Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Although they don't really celebrate Halloween in China I did find the following translation for the saying,

Happy Halloween!! in Chinese:
Wan Sheng Jie

A ghost is: youling
A pumpkin is : nan gua
A witch is: wu
A bat is: bian

In all my research about Halloween in China and how they don't celebrate it. It is funny how about 90% of all Halloween costumes are MADE IN CHINA!!-No surprise there!!

Hope all your little princesses, and goblins, and witches, and ninjas, and pirates have a great Halloween!!! Happy Haunting!!!

I am going to look for a marked down lady bug costume today that I can put away for Avery, even just to play in. We need the wings and everything!!! Can't wait to see Noah, Owen, and Sammy tonight all dressed up. They are our only trick or treaters that we get every year. We live out in the country and don't get very many.

Happy Halloween!! Wan Sheng Jie!!

Love to all~

Monday, October 27, 2008

Do they celebrate Halloween in China?

Not really. But they do have festivals.

In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh. Food and water are placed in front of photographs of family members who have departed while bonfires and lanterns are lit in order to light the paths of the spirits as they travel the earth on Halloween night. Worshippers in Buddhist temples fashion "boats of the law" from paper, which are then burned in the evening hours. There are two purposes to this custom: as a remembrance of the dead and in order to free the spirits of the "pretas" in order that they might ascend to heaven. "Pretas" are the spirits of those who died as a result of an accident or drowning and whose bodies were consequently never buried.

Other Halloween festivals in China I found were:
The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts and The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. They all are about spirits of people passed and setting them free.

Just a bit of Asian trivia I guess.

Have A Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our get together was cancelled...big surprise.

WE just received an email from our adoption agency yesterday saying that the waiting families get together for Saturday was cancelled due to not enough people wanting to participate. This really didn't surprise us. It always seems like there's never a lot of people there and when you do go to the waiting family get togethers everyone is so depressed that it's not a lot of fun to begin with. But it would have been nice to at least meet some of the other people. I really don't think they do enough to draw people in to want to go. There are so many aspects of this process we could be talking about. Things to keep yourself busy...the quilt, the lifebook,etc. Have a family who has recently gone to China talk and tell about their experience with pictures and video, or slides. Talk about what to take to China or not, I know this is part of the travel meeting but it would still be something to think about. I just think they don't do anything to draw people in and I think I will start making suggestions, and be on the committee. They did give us the emails of the other committee members, so I think it's time to get involved. This is ridiculous, we've planned for this for a month and looked forward to it, and we're disappointed that it 's not gonna happen. But as I stated we definitely expected it.

It's just another frustration. But I guess if you want things to change you gotta do it yourself. The agency just doesn't seem to help out with this kind of stuff. I guess they don't have to, but if you want to not have so many frustrations from people, you need to help out a little. I'll see what I can do. You know, "Be the change you want to see...".

I know that in life there are things that come up in life that throw us all for a loop. No matter what it is in your life, remember your faith. Whatever that may be for you or your family. I believe in positive thinking. I know it doesn't seem like it sometimes. But if I don't write on this blog I keep everything pent up, so this is my journal and my way of telling family and friends what's happening in my (our) lives. Good and bad. For me my faith is believing in my convictions, and helping who I can in my own way. Usually through dance and listening to my kids all the time. That's my way. But as I was saying, I believe in positive energy and positive thinking. So I am sending a lot of positive thoughts out to those of us that need it right now. Stay strong and we love you!!

Thanks for listening!!

~Love to all,
Alli & Gary

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Don't ya think that when you get to be a certain age, the holidays are not fun anymore. I think it's that way until you have children and then you get to see the holidays again through their eyes. I remember I loved Christmas, it seemed so magical and whimsical and it was fun and I couldn't wait for it to get here. Now it just seems like a big chore sometimes. I know we do a Christmas Show every year, and I do enjoy that. I love working with the kids and I do love Christmas music, but the rest of it just seems not fun. It is all about finding the right gifts and making lists of things you don't need or really want. We all are growed up and the magic of Christmas is gone. We decorate our house and put up the trees and make cocoa and watch all the traditional movies...but I can't wait to have children and experience it all over again like when I was a child.

The holidays are rough on us and our adoption process looks like this:
-2 more Halloween's
-1 more b-day for me and 2 more for Gary
-2 more Christmas's
-At least 1 more Mother's Day for me and 1 more Father's Day for Gary
-1 more wedding anniversary at least
All of this until we can finally go get Avery

That's what the holidays mean to me lately.

I know it's just me feeling sorry for myself, but during this process you feel it a lot. You crab at eachother a lot because the frustration is so apparent. You don't mean it but it comes out. I think Gary and myself stay home a lot because we just don't feel like socializing.

I've decorated for Halloween but 1/2 of the stuff is still put away somewhere. You just get in that funk.

So I'll just suck it up and put on the smile...

That's my vent for today!!!!

P.S.~ Aunt Cathy Hudnall~ We would like to say that we love you very much and you are in our prayers!!!!

~Alli & Gary

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Home from NYC again...

Over last weekend we were back in NYC and NJ. It was time for the annual UDMA Show (United dance Merchants of America Show)-recital costumes. As a dance teacher we get 17+ catalogs of costumes for the dancers to wear at the Recital. When you go to this show you actually get to see all the costumes in person and have people try them on. You actually get to see the flow of the costume and see if they are quality made costumes or cheap costumes for the astronomical prices they ask for them. So we've gone for the past 5-6 years. The show is actually in Seacaucus NJ, and we stay in NJ. But Manhattan is only 20 minutes away by PATH train. So we left about 3:30-4:00 on Friday, and spent Saturday in NYC.

We went directly to China Town when we got to NYC. It's now my favorite place to go to. The Pearl River Marketplace is always a lot of fun. We usually walk out of there with a big bag full of stuff. This time we got some panda paper lanterns for Avery's room, they are so cute and they aren't very big. Gary got a Buddhism book, and we got Chinese magnetic words. They are like the magnetic poetry you can buy but these have english on one side and chinese on the other-very cool! I got a couple of fancy postcards that have our years on them. I am an "ox", and Gary is a "dog". They are very pretty but the funny thing about them is they summarize your characteristics and things to avoid etc. On mine it says, "Will have problems with people who are horse, sheep, and dog". Gary's says will have problems with people who are, "ox, dragon, or sheep." So I guess according to Chinese zodiac signs we are not right for eachother. So it just goes to show you how much of this stuff is so not true or reliable, and really has no bearing on our lives-"real life". Gary and I are so well suited for eachother it's not funny. But we did get a kick out of it.

I got some Chinese prayer flags to put up in the studio, the kids have all gotten a kick out them this week. We got some tea cups and a bunch of other stuff. I love this shop!!! We did do some street shopping in China Town. I got a jade necklace that means protection. The girl selling all the necklaces was telling me what they all meant. I was wearing my chinese character "daughter" necklace and she noticed that. She said," that symbol is for girl", and we explained that we were adopting from China. There is a favorite shop of mine near Canal Street in China Town. I got a really pretty scroll there last time. We found it again and I got another scroll, with a picture of a child on it-very cute!! The chinese characters on it mean life. Every time we went into a store the people would explain to us what the characters were and what they meant and I really appreciated that, it was so much fun!!

We went to the Virgin Megastore to look for some of the music we were using this year for our shows. That's the only place we went to near Times Square, except for Dallas BBQ for lunch. After that we went to Central Park and walked around there for the rest of the afternoon. I really like it there on the weekends. Every corner you turn is a new experience. We would see street performers, jazz bands set up, roller skaters dressed up and groovin' to their music-very fun and funny I couldn't even tell ya!! But we have pictures!! We went to the Bow Bridge part of the park and the Bethesda Fountain part of the park. It was a nice peaceful afternoon, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!! We left the city about 6:00. We've been there so often now that we know how to get around and where we want to go. We had a light dinner in the Meadows Complex where we were staying and got dessert from Olive Garden and went back to the hotel. We had a great time, and a nice get away. I can tell you though, it takes me 3 days to re-coop from a trip. I'm no good until about Wednesday Thursday-getting old!!

We've had some good news about the extention of our re-application. They just passed that we don't have to go to the new form and re-do everything as long as you don't let your original application expire. So, that's good news!! We just got our medical paperwork, and financial paperwork re-evaluated, and our fingerprints re-taken. All of the paperwork has been sent back in. We will have to get our federal fingerprints taken again, and I think an update on our homestudy also. Lots of fun!!! We are 15 months in and have about 15 more months to go. We have a get together at our adoption agency on the 25th, to meet other families at our agency that are waiting also. I am going to try to ask more questions about the special needs list, and see if might be able to have that option.

So that's the update on the Newtons who are adopting!! Still waiting....and waiting...frustrated and tired. But hopeful!!!

Love to all~
Alli & Gary

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Another bunch of thank yous...

A big thank you to our friend Sarah. She was home this weekend and hung out at the studio and after rehearsal we sat around talking for a couple hours. Sarah is such a great friend. After our talk we were walking to our cars and she gave us a bag full of goodies. All ladybugs!! A little blanket-super soft w/ a ladybug at the top. On my favorite show, Jon & Kate Plus 8 they call these little blankets their "chewies". A stuffed lady bug that is a little storybook, and the stuffed animal of the Eric Carle book, "The grouchy Ladybug". Oh, and the cutest ladybug magnet-it's on the fridge. We love all of it Sarah and it was so good to see you and catch up. Love ya & Miss ya!!

Another thank you to Catherine one of my former dancers that just graduated last year. She brought me Avery gifts for my Birthday. The cutest ladybug little dress, and the softest flannel pj's that have ballet shoes on them. So cute!!! Avery has such a wardrobe you wouldn't believe it!! But she's a girl...that has to be expected. Thank you Cub Catherine!! Love ya & Miss ya!!

Avery is such a lucky little girl to have friends and family that are so thoughtful and special.

Love to everyone,
~ALli & Gary

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa Newton

Just a quick thank you to Grandma & Grandpa Newton (Judy & Ron). They went to Vermont for one of their getaways and brought Avery back a gift. They brought her back a little Vermont Teddy Bear that has a red tutu, and the top is red w/ black spots-Ladybugs!!!! So a big thank you to Grandma & Grandpa Newton.

Avery is more than on our minds lately. Avery is so lucky to have such a thoughtful family, they think about her all the time, just like we do.

Love to all~

Friday, October 3, 2008

15 Months...

We are officially now 15 months in. Yippee!!? So, we are about halfway. We thought we were halfway before, but this should officially be about halfway. Joined an online group today through msn, with other waiting families. It's a really good site, other families who are waiting and people to ask questions to, and vent. People who are in the same process as we are and some in the same stages. So, I think that this will be able to connect with other people in the same mind set as us.

Thinking about sponsoring a child in China through Love without Boundaries. You can help to send a child to school that needs it and you can pick your child. You get updates from the child and pictures of them etc. Seriously thinking about doing that. Why not help a child there while we wait for our child from there. It's about $20.00 per month, and I think we nee to do something that makes us feel like we're helping the cause, and in some way contributing. I'll keep you all updated on that new point of interest.

That's all for now. Let's get to 18 months in, that's my next goal. Then over 20, then 30, then really close to holding our little girl.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers, that this wait time go faster for us.

Love to all~