{planned is best}

I’ve spent the last two days at home.  Yesterday was a planned day off due to Laps for Little Ones fundraiser on Saturday.  I pretended I was a stay at home mom yesterday.  Or maybe I was just pretending I was a stay at home wife.  Either way, I did things that get neglected because I am usually away from my house from 7am until 430pm M-F.  I woke up before everyone else and started breakfast.  I woke up the two boys that attend school outside of our home in time for them to get ready for school and eat breakfast before they left.  Let me be honest here…I could cook breakfast for them every morning and still make it to work on time.  I just hardly ever do it.  Maybe never is more accurate.  Rob cooks for the two of us (plus the kid that attends school at our home) a lot of the time.  The other two sometimes eat breakfast at school, or (according to a recent review of a checking account) stop for fast food on the way, and sometimes they don’t eat anything at all.  If Rob doesn’t cook for me I might eat some oatmeal & fruit during flock.  I might eat a granola bar, turkey sandwich or oreos on the way to school.  Or I might survive until snack or lunch time with the kids and munch on goldfish crackers, cheese balls or some other preschool delicacy.

{Um.  How did this post become a confession of the Zerbes poor eating habits?}

So, I made a tasty breakfast for the two early boys, drove one of them to school so the other would have a few extra minutes to shave his face get ready for school. It was school picture day, after all.  The day in which his yearbook senior picture would be taken.  And if I’m going to buy the cheapest best picture package for our needs without seeing a proof, I’m going to at least request a hairless face few extra minutes in front of the mirror.  The real senior pictures will be taken at a later date.  By a real photographer that allows you to see proofs before you shell out hundreds of dollars.

{Um. How did this post turn into a rant about school photographers?}

So, yes, I drove Riley to school came home in time to say goodbye to Calvin and chatted with the still-in-bed-boy for a few minutes about what time he usually leaves the house for guitar lessons.  At the appropriate time (that crucial time where you get the most amount of sleep and have exactly the right amount of time to get ready with no sitting around time that could have been used for sleeping), I woke Duncan and he showered while I cooked his breakfast.  After breakfast, his mom picked him up for guitar lessons and I started the dishwasher and the washing machine..and then drifted off to enjoy a quick nap while marveling at the wonder of machines that take care of my chores.  Throughout the day I managed to get nearly all of our (our=Rob and Kate) laundry washed, dried, folded and put away left neatly on the couch.  I tried to talk Rob into finishing my half-done chores when he got home from his full workday, but he just wouldn’t do it.  Have I told you about my clothesline?  I have a clothesline and I really enjoy it.  As in, I get pretty jazzed when I wash a load of laundry and then put the entire load on the line to dry.  I have 5 pair of pants that are plenty long for my 5’10” body.  I’m afraid they would no longer fall into the “plenty long” category if I dried them in the dryer.

{Um.  Is it really dried and dryer?  Why not dryed and drier?  Right?  That’s weird.}

I was drying these {that one I get, you can’t be driing anything, of course} pants, plus a few work shirts and a dress or two, draped across the kitchen table, chairs, benches, etc. under a fast moving ceiling fan overnight on an almost weekly basis.  Then I got this crazy idea that maybe I should ask Rob so string a clothesline between the already set clothesline poles (posts? why am I stuck on these word choices?) in our back yard.  Save a little electricity, free up the table for more table-like activities, and pretend I live in China.

{Most people in China don’t have dryers.}

Because I was doing lots of laundry yesterday and because I had the whole day to get it (almost) done, I went all crazy and even hung some of my other clothes on the line.  Oh yeah.  I hung out all of Rob’s white t-shirts and a few of mine, too.  I hung some of my t-shirts and tank tops.  And all of those pants that are used to being hung out to dry.  It made laundry day a little more exciting.  I crunched a few leaves beneath my sandaled feet.  I didn’t rush to empty a dryer for fear of wrinkled clothes.  I chatted with the neighbors while I hung and gathered.  I didn’t use dryer sheets.  Ok, so we’ve been out of dryer sheets for weeks.  BUT, you don’t need dryer sheets when you hang your clothes out on a line.

And that’s what I did yesterday on my planned day off.  Breakfast, dropped Riley off at school, laundry, dishes, checked a few of Duncan’s algebra assignments, bought some groceries, wrote a couple of blogs, read a million blogs and cooked dinner.

Today was an unplanned day off.  That seems like fun–like a surprise extra day at home.  Only the surprise came in the form of an upset tummy early this morning.  I got up, showered and then crawled back in bed.  Eventually I changed out of my bathrobe and into my pajamas.  I mustered up an appetite and ate a toasted bagel around 1pm.  I got dressed and ate some potatoes for dinner.  I had communicated with my supervisor and my associate teacher via text messaging throughout the morning.  It’s weird for me to miss work.  It hardly ever happens.  Like usually once or twice a year.  So this is it…no more sick days.  I’ll be back 100% tomorrow.  Or at least whatever percentage is functional.  At least 80%–I’m sure of it!

And that, my friends, is how I spent my days.


the reading part is easy…part 2

and now back to the originally scheduled programming…

Papito on Religion and Politics: This is my husband’s blog.  He mostly writes about religion and politics, with a splash of regular stuff, too.  And I’ll go ahead and take this opportunity to explain his nickname, Papito.  We went to Costa Rica shortly after we were married with a group of students.  Near the end of our trip, I asked one of our hosts for a term of endearment that a local wife might use for husband.  She said that it wasn’t very common for men and women to have sweet nicknames for each other, but that sometimes young girls called their boyfriends, papito.  So, that became my sweet nickname for Rob.  I also often shorten it to Papa or Poppy–which is confusing for the people who are already confused by the age difference in our relationship.

<and we’re back>

Run of the Mills: my sister’s blog!  She’s so witty with the title, right?  (Their last name is Mills.) Marianne is blogging about life as a wife and a mommy and I’m totally excited about her Themed Thursday posts!

Steece’s Pieces: This blog was listed on another blog that I read, and it’s another that when I found it, I went back and read a lot of the old posts.  When Suz was having trouble getting pregnant, she took one dose of fertility meds, one cycle…and ended up with quadruplets!  They live in Texas and she blogs about life as a mommy of four!

The Food Connoissorges: My other sis and her hubby love to cook, and they’re good at it, too!  This is their blog about food…and it’s yummy!

The Smith Family Scoop: I started reading this blog when the Smith’s oldest boy was diagnosed with cancer.  If I remember right, his mom is a relative of the mother of one of my students and that’s how I got knew about their blog.  Their journey has been long and hard, but they are victorious!

The Zoromski Chronicles: Although this family is friends with some of the other family blogs I read, I’m pretty sure I found them by accident late one night when I was clicking through blogrolls.  Honestly, I clicked this blog because their last name starts with Z.  Isn’t that silly?  When I started reading, their oldest daughter was finishing up chemo; they had recently given birth to twin girls with Down Syndrome–but only one survived; they also have a son; and have just adopted another girl from Ukraine. 

Thrifty Decor Chick: This big time blogger shares tips on how to decorate your home inexpensively.  I really like her style–and she’s a great DIY’er!

Two Ohs and One Dog:  Actually there are three four Ohs in the house now!  But Mrs Oh has been a bit too busy with baby Oh to keep their blog updated.  I bet that sister of mine gets some before and after house pictures up soon!

Unclutterer: This blog is one of my newest discoveries and I have to say I love it!  I always have at least one or two (and currently three!) blogs saved to reread and reference later.  I just want to soak it all in, such great inspiration!  Now…if only I could implement their ideas!

Urban Goes Country: I began reading the Urban adventures when they were in the middle of adopting their daughter Ava.  She was on the waiting list at LLH before they got her home.  And so really, she’s my first “celebrity on the blog meet in real life” experience.  I was blessed to go to their home for the Welcome Ava! party and it was so great to meet her.  Seriously.  I was giddy.  You should go check out the Urbans now…their family is growing again!

And that, my friends, is the end of the line.  I secretly hope that I’ve fed a few of your blogging appetites.  If you don’t have google reader, you have to start using it.  It’s really the only way I can keep my blog reading obsession to a functional level.  The downside? Reader doesn’t let you actually comment on the blog you are reading.  You have to open the blog to comment.  Which isn’t a terrible deal, until you start your own blog and you love getting comments, and then you feel guilty because you stopped commenting on others long ago.  Sorry guys.  I’ll do better!

This picture: I took this in March, during my first trip to China.  I am standing in the activity center looking through the gated doors, across the walkway, and then to the doors of the orphanage.  Some of the children come over each day for education and therapy.  I didn’t know if I’d ever have a chance to go into the orphanage, and I knew I wouldn’t likely have an opportunity to take pictures even if I did.  It would really take a whole other post to talk about the significance of this daily walk they take.  Maybe after you read this, you could stop for a moment and pray for the kids that come over, for the staff that receives them, for the kids that remain in the orphanage all day, and the staff that cares for them, too.  Thanks.

the reading part is easy…part 1

So I do want to keep writing every day during break, and perhaps I shouldn’t always wait so late in the day to get started.  There are a few things on my list that I haven’t written about yet, but they all seem too big to start tonight.  So instead, I’ll tell you about the blogs I read.  I wish I had some cutesy way to link up to them…but it’ll just have to be plain jane tonight.  Click away, my friends..this is some good reading!

…my newest daughter: an adoption blog, written by someone I know in real life, from a dad’s perspective; it’s been a while since he’s written, but it’s worth it to go back and read some of the old stuff.

A is for Aiden: a mom blog, also written by someone I know in real life, she’s proud to be known as Aiden’s mom; he’s the youngest student I’ve ever taught–Aiden started school the week before his first birthday!

Adopting Baby Shupp: an adoption blog, written by the daughter of someone I know in real life; it’s exciting to follow their journey!

Bring the Rain: one of the first blogs I ever read, I think I’ve been reading it for about 3 years and I think I found it when I was looking for information on Trisomy 18.  Angie is a famous blogger, who started writing to tell the story of her daughter, Audrey.  She lived only a short while, but her story has changed lives for eternity.

Eli’s Journey:  ahhh, this boy! I started reading his blog a couple of years ago and prayed that things would work out so that one day I could be his teacher.  I was blessed to teach him for the past year and a half.  He’s beautiful and amazing and you should go read about him and his family.

go blog yourself: This blog was posted on another blog I was reading, to request prayers for a little girl named Tuesday.  She was dying of cancer and this is her story.  It’s also a story of how real people deal with the loss of a child.

Kelly’s Korner: Another famous blogger, whose daughter needed prayers right after she was born.  She actually spent time at St. Francis in Tulsa.  Kelly writes about living her life long dream…being a wife and a stay at home mom.  She’s genuine.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing: A friend of a friend, well several friends to be exact.  I read her blog before I met her, and I tried not to be an idiot when I did see her for the first time.  She writes about adventures with her boys and memories of her boys.  She’s a homeschooling, blog writing mama and I’d like to be her when I grow up.  (and I told her that today, too)

mckmama: maybe the first of the big-time bloggers that I found, and I really have no idea how I found her.  She takes cool pictures and feeds her kids good food.  Her son had a scary prenatal diagnosis and her blog traffic got crazy with people praying for him.  He’s doing great now.

Ministry So Fabulous! a blog written by a single girl in her mid-twenties, who more than anything wants to be a wife and a mom, who recently has been dealing with some health issues that may in fact leave her unable to have babies.  She’s dedicated a significant part of her life ministering to girls, specifically girls who need moms.  I loved her blog so much, I went back and read every. single. entry.  I emailed her so she’d know the crazy stalker that was reading every. single. entry.  I would totally hang out with her if I knew her in real life.

Molly Cookie I’ve been reading this girl’s blog since that beautiful time in our lives when we spent nearly every day together, loving our work, being blessed and inspired by some of the greatest kids in the world.  She’s a forever friend, a great cook and a real writer.

Mommy’s Shoes Robin and I taught together when we were single and had apartments less than two miles from each other.  We had dinner and drinks and talked about boys.  Now she’s a wife, a mommy and a published author!

nienie A very cool mom, with a very cool blog.  I like her style.  She almost died in a plane crash.  Her blog was big before then, but I didn’t know about it.  Now, she writes about her recovery and being a mom and a wife.

And apparently I read too many blogs!  I thought this would be a quick entry to write…and I’m only halfway through my google reader list.  I must go to bed.  I have important business tomorrow–adoption classes!

To be continued…

This picture: Taken in June at Gulangyu as we were walking along the island.  It just looks like China to me.  Real boats.  Real people.  Another visual reminder to pray for that country I love.

a day for me

Today I am 33 years old.  I decided to spend the day doing only the things I wanted to do.  For the sake of the dishes and the laundry, and really for the Zerbe men, it’s good that on most days I do at least some things I don’t really want to do.

But today, I did what I wanted to do:
1. I stayed in bed until I was ready to get up, which was at about 9:30.
2. I ate breakfast, cooked by my husband.
3. I straightened my hair a little bit, put on a t-shirt, comfy jeans and flip flops.
4. I went to Barnes and Noble and “stayed as long as I wanted”–that’s the one thing I told Rob I wanted to do today.
5. I read magazines about decorating small spaces, saving money and creating a romantic home.
6. I read books about decorating kid rooms, disciplining without spanking or shouting, and organizing a kitchen.
7. I wrote down some websites to look at later.
8. I took pictures of things I want to remember.
9. I drank a grande cinnamon dolce latte and ate a chocolate chunk cookie.
10. I found bubble tea in Tulsa!
11. I came home, played online, looked through some crafty stuff from my sister and talked on the phone.
12. I copied 1354 photos from my iPhone to my husband’s laptop.
13. I ate yummy cheeseburgers grilled by my husband
14. I ate ice cream and brownies prepared by my youngest stepson.
15. I made some name cards for some girls I know.
16. I’m still playing online and looking forward to one more brownie before midnight.

What I still might do before bed (or at least at some point in the near future):
17. Sort some of the 1354 pictures.
18. Upload pictures to facebook.
19. Begin work on a scrapbook page for our adoption file.
20. Watch a favorite movie.
21. Find patterns for some craft projects.
22. Make a list of things to do before I go back to school.
23. Write an email or two or more.
24. Make thank you cards to give as a gift.
25. Put away scrapbooking supplies.
26. Choose photos to be printed.
27. Research area home school groups.
28. Eat strawberries.
29. Get coffee ready for tomorrow.
30. Brush my teeth.
31. Read the book of James
32. Talk to God.
33. Cuddle with my husband.

This picture:  Me drinking my first bubble tea in China, on Gulangyu in March.

sisters. babies. roses. and pictures to prove it.

Back here I talked about some of the things I’ve been doing.  A few of those events included some sisters, some babies and some roses.  A perfect combination for a picture filled post, don’t you think?

I have three brothers, whom I love dearly.  Maybe it’s the fact that I had all three of those brothers before I was ever blessed with a sister that makes me really thankful for the two sisters I have.  I love them. A lot.

This is the three of us at Maggie’s baby shower in May.  Aren’t my pregnant sisters so cute?

I’m 5 years older than Marianne and 7.5 years older than Maggie.  I love being their older sister and I’m sure I managed to find the right balance of spoiling and advising and was never the bossy older sister.  Surely.

When Marianne was graduating from junior high, I was finishing my sophomore year in college.  I was home for the summer before she was finished with school and on the day of her graduation, I snuck into the hall of the same junior high I had attended, placed 3 roses in her locker, and began a tradition.  I had purchased the roses at a local grocery store and wrote a note on a card (also displaying 3 roses) about how the three roses represented the three sisters and how proud we were on this special day.  From then on, we have celebrated special occasions by sending 3 roses to each other.  We’ve given them at graduations, birthdays, the start of a new job, engagements and wedding days.  So far, the wedding days are the most fun, I think.  I was the first of the three of us to get married and they started the wedding day tradition of giving several sets of roses throughout the day–they’ve been placed on the bride-to-be’s bedside table, the bathroom sink, the hairdresser’s counter, the dressing room at church, the back of church and the car.  Lot’s of fun, those three roses. 

We’re pretty exclusive about sending the roses to each other.  The only time I remember sending them to anyone else is when we sent them to our brother when he was recovering from surgery out of state.  That’s the only time…until we started getting nieces.  We delivered roses to our first niece in the hospital almost 2 years ago.  Our mom helped get roses to our niece born 2.5 weeks ago, and I delivered the roses to our most recent niece about a week and a half ago.  We’ve got one more niece that we’ll meet in person in September and we’ve already got her roses planned, too!

So that’s the story of the roses (of which I have no photographic evidence) and here are the beautiful babies and mommies that have recently been recipients of said roses.  Plus some pictures of a proud aunt and uncle.

Meeting Hannah Irene. July 10, 2010

Meeting Mary Teresa. July 16, 2010

                                             The little girls and their little girls.

                                               They’re totally gonna be best friends!

(you didn’t think I’d forget my China picture, did you?)

This picture: In March we visited the Round House near Longyan.  It is a huge home that once housed hundreds of people.  It was built in such a way that they would be protected from attackers.  This shot is looking up through the top of the house.  I loved the lanterns.  We were the only Westerners at the site that day.  Our friend knew the owner of a restaurant in the house, so we ate there and were on display for many to see.  I feel pretty certain we are in someone’s scrapbook, somewhere in China.  Or at least we’re the wallpaper on their cellphone.

along the journey…part 2

And so our discussions shifted almost entirely to international adoption.  I was afraid of domestic open adoptions and birth parents changing their minds.  My heart was also led towards children waiting for parents, in beds in faraway countries, rather than birthmoms selecting us.  I admire the adoptive parents that take the risk involved in open adoption, those that can open their hearts not only to a baby but to a family, those that wait to be selected by a mother.  We never felt called to domestic adoption.  I wouldn’t even consider it.

And then, I went to China.   And I fell in love with kids that need homes.  Big kids.  Lots of kids.  I guess I’ll make a promise to write another post about why we felt we needed to delay international adoption.  Other than the fact that I promised my husband I wouldn’t end up in a Chinese prison accused of attempting to abduct one (or three?!) orphans.  While I found kids in China that I love, and we even went to an initial meeting with an international adoption agency…we knew we’d need to wait a while before starting the process of adoption.

As much as I would like to, it is really impossible to tell someone all about the experience of travelling to China to work with orphans with special needs.  I can share some pictures via the internet, and some pictures in person (FYI-I am not allowed to email or post pictures of staff or children.  You’ll have to see me in person to view those beauties!), I can even put together a moving video production that tugs at your heart…but I really don’t have the words to accurately describe what it is like.  But I did manage to tell Rob how much I love the kids, they are so great, there are three in particular that I love, can we move to China soon? No, I didn’t see any babies.  Yes, I heard them crying down the hall.  And besides the babies, there are older kids that have been abandoned, some of them fully aware of that fact, some who know their parent’s names and addresses, all of who would love to have a mama and a daddy.  Yes, even the big ol’ 10 or 12 or 20 year old boys need a mama and yes I’d take every one of them if  could.

(You can check with Rob, but yeah, I pretty much talk in runon sentences, very fast, often loudly when I am excited about something.)

But not yet.  We can’t really move to China.  At least not right now.  Rob doesn’t exactly want to leave his own children behind, and their mom probably wouldn’t be too keen on us moving them to China.  And we had decided (for a few reasons) not to pursue international adoption for a little while.  So…no domestic adoption and no international adoption in the immediate future.


Rob’s heart melted when he saw a segment of Waiting Child on the local news.  It’s not something we watch on a regular basis, in fact we don’t usually get that channel.  But one evening in late March/early April as he was flipping through the channels, he saw three sisters that are in need of a home.  When I walked back into the room, he asked me what I thought about adopting three school age girls through the Waiting Child program.  Initially, I was surprised and a little cautious.  I still love, really LOVE, the kids in China.  I had always said no to domestic adoption.  But I was really happy that Rob was interested.  That night I sent an email requesting an application from DHS.  Rob called the next day to say we were interested in pursuing adoption, specifically these three girls.  We began to see how we could bring children into our home sooner rather than later.  We decided to pray about it and begin gathering information, and to just take things one step at a time.  I was super busy at work for the next few weeks as I was preparing to return to China and begin to wrap up a school year.  Rob took the lead on filling out our application and being the contact person for DHS.  It really has been fun to see him so excited about this.  He’s already a great daddy and I can’t wait to parent more kids with him.

So, while we don’t know if those three sisters have found a home or not, we are praying for them.  We are thankful that their story inspired us to begin this particular journey.  While we started this process cautious and hopeful, we feel comfortable and excited each step of the way.  It’s amazing to me that we are about to complete our homestudy, which honestly has been one of my biggest worries for any adoption, but in reality has been such a nice experience.  We had the opportunity to list specific characteristic/diagnosis preferences.  Because we are both educators and with my specific experience in special education, we are likely open to things that other parents are hesitant about.  On the other hand, since we both plan on working full time and we will continue to raise Rob’s three teenage boys we had a few boxes that were checked “no”.  We are looking to adopt girls as young as 2 and as old as 10.  We would love a sibling group, up to 3 sisters.  And we’re also open to what God may have in store for us that we are simply unaware of at this point.  I’ll chuckle if He ends up leading us to 3 teenage boys, but it’ll certainly have to be Him that does the leading! =)

Where are we now?  Attending classes every Saturday for the next four weeks, waiting on background checks and homestudy to be completed, obtaining copies of immunization records for the dog and the boys. 

What is the next step? Being matched with kids!  That can happen in a variety of ways, and I’ll write about it when we get closer.

In the meantime, we are thankful for this journey and how peaceful we feel about it.  At the beginning we said we would just take it step by step and as long as it felt right, we’d keep going.  It feels very right and it’s exciting, too!  Thank you all for coming along and supporting us in our adoption journey!  I can’t wait to have a big party for you to meet our girls….someday!

This picture: A storeowner on the island of Gulangyu who caught our attention because he was playing Christian music.  We stopped to talk with him and ended up purchasing 32 CDs of music, which I haven’t figured out how to play in the US.  It was great to meet this Chinese Christian man!

along the journey…part 1

I’ve been promising  (my faithful readers and myself) to write about actually how we’ve ended up on this particular adoption journey for quite some time now.  Tonight seems like the perfect night to do just that.  So sit back with a cup of hot chocolate (it is below 90, afterall) and enjoy…

The plan: Graduate from college, get married and have babies.  And maybe use that teaching degree for a year or two…max.

The reality: Graduate from college, teach 4.5 years, get married, try to have babies while teaching an additional 5.5 years, decide to adopt.

I did get pregnant once, and it was a beautiful 10 weeks that ended with great sadness.  And I still promise (to my faithful readers and myself) to write about entire experience soon.

So, we didn’t just decide to adopt one day.  Rob and I have been talking  and thinking about it for a few years.  It’s fair to say I’ve done more of the talking and more of the thinking, and he’s always been very supportive of what I wanted to do…someday.  I actually remember a conversation back in college (with a different boy) about adoption.  Having a big family has always been my dream.  I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters.  I loved growing up with lots of siblings and I always wanted to give the same to my own children.  In fact, I stood up in front of my freshman English class and announced during a presentation on my own “Great Expectations” that I wanted to have 12 children, preferably 6 boys and 6 girls.  I guess at some point it occurred to me that I might not actually be able to have that many babies.  But what if I couldn’t have any babies?  Well, then I guess that’s just God’s way of telling me to adopt kids.  Yep, that’s what I said more than 10 years ago.  So simple, so unaware.

When we got married, I was ready to have babies but we decided to wait about a year before we started trying.  I’ve never been on birth control and we were never very strict about our NFP rules, but after a year we started trying to achieve pregnancy.  Everyone thinks it’ll happen immediately, right?  Month after month, cycle after cycle, no pregnancy.  After about a year and a half my doctor ordered some initial bloodwork, which came back normal.  I didn’t want to do any additional testing because I didn’t think we’d want any medical help in achieving pregnancy anyway.

Fast forward a few more months and I start teaching at The Little Light House.  What a life changing blessing!  When I started teaching there, I was still hoping to achieve pregnancy quickly.  Month after month, cycle after cycle, no pregnancy.  But God totally changed my perspective in less than three months.  I began to choose to be happy with my current circumstances, to live in the joy of the many blessings He had given me, to realize He has a plan and a purpose and His will is greater than my own.  I absolutely changed my entire attitude about not being pregnant.  That’s not to say I never felt hopeful and then crushed again, or that I didn’t cry into my husband’s shoulder when someone else announced a pregnancy, or that I stopped buying pregnancy tests.  But I wasn’t consumed by disappointment each month either.  Because of God’s great scheduling, when I began working at The Little Light House a team was preparing to travel to China to educate professionals about working with children with special needs.  It was then that my eyes were really opened to the plight of children with special needs around the world.  I prayed then that God would use me somehow to minister to children with special needs on a global level, and perhaps even adopt a baby from China.  How could I be so sad about not being pregnant when there are so many children waiting for a family to love them?

(tune in tomorrow to see how we made the leap from China to Oklahoma)

This picture: Squirrel Fish! One of our favorite dishes in China.  We ate it once on our first trip and about four times during our second trip.  I’m not sure of the real name of this fish, but it got named Squirrel Fish by some foreigners because it resembles the tail of a squirrel.  Tasty!