Monday, December 30, 2013

Meeting 2 New Friends from China....Having Get Together Time


Finishing Up a Blanket that Marlene Helped them "FRAY"

 
Keeping those little brains and hands busy and productive....learning and loving time with Marlene
 

Girls with Children's Illustrator/Author


Hanging Out at Bookstore Making Christmas Decorations


Girl's in Action - Missions Class

Molly is 2nd from the left and Emily is 3rd
The girls were recognized for participation in the class...learning about missions, supporting mission projects, and learning what the Bible teaches us about our place and responsibility in missions - locally and around the world. It's been a great learning experience for both girls.


At Christmas Musical

My Girls with Missionaries to Africa....

Isn't this an adorable photo?
The 2 older girls in the picture are missionaries to....hmmmm....not Uganda.
Ummmm....I'll have to think about it.

We always like to start the holiday season off with an emphasis on missions because Nanny Carol's church hosts an annual Missions Conference.
Perfect timing.
Priorities set.

The 2 missionaries....YES. They're bonafide, tried and true, trained missionaries....are precious examples of how the Lord has moved their hearts to serve orphans in another country.

They're such cutie patooties, and Emily and Molly loved visiting with them and listening to their testimonies.

Merry Merry and Happy Happy!

Might as well combine the two holidays considering we missed posting about Christmas in a timely fashion.

AHHHHH.
It was a lovely time of celebration.
Mercy me. I have to look at the photographs I took on the ole iPhone to actually remember WHAT we've been up to.
Enjoyable.
Simple.
The way I like it.

Lemme See...We've been practicing the Horse Dance - for Chinese New Year....the Year of the Horse. Fun. After that little cultural school event we went to see a children's author/illustrator who was at a southern bookstore. Gotta track down those learning experiences, right? In the picture below you can see sweet Jenna, Miss Molly, and Ever Adventurous Emily - at the book signing.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gingerbread Emily


Molly said - with a HUGE grin - that she "likes" decorating a Christmas tree.
Bless her heart.
She put one of HER ornaments - just rec'd at a Cookie Swap - but she put the ornament on the tree WITH the store tag still on it. I had to go back with scissors and - yes - TRIM the tree ornament.
She's really enjoying the season - the music, lights, snacks, gatherings...It's her very first Christmas in a family, and we're thrilled that she's here to join us.
Finally home.

December....Here We Are! Decorating Her First Gingerbread House EVAH!





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pic Will NOT Turn Correctly....Posted it Anyway. So There! Hmpf!

"So Molly," I said. "Have you ever seen a can opener like this in China?"

Her response. "I never saw cans in China." ** All while she was opening cans on my mustard yellow colored 1980's vintage electric can opener **

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It Was Bound to Happen Sometime

I remember thinking that this would be a great title to a blog post after something happened at the house...or the girls said something.

Now. I cannot remember exactly what it was that made me think that.
Hmmmmm.
Something of significance happened. I'll keep thinking.
 Well, was it the line of questioning that started up after the question/statement,
 "Yeah...but where does the baby come from?"
 Possibly.

Or was it the note that Emily was handed by a little girl while sitting in Science class -- and the note said, "I'm not trying to be mean, but are you ever curious about your birthmother?

Check one of the following: yes, no, maybe"
 Emily's response, "Not really. Why do you ask?"

I work on teaching the girls how to respond to situations like this because they ARE bound to happen sometime in life, and when it does...no need to be flustered, afraid, or 'put upon'. It likely WILL catch them off guard, but it's good to have a standard framework from which to respond.

My goal has been to teach them they never have to feel as if they MUST answer a question of this sort...IF they don't want to. It's their choice. Say what you will, but always remember that it is your choice.

The advice I've given them and even role-played with them is - respond to a question with a turn-a-bout question. Heck. I've even done it to my own kids - and it's not a negative put down. It's a probing analysis to get to the root of w-h-y a comment is made or why someone wants to know and if they EVEN NEED to know.

I read an article along this line in Dear Abby - 100 years ago...and I never was a big Dear Abby column fan. I personally don't wanna hear what someone's sister-in-law did to aggravate their 2nd cousin on their mama's side of the family at Christmas dinner and what Abby's suggested call to action might be.

Drama.

Sometimes you just have to forgive people.

Anyhoo - the article in Dear Abby was about people asking very personal, imposing questions. For example...if someone who was not a close friend walked up to you and said, "How much money do you make a year?" Abby's advice (and good advice at that) was to merely look at them and question them with, "WHY would you ask someone such a personal question like that?

The response tends to turn the uneasiness of the situation around back to the other person.

Anyhoo - I think Emily handled her little "note passing" with great ease. I'm proud of her.

The other little girl - who has gotten in trouble often through the years - was reprimanded for writing the note IN CLASS while teaching was going on. In the distant past that little girl told Emily to shut up. Em said, "You can't tell me to shut up." The other girl said, "I just did."

BUT...I TRULY do not think the girl was trying to be mean - or maybe I'm wrong. Other adults in the building know her well and say she was being mean. I think possibly she is/was 100% curious as children will be.

I know the child...and her mother is not a present, effective influence in her life; therefore, she probably wonders how Em has managed to come off as a well-adjusted 5th grader.
So...It Was Bound to Happen Sometime.

It's all good.
Excited about Thanksgiving coming up.
We're going thru our listing of FUN FALL ACTIVITIES.
We've --
photographed deer and a full, harvest moon
collected leaves, placed mums outside the door.
collected pumpkins and also made healthy pumpkin muffins
read stories about little girls, Indians, and cranberries...and tasted fresh cranberries (connections, connections, connections)
snuggled with kittens in the bed under warm quilts and blankets that friends have made for us
spent time with Nanny Carol at church - eating Thanksgiving meal with saints gathered around the table

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

AMEN!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Photo Update

Emily in Her Enrichment Class
Both Girls at a Local Produce Stand

 Produce Stand and Girls with Shiyan


 Painting at Physical Therapy Clinic and Emily and Molly with Magnolias (which was one of Molly's Spelling Words that Week)
 The FAMOUS Bird Mentioned in Blog Post Below
Bless His Heart.....BAMMED into Glass Door at Store

 Cornucopia - Horn of Plenty - with Little Bird About to be Set Free
Check Out the Fall Foliage Where We Released the Sweet Fella-Bird

 Birthday Card Made for Sweet Laura
I Love the Saying on the Right....Sniff.


One of Molly's Enrichment Creations
 

Nuts with Nuts: My Definition of Fun
We bought 5 different kinds of nuts for each of the girls and turned them loose to explore, compare, contrast, and then finally CRACK and eat them.
I know. I know.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It Was a 2 Bird Week

Tweet.
Tweet.
And I don't mean the Social Media term.

We had encounters with two fine feathered friends a while back.
On Monday I had the front door wide open - you know - letting in the marvelous November breeze -
All the while providing what I consider a gorgeous view of the grass, blue sky, and trees.
I call it "Mental Income."

Well, as said door was flung open, one precious little bird decided to fly into our 1475 sq. ft. home.
He (or She) lighted on the ceiling fan.
I was like, "Gasp. Oh my. Girls. Come see."

It was so much fun watching the little angel fly about the front room from one dusty corner to another.
The girls were squealing, and I - being the bird-experience-person that I am - told them to go close all the doors to bedrooms and bathrooms. IF Tweety decided to explore the house, at least he would not have to be coerced from each and every room.

I took a broom and gently followed the bird around the room, back to the ceiling fan several times, and actually had the presence of mind to stop and take picture before he flew out the door and back into the great beyond.

THEN on Saturday as we were at a store paying our bill, we all heard a "thump" at the glass door.
Emily and Molly both s-a-w a bird fly into the glass.
BAM!
THIS sweet little bird went straight down to the pavement and didn't fidget a feather.
We opened the store door, and I scooped the stunned (hurt seriously?) bird into my hand and nestled it there gently.

The girls were amazed to be this close to a wild bird.
We sweet talked it a while, all ran our fingers over his feathers, stared in disbelief.
We loaded it into the car with us. Didn't want to leave it anywhere if it was injured - to be gotten by a cat, kid, or car.

Just so happens we had a cornucopia/horn of plenty with us.
I know.
WHO on earth carries one of these around in the car?
It was our vocabulary word for the day. Really.
We had read a Thanksgiving poem that morning about the Horn of Plenty, and I showed Molly and Emily the small basket style one that has been in our family since I was a little girl.
We were looking to place corn, apples, grapes, nuts, and small pumpkins inside the cornucopia BECAUSE that is what the poem mentioned.

Like I've said a million times before - in our lives, EVERYthing is a learning experience.

Back to the bird.
We had the presence of mind to place the bird on a towel and cover it with the cornucopia IN CASE it revived while we were driving in the car.
Sure enough.
Badda Boom. Badda bing.
Lazurus done come alive - and he was fluttering wildly under the horn of plenty.

We pulled off the beaten path to a lovely country area, got out with the bird - still covered up - snapped a photo, and set the captive free.
Such fun.

No other big news except something I forgot to mention about the new kittens.
Dumpling (named by Molly) has 4 legs but only 3 feet.
She's a special needs kitty.
So precious. Sorta hops along, making do.
The girls are enjoying the fur babies lots and lots.
Again - learning experiences abound.

KK was telling me a story at school the other day about a lady who lives in her neighborhood that's been bringing candy for KK's girls each fall for about 20-ish years. They're just "driveway-kinda-neighbors" - the kind that chat outside when they see each other every few seasons or so.
The lady continued the tradition this year and brought 2 containers of candy -as KK says..."the good kind"... and somehow the subject came up about KK's girls and where they are, what they are doing.
The lady found out that KK has 3 girls, not 2. That's why she always only brought 2 containers of candy for nearly 20 years.
I asked KK, "Did you ever think to mention that you had another child under your roof?"

KK - "I just assumed the stash was to be shared by all 3 girls."
Me - "What did she say when she found out?"
KK - "Oh. She's really sweet. She was fine with it all and said she'd bring 3 containers next fall. I didn't have the heart to tell her we're moving in 3 weeks."
Me - "Goodness gracious, girl."
KK - "Yep. She's been a wonderful neighbor through the years. Only thing is - the veins on her legs stick out 5 times more than mine."
Me - "Oh brother."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013




LuLu and Emily




Dumpling and Molly




Molly's Drawing of Angles - Obtuse, Acute, and Good Ole Right




Emily in Red Shirt (glasses) Learning Scrabble from a PRO - in My Classroom


Nuthin' Like NOT Posting in a While

Geesh.
No can get to computer.
Oh well.
It is what it is.

This causes other folks to shiver - in the fact that I actually do not have access to posting with Blogger on just any ole computer. I'll have to get my friend's techie hubbie to help out along the way.
Mercy me. He's already come to my house 2x to install safety locks on my kitchen cabinets.

Why?

It's Chase.
The rescue dog.
He's enjoyed chewing on Molly's lunch box in the bottom cabinet - THUS - the new one purchased.
Dawg gone it. Money spent.
He's pert near done a few numbers on my Tupperware.
Pray he does NOT access any of my vintage Tupperware stuff or he's gonna get a good talkin' to.
Hmpf.

Ah. End of October.
I'm still thinking it's early August.
I don't wanna hear about how time moves faster the OLD-er you get. Even Emily has stated that it seemed often like it should've been several months earlier than it is/was.
Not sure what sense Miss Molly is making of the progression of time. She did ask me the other day what Thanksgiving is all about. We're fully decorated at the crib - Pilgrims and all.
We'll start reading about the holiday of appreciation and the historical characters responsible for it.
Squanto and friends.
We were all talking about some topic in the car the other day, and Molly's questions was, "What's gasoline?"
I did the whole visual charades of how I go to the gas pump, pay money, take the gas hose and put stinky stuff in the car.
She got it.

I tend to place big emphasis on Autumn...starting Oct. 1st...with ponderings and "ahhhhh moments" about the lovely trees, leaves, colors, mist rising from a nearby pond, wild turkeys being spotted in a field near some woods, and gorgeous sunrises and beautiful blue skies.

Molly said she wrote about Autumn leaves - today - in a journal in her Language Arts class.
That's my girl.
Emily has often reiterated of how I wax longingly about the captured beauty of this season.
That's my girl.

On to goofier topics.
My buddy KK - who traveled with me to China to meet Molly - was telling me about the shenanigans at HER house.
She said that a few weeks ago the doorbell rang. Kourtney - KK's daughter who traveled with us to China, too, and super helper of the world - well, she answered the door.
She then went to tell her mom that the UPS man was at the door.
Well, KK gets to the door and it is NOT the UPS man.
It was a Jehovah Witness in a brown coat.
And it wasn't even a guy.
It was a woman.
I told KK, "It must've been really dark outside."

I love me some Kourtney.
Once she has a fender bender at a.....exit.....on a city street.
Maybe it was more of an exiting yield or some oxymoron-type term that is simply not coming to me right now.
Anyhoo, KoKo sorta rear ended a lady.
The lady got out of the car and said, "What were you thinking?!"
In her dry, soft spoken voice KoKo replied, "I was t-h-i-n-k-i-n-g you were not gonna stop."
So there!
Love me some Kourtney.
Did I say I love me some Kourtney?
I love me some Kourtney.

We have 2 new little rescue kittens at our house. PRESH!!!
The girls have been wanting a kitten/some kittens/girl kittens.
I've always - just about - had a cat in my home...until last year when King Puddin' went to heaven.
The girls are learning MAJOR responsibility - feeding, cleaning, supervising, loving, assisting, wrangling, smelling, holding, locating - you name it.
We ALL pitch in with great attitudes of love and compassion.
I do NOT give it the, "WELL...YOU ASKED FOR THIS...."
No. I just explain to them how little babies are lots of work - and tiny wonders - and they will continue to fall in love with the wee ones each and every day they care for them.
Hopefully this will transfer to their understanding of what mothers do/feel/provide for children.

We are all doing well.




Friday, September 27, 2013

"Hand Me My Lip Gloss and My License"

No. The blue lights were not flashing in my rear view mirror.
Friendly reminder: I've never had a ticket in my life. I'm weird at rule following.
It's the teacher in me.

This quote is what LSU friend, and goofball extraordinaire -Lisa-was saying about HER longtime buddy. It's the standard line when that friend gets pulled over for speeding....
Which seems to be a trend in this girl's life.
Well...that and throwing her wig at the t.v. set when Auburn fumbles the football.

Lisa's buddy has done some rounds of chemo in her life but is like the Energizer bunny.
Keeps going.
While we were watching the LSU game last Saturday night, Lisa sent a text to her friend asking her if she was at a party watching the War Eagle game with or without the wig.
Friend replied, "I'm wig-less....at the request of the hostess. She didn't wanna take a chance!"

Lisa is a hoot.
You ought to hear her stories about having babies. She had  a tough time with #1's birthing, sweet April-girl.
And I quote, "I couldn't deliver an English pea!!" Southern twang not included, of course.
So she says having #2 was a breeze.
Her interpretation of a C-section, "Heck...I just made an appointment and went to the hospital to get Cal."

She's got an alligator head on her mantle.
Duck Dynasty gone to seed!!

Lisa adores my mama and is soooo sweet to my girls and makes them laugh.
She cracks me up, too.

She signs all her emails, "Be Awesome. Love Jesus."

A few weeks ago I told her hubbie, "My brother Skipper is comin' to town to join us at our LSU gala event. He's so purple and gold...he'll make you look like an Alabama fan."

Big Al, the husband, got real close to my face and said (in his thick Cajun accent), "Hey gul. Don't choo use dat kinda lang-gwudge in dis house a God!"

It's a joy to spend a few Saturday nights during SEC football season with her family...and a couple of other football nuts. All love the Lord...and Allan's chicken and sausage gumbo.
You better know how to pray if you follow our teams!

A merry heart does good like a medicine!!
I think all of the hearts in our home are merrier. It's refreshing. Lots of humor is being expressed, personalities are beginning to shine through, and I do believe we're on the outbound train of "Pretend Family of Three."
You know...where we've all "played a part/acted in certain roles" as we've gone through the process of adjustment to our current lives.
We haven't arrived at our final destination of Welcome to Your New Lives - Vicki, Emily, & Molly - but the ride is much smoother these days.
Between faith, family, and friends - we're sure to get there.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Too Cute NOT to Put on the Blog!!



Emily, Molly, and Alli - Lisa's Darling Newbie



Molly's Butterfly Stages - With Pasta. How funny!


Oh Brother. They LOVE Sushi!

And HOW, pray tell, would I know that?
Funny you should ask.

Am I the ONLY mother in America who takes their kids to chain grocery stores, runs them through the deli department  - and calls it dinner?
Surely not.

Not "surely not" that I wouldn't do it.
...but "surely not" that I'm NOT the only mother in America who calls this the new 'fast food' way of life.

Ya see, I've raised Emily thinking that deli departments are genius ideas designed for busy moms --allowing children to graze there.
Well, it's basically the store's way of thanking me for taking m-o-r-e time to come and shop there.
Correct?
Free crackers - and fancy ones, too, that we don't have at the house.
Cool spreads.
Delicious dips.
Sometimes little toothpicks loaded with chicken - you know, the protein part of the food group.

No.
We do not eat the grapes before they are properly weighed by the cashier.

However, it does seem that the girls have come upon some nifty little sushi rolls - with crab (ick!) - and a spot of spicy sauce drizzled over them.
All in the delicatessen department at our local grocery.
All at 5:00 in the early evening.
All for free.

I'm really not a mooch. Donna, Marlene, and I have joked for years that every time I go to their house I enter asking, "Did ya'll thaw somethin' out for me?"
They always do!!

I know now when I tell Emily and Molly to "go get the bananas, tomatoes, and lettuce and meet me on the frozen food aisle"....I can forget seeing them again before cash register check out time.
Yup.
They're in the deli department - getting on a first name basis with those who work there.

Kinda funny.
They steer clear of all the really fabulous cheeses. It's the Asian gene.
No like-a dee cheese.

Been fun times around our way: tailgate party at church, birthday celebrations with friends, Andy Griffith time at Nanny Carol's, finished watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on Family Night, piano lessons, LSU food fest party, playing in the park (Thank you, Jane!), getting to spend time with Uncle Skipper, and both girls rec'd certificates for the summer reading.

Emily and Molly both read 22-ish books this summer.
Emily's were a mixture of chapter books, required reading, and even graphic novels and/or classics with audio features.
Molly did the same - but much of hers was read to her. We did count all her ABeka books and Sally, Dick and Jane type books where she practiced, practiced, practiced over the summer.

We are thrilled that autumn is around the corner - the season where we appreciate any cool, crisp mornings/evenings, where we treasure the views of nature, and where we are so blessed to have faith, family, and friends on whom we place such high value.

"Wait not for tomorrow...today's the Golden Day!"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Let's See...Do I do my child's homework or post on the blog?


Yep.
I mean "do my child's homework".
Clutch the pearls.

No. It's not the way it sounds. At our house - homework just seems to turn into an evening teaching time...learning experience. We seem to get it all done in between stir frying the rice and emptying the dishwasher. Phew.

What I'm talking about is this - Miss Molly might have to write sentences with some spelling words. Well, uhm, (throat clearing) naturally she can NOT compose sentences on paper.
Yet.
And she likely doesn't even know WHAT the spelling word means. But by golly she can memorize the spelling of them while learning to phonetically say them.

So - I model little sentences for her.
As in I write them for her. We talk about the words - in their simplest meaning. We read them together as I jot down a short sentence. She then copies the sentence(s) in her spelling notebook.
I use nouns, verbs, phrases that might already be familiar to her. I don't go throwin' in weird things that complicate the ideas.
Not sure what we'll do when we get to 'mitochondria' in her science lessons. LOL! Truthfully...we'll read the word, look at pictures of it, sketch it, study the spelling, and say it to MOM every single morning while riding in the backseat of the car on the way to school.
I am the best head-nodder/driver on the road these days.
The girls read spelling and/or vocabulary words to me. I shake my head up and down as they spell correctly and say the definitions.
I am a true bobble head.

If a spelling word is 'notebook' -- Molly's short sentence might be "My sister has a pink notebook."
Simple. Done.

I AM a huge advocate of modeling, modeling, modeling - thinking out loud, discussing.
My vocal chords are plum worn out at the end of the day.
There's another little missy girl/Emily who needs my help, too, but not nearly as much as in the past.

...and you are correct.
It takes T-I-M-E.
Repetition.
Day in.
Day out.

I knew this going into adoption #2, and believe it or not - it's probably easier this time around. Molly does have schooling background and study habits that are assisting her.
BUT then again...she has 12 years of speaking 100% Chinese that tend to get in the way every now and then. Ya think?!

In all honesty, her Chinese does not 'get in the way' (Then why did you say it?).
It just serves as the constant hurdle she has to jump.

We are doing all we can to keep her Chinese in tact while bungee jumping into the English language.
We're in a much better place emotionally as understanding, trust, and smooth adjusting seem to be dawning brightly and confusion/misunderstanding is squeezing out the back door.

For this, I am thankful.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013