Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I recently decided that my current software package for managing my digital photos was not meeting my needs. In my search for new software, I cast about to see what other people were using in the hopes that there was indeed better software out there. My father-in-law passed this question to a friend of his who has spent time looking for exactly this same type of software, and the recommendation that came back was Picasa, which is owned by Google and is freely (as in beer) available for download. While a very small download (much smaller than the software I was using, which came from the manufacturer of my camera), it has already sold me on its usefulness and easy interface.

Monday, December 6, 2004

God’s Providence in Fortune Cookies

For those readers who know us apart from this site, this will not come as a surprise, but Amy and I are working to adopt a child from China! We started the paperwork in January of this year, and we hope to travel to China in late February or early March to bring back our son or daughter. Working through the various steps of adoption has been an incredible process for us individually and as a couple. We have learned a great deal about ourselves, about each other, and about our great God and Father who has adopted us into his family and made us heirs to the kingdom. God's providence has sustained us and His grace has carried us through the long wait.

During this time, we have joined a number of mailing lists full of people who are adopting or have adopted from China, and the exchange of information and ideas has been encouraging, but eye-opening as well. There are all sorts of superstitions (most only lightly held) relating to adoption, such as the appearance of lady bugs being a sign that referrals are about to be sent. (For those who haven't gone through this process, the referral is what they call the package sent to you by the Chinese government containing the name and picture and whatever other information they have on your child. We are still waiting for our referral, and are hoping that it will arrive in early January, if not sooner.) Other little "signs" are also held to be significant to the process. As I said, most of these are tongue-in-cheek, but it does not take much to get a group of waiting parents excited! Each time we see posts on this subject, it reinforces our joy and profound security in knowing that God is in control of this process, and not superstitions or mysterious fates and chance.

I say all of that to set the context for this story. Last night, Amy and I went to Pei Wei (one of our favorite restaurants) and had a nice dinner talking about the future and about our child whom we do not yet know, but whom God knows and has in His hand. After dinner, we each picked up a fortune cookie, which we typically laugh at as ridiculous and often nonsensical, only to be reminded that God has a sense of humor and is guiding all events in our lives. Amy's fortune said "You will soon be crossing the great waters." My fortune then went straight to the point in saying "A short stranger will soon enter your life!"

New Features

I've been told recently that I need to be better about updating my site. With that in mind, I thought I would post several links to areas of the site I've been working on but have not linked to the main page yet. I hope to add them to the sidebar somewhere soon.

First (and covered previously though not with much fanfare) is a webcam I have set up in the office. The scenery is pretty boring, but I just might be convinced to get a longer cable and move this into the nursery after we complete our adoption! There is a button you can click on to refresh the picture, though I'm still struggling to find time to work out the kinks. You will probably have to click the button and then force your browser to refresh if you want to see the updated image. Did I mention that not much happens in the office, so the scenery will be boring? Ok, just don't say I didn't warn you...

Next, as mentioned once or twice previously, I have set up a package on my site for storing photo albums from which visitors can order prints through several services. As you'll see, I have added a gallery of Amy's photos from China. They are unedited in quality and quantity at the moment, so viewing them all may take a while! The software behind this project is found at the Gallery homepage.

Finally, I set up this nifty little area for managing recipes. Amy and I have only entered a few so far, but it's a start, and I am working on a script to import recipes from other electronic formats, so check back soon. If you want to be able to enter recipes, let me know and I'll set up an account for you. The more, the merrier! For more info on the software behind this part of the site, visit the Recipants site.

Well, that's all I've got, at least until I find another fun way to expand the site....