Saturday, July 01, 2006

New Swap Member

1. Name
We are David, Laura and Sydney Marusa from Colorado. David is a software developer for a school district and Laura works for a real estate developer, banker, movie producer, race car driver, minor league hockey and basketball team owner, pilot…in other words, a wealthy businessman. Sydney is our 3 yo daughter who is anxiously awaiting her little sister. We have two cats, Garbo and Blizzard. Our family website: but it only contains pictures.

2. Girl or Boy requested
We have requested a girl.

3. Age requested
The age we requested in our dossier was 6-18 months; however, we have had it changed to reflect up to 36 months.

4. Child’s name
Her name will be Campbell Jo (Chinese name) Marusa.

5. Nursery/theme
Boyd’s Bears, Boyd’s Bears and more Boyd’s Bears!! Very girly colors.

6. Likes/dislikes
We enjoy our Friday nights and dislike Monday mornings!!

7. Hobbies/Collections
We spend most of our weekends on the lake. David is a boating enthusiast and is building a mahogany boat. He also enjoys gardening and spends a lot of his time on remodeling projects around the house. Laura enjoys scrapbooking, shopping, reading, event planning and decorating our home…is also hoping to take up golfing. Sydney enjoys dancing, reading, puzzles and drawing. She loves to collect horses.

8. Favorite fragrance or scent
David won’t let me bring anything into the house that is too floral smelling.

9. Favorite author or books
Laura is currently reading the Left Behind series of books, as well as the Lost Daughters of China and The Martha Rules. I have a stack of parenting books and other books that I have yet to get to…but once I finish one of the two I’m currently reading, I’ll dive into something else. Sydney loves to have anything read to her. She loves stories about animals (especially horses). David is currently reading the Hillary Clinton book and just got done with the Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter books.

10. Favorite movies
I don’t know if we have favorite movies…but we do watch a lot of movies. We enjoy action, comedy, drama, and chick flicks.Sydney loves Spirit, MickeyMouse, VeggieTales and other animated movies.

11. Favorite music
My iPod contains a variety of everything…country, classical, pop, disco, Christian…you name it, I have it. David listens to NPR and Laura listens to KLOVE. We also enjoy listening to Barry Manilow, Elton John, Michael McDonald, Jim Brickman.

12. Registered at what store(s)
We haven’t registered anywhere. I’m not sure of the proper etiquette which adoption…also, considering I had two baby showers while I was pregnant with Syd.

13. Anything else you’d like your secret pal to know about you?
We think we have a little girl. There was some question about whether we would be able to adopt her, since she was with another agency’s waiting child list. We received word (today, in fact), that both agencies are working together to bring her home. She is 3 years old. I think Sydney is going to have a difficult time adjusting to a sister that is only 6 months younger…she really wants a “baby” baby sister.

We look forward to sharing our experience and journey with another waiting family.

Friday, June 30, 2006

A HUGE Thank You to Catherine's Secret Pal!!!

So sorry this has taken me a while to post. I was on vacation for the majority of June and just moved back home today. Thanking you was one of my first priorities!

When I arrived home from Calgary, Alberta I found a large, heavy envelope waiting for me! secret pal really outdid herself this month and I am so very, very thankful!

She thought of absolutely everything I'll need to pamper myself! One of the first items I found was a magnetized pad of paper entitled, 'Catherine's To Do List.' The first page had been filled out with the following:

Pamper Myself
1. Relaxing bath
2. Facial
3. Pedicure
4. Manicure
5. Indulge
6. Sit back and breathe deeply
7. Relax and Enjoy

Along with that she had included a whole bunch of things that will help me do exactly what she suggested! In a cute gift bag there was: A Pillar Candle, Moisture Lotion, Facial Scrub, Foot Scrub and Lotion, Bath Salts, Foaming Bath Cream, Tea Bags, Nail file and polish (a beautiful soft pink colours with sparkes in it!) plus a Mango Curry Dip Mix...yumm! I absolutely love Mango and my time in India (which my secret pal didn't even know about!) gave me a love for curry years ago! What fun!

Also included in the package was a chocolate bar AND a HUGE box of Lindt chocolates! Oh yah...loving the single thing right now as I can enjoy them for weeks, one at a time. Mmmmm...

Believe it or not...she didn't stop there! Also included in the package was a beautiful soft pink scrapbook! Does she know me or not? I think she may be been reading my blog because she sure knows me well and couldn't have chosen more appropriate gifts!

Thank you Secret Pal!!! You're the Best!!!

I think I'm going to start the long weekend off right by pampering myself. Hmmm...wonder what I'll do first? Who am I kidding....I'm off to eat chocolate!!! LOL!

Thank you to the Guschel's Secret Pal!

Thank you so much! And so sorry to take so long to post. I was away on a business trip to Minnesota when my husband called and said a "package" had arrived with no return address. Well I knew exactly who my package was secret pal!My husband asked if I wanted to wait to open the package when I got home, but I told him I wanted him to experience the thrill of opening gifts from our secret pal just as I have over the last several months. He got such a kick out of opening each individually wrapped package and then trying to describe the contents.
Well.... as you can see I got a wonderful package of jasmine tea that I can't wait to brew. Also rose scented (and shaped!) candles. The circular box in the upper left corner has wrapped candy, yum (haven't eaten yet), will treat myself when I've lost several more pounds :-). There is a small book with gift certificates for "mummy" that Renee can give me, I just love it!!
And last but not least is the bib. Isn't it just adorable? It's pink and has what looks like a giraffe design on it. John my DH not only chuckled when he saw it, but had a fun time trying to describe it to me over the phone.
Secret pal, again thank you for your thoughtfulness and attention to detail. It is a pleasure and a priviledge to travel this journey with you.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Leilani says Thanks to her Secret Pal!!!!

First-Thanks so much for the gifts! It was mailed in a cute Hawaiian mailer ! I couldn't even wait to get home to open it-I ripped it open in the car! There was a photo album and a very cute frame for the referral picture-matches the lavender color in her room too. A cute little glass ladybug will make her home where I can see her to remind me the wait is worth it-then I opened the wrapped gift.... There was a gift I had on my registry! That is so special to me because I have never had a baby or a baby shower, so it meant even more to me-it is baby sunscreen and sunglasses-pink of course- for the California sunshine. THANK YOU secret pal you ROCK!!!! (even if you ARE theme challenged-you more than overcome it!!!! :-) Jan (and Leilani)

Thanks to the Schlotterback Secret Pal!!!

I received my June surprise and I just want to say Thank you thank you thank you!!!

The dress you sent for baby Schlotterback is one I almost bought at BRUS!!! That is so cool, because I wanted it!!!

I love the picture frame and the bath and body goodies. Moonlight Path is my favorite scent of all time, and juniper breeze is another favorite!! I just ran out of shower gel, so your gift came at an awesome time!

Derek's not home yet, so he hasn't opened his gift yet. It's driving me batty- I want to open it so badly! But I'll wait. Another exercise in patience, right?

Let's see if Blogger will let me upload some pictures...

Thank you so much!!!

And thank you for the MAY gift that I was so bad to post about.... I promise I will do better!

I LOVE CLASSIC POOH!! Rest assured these guys will be loved and played with all the time! I'll even share with our baby when she comes home!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New Swap Member

Name: Brian & Debbie Roberts, Owasso, OK. 2 biological daughters who have outgrown the nest. Brian works for a company that repairs, replaces and maintains circuit breakers and incoming power to large facilities. I am a church secretary for a Southern Baptist Church

Girl or Boy requested: Girl - Everything indicates a girl, even our letter to adopt indactes our desire to adopt a girl and we even mentioned her name in our letter

Age requested: As young as possible

Child’s name: Darci Danae (Chinese name) Roberts

Nursery/theme: Baby pink & green toille, cream, light pink & light green chenille & pink, green, cream plaid. Zebra print accents. I am making all of her bedding. I am also making her diaper bag out of an old pair of my jeans and bedding material. She has a white crib and we will get white furniture. She has a Pottery Barn Kids oversize chair with a pink cover

Likes/dislikes: Likes - Stampin Up Products, Longaberger Baskets, Brighton, Milk Chocoalate & Carmael (no peanuts, all other nuts are okay)

Hobbies/Collections: Scrapbooking, Stamping (card making), crafts andthing I can do or learn that is creative

Favorite fragrance or scent: Citrus, flowers, Dream from Brighton

Favorite author or books: Don't really have a favorite, not a real big reader, however I have enjoyed reading many books about Chinese adoptions, life in China and almost anything related to adoption or China

Favorite movies: The old Willy Wonka and the Chocolte Factory with Gene Wilder

Favorite music: Christian, Country, just about anything except Rock

Registered at what store(s): Not registered anywhere yet

Anything else you’d like your secret pal to know about you? If I could anything in the world, I would live by the beach where it never gets cold and do absoutely nothing but lay in the water!!!! I am a sun worshipper (not literally) and anything I can lay in the sun, I am lovin' it!!! We have a miniture dachshund "Barney" who is our spoiled child at this point. Looking forward to helping pass the time by exhanging gifts with someone I might meet while in China.

Thanks to Dave & Di's awesome Pal!

Hello Dear Pal~
We were just thrilled once again with the gifts you sent, which just happened to come during a week when I needed cheering-up.
We received a lovely beach/picnic bag full of picnic gear, games, & snacks.
As you can see, we already started eating the snacks (that's Dave reaching for more delicious chips), because even though we are dieting, we know that secret pal snacks are fat free and only 1 calorie! "And we are enjoying the heck out of them!" she wrote, all the while munching a mini-Milkyway.
The picnic idea is a great one I think, very clever! We are going to take your advice and try to get some picnics/weekend trips together before we have to start reserving a room with a crib! (Although we can't wait for that too :).
Can you believe it's 3 presents already? I feel like our wait is just going to fly thanks to you Secret Pal.
We wanted water bottles for jogging, by the way, so those were extra fantastic to see in the bag.
The bag is very pretty too. I am using it for my carry-on when we fly home to visit family this Thursday.
Thanks so much; can't wait to meet you in China!
Have a lovely week/4th of July.
Dave & Di

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A HUGE thank you to Kris Swindler, my June book buddy!

I have to share with all of you how truly thoughtful this woman is! We were both born in the same Camden Hospital, even though I am in California now, what a coincidence! Anyway, she sent me (and Leilani too) Love you like Crazy Cakes and Round is a Mooncake! These are GREAT books, but to top it off-she included butterscotch Tastykakes-something I love and miss dearly Funny how you can crave junk food you can't find) THANKS for your great gifts-I am in heaven!

"Tack så mycket" to the Lindbergs' Secret Pal!

Thank you, wonderful Secret Pals! We got a box today full with fantastic things just for us: An aromatherapy candle, Bubble bath, Massage Cream and Herbal Soap, all with my favorite fragrance: Lavender! To go with this a lovely bath thingy (see upper right in picture - I don't know the word in English). We also got a box of Oolong tea (sooo trendy in Sweden right now!) and about a hundred tea bags of different kinds! This is super, because we are great tea drinkers. My DH got two CD:s especially made for him: Lots of Jazz and Alternative Mix. He's a music lover, so he's very happy! I hope I'll be allowed to listen in... This was all packed together with a beautiful card in a homemade purple pillow case. Secret Pals - you are spoiling us! Tack så mycket! (Thanks a lot!)
Emma & Dan Lindberg from Sweden

Monday, June 26, 2006


A great big thank you to our secret pal! We were so excited! Steve just loves the best buy gift certificate and can't wait to use it, our best buy opens in July. Buddy and Bella love their new toys and treats (pic included). I tried to get them to hold their toys but they were being stubborn. And I love the bath and body works stuff, Thank you sooooo much! You are great!

New from NC

Hi my name is Maryellen and I am married to Chris, and we have 2 children Ben (11) and Hannah (9) we have a yellow lab named Murphy and a cranky cat named Sasha . We have lived in NC for about 8 years and love it!! I am a special ed teacher and my husband owns a sports apparel company. We love to travel and can't wait for our trip to China! Speaking of China, we have requested a girl 12-24 months of age. We decided on her name even before we submitted our dossier....Her name is Sophia (her Chinese name if I can say it:) Gene (Chris's grandfathers name. He passed away a few years ago and we know that he would be beyond happy with a new great grandchild). Sophie will be sharing a room with Hannah. We have everything all set to go. Hannah picked the color etc. I am going down the list of questions to answer: I don't have any strong dislikes, well ok , the Wiggles drive my nuts. I love to knit, read and travel. Its great to have the summers off with the kids. We hang out at the pool, and still have time to get our "housework" done before Dad gets home :) You can visit our blog to see what we have been up to this summer.

New to the Group from Ohio

Good Morning,

We are Kelly and Joseph Shook from Copley, Ohio and it is our pleasure to be a part of the March 2006 DTC Secret Pal Exchange.

A little about us. Joe is an auditor for the Department of Defense and I am repsonsible for the automated library system at Kent State University. I also work as a part-time instructor at Archivers, which is a huge scrapbooking, rubber stamping and card making store. Joe and I just celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary in May. We began our adoption research 2 1/2 years ago and decided on CCAI out of Denver, CO. We completed our application August 2005 and we have a LID of March 29, 2006. We asked for a girl as young as possible as she will be our first and perhaps only child. We have decided to name her Isabella Rose.

Isabella's room will be decorated in a Cherished Teddies motif. Cherished Teddies our resin teddy bear figurines created by Priscilla Hillman. I have been collecting them for over 10 years. My collection is quite extensive and I want my daughter to share in my love for this collection. The artist uses pastel colors so her room will be pale yellows, pinks, blues and greens. My sister who is an artist will be painting these bears along with a few lady bugs on her shelves and furniture.

Joe's hobbies include: stamp collecting, golfing and target shooting. He also enjoys watching TV and movies and spending hours on the internet researching a variety of topics. He just passed his Certified Internal Auditor test and is in the process of studying for the CPA test. He loves Starbucks coffee and any kind of chocolate. Joe likes to read books on accounting, auditing and estate planning. His favorite movie is Casablanca although I would have to say he loves all movies. His musical tastes include Cheryl Crow, jazz and classical.

My hobbies include: scrapbooking, rubber stamping and card making. I also collect Cherished Teddies and teddy bears of any kind. I enjoy taking pictures with my digital camera as well as crocheting and needlepoint. I love to cook and bake. Lately I have been reading books on adoption, Chinese adoption, China, child rearing and children's books but I always love a good romance novel by Nicholas Sparks. My favorite movies of all times is Gone with the Wind, The Titanic and Mask (starring Cher). I would love to see more movies but it just seems like there is no time. My musical tastes our well rounded: I was raised with music from the 50's but I also like the current music as well. My favorite artists include: Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Cher, Phil Collins, Donna Summers, Beach Boys, Ace of Base, Billy Joel, Martina McBride and Uncle Kracker. My favorite store is Bath and Body Works where I am drawn to the fruitier smells.

In our spare time we volunteer our services to the Families with Children from China of Akron-Canton group. Joe is currently the treasurer and I am the Membership and Newsletter Editor. We really enjoy this group and have met a lot of great people.

We have not registered at any stores as of yet but will the closer we get to receiving our referral.

We are really looking forward to this secret pal exchange and being able to help our pals wait time to go more quickly with anticipation of receiving monthly gifts from us!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Thanks for the goodies!!

Hey, Secret Pal! I have to tell you something. You remind me so much of my best friend who I have had since college (almost 20 years). You have identical taste and the gifts that you have given me remind me so much of her. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, so we only see each other about twice a year, but it is just so funny how I opened up your presents and I thought about her. I love all of my goodies. I am beyond a chocoholic and loved the tumblers also. I am not so sure that I will be sharing with the boys! Can't wait to try out the rasberry tea also! I will post a pic tomorrow or maybe sooner. You are the greatest and I couldn't ask for a better secret pal!

New to group.

Thanks to Reeves/Kaufmann Secret Pal

Dear Secret Pal!
It was a trying week last week, with 110 degree temps, too much work to do, you name it. So imagine my delight when I received your wonderful package! We needed some "Desert Spa" and you delivered! WOW! What great gifts! Everything smells yummy and will be so fun! I especially love the massager knuckles! I also like the kitty card.. I looooove kitties.
Thanks so much for all of your thoughtfulness. Alison