Saturday, April 26, 2008

Back to school

We had a terrific week off from school and were back to the routine this week. The weather was awesome and we got to play outside every day.
We have been on a lot of nature hikes, looking for frog evidence. We've seen everything BUT frogs! Like snapping turtles

and deer (as well as fish, ducks, geese & groundhogs)

I found these critters in Trixie's new cage. I released them in the wild.

It was already hot this morning when we went to the Public Market for veggies and entertainment. Some of us LOVED the empanadas. The Lawyer, Ana and Elly have the egg with meat and I go for the veggie. Lewis and Franny abstain.

Frances ate fried dough and was thrilled to find her favorite kettle corn. She brought her own market bag and stashed it.

Besides the beautiful produce, there were rows upon rows of boxes with "made in China," mostly plastic crap. I did find some little beaded purses, identical to the ones I bought for the girls when we were in China! I treat those purses like they're family heirlooms, only to find them in the dollar bin at the market! Oh well!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

So many rich African friends!

Dear friend,

I am Mr. Gambo Akanta.I work with the audit/remittance department of African development bank (adb) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso. I have a business which will be beneficial to both of us. The amount of money involved is ($87 million us dollars) which I want to transfer out of the country to your bank account, all to my financial benefit and yours too. And also to take my wife to UNITED STATE OF AMERICA for treatment of liver damage This money is owned by a man called ONO CHOJI a business commercialist in west-African regions.

He died six years ago and since then no claim has been placed on his bank account balance. I want to transfer this money out of the country but such fund can not be transferred without a next of kin attached to the fund. The fund could be transferred in this way; you shall present yourself as business associates to the deceased person ONO CHOJI as details shall be that you are the care-taker business associates to Mr. ONO CHOJI and his properties.

I shall make available to you materials and information with which a successful claim shall be placed on the fund. I shall be your guidance and instructor throughout the duration of this transaction so as to ensure a swift and sure transfer of the fund to your bank account. As to your benefits, you shall be entitled to 40% of this fund for your co-operation in this transaction while 5% will be set aside for expenses both of us incurred during the course of this transaction.

So if you are interested, send a reply to me immediately and in your reply please include your private phone and your fax numbers urgency has to be implied and this business must strictly be a deal between both of us. Please contcat me through this email address here (

Best regards,

Oh Mr Gambo-Friend
I am so sorry to hear of your wife's liver problems - does she take too much of the alcohol?
I do not have a business friend named Mr Ono. I certainly wish I was a wife to this man! I would have so much next of kin moneys!
If I have to play Mr Ono's associate, I must have more than 40 percent of the moneys! I may have to buy my way out of jail if the feds get a hold of me!
Thank you for thinking of me! You are a good friend!
Love to you and your liver problem wife,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Must have been a mirage

The kids are taking swimming lessons this week at the YMCA. It's a freebie they offer every April during the school break. On Tuesday, one of the instructors asked "does anyone have a pool in their backyard?" Look who raised his hand. He must have been thinking of the dogs' bowl of water ......... or something like that!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ana's tooth trouble

Here's my girl who brushes her teeth faithfully, doesn't like candy, eats well and has a mouthful of tooth trouble. She has about 12 fillings, 2 crowns, and just had her 2nd tooth pulled this morning (along with a fitting for a 2nd retainer - one on top and one on bottom). When one of her permanent teeth make the slightest bit of movement up, her baby teeth respond by dissolving their roots, which causes a pocket between her teeth that gets infected. The dentist is certain that she is going to have normal, healthy adult teeth because of good care, nutrition & hygiene but these baby ones are R-O-U-G-H!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Lost-at-home Barbie

For the uninitiated, many people stay at the White Swan Hotel during the end of their adoption trip in China. Mattel has a play room in the hotel and gives everyone a "Going Home Barbie" doll with a little dark haired baby in her arms. They are a *little* frightening. People who don't stay at the WS feel ripped off and are willing to pay $$$ to get one on ebay - for real.....
We have stayed at the "White Swine" (props to Aunt Suzie) twice. The first time, when adopting Lewis, Frances was with us (naturally). I let her have the Barbie, disregarding its potential to send her through med school.
I am on a purging spree this week, going through toys, clothes and what-have-yous. I found the coveted baby, deep in a toy box, albeit detached from her blond bombshell mother (not me, Silly! Barbie!). What do you think I could get for her?

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I received this email yesterday. Isn't it a trip??!

Good day!
I have expected you to contact me for your certified bank draft of $650,000 United States dollars, but did not hear from you. Then I went to the bank to confirm if the bank draft has expired and Mr.Joseph Bisselink the director of International bank of Africa told me that before the draft will get to your home address will be expired. So I told him to cash the $650,000 United States dollars to cash payment to avoid your funds to expiration as I will be out of the country for 3 months course and I will not come back till ending of August 2008.
You have to contact FedEx diplomatic courier company Burkina Faso to know when they will deliver your consignment to you. For your information, they accepted the consignment on delivery but insisted that the security fee most be paid before the delivery will be effected. So the only money you will send to the FedEx diplomatic courier company Burkina Faso to deliver your consignment direct to your postal address in your country is ($105 USD) one hundred and five united states dollars only being security keeping fee accumulated so far.
Again, don't be deceived by anybody to pay any other money except ($105 USD). I would have paid that but they said no because they don't know when you will contact them. You have to contact FedEx diplomatic courier company Burkina Faso now for the delivery of your consignment box with this information below.
Directors Name--------Dr. Usman Galadima.
Company’s Name--------FedEx international Burkina Faso .
Telephone---------- +226-78900178.
Email Address------- (
Finally, make sure that you reconfirm your postal address and direct telephone number to avoid any mistake on the delivery and ask them to send your airway bill and keep you updated on the arrival of your consignment box and know when it will get to your address. let me repeat again, try to contact them as soon as you receive this mail to avoid any further delay or increase in the security keeping fee and remember to pay them their security keeping fee of ($105 USD) dollars for their immediate action.
Note. The FedEx diplomatic courier company Burkina Faso doesn’t know the contents of the box. I registered it as a box of Africa cloths. They don't know that the box contains United States dollars in cash. This is to avoid them delaying with the box. Don’t let them know that box contains money please. Finally, endeavour to indicate this code (fd0081) which will prove that you are the owner of the consignment I deposited in there company.
Yours Faithfully,
Mrs.Linda Sanou Zongo.
Secretary to the Director
FedEx international Burkina Faso

My response:
Dear Mrs.Linda Sanou Zongo.
What did I do to deserve such a gigantic amount of money? I do not even know anyone in West Africa! Please take the $105 from the $650,000, along with another $100 as a tip for yourself. Thank you!
Your new friend

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Daisy Mei

Is she really a rat terrier?

Or a fruit bat?

Aren't the similarities striking?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Glimpse of Spring

It's amazing what a weekend's worth of sunshine and warm-ish weather can do for a winter weary body and soul. We had a beautiful weekend and spent a lot of time outside, breathing in some fresh air and getting some exercise.
On Saturday, we went walking at a nearby swamp. Ana is starting to study frogs and we went to see if we could find any eggs.
I did find these swamp creatures:

And some green sprouts:

And these bubbles that I think are eggs. It's pitiful when the nature guide is me, who knows squat about nature.

We spent a lot of time outside on Sunday. The Lawyer and I raked and the kids "helped," and played on the playground. I am trying to convince the Lawyer that we need a whole new playground.
Elly enjoyed lounging:

Frances looking rather fab:

Analise had yet another makeover, by Frances and Frances' friend who spent the night:

Lewis performed some low-wire acts on the swings. It involved a lot of jumping.

Ana is my tortilla apprentice. I make homemade tortillas about once a week - they are SO good. Ana is the only one who loves to roll them with me and she's pretty good!

The finished product. We ate every last crumb with beans, guacamole, cheese, salsa & chicken for those who imbibe.

Flavor Flav

Official synopsis as follows: "Calvester Hill (Flav) is an ex-convict that moves in with his wealthy, conservative brother, Walter (Kelly Perine). Calvester subsequently turns the Hill family’s life upside down, parading his old prison cronies through the house; teaching his nephew Walter Jr. to be a gangsta rapper; and butting heads with Walter’s snooty wife, Ashley."

I don't know about you, but I like watching Flav on the "Flavor of Love." I'm pretty sure he lost the majority of his brain cells in the 1980s. Shall we place bets on how long he lasts? I assume he has to learn lines and that might pose a challenge.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sign of the times

We had a couple of sick-y weeks in our house! Some fever-coughing-headache funk. I even stayed home sick on Monday! Everyone is feeling better. I'm glad we got it out of the way so we'll be healthy for our spring break in a couple weeks.
It's still chilly, but with these to encourage us, we're anticipating Spring in the not so distant future!