Saturday, February 17, 2018

Happy Chinese New Year...The Year of the Dog

With Rene's girls at CNY celebration

KK and Tricia - cooking....yum!

KK gave my girls a traditional and symbolic Red Envelope with 10.00 inside (always an even number value of the bill)

We saw these darling poochies.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

"Noooo, Molly. Noooo."

Molly had these items in a if to possibly get rid of them.
She's been cleaning.
Let me tell ya - she's not nearly as sentimental about Chinese souvenirs, etc. as I am. 
Good for her....BUT....she brought these items WITH her when she left China.
They cannot go "away".
They just can't.

No. TLC is not seeking me out for a season episode of Hoarders.,
But this kinda stuff has to stay here -- with us, with me -- well....forEVER!!!

It's sentimental to the nth degree.

This is a little bag of hand wipes.
Molly said its labeling depicts "student hygiene".
I remember seeing Chinese students with those red ties around their necks when I was in China.
Molly said they were red, fabric triangles.
She wore them....and said they could receive awards for having them on daily.

She also said she didn't get any awards for that cuz she didn't always wear hers.
Said they learned a story about why it was important to wear them, but she cannot remember it.

Molly translated this Chinese writing to mean --
"Your personality stems from your heart - not your outward appearance."

There's some English on the package, too.

Then there's this little guy.
Perfume bottle with darling little bear
No, Molly. No.

All these items go into your special China basket in my closet
Along with 200 other things from The Motherland that we must keep.

One little sheep - from China - with a clay body has cracked. The furry outside of the sheep's body is still in tact, but I had a hard time throwing away the smaller shards of clay.
I thought, "These are 100% bonafide Chinese pottery pieces....and I'm chunking them in the trash."
I kept the biggest piece.
Maybe I can make a necklace out of it.

Oops. Gotta go.
TLC is callin'!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day

Marlene made these hearts for me to take to China as gifts.
Red for prosperity 
Hearts for friendship 

The Chinese are very symbolic in their expressions of gifts and celebrations.

This heart is hanging in our kitchen as a constant reminder of our love for our friends in China...
and for friends and family here in America, too, who have been so supportive of our adoption journeys.

 There it is - nestled back betwixt my vintage STUFF!

The ladybug Valentine - hanging in a plastic sheet cover - is an old one from my younger brother. 

The card in frame above - my father gave it to me when I was a little girl.

Yellow canister set - yup.
From my childhood 

The Peanuts theme once again 

Em and Molly stitched this heart pillow a few years ago - with KK.
It's out for our celebration of love month.

Emily used heart cut outs to doozy up Mary's toast.

How sweet is that?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

It Was a Charlie Brown Kinda Trip

Back a while ago, we had the wonderful opportunity to travel to another area and attend a Charlie Brown Ice Sculpture Exhibit. The artist was - drum roll - from China. Our funny friend, Amy, invited us....and boy -- Did we ever have a good time!

The girls (and adults) were silly for most of our 36 hour -- start to finish -- trip - telling funny stories, bugging the stew out of Amy, singing goofy songs, and generally just being themselves.

We got lost in the hotel, tried to open other people's doors with our keys, ran quickly from one event to another - Cirque (lots of talented people bending in half, spinning from the ceiling, and changing clothes in the blink of an eye), breakfast with the Peanuts characters, and of course....the ice sculpture event.

Yes. It was 9 degrees inside the venue.
We all were issued special parkas to keep us warm.
Our faces - well, too bad. They were left to the elements.

We slid down ice slides, and some of us - namely me - looked ridiculous coming down on my hiney with an audience watching. But hey - you do what cha gotta do.
Amy stood around and laughed and smirked while freezing.
She's good at smirking. 
Apparently she's good at freezing, too.
Very talented.

In all honesty, she's one of the funniest people on the planet....dry witted to the core.

There was hot chocolate, warm pretzels, wasted mustard packets - good times and good company.

I think we've concluded WHY we all like the Peanuts characters and the stories.
For Amy and me (I think I speak for her on this...) it reminds us of a simpler time - being children and looking forward to the Charlie Brown holiday specials. 
You know. Back in the day with 3 tv channels.
She even has the Peanuts Christmas song as her phone ring tone for December.

My girls like the humor - Snoopy crying (It doesn't get funnier than that!), Woodstock fussing, and the interactions of characters - Lucy, Chuck, Linus, and most certainly the "wha wha wha" on rare occasions when grown ups talk.

It was a definitely a memory-making trip....full of fun, fun, fun.
Thanks, friend.

I can't wait for The Easter Beagle!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mary Won for Our Region in a Statewide Art Contest

It's a blurry photo, but there's our Sweet Pea receiving her certificate for an art contest -- 1st Place/Kindergartners thru 3rd grade..for our region of the state.

Other kids from around the state won in art or essay contests.
There were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for each region.
The host said there were around 2,000
kids who entered the contest.

Miss First Place Mary also won 100.00.

Whatta ya know?!

Her submission was "kiddie looking" - our state with 4 highlights of this region -
Medical Research
The Arts

I sat down and showed her photos of notable places of our area and she drew what she saw...the famous gates at the entrance of a historically recognized college, the water tower at an industrial plant, the logo for a children's medical research center, and ballet slipper/paint palette/book.

I reckon she nailed it.

Mary's principal -- my boss -- and Molly at the event

It was held at the state capital.
Even the "Guv-Nuh" was there to speak.
Beautiful and very special

Part of her award was free admission to a museum- so off we went.

It was a great day to celebrate our little artist.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Love is Kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4

The Kindness Bucket has little slips of paper with the days of the week on them.
She made it at church.

I  still treasure the simple ways of teaching lessons to children -
a Solo cup and a pipe cleaner.

Mary is writing down what act of kindnesses she displayed for that day.

One of many...I'm sure.

Sunday - Helping
Monday - Carrying

Let's see what Tuesday has to offer....or shall I say -
What act of kindness Mary has to offer to Tuesday.

Love IS kind!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018


This pile of organic veggie scraps is headed to our compost pile.
I spent a few hours baking and shaking new recipes.

--Vegetable soup with kale, squash, carrots, beans, onions, tomatoes 

--Breakfast casserole with zucchini, onions, red bell pepper, corn...and of course...eggs

That's our kombucha tea on right and reverse osmosis water on left -- 
39 cents/gallon at Whole Foods.
We haul it in gallon glass juice jars and pour it into water dispensers bought on sale at Wally World.

I'm working this weekend, and I want the girls and mom to have good food to eat.
Mom is so precious to spend the night with my gang. I baked the casserole at 5:25 a.m. on Friday morning before heading to teach.

I had fun doing it all. The girls pitched in -- but I wanted to do this FOR them.
They're always helpful.

The girls were pretty pumped to have carrots with the big, green toppers. Not sure I've ever bought them like this before.

Felt like Bugs Bunny!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Apple, Exclamation Mark, and an i

She bit into the apple and giddily shrieked, "Look mama - an exclamation point."

Flipped that baby upside down to creatively view the "i".

I have a friend that would call M&Ms...W&Ws. 
Sooo - fun either way.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Once Again - A Snow Day. Amazing!

Mary etched out the heart on the hood of our car.

We have to store these memories - in our minds -  of these RARE freezing, winter times so we can think about them again during during the long, hot days of August (and even September...).

We have missed a lot of school due to no water pressure at school, boil water alerts, and icey road conditions. I teach in a district where the city's infrastructure needs serious attention. Bless 'em!

Seems I've gotten a good bit accomplished. I've also had some time to chill out, cook new recipes for dinner, and get ready for mission's consignment sale.
I've worked at my part time job some, and now I'm gonna sit - have my quiet time - and look out the window at snow on the ground.

Mary will read books, play, and do some school related work that I have for her.
Em and Molly are homeschooling as normal.

It's a good day!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Another Wedding - Brrrrrrr. Cold Outside!

My sweet tennis buddy, Kim -- well, her oldest daughter got married this evening.

Tennis - as in playing before I had kiddos, or
As I affectionately say, "....when I was single."
I doubt I could hit a tennis ball with a car.

Gorgeous venue - oh my!

Wedding and reception were in the same grand room.

We sat near the back, so I took a pic or two.

Oh....the married couple exited to the Charlie Brown piano song...."da da da da dant..."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Mary took this photo

Looking out for birds at our feeder

Cookie gave Mary a bag of bird seed for Christmas.

Excellent gift for all involved.
*** Cookie asked for a list, and I suggested bird seed. ***
This is too much fun!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Recent Days

Birthday Cupcakes for Me

Silly Hair