Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gone to See Cookie Again After Church - We Potlucked



We took our chicken and dumpling soup - with rice, chopped celery, chopped onions, chicken soup, chicken broth, and poultry seasoning.
Yum.

Cookie and Winston provided sandwiches and ice cream.
Yummy, too.


This is Isabella Rose - one of Cookie's precious rescue dogs.
AAAAA-dorable.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


-- Coppin' a squat on the playground 
-- Got that new, free, red LL Bean jacket on
(It is cool in her classroom, but it was warm outside.)


-- Playing a little Duck, Duck, Goose


-- In GA's Mission Class
-- Still in red jacket


-- Working a "sticker version" of kiddie Sudoku 
-- Good thinking skills activity


-- Can't have same fruit item on same line horizontally, perpendicularly, or in same "marked off" green rectangular section


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Girls are "Foodies"

They like to cook
And
Enjoy looking through healthy recipes....
namely the ones from Dr. Josh Axe.



They made a strawberry smoothie using frozen strawberries, almond milk, and an avocado.
It was good and creamy.
Put a dollop of Tru-Whip (alternative to Cool Whip) on top.
Yummy.
Healthy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Afternoon Time on Monday


Molly and Em helped cook the Chinese winter melon that KK grew and gave us.
We stir fried it and served it over rice.
The girls loved it.


Mary working some simple tan gram puzzles.
Thinking Skills!


Emily hanging out, helping in all departments...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Martha and Her Knight in Shining Armor





Books that Martha has given us -- TREASURES!

Our Dear Martha

Life just has a way of blessing you - in the common, every day relationships with people who are like undercurrents of goodness.
They're there near the surface, never attracting attention, but impacting circumstances and people and situations in powerful and meaningful ways.

That's how it is with my friend, our dear friend - Martha.
She's Mrs. K___ to my girls.
She's someone I don't want to be standing behind in heaven when any "high fives" might be given.
Surely Martha K. will finish off the rest of the batch that might've been available for others or for me.

Yup.
She's THAT wonderful.

I'm not quite sure how I ended up being so fortunate as to spend my working/adult life with her, but no doubt I'm a better person because I did.
Because of her.

Martha was our beloved school Librarian. She is every aspect of that job description.
Kind.
Gentle.
Understanding with little ones....and BIG ones who need her help. That would be the teachers. That would be me.
She's unselfish, helpful, and a few 100 other words that would match this list in any thesaurus.

She retired a while back.

I feel sure I've never seen her without her classic smile.
It's part of her natural beauty, and she's always quick to share it.
That smile and all of her charm must've been what captured her hubbie's heart back in the days.
I believe their story is one of the great love stories of the ages.

I saw Martha and Steve riding in their car - years ago.
He was driving. She was the passenger, and honestly they looked as intrinsically happy as any husband and wife could ever be.
They enjoy each other, value each other, support each other...and I'm certain the joy of their relationship has obviously grown deeper through the years.
They're precious together.

And they've been so kind to my little family.
They've touched our hearts in ways that have meant so much to the girls and to me.

They've sent us the sweetest cards, the kindest notes....and reached out to my 3 Asian angels in such personable and meaningful ways.

We have the sweetest books that Martha has gifted to us - with short, written notes....dates noted (Christmas, 2010), and the price "area" cut off at an angle.
I think that's her signature move...that cuttin' the price part off at an angle. LOL.

But I'm so blessed, my girls are so incredibly blessed by all the kindness that Martha and hubbie have sent our way.
And her mother.
Martha's adorable mother. She's in heaven, but even now the special-ness of meeting her and being around her, too, was a gift in itself.

As we continue on our China journey through life - with me being an older mom of younger children from another country - I can easily say...this road has been a better one because of dear, dear friends like Martha and her family.

We love ya forever! 
Can't wait to visit with you soon.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Caterpillars to Cocoons


A friend is growing butterflies and let us examine these very cool cocoons.
One was moving around - a lot.


Close up


Another friend gave Mary this hand-me-down-nifty LL Bean red jacket.
Comfy.
Mary loved wearing it in the chilly produce section of the grocery store today...cuz it's still hotter-n--a-jalapeƱo during mid-day times outside.

Kinda strange seeing autumn decor out in the stores, but I reckon it's about that time of year.
My fave...but not until there is a crispness in the air - mornings and nights.

Emily's sportin' her "Little Mulan" hairdo.
Molly spent the afternoon organizing some children's clothes we plan to consign at some point.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Noodle Slurpin' - at Weekend Job



That's not my nice counter.
But I love, love my table.
That's another story.

We brought our own organic cabbage, onions, organic chicken sausage, and seasonings to the ole weekend job.
My girls like to have their food -- a lot of the time, but not all the time.

They mixed this with brown rice pasta.
We usually have our cabbage with rice.

Not tonight -- and they really like this combination.

Siracha sauce - ready and waiting.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday...working here and then back to teaching school on Monday.
All good.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival


Em and Molly just got out of the shower...
Thus Em's disheveled hair.

I'd been at a meeting at school...another obligation taking me away from home in the evening. Phooey.

They're getting ready to eat our yearly treat - Moon Pies.

I didn't care for the taste of the real, Chinese moon cakes I've tasted...and I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to carbohydrates.

I find these Moon Pies at an off beat convenience store not far from here.
They're not just everywhere.



It was a real full moon -
But clouds arrived.
Pretty, huh?


I read our Grace Lin (author) book about the Autumn moon.
Tradition.

 
Even sweet Dumpling got in on some Asian action tonight.
Well - maybe as a simple observer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Painting on a Sunday Afternoon



Before heading to night service at church

Look at Mary's "high up" shoes...worn while playing at home (only!)




Sunday, September 11, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

TOP Elementary "Summer" Reader in the School District


Miss Mary read 101 books for summer reading. She had to draw some type of picture/have visual art representation and write a sentence -- on pages to record each book.
Phew.

Sweetie Pie in picture above with Mary read a bunch of books, too. Her family is precious!!

This was all do-able to accomplish during the summer time...because there's plenty of t-i-m-e.
Hello?!?

We had FUN doing it all.
Sisters and I listened to her read orally and they helped me keep records of what books were read and the authors' names.

Some of Mary's drawings were detailed and others were simple.
We used stickers, dot markers, paint, crayons...even cut out pictures to glue onto the required pages -- all 101 of them.


She was honored by some very important folks.


She was invited to a big celebration at a children's venue.


Sisters came, too, and played with her.


Great to be outside. We stayed until the very end. We let her do whatever she chose to do at the celebration. 
It was HER night.


She couldn't wait to show Nanny Carol her big ole medal (around her neck).

I'm thrilled my girls love to read.
When there are no TV sets blaring constantly, it's amazing how the love of books (stories) and creativity have the opportunities to flourish.

Photo of Skipper Dee with His Binky



I took this pic 2 months before heading to China - for Emily - in 2008.

Skipper Dee felt "safe" with a BIG  binkiy
in his mouth - to serve as a buffer 
Around furniture (in his space)
So he wouldn't bonk his head.

Back then, we knew he wouldn't snarl at us if his mouth was "occupied" with a toy.

Our sweet angel pup - 
Mary says he's in heaven playing fetch-the-ball with George Washington or King David.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hummingbird Watchin'


Mary with binoculars - looking closely 


We've nevah-EVAH had a hummingbird feeder.
Well...Robin gave us this one, 
But
I'm a year and a half gettin' around to putting it up and mixing the water-sugar concoction.

As one of my mantras goes, "Oh I'll do it..............
E-v-e-n-t-u-a-l-l-y."

It's tons of fun watching for hummers.

The cats have a blast sitting in the window and observing, too!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

GA Class - Girls in Action



Mary is at the front of the group in her blue ruffle-y jacket. This her Wednesday night class - GA's.
They focus on missions.

The white haired lady is Mrs. Gwen.
A saint!
She gave us her childhood bed (a single similar to my childhood bed).
Molly sleeps in it.

Emily slept in my childhood bed unti she and Mary "bunked up"....in bunk beds from Mrs. Melissa (and her brood of 7 homeschooling kids).


This banner hangs in Mary's class.

Now that I'm not at "other job" during the week, we're free to return to Wednesday night prayer meeting and supper with Nanny Carol....and Marlene - newly retired.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ran Into Friends on Labor Day


Alli, Emily, Molly


Anna Katherine and Mary

Nanny Carol was out and about with us.
Ran into Lisa, her girls, and Mrs. Evelyn (Lisa's mom).

We took Emily out to eat to celebrate her Gotcha Day.
Nanny C spent the night...got up and drank coffee with me this morning.
That's always s good time!

It's nice to be sleeping in our own beds again, 
But I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to work at part time job.

Kinda strange not having Skipper Dee here with us.
We miss him dearly - but remain joyful in our memories of him.

Each day is a gift.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Reading in the Church Library


On the floor


Standing up


Mary's squirrel with an acorn

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Watching Fireworks in the Dark


See them up against the light?



We were really close to the fireworks display, and it was loud.
Pretty awesome!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

Actually....chicken tenders, snacks, tickets, transportation, AND air conditioning were all complimentary --
as the 3 girls' attended a minor league baseball game.

Friday night activity at "other job"



We took the group home clients to this baseball game because folks in the community and state love them dearly and provide fun outings like this.
Costs covered.

We all sat in a skybox/suite.
A local business donated everything for our fun and entertainment.
Catered ballpark food.
Water.
Cold drinks.
And a bathroom 5 feet away.

We are at the game right now.



During the 5th inning, everyone in our group is getting ice cream.

This, my friend, is THE way to attend a ballgame!


There's those peanuts and Cracker Jacks.


My mom has some earrings from the Eisenhower or Kennedy era.
I remember -- when I was a little girl - I thought her earrings looked like stadium lights.
Sparkly!