Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Ok, my ears are KILLING ME tonight! I still have that "underwater" sound, and was told I would for a week or so. And, to top it off, I'm very dizzy. Really-- I don't have TIME for dizzy! I'm leaving for Serbia and Bulgaria on the 5th, and there is A LOT to do! I have about 90 pounds of toys and supplies to pack, three chapters of Algebra to do, a research paper, and three essays to write! All by Friday. Really...I don't have time.
BUT--I won't be in excruciating pain when I fly, which is why I had it done! And that makes it all worth it right there.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Absolutely LOVE this luggage!
Pros: Durable, Looks great, Roomy
Cons: Haven't Found Any Yet
It's hard to buy luggage online, because you just don't know for sure how much space it really has, etc. I have to say, I LOVE this stuff! It is extremely durable, and has just the space I need! I also bought two bigger pieces from the same line (rolling duffles) and they are AWESOME! And, I have to say, I love the color too. I bought the Apple Green, because I wanted to be able to easily pick out my luggage on the carrousel. These are great, without being gaudy, and I have yet to see another like them at the airport!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I wrote a tutorial on my favorite forum about watermarking, and am posting it here as well.
Other than NOT posting pictures, the only way to protect your pictures from crap like this is to make sure you have them watermarked! HOWEVER, DO NOT put your watermark down in a corner, or any other place that it can be cropped out. You need to put it right smack dab across the middle of your picture. Then, once you have your watermark on there, make sure you EMBED it into the picture!
So, your picture would now look something like this:
1) Make a text box, place it where you want on the picture
2) Highlight the text, and set the translucency level to your liking.
3) Now "Save as" and rename the picture.
4) Embed the text into the picture. This means you're making the text box and the picture into all one item. If you forget to "save as", you will forever have this text box on your picture, so if this is your only copy of the picture, you've just wrecked it! Doing a "save as"means you're creating a new version of the original.
All programs are a little different. If you can't find where to perform a certain action, use your program's "help" index to find it.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
UNICEF has come the the rescue! Or have they?
Conditions in the institutions haven' t changed all that much. In fact, this video was aired on Dateline NBC on August 29, 2008.
That's just a part of it. Go here to read the FULL article, including Ann Curry's conversations with parents of children who have disabilities.
How is it that the Serbian government has studied pilot projects, and in 2006 started assessing orphans, yet in this video, one of the Governement ministers in charge of institutions, Rasim Ljajic, had no idea what the conditions were like in the institutions? He said he was "new to the job" and "Hadn't yet visited the institutions."
UNICEF has gotten involved. It sounds good, doesn't it? When it comes to Down syndrome, it will take a VERY LONG TIME to change the attitudes of medical professionals and birth parents of children who have Down syndrome or other more significant disabilities. While the ultimate goal of Connecting the Rainbow is to work with the families who have chosen to keep their children, those who have already been abandoned, or who will be in the next couple of years while the process of social change happens, will all sit....waiting...there will still be many in orphanages and institutions....dying.
Thankfully organizations like Comber have sprung up in Romania. Perhaps someday Comber and CTR can work together for the families of Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries? In just a few short weeks Shelley and I will be in Serbia, meeting with people there who have the ability to improve the situation for orphans with Down syndrome and other disabilities until they can find a forever home.
Monday, March 08, 2010
The dates we're looking at now will having me missing 2 weeks of classes, and get me home just in time for finals week. (while recovering from jet lag!) For one class, I will only miss 2 sessions. So far that professor seems fine about me going (maybe even a little excited for me?) But we have a group project going on. I don't know what we'll have to be doing for our final, but I'm hoping my part involves a lot of writing because I can do that while in Bulgaria, and if need be I can email it to one of my group members.
Another class is all writing. I have 3 papers due, plus a research paper as my final. I'm going to try to have all of them done before I leave. I *should* be able to do this if I manage my time well!
Today I started a new class, and THAT professor is not happy that I'll be gone. His first argument was that it was going to mess up my financial aid, so I checked in with student services and they said no, it wouldn't. If I was dropping the class completely it would, but just being gone would not be a problem. I ran back down to the professor and let him know, who responded with, "What's the deadline to drop the class?" In other words, "Drop the class because I don't want to deal with it." There will be two chapters covered while I'm gone, which I could work on while I'm in Bulgaria (Sorry Shelley, but I'll be having the lights on till all hours of the night!) Then the final as soon as I get back. (have I mentioned I'll be suffering from jet lag while taking finals???) This situation needs a lot prayer. I don't have a problem missing the class, and I'm confident in my ability to keep up during those two weeks. My professor, on the other hand, isn't so happy. I need prayer about how to deal with him. Don't get me wrong, he seems like a really nice guy, and is very pleasant, but he has his limits.
Serbia: Have I mentioned that Shelley and I will be making a little stop in Serbia? Yeah, just a little one! LOL You know...hop on over to Serbia for a couple days of R & R ! HA!!! More details on that soon. Lets just say I'm also praying I can get my new camera before I go, cuz I'm gonna NEED IT!!!!!
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Unless you're adopting from Bulgaria! LOL In Bulgaria you don't arrive in country until approximately 2 weeks LATER, when the birth certificate is supposed to be completed. So, it looks like we'll be traveling sometime around April 5th.
Oh..umm...have I mentioned we're also making a stop in Serbia? Just a little side trip to discuss adoption related issues there. More on that later.
Now, to figure out how to get me from Minnesota, Shelley from Alabama, and all the donated stuff (which is both in MN and AL!) to Bulgaria all.at.the.same.time!!! I think that might be the most difficult part of the entire trip! LOL
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Joyce, who is a frequent commenter here, and her husband own a medical billing company, and they know the tricks of the trade! She has posted some really important tips if you've been having trouble getting some services covered. I know many of you will find this helpful! But if things are all good in your neck of the woods, maybe you know someone else who is struggling to get through the scrub brush!
So, hope on over to Joyce's blog and have an enlightening course in Medical Billing 101! Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of the post!
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I've raised all the money I need for my Bulgaria trip, and we're just waiting for a travel date. We're really hoping to have it by the end of the week! Please join my in prayer that we are traveling the last week of March. That is about the only week that won't seriously affect school! Then, once we get the date, please pray that getting arrangements for Angela figured out doesn't turn into some kind of problem! I'm going to have to coordinate schedules between Dean and Angela's dad, which could be interesting!
I have a few really cute pictures on my camera. Unfortunately my camera decided to die! This is one of those good/bad things. It's bad, because...well..my camera died! But I bought it for $100 on craigslist over a year ago, and it served me well. But it's never been what I WANTED. And I have to be honest, usually once I decide I WANT something, I usually find a way to get it somehow! So, at the moment I'm trying to decide if I have enough money to get the camera I WANT, and maybe take a quick class before going to Bulgaria so I know what to do with it, like TURN IT ON! LOL
Speaking of school, it's going well! Remember that math class I was scared to death about? So far I have an A! Finals are on Friday, so please join me in prayer that I will maintain my GPA! Then, in 2 weeks I need to re-take a placement test to see if I move to the top of the waiting list for the program I wanted to get into in the first place.
This week I'm working on my thesis and outline for a persuasive research paper. Yuck. I thought I knew what I was doing it on, but I'm not quite feeling it yet. I really need to feel it to make it a good paper. I also have to do an argumentative paper due next week. Considering I usually avoid confrontations (no...really!) I'm having trouble with the topic.
Angela's school issue is not yet resolved, which reminds me I need to call the attorney tomorrow morning to find out where we're ate.
OH, and I also need to call the ENT and see if I can get tubes in my ears before the Bulgaria trip! When Angela and I went to Boston in December, it took 6 weeks for my hearing to return to normal because my Eustachian tubes were such a mess from flying. Flying several international flights over the course of a few days would be beyond miserable! (the decent of the plain causes a feeling like icepicks being jabbed into my ears, and my hearing nearly disappears!) I saw the ENT shortly after we returned from Boston and he said tubes would take care of the problem. So...tomorrow I need to rememeber to call!
I think that's about it. What a boring post without pictures!!!!!