Posts Tagged ‘zaza’

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Bag for Zaza!

August 17, 2009


Yes, sewing has been slow lately, but there is a hum-dinger of a bag up for auction at, thanks to my mother and her wonder machine.  Go look at the fancy-shmancy stitching on this bag.  She was showing off, fo sho!  Silk and velvet fuzzy dots, to boot!  Thanks Mom, and Jennie!

Other exciting adoption fundraising news:  We started a media drive and have made over $250 so far!  whoooo hoooooo.  Friends donated videos, CDs, DVDs, books, and video games that we have been selling at a 2nd hand store and on ebay.  (I’ve been highly amused at the beer and enima boxes that the media arrived in!)  Here’s a link to 6 VHS VeggieTale videos:  (No, I still can’t get the link thing working….)  Then click on ‘see other items’ to view our 19 current auctions!  Something for everyone…. and something very special for that tribulation-loving person.  Thanks friends!

AND, if having books and videos stacked all over my family room is not exciting enough, a friend of Larisa’s is doing his version of Take Home Chef and donating 75% to bringing Zaza home!  M3: Matt’s Meals on a Mission.  Matt has been in drama with Larisa for quite a few years and is in his senior year.  He is taking culinary courses at a Scottsdale college.  So if you live in the Phoenix area and eat food, check out his blog and have him over to cook and clean up!  He’s also very entertaining.  Thanks Matt!

Jennie Lynne makes her appearance!

July 15, 2009

Dolly 009

This is Jennie Lynne.  She is a Doll for Zaza…. meaning: she’s for sale on the Bags for Zaza site, but she’s not a bag.  Something new.  Something different.  The perfect Christmas gift for the little lady in your life.  Initially I made her for our Zaza, but then I decided to make Zaza’s with darker skin, brown eyes and black hair.  So this fair Scandinavian beauty is up for auction to help bring Zaza home.  There are many more pictures that you can zoom in on at

Please share the news and help bring Zaza home!

Help is on the Way!

July 12, 2009

Today at church we spoke with a family who just returned from Bogota on Thursday, not for adoption though.  All her family still live there AND she offered a nephew to help us when we get there!  SCORE!  Also the kind lady said that she would be glad to come over and narrate a video of our home that we plan to show to Zaza once we arrive.  I told her I’d call when the house is clean…… yikes!  I’ve read that watchinig the video over and over REALLY helps the child adjust to their new home when they know what to expect.  The book I read suggested starting from driving up to the house and entering the front door.  Then going room by room and pointing out different things in each room.  Another family that made a video said that upon their return home, their new daughter ran straight to her room to “get at the Barbies!”  So adorable. 

Zaza’s Barbies are in a box in the garage and in a drawer in her dresser……  a doll house is definitely needed. I asked my 12 year old son if he would build a doll house when he finishes his summer program (next week!) and he said he would!  I just need to locate a plan online for him to follow.  He’s a whiz with all his power tools.

I also did the travel immunization calls this last week.  OK, I’m not real good with getting needles.  Even that picture makes me cringe.  Everywhere I called it was $165 for the five of us to get in the door and then from $30 up per shot… and we need ELEVEN.  So, for those as great with math as I am, I used the calculator and that’s $495+.  So before completely freaking out, I called our health insurance and found two “approved” shot places that only charge our $10 deductible for each person.   Period.   Thank you, Jesus!

I’m thanking God every day for providing what we need when we need it.

ThE EaSy LiFe

July 8, 2009

fort, bags 006

Ahhhh, summer living.  The relaxed life.  No schedule.  Time on your hands.  No electronic games or movies (as per mom.)  What to do?  What to do?  A blanket fort, of course.  This shelter has been set up in our dining room since Monday.  The boys built it with their cousin, but Keeve is the sole soul sleeping in there, besides the dog.  Why sleep in your bed when you can sleep on the floor?  It’s not exactly “roughing it”.  Keeve brought Zaza’s lamp, his i-home, his gameboy, his hot wheels, his webkins (remember when they were just called stuffed animals?), his water bottle, his notepad and pen, and his light-up elf slippers, etc.  Luxury at his fingertips.

fort, bags 005

The other item in the photo that makes me laugh is the navy blue robe Keeve is sporting.  It was Rick’s “dorm shirt” from TWU “1&2 Lower” from 1985.  I remember him wearing it once or twice since then, but it is on the “extremely short” side of decent.  It is silky and has Chinese symbols on the collar and a big orange tiger on the back.  Keeve thinks it’s like Rocky’s boxing robe…. and ultimately cool.  Go figure!  I’ve tried to talk Rick out of keeping that robe for 24 years.   Finally, someone is wearing it and it’s not just taking up room in the closet. 

Maybe I should have kept my Michael Jackson white leather jacket???  Shoot!

Adoption News Today!

July 7, 2009

Shopping Success!!

July 3, 2009

I knew you would be excited to hear how my day has gone so far… and it’s only half over.  I took my son and his two cousins to VBS and had THREE whole hours by myself to shop.  On the shopping list was a singular item:  a bathroom scale.  It seems our current model checks to see what mood you’re in when you step on it.  It is seriously sinister.  If you look weepy and tired, it adds several pounds to see how you’ll handle it.  If you wake up well rested and peppy… no bags under your eyes… and you’re singing.. it subtracts at least five pounds to add to your joy.  I got on and off and on one morning and got two readings that were TEN pounds apart.  That’s when I decided to buy a new bathroom scale.  Rick said it was user error.  He almost got a scale upside the head, but I was in the middle of believing the lower of the two numbers and felt quite nice at the moment.

Back to shopping.  I descended on TJ Maxx and was immediately sucked into the purse section, but resisted (this time). My middle name should be CLEARANCE!  I am drawn to that section of the store like a bee to honey.   Next, glittery and blingy… the jewelry counter.  And yes, they have clearance jewelry.  Adorable clearance jewelry.  Just this morning as I was putting on my five-year-old swirly sterling silver earrings I decided I would love some new cooler ones.  Well, BINGO!  $8!  Sold!  Then I found two different sterling cross necklaces for awesome prices as well.  One a grad gift and one to take to Colombia.  (I realized AT the jewelry counter that we need to start gathering gifts for those precious women who are taking care of Zaza.)

Then off to the books/stationery/gift wrap section.  (I also figured out last night that before we leave for Colombia I should address all the Thank You cards to all who have lovingly helped us bring Zaza home.)  Can you say Clearance??  I found two boxes of 24 each, handmade rag paper cards with purple flower pieces in them.  Cool.  And $4 each.  Total bargain.  If you happen to be a recipient of one of these cards, know that the original retail price was $24.  You are worth the $24! 

Off to the children’s department.  There has been much talk lately on the Colombian adoption groups about the children being smaller than us North American behemoths.  I know Zaza will be 5 or 6 and could possibly be approaching a birthday (6 or 7!)  so I was on the lookout for size 4-5 items.  Jackpot in the underwear clearance bin!  Pink Polo panties for pennies!  And then right next door was Sketcher glittery sockies with the favorite red tag. I save Rick SOOO much moo-la.

Then it was 11:30 and I had to head back to the church to get the boys.  You guessed right…. without a bathroom scale.

Anne of Avonlea

June 29, 2009

Anne of Avonlea 007

We name all of the Bags for Zaza after books, and this is one of my favorite bags, so I picked one of my favorite books, Anne of Avonlea.  This chic little purse has an extra long strap to sling over your shoulder.  It is made of vintage scraps of table cloths, quilts, a beadspread and Calvin Klein jeans.  I know there is someone out there that this little shabby gem was made especially for.  It will be up for auction this week with all the proceeds going toward bringing home our little girl from Colombia.  You can see many more pictures (and click for zoomed-in shots) on the BFZ site:  Please share this with your friends and help spread the word!

It’s Quiet in Here

June 19, 2009

It’s almost too quiet.  The mother in me keeps thinking, The kids are surely up to no good with all this lack of noise.  But no.  There are no children at home for the moment.  Larisa is on her way home from camp today.  The boys are across the street playing with their cousins.  They’re on an every-other-day schedule with whose house they play at.  Here they have a huge car carpet set up in the loft with about 127 hot wheels all over the place, parked precisely in their parking places.  I’m not sure what they have going on across the street…. but something Lego, I’m sure.

HOW hot wheels 009

I realized yesterday that I’m not getting much accomplished (in my two days since returning from vacation).  It’s because I don’t have a list.  Diligiently I hunted down my day-timer where I painstakingly make my daily lists….. the last three weeks of pages are blank.  (In my defense, I was gone for two of those weeks!)  No wonder I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done.  Lists are amazingly inspiring.  The thrill of checking off that little box cannot be overrated.  Not only are projects completed, blinds cleaned and closets cleared out, but the little row of boxes is checked off…. and that makes me happy.

Today’s list, that has yet to be made with pen to paper, includes: finish a Bag for Zaza (it’s half done), clean ONE blind (it’s a slow process, but it doesn’t make me cry when I do one a day), empty the suitcase, fertilize the lawn, plant Vinca all over the backyard (has to be done after 7 p.m. due to the temperature for me and the flowers) and de-collate my coupons.  Whew.  But just imagine the internal satisfaction of SIX boxes checked off.  Sweet victory!  That’s more than I’ve done in three weeks.

I also need to make a list for the kids of Things To Do during the summer.  They will not be as thrilled with their list as I am with mine.  Guaranteed.  Theirs includes daily piano practice, 30 minutes of reading, multiplication and division flashcards and chores.  (One measly hour…. MAX!)  Sounds like pure torture, doesn’t it?  I can already hear them moaning, “Mooooom, it’s SUMMER!”  That’s when I show them my list and ask if they want to trade.  They never do.  It works every time.  Do they think I’ll just willingly let their brains rot all summer???  Never!  That’s why I’m the mom.

A Bag for Zaza!!!

June 12, 2009


My mother made this beautiful handbag to be auctioned for our adoption of Zaza, our little Colombian princess…. who is still in Colombia waiting for us to come and get her.

To bid on the bag please go to:

To read our adoption news, please go to:

Yes, we’ve been on a sewing sabbatical, but we are slowly getting back in the swing of things.  Please keep checking back at Bags 4 Zaza for more beautiful creations.

Good Times with USCIS

June 3, 2009

Up until 6:00 p.m., today was quite frustrating.  Our VERY important paper from the USCIS that extends the approval our international adoption, the I171-H, has not arrived.  I did my part, but I really should have been on this MONTHS ago. I didn’t realize it was tardy as life got busy as per usual.  Our original I171-H expired in Feb., but in Jan. I sent in the request for the extension.  I did get an I171-H back, but it simply stated that our fingerprints were OK’d for another year and didn’t mention our approval date.  (I still can’t figure out how fingerprints expire???) Our case worker from Texas has been on this for more than a month but getting through to the Phoenix Field Office is like cracking the BIG case.  They do not answer the regular phone… you just leave a message.  They do not return phone calls in any mannerly fashion at all.  It is highly frustrating.

So I took the bull by the horns and drove downtown to the CIS office.  The bull was hiding behind a skinny, little door guard that wouldn’t even LET ME IN!  I explained that I needed to talk to someone inside about our adoption case.  He calmly explained (somewhat mockingly) that I had to make an appointment to get through the untouchable door.  I almost calmly explained that the CIS people do not answer their phone, so HOW COULD I GET AN APPOINTMENT?????   He handed me a brochure IN SPANISH that gave the website where I could set up an appointment to drive all the way back downtown and pay $5 to park AGAIN to talk to a human being behind the forbidden door.  I explained to the little man that the CIS office has deplorable customer service.  He calmly explained that I could let them know how I feel by following the directions on the pamphlet that he gave me.  I said, “IT’S IN SPANISH!”  I could have easily picked him up and swung him around over my head, but I didn’t want to make a scene… and it was 109 degrees today and that would’ve made me all sweaty.  So I left with some dignity intact.

When I arrived home, I whipped out my Spanish paper and went to make an appointment so I could go see the little man for a second time.  Well, seems you have to have a case number to make an appointment.  Adoption approvals don’t have case numbers.  I couldn’t even make an appointment.  I called the 1-800 number and talked to three people who could barely speak English all working for USCIS, who informed me that adoptions are only handled at the field offices.  I asked if anyone knew how I could talk to someone in the Phoenix office and all I got was an email address.  Someone would get back to me in 48 hours.  I emailed our dilemma and went to the kitchen to make dinner.

Rick arrived in the kitchen at that point and I explained how LAME our government offices are… in detail while the steam fumed from my ears.  I couldn’t even leave a complaint on the website without a case number.  Fried chicken and sliced potatoes kept my attention diverted for a while.  Then at 6:00 p.m. the phone rang.  Rick answered and started waving his arm at me while saying, “I think you need to talk to my wife.”  Unbelievably, it was an extremely intelligent, English speaking, kind-hearted woman from the Phoenix CIS Field Office.  She apologized profusely about the delay in our I171-H form.  She explained that she was moved to another office, but saw my email and checked on it herself.  She said it must have been put in…. (she hesitated and stammered)…  “Not the circular file?” I asked.  She laughed and thankfully said no.  Apparently I dotted every i and crossed every t to perfection but the form was not sent in reply.  She will mail out my form in the morning.  THEN she gave me her name and direct number in case I needed any help from CIS again.  I’m sure she was an angel.  I think she may be getting her wings for this act of kindness.  Thank you, kind angel.