Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Annie has rough week.

First, let me say, nothing is more upsetting and gets me angrier than when someone messes with my child.
It started out with an email from Annie saying she lost her cell phone. This same week she lost money from her dorm room. So I quickly shut off the phone so the people who had it didn’t use it. I looked up the numbers that had been called on the phone since she lost it / it was stolen and called them to find out who had been making calls from it. I got a hold of one person that had used the phone and she said that she had borrowed it from someone else so I took down her name and told her to have the other person turn it into lost and found, no questions asked, and that would be the end of it. I ordered Annie another phone and had it activated. The day it got here I emailed her to check in to see how she was doing, and if she was ok.

She emailed me back and it wasn’t good. Her roommate had also “lost” money and her roommate and a friend of her roommate deceided to yell at Annie to find the money and called her a thief. Then they came back later with 7 of the roommates friends and yell/cursed at her some more for taking the money, then when she went to take her garbage out they locked her out of her room to go through her stuff.
Oh I was pissed!

Within 30 seconds of getting that email I was on the phone with UCA making sure that they were going to do something about it. Annie had started to deal with it on her own already. The RA and Housing supervisor where already aware of what was going on and Annie had filed a police report for the stolen money and flash drive. The housing people and RA are working on moving either Annie or her roommate to a different room. I emailed Annie and told her I could come get her for the night but she said she would be fine, she could stay at a girlfriend’s dorm for the night. So I told her I would be there tomorrow to see her.

Then this morning I got an email from Annie’s parents who are every bit as upset as I am. I let them know I was already looking into it and was heading up there today.

When I talked to Annie I found out about the police report she had filed so after we talked for awhile, about friends she has made at UCA and we took this quick photo together, I gave her a phone to use and told her I was off to the police station.

At the police station I checked in at the front desk. I told them my daughter had been verbaly assaulted and I wanted to make sure they were going to look into it. The Captain overheard me and took me back to his office. He had remembered Annie coming in to file the report on the stolen money, phone and flash drive last week, but did not know about her being verbaly assaulted yesterday, so I talked with the Police Department Captain and gave him the phone numbers that had been called from Annie’s phone after it was “lost”. He was genuinely concerned and told me to have Annie come back in and give a statement about what had happened yesterday so he can look into it and to make sure it is on the record, and that Annie or her roommate gets moved to a different room.

I don’t know if these girls thought Annie being from China had no one backing her up, if they did that was a big mistake.

Just because Lori & I are Annie’s host parents while she is here, and she has parents in China that love and care for her deeply, doesn’t mean we love her or care about her well being any less than we do Brandon’s, and it definitely doesn’t mean we won’t protect her and fight for her safety and rights while she is in America.

I understand with the population of UCA being over 12,000 you are going to run into some really crummy people. Just be prepared for me to use everything in my power to get you and your cohorts thrown out of school, or at the very least a mark put on not only your permanent record at school but also legal records if you come after one of my kids.
Now I need to go drink some water and calm down for a bit.

Full-Moon Festival Families

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Float trip down Saline River

Last week was Lori’s vacation so we all took off and went for a canoe trip down the Saline river. So much for relaxing because of the recent hurricanes that had come through there were trees down across the river in places where you were sucked through and over limbs of the down trees in the fast current. Then there were times when the river would open up wide like in the photos and it was nice. By the time we got done Lori said she didn’t have any adrenaline left and that she "didn't want to get all girlie" but she may start crying.
Glen and Brandon in their canoe.

Boats pulled over so that we could fish.

Brandon giving the "thumbs up" for the miniscule bait fish that he caught. Look really close, it's that little speck even with his head.

Sneaky snake. Lori almost stepped on him.

This was the spill way that the guide said we could just go over. Ha!
Note to self if you aren’t sure of how big the drop-off is and you get out and float your canoe over the drop off and the canoe turns sideways just as it is going over the falls it WILL fill with water in two seconds,
yeah no kidding, I did it!

Catching some bait.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Body and Hot Springs

We were walking down the street in Hot Springs and lo and behold there was a giant spitting frog. Well, how can you not take a picture of that.

At the same resturant as the spitting frog there was the "rock garden", of course. Someone has a sense of humor.

Alot of the buildings had murals on the sides and it looked like some of the apartments above the buildings were occupied. Hopefully when they are done with refurbishing the city they will all be available for lease.

We went to an italian resturant to eat lunch. Awesome food by the way. Lori had chicken and portobello ravioli and I had chicken parmesan. Lori said she felt like this giant head was going to fall on her the whole time.

It's a mural of Garvan Gardens. We've been there!

This bath house had a dome on it that we both said looked like something that you would normally see on a mosque. When we read the plaque that tells about the history of the bath house we saw that it was built with influences from Africa.

This person was painting watercolors of the bath house and was nice enough to let me take her picture. She is obviously very talented.

I chased down this poor butterfly and took his/her (couldn't get close enough to tell) picture in front of the Mi America Science Museum.

Not quite sure what this is but it is the first thing that you see when you walk in the museum.

I was thirsty. That's all I'm saying.

We came to the museum to see the "Our Body" exhibit. It was really fascinating. There were lots of Anatomy and Phisiology students there with their professors and Lori even saw one of her nursing school instructors there. The exhibit was amazing. They wouldn't let us take pictures inside so we have to settle for a picture of the book they had on sale out front. The bodys and organs were displayed in a way that let you see the muscles, nerves, vessels, ect. . They even had a head cut into slices and then the 6 slices were on spinning display sticks so that you could look at all the structures. They also had an entire body cut into long slices so that all the organs were visible.

Garvan Woodland Gardens

Garvan Gardens is located in Hot Springs. There are paths all over the place with lots of beautiful waterfalls and trees. The weather was great.

These little green lizards were everywhere. They would jump from limb to limb and then disappear from sight.

They had a whole miniature scene set up with trains and depots.

There was a collection of bonsai trees that Glen was drooling over.

Cool looking bench.

The prisoners were there cleaning up from hurricane Ike damage. We figured it was a good use of state funds and a chance for the inmates to get outside.

These bushes with the purple berries were everywhere. Anyone know what they are?

Glen getting one of the new koi pedicures. These guys would come swimming like their behinds were on fire when you started throwing out the fish food.

No, we don't know how to set up the camera with the timer. A nice couple offered to take our picture for us and we took theirs together in return.

Glen has a thing for bagodas (sp?)

Monday, September 15, 2008

A break from battling paint to Tattoo kids from head to toe.

Lori putting a tattoo on a small girl with chocolate all over her mouth. We had to start putting them on their faces because their arms were covered. Lori asked one little girl that already had a set of "sleeves" going. "Would you like it on your leg." She looked up at Lori with excitement in her eyes and asked "You can do that?"
Just thinking out loud but maybe they won’t put us in charge of the tattoo station next year.
One thing I do know is this is the last moon festival we will attend without Norah. All events that come to pass this year will be the last ones without our daughter. She is some
where in China making it through day after day not knowing of the huge changes that are about to take place in her life. The amount of love and attention coming her way. So I welcome Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas this year not with a heavy heart but with joy that they will finally be the last ones I will have to face without Norah.

We have had an all out war on paint going on two fronts at our house. First Lori has been trying to finish up Norah’s wall art in her bedroom. She took a year hiatus from it when Annie was here for school. Now that she is a big college girl we have the room back, so Lori has been trying to finish it up.

My nemesis, three layers of porch paint. The paint started chipping off the porch, not as bad as what is in the photo, I just forgot to take a before photo, this is after two days of working with a power washer and stripper. Never mind the ugly columns we will replace them when we have the extra money, after the adoption.
I still have more stripping to do today but had it cleaned off enough to cut my lines in the concrete to make it look like tile. Then when I do get all the remaing paint off we are going to stain the concrete to look like tile. You can kind of get an idea of how it is going to look. Having never done it before I’m just winging it!

you can see the stripper only works so good.