Saturday, May 19, 2018

Better Late Than Never - Planting

Organic Cucumbers and Bell Pepper in Back Beds
Never done this before
Had to buy fencing to keep puppers out of garden area

Box woods
and something else -- green leaves with pink designs

Busy day because I'm finally home on a Saturday

Made a big Goodwill run, too
Organization Central!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Molly and Emily Made This Delightful Ice Cream Pop

No sugar

Coconut oil
Cocoa powder
Cream cheese
Vanilla extract 

ALL organic

These girls are really creative!
They bring such joy to our family.

This Story Didn't End As Planned

Was headed to wildlife rehab, but sweet birdie took a drastic turn very quickly.

I'll just leave it at that!

We've had a lot of life lessons this week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

It Was a 3 Bird Day. Phew!!

Found this little fella outside my school...nest WAY up at roof area - inside between beams

He was fine (not injured), but we could not leave him.
I'd never leave him.

Scooped him up.
Got a boiled egg from cafeteria.
Mixed yolk with mayo. 
In the past I used plain yogurt - at the advice of experts.
Didn't have any.

Mary and I nurtured it for the day while I was teaching....but I took it to a bird rehab immediately after work.

I've taken charge of little ones like this (in the long ago past), but I wanted a REAL bird caretaker to take charge.

I didn't wanna take any chances with the wee chirper. He was pretty young.

Bird number #2 - It was already in birdie heaven when I found it. (No photo. Very young.)


Bird #3 below

Much older
Almost ready to fly
In neighbor's yard....but they didn't know what to do with it.

Took it to our house and placed in big cat carrier.
Boiled an egg for the yolk (protein)
Broke off prongs on plastic fork - except one
Mixed up a meal and used lone prong to simulate mother's beak
Fed the little rascal

I was popped by the end of the day...and yes. I was pooped ON during the day.

Just comes with the territory.

The girls named this one Flutter.
The carrier stayed next to Mary's same room with Emily and Molly.
All got to feed.

Today carrier was on front lawn.
Mother bird flew to carrier -- and maybe fed it thru openings in metal door.

Emily said mom bird had something in its mouth, but she wasn't sure if feeding took place.

I'm caring for this one cuz it's likely ready to fly in a day or two.
We will release Flutter right here in our yard so it can re-join its family.

It's been exciting for the girls!

Last night's devotional -- I thought it'd be appropriate to read portions of the hymn His Eye Is On the Sparrow.
I read the story of how the song was written and played a portion of the song sung by modern Christian group Casting Crowns.

Teachable moment.
Teachable day.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Science Project

Keepin' it simple....and VERY last minute.
She's been lovin' her some solar system!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Monday, May 7, 2018

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Party Favor "Station" - Exiting the House

Mary set up a tray with shells on it so that our small group of visitors/diners could have a parting gift -- after Molly's bday celebration.

We're talking Donna, Marlene, and Nanny Carol.

She covered the tray with a pink baby doll blanket and attached a balloon.

So thoughtful.

She's a much better speller than it sometimes appears on blog posts.
(Me, too. I typo all the time. Pfft!)

But hey - gotta love it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Celebrating Sweet Molly

Awwww.....Someone turned 17 yesterday.
Our gentle Molly 

Marlene, Donna, Nanny Carol joined us for casserole, salad, kombucha, and homemade desserts.

Dear girl had to help get her own bday meal together on the school night before. We wanted it oven ready when I got home from work yesterday.

It was a group effort.
She was gracious to chop, sautee...
Her response, "Oh. I enjoy being in the kitchen." Emily helped, too.

I had to finish up yard work on Monday night after I got home from teaching..... do the weedeating, sweeping, etc. that didn't get done over the weekend. 

The girls are in their last few days of homeschooling for the year. They are studying lots.

Comprehensive final exams - whole book.

So theyve been up late. 
These girls will make great college students one day.

I'd given Molly the opportunity to celebrate on another day (weekend) when there would be a bit more time to pitch in, but she wanted to stick to May 1st. 

Emily's bday falls during her Spring Break (3/16), and Mary's is in the summer (7/21). No exams. 

But Molly ordered up her bday menu, and Mary and I shopped and got the groceries and balloons. It was fun. 

She got money in all her cards and will use the funds for horse lessons. She'll tithe 10% as always.

One of her cards had a cute little sheep on it. 
Inside it said, "The Shepherd has given many another year of you."
Very fitting.

Mary wrote in her card, "Thank you for being my wonderful sister and helping me always." She tucked a 20.00 bill in the card. Sniff.

Emily wrote that she's "the best big sister I could ever have...a blessing and a joy to everybody!" Money for lessons inserted.
Love revealed.

Molly's life is a testimony of "kindness in action". She's gentle and calm, opinionated (yes....and wise in her thoughts). She's helpful to the nth degree, and I've learned so much from her - 
As each of my girls daily help mold each other and me into better human beings....

What a joy to be on this journey in life with our treasure, Molly.

I love you sweetheart!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Molly and Lou

Molly at horse riding lessons
English style
Posting and cantering

Emily and Mary (helmet b/c she's riding her bike all around outside the stables)

Watching a farrier - put horseshoes on a pony 
Good learning experience

Friday, April 27, 2018

Now and Then Photos

Laura and Emily (now)

Laura and Emily (then)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Molly...

I'm blabbing on about this, that, and the other --
Distributing pearls of wisdom (strategic eye rolling)
and offering Emily snd Molly great insight into life.

I looked at Molly and said, " need me to be quiet now so you can study?"

Her extremely polite and somewhat humored response, "If you don't mind."

Monday, April 23, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018

More from Mary - Current Quips

Dec., 2017
"The window shield got cleaned."
** windshield 
Makes sense to me!

My girls still call overhead lights "headlights".

March, 2018
Mary read Black Beauty - a Great Illustrated Classic version.
Text on one page.
Full page illustration on the next.
I really like that series! 
We have a few that were given to us second hand, but boy I'd SURE like to find more of them (cheap or free).

She said the men in the story who were not being nice "were drinking beard".
** beer

April, 2018
She's learned - from Nanny Carol - that little girls "powder their noses".

She recently said, "When boys go to the bathroom, they go to the 'library'. Girls go 'puff' their noses."


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Raising Ninjas

Photos from Anna Katherine's bday party a few weeks ago

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mary-isms....From Her Early Days Here

These are notes I've written and kept since 2015 - Mary came home in Nov. of 2014.
I kept little phrase "logs" on the 3 girls cuz I thought it was sooo cute what they'd say as they were learning English. I also knew if these were not written down, they'd be forgotten. I'm still writing down current Mary-isms. Maybe I'll post those on the blog before she's 21.
"Scared of a moose?"
from a book Groucho's Eyebrows (about a cat)
Mary said, "No. God 'tects' us."
(Meaning - God protects us)
"Yesterday night" 
(Meaning - last night)
May 13, 2015
Talking about our cats when they were kittens...
Mary -"Can I be their mama?" 
Me - "Yes. You are like their mama. (She  gives me a big hug)
"I like being their mama. It's so precious."
"Pickle me up."
(Meaning - Pick me up.")

"No put the eyes down."
(Meaning - Don't go to sleep.")

"Will you give for me?"
(Meaning - Will you forgive me?)
"Oh my goodness stars."
(Meaning - combo of oh my goodness and oh my stars)

Me at swimming pool, 
"Be careful."
Her reply, 
"I am be careful-ing."

Oh. Nevermind.
Mary said she didn't cry when she got a shop in China.
(Shop = shot)
Summer, 2015
Mary - "I "uh" a puppy."
She's playing like she's a little puppy who has come to live at our house.
Mary - "You got to say 'come here little puppy' ".

I was fixing coffee last night at Mom's house - for Mom's next morning coffee time.
Mary saw the blue lights on mom's pot (on/off). 
She looked at me and said, "Mama - your lights are green on yours."
Yup. Thought that was perceptive that she had noticed.
I figured that's also the reason the clock on my coffee pot was 1 hour later yesterday and 2 hours earlier this morning.
My best guess is that little fingers have been pushing the buttons near the little green light on my coffee pot. 
Uh huh.

She made up my bed. 
Did a great job.
She said, "You got to cry in me."
In others words, be so elated as to cry.
I said, " How did you know how to make up that bed?"
Her reply, "Just does."

Friday, April 13, 2018

Met Some New Homeschooling Friends

Sweet Little Blondie, Morgan, has a 16 y/o brother and 18 y/o sister.
We went to their farm to meet, visit, talk about horses, watch 18 y/o sister ride, help her groom her horse -- and just be around a fun family.
The mom, Renee, is sooo kind and full of good advice (about 4H horse program and other club type options, i.e. Photography).
This family is part of our homeschool group, but because I work full time - our opportunities have been limited. We think things will be more open during the next school year.

Monday, April 9, 2018

“If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you’ve made me smile,
the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.” 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Past Week

Piano teacher rescued a young soon to be mama kitty...

Celebrating Anna Katherine's Birthday

Canadian Goose sitting on her eggs

Gifts from Sophia 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Good Friday

Mary sketched this out....

We assemble this little crucifixion design each year. 

Real dirt
Real sticks
Real Savior


I later placed a stone over the opening of the tomb.
It'll be rolled away on Sunday, tho.

As I said....REAL Savior!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

My Older Girls Hunted Eggs with Younger Kiddos

So sweet of them to do this!
I had to take their pics!

Joshua - one of Robin and Forrest's kiddos  

Friday, March 23, 2018

Mother Hen

Low Riding and Running Shoes

Peanut in one of Mary's creations...

This "get up" with Peanut was on the back of a little plastic riding toy that I got at Goodwill when Mary 1st arrived from China.
She still likes to goof around on it.

She was riding around our SMALL house, but hey...she was having fun.
I think the pupper was enjoying the attention.

Em got some running shoes for her birthday. Cookie got them. So generous and kind of her. 
We got Emily fitted - precisely- at a specialty store that sells running/walking gear.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Molly's 5 Year Gotcha Day - March 18

Reading her cards....
What a joy, our Miss Molly!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Happy Sweet 16, Precious Emily

Emily wore that pink birthday headband for her 9th birthday.
We took it out for sentimental reasons.
Maybe I should say I took it out for sentimental reasons.

Someone told me -right after Emily came home from China - "The days are long, but the years are short."
I understood what they meant and have pondered those words in my heart.

I can still look at an old toy Emily played with or a craft she made (tucked away in her storage containers outside), and I'm immediately transported back in time.

I - just this week - handled the little storage bag that went on her first bicycle. 
It's a tiny purple, Princess bike that had training wheels.

Mary was riding that bike until last year.

But I showed the little storage bag to Emily as I was tucking it away....and I could just sense the days gone by. I could have easily teared up. Actually I think I did.

I could feel those seasons of life, those years - all the fun, all the adventures, all the family and friends.

It literally makes my heart beat a bit remember and mentally re-live the moments when she was younger. When we were all younger....

I cannot bemoan the passing of time...quite frankly because there is nothing I can do about it. 
We always strive for joyfulness, contentment of the moment, of the day.

With 3 adoptions of daughters who had lived lives in China before they ever came home to our family, it's always made me keenly aware to treasure each "day that the Lord hath made" -- with us together.

But I have a strong connection to the past. Very strong.

What  I can do is rejoice in every single moment of time we have now -
-- to cherish these days together with all my girls...with family and friends...and to live our lives as gifts.

Emily is developing into such a silly, caring, helpful, disciplined, lovely, bright 16 year old. The joy she brings to us is overwhelming and exciting.

My little Mei Xia Ying is growing up, and I'm so grateful to our Heavenly Father that we have grown together.

Happy Birthday, my precious, precious girl.
I love you.

Marlene snd Nanny Carol joined us for Emily's Golden Birthday...16 on the 16th.

9 years old with same pink headband