I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands. --Corrie ten Boom

How Much Longer?

I Knew I Loved You...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More information/history on the "Moon Festival".....

(Thanks Brandi!)

A Mid-Autumn Festival (Chung Chiu), the third major festival of the Chinese calendar, is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month (September 25, this year). This festival corresponds to harvest festivals observed by Western cultures (in Hong Kong, it is held in conjunction with the annual Lantern Festival). Contrary to what most people believe, this festival probably has less to do with harvest festivities than with the philosophically minded chinese of old. The union of man's spirit with nature in order to achieve perfect harmony was the fundamental canon of Taoism, so much so that contemplation of nature was a way of life.
This festival is also known as the Moon Cake Festival because a special kind of sweet cake (yueh ping) prepared in the shape of the moon and filled with sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds and duck eggs is served as a traditional Chung Chiu delicacy. Nobody actually knows when the custom of eating moon cake to celebrate the Moon Festival began, but one belief traces its origin to the 14th century. At the time, China was in revolt against the Mongols. Chu Yuen-chang, and his senior deputy, Liu Po-wen, discussed battle plan and developes a secret moon cake strategy to take a certain walled city held by the Mongol enemy. Liu dressed up as a Taoist priest and entered the besieged city bearing moon cake. He distributed these to the city's populace. When the time for the year's Chung Chiu festival arrived, people opened their cakes and found hidden messages advising them to coordinate their uprising with the troops outside. Thus, the emperor-to-be ingeniously took the city and his throne. Moon cake, of course, became even more famous. Whether this sweet Chinese version of ancient Europe's "Trojan Horse" story is true, no one really knows. The moon plays a significant part of this festival. In Hong Kong, any open space or mountain top is crowded with people trying to get a glimpse of this season's auspicious full moon. The old man on the moon: There is a saying in Chinese that marriages are made in heaven and prepared on the moon. The man who does the preparing is the old man on the moon (Yueh Lao Yeh). This old man, it is said, keep a record book with all the names of newborn babies. He is the one heavenly person who knows everyone's future partners, and nobody can fight the decisions written down in his book. He is one reason why the moon is so important in Chinese mythology and especially at the time of the Moon Festival. Everybody, including children, hikes up high mountains or hills or onto open beaches to view the moon in the hope that he will grant their wishes. To celebrate this sighting of the moon, red plastic lanterns wrought in traditional styles and embellished with traditional motifs are prepared for the occasion. It is quite a sight to see Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, or Morse Park in Kowloon, alight with thousands of candlelit lanterns. These "Lantern Carnivals" also occur spontaneously on most of the colony's beaches. The lanterns are made in such traditional shapes as rabbits, goldfish, carps, butterflies, lobsters and star-shaped fruits. However, in modern Hong Kong you will also see lanterns in the shape of missiles, airplanes, rockets, ships and tanks. In Chinese mythology, the butterfly is the symbol of longevity and the lobster the symbols of mirth. Star-shaped fruit is the seasonal fruit in the autumn, and the crap is an old symbol of the Emperor, personifying strength, courage, wisdow and, of course, power.

Happy "Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Day"!

To Share One Moon

(Thanks to Amy; Momma of Jadyn for parts of this information/post!)

Happy Mid Autumn Moon Festival Day! And to think, you didn't even know it was a holiday! September 25, 2007 marks the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and is the second most important holiday in the Chinese culture. The Chinese Moon Festival is very much like Thanksgiving in North America. Families join together and admire the bright, full moon, while eating sweet moon cakes and enjoying one another's company. Under this full moon friendships are renewed, families are reunited, and long lost lovers find their way back to each other. Under the bright moonlight, the families toast each other, enjoy family togetherness and wish peace for everyone. Familes also reflect on those family members that cannot be with them on this special night. If only for a brief time, they can be joined together by looking at the same moon. It's a time for reflection on the bounty of the harvest, loved ones and to wish families and friends well. This holiday is celebrated by nearly everyone in China, both young and old, rich and poor. There are many legends and myths from thousands of years ago, but as time has passed, families celebrate much like we celebrate Thanksgiving, with food, family and friends and thankfulness. Chances are, tomorrow, many a birth mother and father will celebrate this very special Chinese holiday. Teaching our Mia Chinese culture will be important to us, while still teaching her from a Christian perspective as well. Quite likely, one day Mia's birth parents will gaze at the moon while celebrating this holiday and they will reflect on family both near and far. Something in my heart tells me that her birthmother will long to know if she is okay. She will think of that very small bundle that she so unselfishly walked away from and wonder where she is, is she safe & if she is cared for? Having a mother's heart myself, tears fill my eyes as I reflect on the uncertainty she will have in her heart. So, as we celebrate today & for our future this prayer seems so appropriate.
"Father, you are the Creator of all things. The earth, the sun and the moon are Yours. Thank you for the blessing of these children. As we look at the moon that You placed in the heavens, we ask You to bless these children's birth families, but especially Father, wrap the birth mother's in Your arms tonight. Lord, we pray that if tears fell from their eyes or will fall from any birth mother's eyes in the future as they do what they feel in their hearts that they must & that is best, that as they look to the moon, that You will dry their tears. Father, we pray that they will find comfort in You and You alone. As it is only from You that we find perfect peace. Help them to know in their hearts that these children are cared for and loved so very much. Give them a perfect peace that passes all understanding. Father, you allowed them to give us the most perfect gift - the gift of these children and for this gift we will be eternally grateful. Thank You for this gift." We will reflect on family, both far and near, on "family" in China that we will be forever linked to and on all God's blessings. So, if you happen to notice that beautiful full moon, say a prayer of peace and thanksgiving.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Six more.......

Okay, let's give these a try:

Good (Hao)
Very Good (Hun Hao)
Yes (Yoh)
No (May Yoh)
I (Waw)
We (Waw Mun)

Good Luck!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Words for the week:

We borrowed these words from a friend's site. (Thanks Brandi) Thomas & I are trying to learn too & thought that this was a great post to share & a great place to start!

The words for this week are:

Hello - Ni Hao (Nee How)
Goodbye - Zia Jian (Tseye Geean)
Please - Qing (Ching)
Thank You - Xie Xie (Shee -eh Shee-eh)
You are welcome - Bu Ke Qi (boo kua che)
I Love You - Wo Ai Ni (wo eye nee)
Don’t be afraid - Bie Pa (bee a pah)


1) The combination of the “ao” makes the “ow” sound as in “how” and “now”
2) The vowel “I” makes the long “e” sound (as in “see”) when preceded by consonants other than z, c, s, zh, ch, sh or r
3) “X” is pronounced “sh” as in sheep
4)“Q” is pronounced “ch” as in chore


Well, the big "Survivor China" debut is now over & I am not yet sure what to think. I liked the fact that they showed bits & pieces of the culture & scenery & they they are including different aspects of Chinese symbolism, I hope we see more of all of that. I did enjoy those elements a lot. This season itself; the cast, oh my! I am not sure what to think after only an hour, but I will say that I am not thrilled with who they chose to eliminate this first round. Personally, I wanted Ashley to be voted off. I understand that she was ill the one day, but just overall, she was my least favorite as far as a being a team player". Over all, I think that thus far I find myself rooting for the red team. Time will tell though. It is a little early at this point to decide. I also was immediately not a fan of Courtney; the waitress from New York. I found her to be disrespectful walking into the opening ceremony rolling her eyes & her actions were very disrespectful in the temple! Not to mention her poor attitude & immediately speaking hatefully of her teammates!Also, Leslie; I think that is her name, the Christian Radio Host, I also was a little taken back by her response in the temple. I understand her concern about praying to other God's, I am a Christian as well & have her same belief in regards to praying to other Gods, however, I do not believe in religious discrimination & I do think that a person can stand silently & respectfully in the midst of others as they worship in the manner in which they are accustomed & in which they believe. She did choose to go to China & enter into their world & culture & at the very least I think she should have stood silently & quietly honoring & respecting their beliefs, traditions & customs.

So, there you have it.......my opinion after one episode. I really like the one guy.....I can not think of his name, but I do remember that he said he is a grave digger by trade. Big buff guy. He seems to be a hard worker; the strong silent type. I think he knows that keeping your head down & mouth shut, working hard & diligently until getting to know people a little better is sometimes the wise choice.

Well, suppose we will all tune in again next week, huh? Can't wait to hear what everyone else thought!

Almost Time!

Okay.......are we all ready to put ourselves in front of the television glued to "Survivor China"?!?!?!? I am & my DVR is set too! Most generally we will probably DVR it so that we can skip all the commercials, but for tonight we think we might watch it in "real time" since it is the first episode & we are anxious to see it. We really hope it is a good season!

For all of you "Big Brother 8" fans.........what did you think about the finale'? Well, earlier on in the season I would have never thought that Dick could win the jury over, but as time went on I knew that he would win if it were he & Danielle in the final two. We can't help but wonder how much of the $500,000.00 that Dick will give to Danielle. Honestly, neither of them would have won without the other. They really should have just shared the money or something. Also, are Nick & Danielle going to get together or what?!?!? Her poor boyfriend back home! What about Jessica & Eric? I think they are way cute! They need to have some kind of follow up six months later or something & let us know what happened to everyone, huh?

To be honest, it is embarrassing that I am such a slave to reality t.v.! I hate to own up to it, but it is just like mindless relaxation for me. I love "The Apprentice" too! I am also a sucker for a good game show! I DVR "Deal or No Deal". Right now Thomas & I are hooked on the latest season of "The Biggest Loser"! Anyone a fan? One that we don't watch is "Dancing With The Stars". My Mom likes it though, so I hear about it often! Thomas teases me all of the time lately for "sucking him into the vortex that is reality t.v."! HA!

Our DVR has changed the way that we watch television. A normal program that would take an hour to watch we get through in about twenty minutes. Not to mention, we watch what we want when we want on our own schedule not when it is aired. It is so nice. We highly recommend it! Plus, when our Mia comes home........to be able to DVR most all things & save them for after she is sleeping will be so important to us! Television these days; even the darned commercials are not for a little ones eyes or ears!

Well, I better get my iced tea & get comfy. It is almost time! Happy viewing everyone! Oh & for our friends in our Columbia "Waiting Families" Group, we are looking forward to seeing you Sunday!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

"I Would Die For That"

Check out this video.......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqfGqOx2iDQ

Any woman or family touched by Infertility or anyone who has yearned for a child or even any one who is a parent or ever wanted to be will be moved by this video. Even for myself; now at peace with knowing that our daughter is in China & that this is our destined journey/path to parenthood I still found myself very moved by this video & wanted to pass it on. Let me know what you think.

National Adoption Day.....

Just so we will all know & can make preparations well in advance to celebrate one of the most important things in so many of our lives & even for those of you reading this who are not adoptive parents it it likely that your life has been affected in some way or that you know someone whose life has been affected by the miracle of adoption.....So, I wanted to make sure & put it out there early: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17th, 2007 is National Adoption Day!! I would love to hear any ideas or plans that any of you have already or that you come up with in the future as to how you & yours will be celebrating! We have not yet put our plans into place, but are thinking on it for sure & know that it will be a day that we definitely want to mark down on our calendars! We will keep you posted with our plans as we hope you will us with yours!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A must have for your packing list!

Well, we are finally home after being away for about ten days. We went to Columbia, Lake of the Ozarks, Roachport etc. visiting friends & family. We had a lot of fun. It is always good to be home though. We hiked a lot & did a lot of outdoor activities....they were all so nice, but all along we were both constantly longing for our Mia to be with us! That just goes along with everything we do these days & I assume it won't change & will only get worse until we bring her home.

Speaking of bringing Mia home........what does everyone think about the latest update of the dates on the CCAA's website?!?! Could they move any slower? I guess they could, so I shouldn't ask that, but GOSH! It seems like they have to surely be about done with November. I just keep telling myself that once they get through November we are going to see a huge speed up! Am I kidding myself? Does anyone know if the Hague Treaty will have any effect on the amount of children available for adoption? Will this treaty make more orphanages open up to make their children available for International Adoption?

Okay, now for the must have for your packing list: It is "Downey Wrinkle Release Spray". This stuff is AMAZING! If you haven't tried it, give it a test run! I am compulsive about ironing at times, especially when living out of a suitcase. So, on a whim & a total impulse buy I picked up the travel size while on a quick Wal-Mart run. You really won't believe it. You pull your item out of the suitcase, spray on the solution tug the seams at the sides & from the top & bottom a couple of times, lay the article of clothing over a chair or from a hanger to dry briefly & there you have it wrinkle free! We did not break out an iron the entire ten days we were off & living out of a suitcase & for me that is unbelievable! This stuff is great & we will definitely be taking the big bottle with us to China! Every morning when we would use it we just couldn't believe how great it worked. It was like magic! Anyway, it is so worth the money for any trip when you will be in a hurry & living out of a suitcase & you don't want to break the iron out! I just had to pass on this tip to all of you waiting families!

I am struggling with allergies & haven't felt well at all. Been sleeping off & on most of the day today. I am not even a napper generally, much less a daytime sleeper off & on all day, but today I did good to get anything accomplished. If I had a dollar for every time I have sneezed......... Thomas brought me home some Claritin-D, plus I have been taking Benadryl & Ibuprofen for the headache. I can at least hold my head up now, so I am feeling a little better.

Well, for those of you who watch tonight is "Big Brother". I hate it that I get sucked into those crazy reality shows, but I must admit that I do. Plus, tonight starts the next round of "The Biggest Loser" & I have watched that in the past, so I am sure I will be tuned in for that. I noticed that they are both on at the same time, so I will be putting the ol' DVR to work. Gotta love that DVR!

Well, now that the Claritin-D seems to be kicking in a little I better get some laundry done. Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.

Oh & I must mention to that I went on a little shopping spree for all things pink while we were gone.......I hit the Columbia Goodwill just to check out if they had anything that we couldn't pass up. Well, someone had dropped off TONS of adorable, lots of brand new with the tags, precious little girl items. Oh my.......there were some real gems. I bought lots & lots of items in new & perfect condition! I am washing them all up this afternoon getting them ready to pack away. Another Rubbermaid Tub down to add to the stacks of them already piled up in the garage.....keeps me busy anyway! My family & friends keep telling me that we will have to change Mia's clothes every hour for her to ever be able to wear all of those cloths! OOOOPS! Well, it's fun & like I said it makes me feel like I am doing something other than just waiting with nothing keeping me busy!