhauser
kids to sleep many, many years ago.
Now, we'll be able to use it for Joanna.
Joanna's Room at Night

Nite, Nite Joanna Mei

Monday, April 21, 2008

Banner Weekend

Some weekends are real winners and this past weekend was one of them for us.
Friday evening's festivities included dinner with good friends
(Don made Chicken Fettucini Alfredo - quite good)
followed by "Java & Jazz" at our church.
We have to say - we go to the coolest Baptist church this side of the Mississippi.
The event featured the finest jazz instrumentalists & vocalists in Orlando.
Our area is stacked with entertainment wannabes, so you can find a horn blower or singer on just about any street corner - but these guys were the finest and the jazz they played was rippin' - it was blow your horn 'till you see stars jazz and it was smooth as velvet when the score called for it. Dessert and coffee was served by the Youth Choir, Amp'd, a fine ensemble of young people as well.
When the group played a particularly sultry arrangement of "My Funny Valentine" several couples got up and danced - Yikes! Dancing in a Baptist Church?! - The paramedics were waiting in the wings just in case a particularly stoic church member or two had coronaries at the sight.
All survived though and it was an exceptionally memorable evening, bringing people together and fine music.
Our friend and music director, Mike, did an incredible job of coordinating and playing trumpet and flugel horn in the ensemble - kudos, Mike!
Sorry the pics below are blurry - wrong camera setting - but you get the idea .....

Bonus! - LayDfrog herself - Dannye - joined us for the event along with her mom, Ellen.
She was quite excited about her new set of nails - Hey! Dannye! How was the jazz?
Saturday morning, bright and early, found us out on the West Orange Bicycle Trail
(the link takes you to our "Christmas Wrap-Up" - scroll to the bottom for details on the trail) carting along the DivaDog in her trailer. We love the trail, and the Central Florida weather (75 with an occasional cloud) at this time of year makes it perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Jasmine and camillia are in bloom and make their aromatic presence known as you wind through some unspoiled bicycle trails and take in their sweet fragrance. A 4' gator slept lazily by the side of the trail along the way, unnoticed by Diva who would have had a fit.
This morning, we rode from the County Line Station to Winter Garden, a round trip of 10 miles - really not all that much by bike, but when you're hauling 100 lbs of canine and trailer behind you, the journey offers a considerable workout..

Sculpture at one of the playgrounds along the West Orange Bicycle Trail.
Saturday evening found us singing on the worship team for a particularly rockin' Saturday evening service at our church, First Baptist Church of Windermere, the coolest Baptist Church this side of the Mississippi. Afterward, a dozen or so from the team kicked back for close to 2 hours at an outdoor cafe, enjoying sandwiches and good conversation under a beautiful Central Florida sky. Perfect day .........
Sunday morning .... back at church for the cafe service, an intimate & laid-back, interactive smaller venue where participants can enjoy coffee and pastries during the hour long service. Both of us lead worship for "Common Grounds Cafe".
Naptime in the afternoon followed by a speed-walk around the World Showcase Lagoon (twice) where we heard "Starship", the rock group from the 80s & 90s, along with some good friends. Following their first set, we squeezed in dinner at the Morocco pavillion (lamb gyro meat, couscous, tabbouleh & hummus) walked over to the Canada pavillion for a set by "Off Kilter" (men in kilts with bagpipes & penny whistles playing rock music - quite unique) and then back for a second set of "Starship"
Wow! Mickey Thomas still has quite a set of singing pipes! The man wails! ... and the band played all the kicks and riffs as on the original recordings to the great pleasure of the appreciative audience. Vocals were on-the-money precise making the show tight and exciting. Some of their tunes "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us", "Sarah", "Jane", "Find Your Way Back", and "We Built This City On Rock 'n Roll". Also on the playlist were some oldies from the 60s and 70s including Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" & "Somebody to Love" and Jefferson Starship's "Miracles".
Slept quite well on Sunday night.
Y'all have a great week!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Down 14

As of today,
down 14 pounds.
Got a ways to go
but off to a good start.......

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Windermere 5K Run Among the Lakes

The morning could not have been nicer for a run/walk in Central Florida. Temps were in the low 70s, there was live jazz by The Groove Doctor in the Town Square at Windermere, vendors were serving coffee, juice, fruit and water to the runners and the sun decorated the landscape making the greens greener and dancing off the lakes surrounding the race course.
Registration was smmoooth - we picked up our packets and Tee Shirts (the art work on the shirt is above) - it's really a fine looking shirt - and headed for the starting line. We knew that we'd be walking the course -

Be was breaking in a new pair of hiking boots and Don just had surgery on his foot earlier in the year, so we let the crowd of serious runners (we had not ever seen so many people in one place without an ounce of fat on their bodies) pass us by .......
..... and moseyed on down the road .....

...... along the way, we hooked up with our friend, Mike, who was having
ankle problems and dropped out after awhile.

The 7th Annual 5k Run is held in the charming town of Windermere and follows the shoreline of the beautiful Butler Chain of Lakes.

The 3.1 mile course is unpaved, hard-packed sand.
It meanders along the lakefront beneath the canopy of old oak trees.

The little kids get to run too.

Below are a couple of videos we took just for fun.
One is Don narrating the event like he's doing an Olympic event and the other
is a bunch of neighbors who decided to party and cheer on the runners (at 8 AM)
with shouts, cheers, noisemakers and mimosas (champagne & OJ)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vocals by Diva

The first in a series of upcoming videos featuring Diva, The Multi Ethnic Canine Love Sponge.

What I Also Did for Love - Part 3

It's been about 6 weeks since I started on Weight Watchers and I'm down a respectable 10.6 pounds - averaging about 1.75 pounds per week - a healthy weight loss but nothing radical. The 'points' system is somewhat confining in that you have to keep track of EVERYTHING that goes into the cakehole, yet it's flexible as you receive 35 extra 'points' per week to do with whatever you want - pizza, tacos, beer, scorpion on a stick - whatever. My biggest downfall is bread - last week when I went into the bakery on a visit to Old Salem, I bought a loaf of sweet bread and it took the utmost restraint I could muster up NOT to bury my face in it and inhale those precious carbs. The entire loaf made it on the flight home and I proudly presented it to Be - a testimony to endurance and discipline. It actually lasted about 4 days before being consumed.
Now ..... the continuing saga of the Weight Watchers meetings. Interesting affairs, these gatherings ..... I have yet to offer any testimonies or weight loss tricks during "Who's Celebrating?" time - it's just a wee bit out of my comfort zone - so I listen to the ladies as they extol the virtues of the program (I'm thinking ..... I'm paying 10 dang bucks a week! This dang program better dang work! ) ..... and it is, I just don't think they need to hear about it as the instructor covers that aspect of the program quite eloquently. I listened as one lady bemoaned the fact that she pigged out one night and ate an extra serving of grapes .... (I'm thinking ....... Grapes! What a dang pig! Shoot her and put her on a dang spit! She ate extra grapes!!! ) .... she HAD to be WAY into the program! Then the instructor did a little drama about snacking at work using a Barbie doll - (I'm thinking ....... How close is the dang exit? I'm paying 10 dang bucks for a puppet show with slut dolly?) The rest of the meeting (all 10 minutes of it) consisted of useful info on eating at home, parties, restaurants & in the car - and was quite a useful chapter in the book of weight loss.
The meetings are constructive in that they hold you accountable for your progress as you are weighed in before each meeting - and you'd better go to meetings as you still pay the 10 bucks. The program is solid and the online tools help keep you focused - there's even a section for men on the site! The Nazi ladies are commonplace now - no worse than a waiter who has too many tables or an airline check-in rep. The meetings are no longer emasculating now that I show progress toward my goal and I'm seeing results ....... but I'm readying myself for "plateau" time.
Next report at -15 pounds .......

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

More Kids & Pets

Please save this for the next time you hear someone say they have to get rid of their pet when they have a baby.