Thursday, April 30, 2009

Acer's on Antibiotics

Yes, despite saying he had belly issues, it was his throat that was the issue Bill took him to the Dr and BIll's interpretation of what they said was that Acer had 'puss nuggets' at the back of his throat. Oh Joy. Poor little guy :(

I've also added Alex's blog to our side bar so don't be afraid to go check it out!
On my way to pick a sick acer up from school prayers plz

The blessings showered upon us.

Yesterday was a day full of blessings. We have prayed all along that God would provide, He knows how much money we need for this trip and He knows when we need it. He will provide.
Yesterday we were blessed by the people from Bill's work who threw an adoption shower with a cake and an envelope of money. They have been such a blessing and encouragement to us throughout this whole process, which has been on going throughout most of the Time Bill has been working at the Library. They actually managed to throw a surprise party, which was complicated by the fact that Bill is very mobile at work. Twice he almost discovered that card that was being passed around, but they managed to avert that disaster too.
I was blessed by a visit from a friend who stopped by to drop off some money for the trip too. She started as my Mandarin professor and became my friend, I am so blessed by her friendship. She has prayed for us throughout and even sold bookmarks for us, she helped us to know it was God's will we were following, and I was glad she was able to make it out to my house finally.
We were also blessed by Acer's Orientation and Mobility teacher who stopped by to have one of her older students interact with Acer, and so send us off with a donation. She is one of Acer's favorite teachers and is just so enthusiastic and fun. We all went for a walk together around the block and then they went off to return the student to his home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I think I need to stop now, before this becomes an issue. I think it's a good thing i'm not on twitter
Okay, i'm sending this from my phone, just like I sent the last one. This amuses my geeked out self greatly.
Two days !!!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Testing now to make sure I can post text messages from my phone

Testing to see if emailing blog entries works.

Well, we leave for China in just over three days and I'm working to
make sure everything is in line, including being able to post to the
I'm really getting pretty geeked about the whole trip although I am
very sad Acer won't be going too. He's just too active to take on
such a long trip.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

If there's a Kroger affiliate near you please help

This is for Seedlings books, a great place that sells Braille children's books at print book cost and also sends out free books several times a year.  We love this place and are glad that they are near Bill's parents so we can drop in to see it. Some Kroger affiliates are Smiths and Fred Meyer.

Beginning May 1, 2009, the Kroger Cares Program will be replaced with the launch of a new program, Kroger Community Rewards With this new program, members will earn funds for Seedlings Braille Books for Children just by using their Kroger Plus Cards.  Seedlings’ supporters can go online to register their Kroger Plus Card and select Seedlings as their charity of choice.  If you do not yet have a Kroger Plus card, please visit the customer service desk at any Kroger.  Then, after May 1, 2009, whenever a registered cardholder makes a purchase at Kroger using their Kroger Plus Card, that purchase will contribute to Seedlings’ rewards.  In addition, once a household member registers, then all linked cards used by family members will also begin earning funds for the organization. 


To register your Kroger Plus Card, simply sign up online at and follow these simple steps:


·      Click on “Michigan” and then on “Enroll.”  Then, click on “Sign Up Today” in the ‘New Customer’ area.

·      Enter your zip code and select your preferred store.

·      Fill in the appropriate account information to set up and confirm your online account.

·      You will then get a message to check your email inbox.  Follow the instructions provided in that email to complete the activation process.


To select Seedlings Braille Books for Children as your charity of choice to receive funds from your grocery purchases, simply follow the next steps:


·      Login to your Kroger account by using your email address and new password.

·      Click on “Edit Kroger Community Rewards Information” and input your Kroger Plus card number. Update, confirm, and save your information.

·      Enter “Seedlings Braille Books for Children” or the number “82491,” click on “confirm” or “select,” and save your selection. 


REMEMBER, purchases will not count toward Seedlings until you have registered your Kroger Plus card(s) and have selected Seedlings as your charity of choice.


Thanks to all of Seedlings’ supporters who participated in the original Kroger Cares Program helping us to raise funds to support braille literacy. Since we started the Program on July 7, 2008, our supporters purchased and reloaded 531 Kroger cards which raised over $1,600 to date.  We hope everyone will continue to support Seedlings Braille Books for Children by signing up for this new rewards program beginning May 1.


If you would like additional information about the new Kroger Community Rewards Program or need assistance with the online registration process, please contact Julie or Dawn at Seedlings, 734-427-8552.  You may also call The Kroger Company direct at 1-800-837-4483 with any questions.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Itinerary is Here!

Hurrah!  We finally know when we're going to be where!  Here it is....




Sat, May 2

Arrive in BJ; Coordinator will meet you at the airport and help you check in the hotel close to the airport.

Shenggang Express Hotel

Sun, May 3

Coordinator will help you with the hotel/airport transfer when you leave for Hefei.

Fly to Hefei by HU7307 (8:50a-10: 35a)

Holiday Inn Downtown Hefei

Mon, May 4

You will meet child today.  Start the adoption process (orphanage donation is 35,000 RMB, approx $5100 US dollars)


Tues, May 5

Adoption paperwork process


Wed, May 6

Sightseeing: Three Ancient River Village

Bill will take flight back to Beijing by CA1580 (19:50p-21: 35p)

Coordinator will pick up Bill at the airport and help him check in the hotel.

Coordinator will help him with the hotel/airport transfer when he departure.

Bill will stay at Shenggang Express Hotel in Beijing

Thurs, May 7

Free day


Fri, May 8

Get the all paper back; complete forms for ACS


Sat, May 9

Fly to Guangzhou by CZ3874 (14:30p-16:15p)

White Swan Hotel

Sun, May 10

Free day


Mon, May 11

Medical exam for children


Tues, May 12

ACS appt at 9:30am


Wed, May 13

Go to ACS for oath and get visa in the afternoon (around 6:00pm)


Thurs, May 14

Fly to Beijing in the morning by CA1310 (8:00a-11:00a); Arrive in BJ and Family will go to Bethel Foster Home for the Blind and spend the night. CHI will arrange the transfer from the airport to Bethel.


Fri, May 15

Return to BJ and CHI will arrange the Bethel/hotel transfer in the morning.

Sightseeing: the Summer Palace

Renaissance Beijing Hotel

Sat, May 16

Sightseeing in BJ: TianAnMen Square, Forbidden City and the Great Wall (Juyongguan), lunch is included


Sun, May 17

Sightseeing: the Temple of Heaven in the morning; Lunch at Dai Jia Cun Restaurant; Hutong Tour & Chinese Acrobat Show in the afternoon. (Dinner not included.) 


Mon, May 18

Return to the US


Monday, April 20, 2009

Thank You!

We are so blessed.  People have been popping up and handing us money, using the chip in and sending it through the mail.  The other day at church, Bill ended up with a twenty dollar bill, and has no idea who gave it to him!  We have turned our finances over to God, he knows how much money we need and when we need it by.  God truly does pour out his blessings when you need them.  He doesn't give excess, God's not into waste, but he gives you what you need.  

Please keep us in your prayers.  Not only for the blessings we need financially, but also this is the week Calliandra goes from her beloved Bethel back to her orphanage in Hefei, Anhui.  She'll be traveling Thursday in the company of one of her teachers from Bethel.  I am so glad she'll have someone who loves her accompanying her.  It's scary enough as it is, but if she'd have to do it without her teacher it would be much worse.  So prayers for travel mercies for her, and peace during the journey for her.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tickets are purchased!!

Yes, we are indeed a traveling to China.  We have our consulate appointment, we have our tickets and we're ready to go!  We'll be traveling from 5/1 thru 5/18.  We're doing our trip in reverse this time, ending in Beijing instead of starting there.  We're there a little longer than we expected because the connecting flights between Beijing and the province of Anhui.

Please keep our fundraising in your prayers, because of these extra days, costs are going up that mush more.  If you could spare a Starbucks or two, we've raised thousands on small donations just like that  (over $3000 that way).  Times are tough I know and prayers are just as valuable as money.  Please add us to your church or prayer groups lists, the more prayers the better!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Why we let Acer run into things....

We're not being mean, we're teaching him to use his cane and his hands.  We've provided him with glasses to protect his totally non functioning eyes, but it comes down to.... independence.
 Here is a list from The Nat'l Fed. for the Blind (NFB) with suggestions for educators and aides which we adapted for ourselves.

A poster available upon request from the American Foundation for the Blind
National Literacy Center
100 Peachtree Street, Suite 620, Atlanta, GA 30303
(800) 232-5463 or e-mail Frances Mary D'Andrea at _literacy@..._

It often feels right to give help to students with visual impairments, but this may not be in their best interest. Use this list to help yourself to
step back:

1. You're stepping back so your students can step forward and become independent. Keep this in mind.
2. Clock how long it actually takes for students to start zippers, pick up dropped papers, or find page numbers. What's a few more seconds in the grander scheme?
3. Sit on your hands for a whole task while you practice giving verbal instead of touch cues. Hands off the hands!
4. If you need touch cues, try hand-under-hand instead of
hand-over-hand. This gives students much more choice.
5. Let your students make mistakes and get into trouble. It's part of the human experience!
6. Acknowledge your own needs. There's a reason you chose the helping profession.
7. Sit further away. If you've been within arm's reach, sit just
within earshot. If you've been sitting just within earshot, sit across the room.
8. Pat yourself on the back every time you help with seeing, not thinking. Your job is to give information.
9. Even though helping can feel right, be aware that too much
assistance is short-sighted. Sometimes less is more, less is better.
10. Catch yourself before you correct your students' work. Don't cover for them. This is about their skills, not yours.
11. Commit to no intervention for a whole activity. Take data instead. Things might not fall apart as much as you had expected.
12. "What page are we on?" "What's for lunch?" Have students ask their classmates instead of you, both during school and on the telephone.
13. Assign student learning partners and sighted guides.
14. Teach students to decline assistance, "Thanks, but please let me try it by myself."
15. Whenever you add prompts, include a plan to phase them out.
16. Let the boss know that you need to step back so that your students can be more independent. You're not shirking your responsibilities.
17. Collaborate with other adults to break your habits of helping too much. Agree to remind each other to step back.
18. Try helping only when classroom teachers give you a signal. They may prefer to respond directly or to give students longer to work it out alone.
19. Post a sign, "Are there any other ways I could step back?"
- Adapted from Classroom Collaboration by Laurel J. Hudson, Ph.D.,
Perkins School for the Blind

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More news about Kindle

Here's the National federation for the blind's take on the Kindle issue

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Disturbing news on the Kindle front.

When Amazon released the Kindle 2 electronic book reader on February 9, 2009, the company announced that the device would read e-books aloud using text-to-speech technology.  Under pressure from the Authors Guild, Amazon has announced that it will give authors and publishers the ability to disable the text-to-speech function on any or all of their e-books available for the Kindle 2. 

The Reading Rights Coalition, which represents people who cannot read print,will protest the threatened removal of the text-to-speech function from e-books for the Amazon Kindle 2 outside the Authors Guild headquarters in New York City at 31 East 32nd Street on April 7, 2009, from noon to 2:00 p.m.  The coalition includes the organizations that represent the blind, people with dyslexia, people with learning or processing issues, seniors losing vision, people with spinal cord injuries, people recovering from strokes, and many others for whom the addition of text-to-speech on the Kindle 2 promised for the first time easy, mainstream access to over 245,000 books.

This was the disturbing news I learned today.  To take something that would be so helpful to so many people , including my two VI children, and then say that it's going to have fewer choices.  errgh.  Please click on the title to sign the petition

Also, please visit Charlotte's Angels (link on sidebar). She's working on adoption #4, (child #5) and she's part of a TV station car giveaway.  The trunk on her car is strapped down, it's in pretty bad shape and she could really use your vote.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Travel Approval arrived today!

We (okay, really our agency has) received our Travel Approval today.  There is a holiday this weekend, and the offices in China will re-open on April 7, so our Consulate Appointment should be confirmed 4/8.

Once again, please keep us in your prayers for finances and for wisdom.  We are still trying to decide whether to bring Acer with us or not, and we are trusting in the Lord for our funding.  We have been given Manna, what we need, when we need it, no more no less, all through out this process.  It's been tough for me, a like to have it in the bank woman!

Blessings to you my friends as you have blessed me with your friendship.