Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!  Christ is risen today!

We have had a quiet but lovely day.  Mark and I spent the morning at church-- we had a fellowship brunch at 9:30, with worship to follow.  The worship service was wonderful, and it was so encouraging to hear the message again that we have hope for ourselves and also our loved ones who follow Jesus because of the work of the Cross.  All through the service I thought about Natalie and the awesome Easter she had today in heaven.  I missed her so much today.  I also missed Anna Kathryn today-- even though we haven't met her yet.  Maybe by this time next year we will have gotten a referral, or even be preparing to travel (I don't dare hope that we'll be home with baby by then).  

We came home and napped-- a direct result of the carb/cheese induced coma from brunch (there was an abundance of breakfast casseroles).  Then Mark fixed an awesome dinner (steak, twice baked potatoes, mashed acorn squash, creamed spinach.  I ate the last of the jelly beans for dessert.)  Mark has been toiling away on homework tonight.  I have been ignoring my homework in favor of scrapbooking and wasting time on the Internet.  And posting on here. 

I did have a small potluck-induced trauma this morning.  I decided to try a new recipe for my contribution to the brunch-- a recipe for Baked French Toast I found on Bigmama's  blog.  It sounded yummy, and fairly simple to make. Unfortunately, I forgot about my tendency to have "new recipe remorse."  This is what happens when you decide to make a new recipe for a church potluck or for dinner when company comes-- and it doesn't turn out the way you think it will, and you just wish you'd stuck to the same-old, same-old .  As usual, I was running late getting the thing into the oven, despite the fact that I had put it together last night.  I forgot that I had to make the "praline topping" before baking the french toast.  This involved dumping a lot of sugar and spices into 2 sticks of butter and smearing the mixture on the unbaked french toast.  I shoved the dish in the oven at 8:31 and it needed to bake for 40 minutes.  

 At 9:12, it didn't look quite done enough and we needed to be in the car driving to church.  Of course, having never made this recipe before, I had no frame of reference for the doneness.  I decided to turn on the broiler to hurry things up a bit.  In the middle of this moment, Mark came in to remind me that we needed to be on our way.  Now.  So, I asked him for his opinion on the doneness of the french toast.   He said he really couldn't tell, but if we were late to the brunch everyone would know which dish was mine whether it was done or not.  Not what I needed to hear at that moment.  After I had a small fit about the fact that taking food to a potluck stresses me out, I collected the french toast out of the oven, wrapped it in foil and dish towels (one of these days I am going to invest in one of those casserole carrier things), and off we went.  Thankfully, the baked french toast turned out to be really good-- I will make it again! 

** Image of the cross supplied by 

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Maybe I should have been a librarian 50 years ago

Let me just start by saying that I really do like a lot of things about my job as a school library media coordinator.  I particularly like working with kids and teachers, collection development, and of course reading the new books and helping students find books they love.  However, lately, each day seems like a battle with our equipment and technology.

Technology is great -- when it works.  I'm certainly a lot more comfortable working with all the various computers and projectors and camcorders and video/DVD players than I was a year or two ago.  I am, however, a digital immigrant, and I am not a gadget person by nature.  But it drives me absolutely crazy when equipment works fine one day and totally messes up the next.  

This week my school has been showing movies as a reward for good behavior.  We've done the set up many times before, the test run when we got the equipment set up went well, and then today (of course) the sound system went haywire right as we seated 150 wild seventh graders and we started the movie.  It did not help my frustration level when one of the APs at the school was really ugly to me (yelling) about the fact that the stupid microphone and speaker were suddenly on the fritz and no one could hear the movie.  Which was "The Game Plan" starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, so I'm not sure this was much of a loss. 

 (Keep in mind that there are home karaoke machines that are higher quality equipment than our microphone/speaker system.  We have one 2-ft. speaker to project the sound to the entire school auditorium.  We are not talking a Dolby digital surround sound system here, people). 

To make a long, annoying story shorter, we (me and my assistant) finally determined that the battery was dead in the cordless microphone.  No one in the office bothered to order extra 9-volt batteries as we requested a month ago, so we had to make do with what we had.  Which is -- one dying microphone and one that barely works because it appears to have been used as a soccer ball in PE.  This is what teachers are used to anyway, right?  I did feel slightly vindicated when our instructional technology specialist, who was there to tutor, checked out the problem and agreed that it was the battery and not anything we failed to do in the set up.  

This is the latest in about 2 weeks of nonstop equipment "issues".  Frankly, I'm tired of it.  Give me a book any day -- it's cheap, portable, will not suddenly get a virus, need an extra cord or batteries, or just not work.  (I'm also wondering if maybe this is a sign from God that my school administrators need to cough up the bucks for a movie license so that we quit violating copyright every time we show a reward movie.)

I'm ready to go old-school librarian for a while.  Give me a bunch of books, an old-fashioned card catalog, and a filmstrip reel and I will weep with delight.  But I draw the line at wearing my hair in a bun.   

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I just found this article-- it's an essay, really-- and thought I'd link it here (although I haven't actually figured out how to do this yet and so if it doesn't work, just copy and paste the link into your browser.  My bloggy tech skillz are coming along rather slowly.)  I can identify with much of the emotion and thoughts this author shares about the roller coaster ride that is the China adoption process in 2008...and beyond.  Our agency got some WC referrals this week but I am very sure we will not be getting a call.  Sigh.  

Go here to read the article:

Today was the "Battle of the Books" competition for all of the middle schools in the county.  It's kinda like a quiz bowl all about books.  Specifically, 26 books are on the reading list each year, from a variety of genres.  The kids read them and practice answering picky questions about the plot, characters, setting, etc.  

As the official media coordinator, I am the coach.  I have a great team-- 11 sixth graders-- and (most of them) read their little hearts out, stayed after school and gave up activity periods to practice, and gave it their all.  And, we totally lost the competition.  As in, we came in last in the county (9 schools).  The competitive side of me is, frankly, a little bummed. 

 But, the part of me that knows how hard they worked, how they didn't give up today when the questions were obscure, or the opposing teams seemed to get all the ones they knew, how they were great sports and pulled together, knows that we really gained a whole lot more than we may have lost.  ( cheese alert!!)  We were up against teams made up of all seventh and eighth graders who have competed before, teams where kids do not have to struggle as hard to succeed in school, and schools with experienced coaches.  I thought my team did a great job considering our collective inexperience.  They were ready to start on next year's reading list after the competition wrapped up today!   I think I need to borrow a little of their optimism and drive for some other parts of my life (grad school work, adoption wait, wanting to shed some winter weight gain) and kick my own butt into gear.  

Monday, March 10, 2008


As my dear, dear husband says, "It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind."  And I do... frequently!  My outfit for the day, what I want for dinner, and now my blog name.  I started a blog about 2 weeks ago at  I had big plans for that blog.  I wrote an opening post that two whole people read and commented on (thanks, Hillary and Allison!).  But I just couldn't seem to get around to writing a second post on it.  I really wasn't sure why I had this mental block about it... too tired? lazy? busy?  Then it hit me-- the name.  I just wasn't satisfied with the name.  I picked sunshine because that has been Mark's nickname for me since we first started dating, and ladybugs because they are a popular thing/symbol in the China adoption community, and I think they are cute.   When I picked that name and realized that it was available through Blogger, I figured I was good to go.  But, it seemed a little too cutesy  and generic.  Would the name really stand out in a crowd?  I wanted something more memorable and meaningful.  So, I kept thinking. 

Last weekend my sister Hillary and 4-year-old niece Emily came down from Virginia for a weekend visit.  We had lots and lots of fun and a great visit.  Friday night we enjoyed dinner together (chicken biscuit stew and apple pie) and just getting caught up.  Emily and "Uncle Marko Marko" romped and we all played Disney Memory and read Frog, Where Are You? -- one of our favorite books.  Saturday was busy:  lunch at Chick-Fil-A, buying new tennis shoes for Emily so she could run around safely, a trip to the park and Discovery Place, and finally dinner out at a Mexican restaurant with Caleb and Leslie (lots of talk of wedding plans).  Sunday we went to church, had lunch at home, and Emily and I got to hang out while Mark and Hillary took naps.  She also got to take a long nature walk with Uncle Mark while Hillary and I enjoyed an uninterrupted chat.  We ended the weekend with a trip to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream. 

So, I was thinking about the weekend and how I get the biggest kick out of hearing Emily say "snickerdoodle," which is our little code word to get Mark to freeze and unfreeze when we play tag.  She can't say her R sounds yet, and it is the cutest thing.  I decided to somehow incorporate "snickerdoodle" into my new blog name, and Allison suggested "the crab" in honor of all the times I or my loved ones are cranky (never, of course.  Ha.)  Cute, not as generic, hopefully memorable when I start participating in the many many carnivals floating around in the world of blogs.   And, the name was not yet taken on Blogger.  It was meant to be, and so here I am.  

Sunday, March 9, 2008

First Post

Head over to to read my first post!