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    reading, theatre, exploring nature, hiking, quilting

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  1. In Memphis you never know. Sometimes it feels like we have shootings everyday. You just never know where or when they will occur. Sometimes it's on the interstate. Sometimes it's in neighborhoods. Sometimes it's at places of business. There was a drive-by shooting downtown near Peabody Place this weekend that killed a girl about to graduate from high school. News reports say she was just standing on the sidewalk when someone drove by and opened fire into the group standing there. ETA: Generally, it's okay downtown as long as you're in groups,stay in well-lit areas, and are aware of your surroundings, but just know that, sadly, things can and do happen.
  2. Would they be receptive to typing their reports? We are using this course, too, this year for my 11yr old daughter, and she has requested permission to type her reports. I will most likely keep the reports in a folder separate from her student guide.
  3. I just caught up on this thread today and am so bummed Pink Elephant is gone. Sure wish she would rejoin us. : (
  4. 52 robins in our yard today!!!!! Must be a sign of warmth ahead. We have abundant robins in our yard in the spring and summer, usually a handful in the fall, but hardly any in the winter. I was shocked by the large presence today. Sheer craziness.
  5. KrissiK, we have Bushnell binoculars, and they've served us well. Good choice!
  6. Margaret in CO, we need to visit you. My dd wants to see a mountain bluebird so badly. That and the painted bunting are her dream birds right now. Seeing either would make her very happy. Does anyone else here log their daily bird sightings into ebird? Or is anyone doing project feeder watch? We've been using ebird for a few years, and this is our second year for project feeder watch. We did the nest watch this past spring/summer, too. Pink Elephant, I wonder if our winter juncos could be your little guys that return to you each spring? We're always so sad to see them leave and so happy when they return. We are pretty lucky because we have a nice variety of birds year round. The species just rotate with the seasons. Hummingbird migration is an especially fun time of year since our feeders are just outside the living room windows. The ruby throats are our little buddies. We always leave our nectar feeders up hoping to get a winter hummer, but so far no luck. A calliope would be incredible, but if we are ever lucky enough to get one it would most likely be a rufous or an anna's. Still, we would be happy with whatever decided to join us.
  7. I would either eat it on bagels with cream cheese and capers, or I would make my most favorite pizza - a parmesan and garlic white sauce on thin crust topped with smoked salmon, mushrooms, pesto, and mozzarella.
  8. We are a birding family and have created a bird friendly habitat in our yard. At this time of year, we have cardinals, bluejays, mockingbirds, eastern towhees, tufted titmice, a ruby crowned kinglet, carolina wren, carolina chickadees, downy woodpeckers, redbellied woodpeckers, yellow bellied sapsuckers, house sparrows, white throated sparrows, dark eyed juncos, mourning doves, a sharp shinned hawk, and a red shouldered hawk. We are still waiting for the fox sparrows to show up this year. Occassionally, we still receive a visit from a brown thrasher or a robin in the colder months. We saw a golden eagle fly over the yard about a month ago, but that is not a normal sighting for us. It must have just been passing through.
  9. I tried about 15 different litters before finding one that doesn't track through the house. It's called Yesterday's News. Pretty good at preventing litter smells if you keep on top of scooping, but it works like magic at stopping t he litter tracking. I will never switch now that I've found this brand.
  10. In my younger days, it was Keri Russell. From late 20s to present day, Helena Bonham Carter.
  11. When you asked the question about adopting out of birth order, were you speaking with a seasoned social worker or an administrative member of the agency? If it wasn't a social worker, I'd recommend asking your question again, this time asking specifically for a social worker or a therapist in the post placement services department. I also urge you to read up on adoption related attachment issues before adopting. Hopefully, such self-education is a mandatory part of the process these days. Parenting a child who has suffered such tremendous loss early on is very different from parenting biological children. You may as well forget everything you "know" from parenting your biological children and come into this experience with an open mind. I suggest getting copies of Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew; Attaching in Adoption; and Adoption Parenting - Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections. It would also be a good idea to read up on PTSD in adopted children, Sensory Processing Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and anything you can find on trauma from early significant loss - particularly its effects on the brain. Reading up on cross-cultural adoption is a good idea, too. I am in no way trying to discourage you. Rather, I'm encouraging you to come into this new journey heavily armed with specialized knowledge and tools so you can be your child's best source of support. You might end up with a child who never shows any ill-effects from the time before you guys, but if that's not the case, at least you will be prepared and can seek help early on. One last word of advice, find a pediatrician who is very knowledgeable about adoption and previously institutionalized children. Leaving you with this - despite the challenges we've faced as an adoptive family (admittedly mild compared to some families I know), I have never regretted this path. We are so very lucky to be the ones to parent this child. Even after ten years, I am still in awe every day that we were blessed with her. Adoption can be a tremendously rewarding journey.
  12. We used CCAI and had no regrets about our choice of agency. They kept us informed throughout the process, were always willing to take our calls (even stayed late to return a critcal dossier question, allowing us to get the docs sent out that night), and they still remember us 10 yrs later (our child was recently featured on the employee blog at the dossier mgr's request). The in-China reps were incredible. We were absolutely in the best of hands the whole time we were there. I highly recommend CCAI, and I'm happy to correspond via message if you have more questions.
  13. If you like Earl Grey, you might enjoy Paris from Harney and Sons. I order loose tea from Harney and Sons, Adagio, Tea Guys, Elmwood Inn, and Darlene's Tea Port.
  14. I am so, so sorry. Prayers for all involved.
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